Conventional wisdom says that being fit and skinny is an important part of any zombie survival plan. Even the hit movie Zombieland makes clear that the first rule in outlasting the undead is to work on your cardio. But what if conventional wisdom is wrong?  What if carrying a few extra pounds is better for survival?

Looking at the three stages of human starvation we find that in the first stage blood glucose levels are maintained by the liver, but because there is only enough stored glycogen to last a few hours the body quickly moves into the second stage.  Nutritionist Kevin Quirk explains that this is when a person’s fat percentage comes into play.

“The body begins to convert its fat reserves into fatty acids and glycerol to support muscle and brain function. Once the fat runs out, the third stage of starvation begins, and there is a switch to proteins as the major energy source. Muscles, the largest source of protein in the body, are rapidly depleted.”

Needless to say, once your muscles are being eaten from within you’re in big trouble. In fact, starvation-related death is often caused by heart failure, because the heart muscle is broken down to the point of collapse.

Quirk explains that individuals with higher levels of body fat can last longer without food, because they remain in the second stage of starvation for more time than their skinny counterparts. It’s not unlike a camel in the desert that is able to supply energy to the body by using up ample stores of fat.

Of course, if you’re being chased by zombies it doesn’t hurt to be able to run fast and for long distances, not to mention the added physical and psychological benefits of being in top condition. But if you’re locked in a safe place and forced to stay put long  after food supplies have been depleted, you’re clearly better off packing at least a few extra pounds.

Food for thought.


  1. Finally, something good about being fat!! =)

  2. That kind of scares me because if your more over weight and the zombie eats you your enabling the zombies to have a bigger food supply essentially…

    • I agree maybe a few extra pounds like a bmi of 21-24%. For example I was able to run 2 miles in 13 minutes when I was 21%. I trained 5 times a week doing cardio and weights bit it was hard to get any lower and kept a little pading on my waist. I would rather be able to wait for a little while, get to my last packed mre and run/sneak to a vehicle or to a location I know that had hanging fruit or get to a lake and fish from the trees if possible.

      • BMI isn’t measured in percent. Maybe you’re thinking of body fat percentage, which is measured in percent? BMI is your weight in kg divided by your height in m^2.

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