I agree with most of your points, though loading a pack correctly starts with a properly fitted pack. I do like smaller pockets for smaller lite weight items, but those large pockets are easy to alter your weight distribution and make things hectic.
Knowing how to walk and hike correctly for your body posture is a key as well, I see way too many people slunched over...man do I feel sorry for them. Knowing how to use trekking poles is cool too, though I need to start using them more often.
As for food, Im with you. I do not eat no where near enough calories when I hike, oddly enough I do not loose much weight either. I do train a bit, which I think helps with me not loosing weight (muscle). I do try to eat high fat foods (ramen/snickers) and protein (jerky). IMO our bodies are designed to endure this type of stress (like the intermitting fasting regimes). Water is the #1 nutrient and that makes all the difference for me.