This is what I thought when I read about San Francisco Giants pitcher and Seattle-area native (Renton represent!) Tim Lincecum’s “normal” order at In-N-Out Burger, the California-based burger chain whose food has been known to make people do crazy shit: three double-doubles (So six quarter-pound beef patties total.), two orders of fries and a milkshake, dubbed “the Full Lincecum” by ESPN writer Jim Caple.
I’m not bitter about Lincecum’s diet. Of course, I wish I could go back to my super fat days and stuff down a meal like that, but I wouldn’t want to pay the consequences. Lincecum, on the other hand, doesn’t face those problems. (Now here’s where that bitterness comes in…) He’s the same height as I am, only he struggles to maintain a weight of 168 lbs. I haven’t been 168 lbs. since middle school.
Which is why this post is titled “Fuck You, Tim Lincecum.” Because, really, what kind of animal can eat a 3,000+ calorie lunch regularly and be underweight for someone his height–our height?
Lincecum “suffers” from high metabolism. His body converts food into energy at a much higher rate than normal, permitting him to win two Cy Young Awards and a World Series ring on the diet of an overweight frat boy, yet another reason why he’s nicknamed “The Freak.”
Unfortunately, my metabolism is more Pablo Sandoval than Lincecum, meaning I struggle to keep weight off, not put it on. People with low metabolism often are this way because of heredity, but sometimes low metabolism can be caused by not eating the right foods, like nutrient-rich meals and complex carbohydrates, a lack of exercise, illness or, worst of all, a thyroid problem. In my case, it’s hereditary–McGuigans run large and, sadly, don’t shrink in the wash.
But having low metabolism doesn’t mean your SOL. You can do a few things to help your body burn calories faster. Here are a few suggestions that will make you more like “The Freak” than “Kung-Fu Panda”:
1) Breakfast. If your mother hasn’t already told you, it’s the most important meal of the day, but if you’re anything like me, you probably don’t always have lots of time in the morning. My solution? A banana, chia seeds and either multi-grain Cheerios or on work-out days an Oh Yeah! protein bar. (Yes, the brand is called Oh Yeah!) Whatever you do, eat something in the morning with protein and complex carbs to get your system moving; otherwise, your body begins to break down muscle.
2) Don’t starve yourself or skip meals. I used to think if I ate too much one night that I could just starve myself the next day and it would be even. Not only is this terrible for the body because it sends the system into starvation mode, but it creates a cycle of binging and starving that could turn into an eating disorder.
3) Exercise. Exercise speeds up your metabolism by burning calories at a faster rate. Double bonus if it’s weight training because it builds muscle, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn.
4) Water. The energy burning process of metabolism requires water. So drink up–and way more than the puny eight eight-ounce servings everyone tells you to drink. I shoot for a gallon per day. If you can do that, I’ll be impressed, but be warned: you’ll have to pee… A LOT!
5) Vitamin B. I started taking vitamin B supplements about a year ago because it helps convert food into energy–exactly what you need when you have low metabolism. Plus, it’s a vitamin that has my initial, which makes me feel a little special.
These are the basic steps you can take to jump-start your metabolism. You might not win a Cy Young Award–or even be able to eat “the Full Lincecum” without regrets, but you’ll, at least, help turn your body into a champion.