Waking up every morning to face a zombie apocalypse in Project Zomboid is already stressful enough, that you won’t want to also worry about dieting. That being said, bad nutrition habits can lead to health problems that impact your character’s performance. There are many ways to avoid getting to either stage of the scale, but if your character is already overweight, you can follow certain steps to avoid the negative traits that come with it. This guide explains how nutrition works and how to lose weight in Project Zomboid.
How Nutrition Works in Project Zomboid
While not as complex as real life, nutrition in Project Zomboid is surprisingly thorough. For your own sake (as well as mine) I won’t go over details regarding calorie counts, but rather explain how this mechanic works and what to keep in mind during your playthroughs.
The basic ABC is similar to what you already know from your non-virtual meals: all food has a certain number of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. Non-processed food, as well as vegetables and fruit, are much healthier than alcoholic drinks, deserts or eating lots of bread (if your name is Scott Pilgrim, I’m truly sorry.)
In-game, the excess of junk food over time, as well as the lack of exercise, can lead to being overweight (between 85 to 100 kg.) and obesity (100 kg. or more). On the contrary, if you’re only relying on fruits and vegetables, sleep often, and have a tendency to sprint everywhere, it can all lead to your character being underweight (65 to 75 kg.), very underweight (50 to 65 kg.), emaciated (50 kg. or less), and ultimately reach a state where they will receive damage over time at 35 kg.
While we all have a broad understanding of what type of food is healthier or not, there is a way of knowing the exact values. If the food if packaged, anyone can read the values just by hovering over the item. If not, only a character with the Nutritionist trait can do so.
Unlike skills such as Electrical, the Nutritionist trait can only be learned during character creation, so no books or magazines can help. You can either spend four trait points on it or choose the Fitness Instructor occupation, which already comes with the trait by default.
Either extremes of weight gain or loss can impact experience gain for certain skills, as well as overall endurance and speed, so it’s advised to keep a balance if possible.
How to Lose Weight – Project Zomboid
If your character has either an overweight or obesity status, it’s advised to try and get to what Project Zomboid perceives as normal, which is between 75 to 85 kg.
Such as in real life, your character’s body is their own. But, if you want to get rid of the negative statuses imposed by the game, there are a few activities to keep in mind:
- Eat non-processed, healthy food: Simple enough. Focus on fruits and vegetables first and foremost. Healthy food can either be found or harvested if you have a farm. If you’re adding any kind of meat, make sure to prepare meals instead of having large chunks of it at once.
- Stay on the move: Jumping over windows or fences, manual activities such as carpentry, and just sprinting as opposed to walking everywhere (although this makes you a noisier target to nearby zombies), will help you burn calories.
- You can exercise at any time, too: If you open your character screen (found on the left side of the screen with the heart icon) and click the Health tab, you’ll see the option to Exercise. From the list, you can do squats, push-ups, sit-ups, and burpees at any time (as long as you’re not heavily injured). Keep in mind that your character will receive negative statuses the next day, though.
- Try to sleep often: Sleeping burns calories, so try to sleep regularly as soon as your character becomes tired. They probably need the break anyway.
Losing weight in Project Zomboid may take a while, but focusing on the aforementioned steps will take you there slowly but steady. While you’re out there exercising, don’t forget that you can hotwire cars and siphon gas in case you’re tired of walking.