Gay & Lesbian Services of Western New York

Do Fruit Loops Make you Gay?, Part II

Please read Part I of this edition before ingesting this second part.

If you think of your body as an engine requiring fuel to run you will have understood one of the basic tenants of nutrition. Food is fuel! It is not meant to be your friend or your enemy. It is not the solution to boredom, the cure for emotional emptiness, the salve for depression….it is simply fuel.

As fuel, you have to keep your body sufficiently and evenly supplied. If you regularly feed your body with new fuel, your body will be less likely to store fat. The recommended refueling or feeding schedule is 5-6 SMALL meals through out the day STARTING WITH BREAKFAST.

For some of you this is a scary notion as it sounds like you will be taking in too much food and you will get fat. There are three key principles at play in this idea:

First: Eating through out the day keeps your blood sugar relatively even which reduces hunger pangs and resultant binge eating. It helps keep your energy and mood more even as well.

Second: Eating small meals throughout the day means that most of what you ingest will be used to nourish you rather than stored as fat for later use.

Third: Your metabolism rate will stay more elevated as your body burns the addition of these new calories. Hence the fuel/engine metaphor…you accelerate the engine as you add more fuel by stepping on the gas…You accelerate your metabolism as you add more food, plus digestion itself burns calories.

There are a fair number of sites on the Internet that suggest foods that fit into the 5-6 small meal a day program, which by the way is really three portion controlled meals plus two to three snacks.

READ THE LABEL! Ever stop to read the ingredient label before you eat something…uh…probably not…snooze…it’s boring. Sure it is, but developing the habit of reading the label can save you a lot of wasted calories through fats and sugars. Also, sodium, a.k.a. salt, causes the body, especially in women, to retain water which makes you look and feel bloated and can therefore make you feel fat.

WATER..WATER…WATER. Your body needs water to digest food efficiently and also to digest and rid the body of excess fat. NO, pop and energy drinks are not a substitution for water.

If you are looking to put on some definition and muscle then, since muscle is composed largely of protein, you may want to eat more tuna, turkey and chicken. Protein powders are an OK addition but should not replace food containing protein…you still want your body to expend calories digesting actual food. If you are a vegetarian then try to find non-meat food that has protein value such as beans or tofu (soy protein).

I haven’t said much about exercise because teens as a rule are fairly active. Even video games are now much more active with Wii. If you are not active then try to increase your activity by say, walking more or dancing in your room to your favorite dance CD. FYI: It takes 50 calories to sustain one pound of muscle, therefore, the more muscle you have the more calories your body uses to sustain the muscle and thus help you stay trimmer. You often hear obese people say they don’t eat that much…this is true. Because their bodies have replaced muscle with fat and there metabolisms have slowed it takes very little food to sustain them. Then as they diet their metabolism slows even more…an immensely frustrating circle.

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