You may be asking yourself?
“Why in the blue tarnation is this here?”
Well stretch, you see before the last gift from the family sent me to the street fresh and full of nerve damage I was a cook off and on for ten years. Some would even describe it as a career and getting some basic information is important because if you don’t know the basics then you don’t know jack.
When splitting calories there are a few different kinds to go over and this is per gram. The gram is simply the most popular unit of measurement. On the nutritional facts when it says “12g protein” well the g stands for gram.
Carbs get you four calories per gram. Protein gets you four as well. Alcohol gets seven. Fat gets you nine calories per gram. There are some rules because not all grams are created equal. Alcohol does not stay in the body very long topping the list of things to be burnt up. Protein is another thing that tries to use itself up with what isn’t being tossed out. Protein also helps build muscle often strenuous bouts of exercise giving it something else that the other grams do not have
The little caveat with protein being is if it is complete or incomplete. A good rule of thumb is that protein from animal meat is always going to be completer while anything plant based will be incomplete proteins but will often have more vitamins and minerals usually making it important to get your calories from a variety of resources.
Just to keep weight while you are homeless you will need to to eat more then you would ever think because the amount of things you are needing that energy for. Those who are already watching what they eat will have to open up on a bit. Keeping weight will be as hard as can be especially if you are carrying a pack and you need to go with some items that help. All this boils down into a lot to juggle and then you have to deal with how you can get supplies. Food banks are going to give you a bit of everything but the question will be if you can carry it. If you get food stamps the you have more options and a smaller budget when needed to work with money.
In short if you can carry food and plan fairly rudimentary you should not starve. There is no reason for people in most urban centers to starve and for the most part it is not that much more difficult in suburbs or small towns all of that is based on your ability to think ahead. This is the single biggest problem because when picking calories is you need to at least have a rough idea what you are eating. Honestly if you are homeless it will be very rare that you will be in a surplus so unless that is the case. This is rare so unless you don’t move at all, grab some calories when you can because you don’t to run a deficit long enough then what will happen is this.
First, your body will start burning all regular fuel then when you are empty it dips in to the reserves on your fats. This will keep you going but after a while what will happen is your body will start to go from fat to protein. Particularly your muscle fibers, as your body cannot hold on to protein it will withdraw it from where your body has the most accessible protein. This will make you begin to get weaker as time goes on.
When you are deficient in a nutrient for a period you also invite things like beriberi (what I have) scurvy, and more. Any long term deficiency can really destroy your body as well doing your best to stay on top of it will keep your time on the streets a little healthier.
If you are already deficient then take a day at the library and do some research. Be aware what works and what tastes good may be different. Because even if you are not on the street and are just doing some fine time enjoying the wilderness knowing how your body works will save you pain in the long run.
Enjoy your peanut butter and stay strong