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Are you Winning The Hunger Games?

April 19, 2012

Tips and Tricks from Katniss Everdeen

Are You Winning the Hunger Games?

By King Hoover- Internationally recognized Fitness Expert

I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry, I don’t feel much like playing games at all. Low blood sugar, lowered energy and a growling stomach do not make me a pleasant opponent- even if you’re talking Tiddly Winks. My only consolation is that I’ll bet your story is identical, waiting too long to eat or skipping a Meal is a Recipe for trouble with nearly everyone I’ve ever asked. It seems to me that messing around with hunger is a Game with more losers than winners, kind of like that Suzanne Collins’ book turned into a movie- The Hunger Games…. The story is set in a futuristic society where access to food is strictly controlled for the masses- at least for those everyday folk from the 12 Districts. They grew their own gardens, hunted what they could and prepared their own meals, but there never seemed to be enough- the residents of District 12 seemed gaunt and underfed, very different than for most of us here in the U.S. Too little food, too many days per week has a grinding and destructive effect on our health. The body will break down healthy, functioning tissues like Muscle, Organs, etc… and turn them into the chemicals food otherwise would provide without giving us the nutrients food offers us. In the meantime, metabolism- muscle burns calories- and bodily functions (the things our organs do so we can LIVE) are reduced along with our health. Each year, Men’s Health Magazine publishes a list of the Healthiest U.S. Cities and a part of their criteria for Unhealthiness is the number of Fast Food Restaurants per capita. It was only a few years ago that The DFW Metroplex where I live ranked as the 4th Fattest Cities in the country. The same year, Forbes Magazine ranked us as the 20th most Junk Food Obsessed Metro Area, that doesn’t sound like anyone here is going ‘hungry’. In the film “The Hunger Games”, although the 12 outlying Districts had too little food, the Capitol surely had too much- probably also ranking high on the Forbes and Fattest Cities lists. We know too little food is very bad, we know too much food can be terrible in other ways, how do we win our own, personal ‘Hunger Games’? I’m so glad you asked… Just a few lessons in Strategy to ensure your own Victory, first- Don’t Panic. In the story Katniss Everdeen’s little sister,  Prim is actually the one chosen to fight in the Hunger Games. When Prim’s name is drawn, Katniss quickly volunteers to go in her place. Unprecedented and heretofore unheard of, but if something is really important, you do whatever it takes. My son is a football player and at 16 years old with his lifting and practice schedule requires 3,650 calories a day to keep up with metabolism, growth and activity. How does a 16 year old student make sure they get enough quality calories? Not without help… I do not enjoy getting up even earlier or staying up late to fix a lunch every day with  2 double meat, double cheese sandwiches, 2 protein bars of approximately 300 calories apiece, 2 huge Golden Delicious apples, 2 bags of pistachios, chocolate rice cakes and pre and post workout drinks for both workouts. I do it because he only has one period in his life where he can grow and develop at his maximum rate, without enough calories and nutrition- his Maximum will be minimized. The same is true for the young people at your house and we cannot take a chance with things as important as their day-by-day performance and long-term health even if their ‘performance’ is just getting good Grades. Our second lesson- Practice Makes Perfect. One of Katniss’ greatest assets was that because of constant practice, she could hunt well with a bow. At home, it provided food for her family when food was scarce, in the Hunger Games, it was a lifesaver. Make a list of the healthier foods you would build a great meal plan from. What nutritious snacks do you like? Favorite fruits and veggies? Dairy and yogurt? You’ve got to have some calories, what kinds of nuts have you tried and enjoyed? Build a new grocery list from these items and give healthier eating some ‘practice’, some days you will hit what you’re shooting at- a clean, healthy food plan. Other days not so much, but you’ll never ever hit what you never shoot for. Lastly, Avoid the Traps. In the Arena where the Hunger Games were fought, there were tools and traps designed to finish off competitors in sneaky or spectacular ways. One was the Tracker Jackers, genetically engineered wasps whose sting brought hallucinations, pain and potentially death. This reminded me of some of the food around us. Remember the guy who had a heart attack from eating the Triple Bypass Burger from the Heart Attack Grill? You needn’t drive to Vegas. Even Jack in the Box has a 907 Calorie Burger with 55 Grams of fat per serving, how about the many ‘Bloomin Onions’ around town? Average calories? 2,210 with 134 grams of fat. These so-called ‘vegetables’ remind me more of the poison berries that take out 2 people in the film. Put down the dipping sauce and back away s-l-o-w-l-y…forget that, run like the dickens! And there you have it, Katniss Everdeen’s winning strategy, understand the Game and what you have to do, stock your pantry with stuff that takes you closer to your goal- not further away. Finally, stay away from the snacks, desserts, ‘treat’ and ‘cheat’ foods that will cheat you out of Victory every time, you may have never Won before, but now you know how You can win your own Hunger Games. King Hoover is Fitness Coach with more than 30 years’ experience in his field and has been educated by the top experts in fat loss, injury management and youth athletic development. His unique and innovative approaches are available by contacting him.

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