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How Many Miles Per Gallon Do YOU Get?

 

Today's Snack: Let's concentrate on water. It's important to drink a lot of it, every day, to help your body work at its very best. Lots of times, when you think you are hungry, actually you are just thirsty - thirsty for water. So today, or over the next week, why don't you walk one mile (that's about 20 minutes at a nice, steady pace), and drink one gallon of water. That's 128 ounces, which is as LOT - it's the equivalent of two half-gallon milk jugs, or 16 glasses of water with one cup, or 8 ounces, in each cup. But you can do it! It would be fun to remember the time you got one mile per gallon . . . of healthy, life-giving water!

 

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Food is to your body as gas is to a car's engine. Everything we eat and drink, except water, contains calories. Calories are the source of our body's energy, just as gasoline provides energy for a car to run.

 

 

 

Now, you would never, ever drink gasoline - it's poisonous and can kill you. But did you know that a gallon of gasoline contains about 31,000 calories? That would be enough to keep a medium-sized person going for more than two weeks! That's a lot of energy - but again, remember, it's energy for a car, not a person. A car may weigh 2,000 pounds - quite a bit more than you do! So a car needs more energy to move it around than you do.

 

Just to show you HOW much energy is in that one little gallon of gasoline, and to show you how efficient our bodies are in using energy, imagine this: if humans COULD drink gasoline for calories, we could run more than 300 miles on the energy from just one gallon of gasoline!

 

Food is slower to give you energy - but then again, it tastes so good and does so much more for you than just supplying energy, too. It's amazing what a great job our bodies do in extracting the energy we need from the foods and drinks we consume. Our bodies are the ultimate engines!

 

As with vehicles, different sizes of people, doing different things with their bodies, will have significantly different fuel needs. A lean athlete who exercises hard, two hours a day, will be able to consume more calories than a person of the same weight who is basically sedentary, without gaining weight. The human body at rest uses just 12 calories per pound per day. The more you move around, the more calories you burn - and the more you can eat.

 

You can figure out how many "miles" per "gallon" of calories YOU can get, and practice your math skills, by visiting this site. It will help you learn more about how our body reacts to calorie intake, diet, and exercise, and how math can help you keep tabs on it all:

 

http://home.howstuffworks.com/diet1.htm

 

 

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Food & Cooking 02 2008

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