The food I carry is all, as much as possible, high energy / high calory items, but these are chosen very much for convenience, too, i.e. minimal preparation when backpacking, and to a certain extent with weight in mind; this means that while some items, such as energy bars, are collectively heavy, I certainly wouldn’t dream of taking canned food for example.
Any loose stuff, namely powdered energy drink, powdered milk and muesli, I meticulously measure or weigh when I am packing prior to my trip, because I don’t want to carry any more grammes than I can help. I pack each in a little freezer bag which you can buy in supermarkets and pound shops, and I write a reminder of how much to use on them with a marker pen. Then I put a tie-wrap around the neck, they come with the bags, and I put each in a second bag for security, just in case the one with the powder gets a hole in it.
My meals per day:
Breakfast: 1/2 pint isotonic drink (from powder), 3+ oz muesli with mixed in sugar, 1/2 pint milk (from powder), 1/2 pint black coffee (instant) with sweeteners.
Lunch: Cup-a-Soup, energy bar, 2/3 Yorkie bar.
Dinner: 1/2 pint isotonic drink, freeze-dried dinner pack, energy bar.
Bedtime: remainder of Yorkie bar.
I also drink at least three and a half pints of water in a day.
An indication of the quantities I carry is at the foot of my Gear List page.
I read of someone whose “backpacking nightmare” is washing up pans and plates. All I can say is, what washing up? I don’t cook a breakfast, while freeze-dried dinner packs can be eaten directly from their foil bags. My total for a day is a mug, teaspoon, dessert spoon and microwave bowl, that’s all, and they need little more than a rinse in warm water after use.
I’m tall and slim but with a tendency at my age to grow around the waist, largely the result of long bouts of inactivity. On a multiple-day walk, and toting a heavy backpack, I always find I can tighten my belt a bit on the second morning, and even more on the third morning.
Strangely, though, I am quite happy with what little I have, I don’t find myself wanting for a thing, except maybe a pint or two of beer!
Then when I’ve finished the walk I spend a further couple of days away from home recuperating, during which time I eat as I would on any other holiday, a sandwich at lunchtime and a pub meal in the evening.
But when I am back home it’s a different story, I am ravenous and for the next two or three weeks I eat between-meals snacks all day long