Mom baffled by teenage boy’s metabolism

I’m not sure about that whole “If March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb” business.

I mean, I don’t know what the over-under is on that theory but I’m guessing it’s a pretty even split and that, by March’s end each year, the facts reveal that one has little if nothing at all to do with the other.

Heck, at this point, I don’t even know if this winter’s ever going to end I lose a little more hope on that front just about every other day or so, to be completely honest.


Anyway, just about the only thing that I AM sure of these days is that my teenage son’s hyperfast metabolism is like, a phenomenon. It is a wonder unto itself and quite the spectacle to behold, might I add?

For those of you who have never reared teenage boys I will say this: plan on roughly doubling your food budget. For those of you who have never reared teenage boys who also happen to be swimmers: quadruple it.

After he polished off 11 of the 12 mini cupcakes I got him at lunch the other day – oh, you read that right: 11. Guess he didn’t want to be a glutton and suck down that last lone treat (until the next day). Anyway, it was then that I drew the conclusion Kyle is the human equivalent of a hummingbird.

Oh, right. I digress. When I went in search of the one being on the face of planet Earth with the fastest metabolism, my very big exploration led to one teeny, weeny winged creature: the hummingbird.

According to widely-circulated Stanford University study, “Hummingbirds, with their tiny bodies and high levels of activity, have the highest metabolic rates of any animals – roughly a dozen times that of a pigeon and a hundred times that of an elephant. To maintain those rates, hummers have to consume about their weight in nectar daily.”

Their body weight. They have to eat their body weight in food. Every day. Just to maintain their tiny figures. Ladies, I ask you, where is the justice?

Don’t look to your teenage boy for comfort … or sympathy … or diet pointers. In fact, “portion control” is not only a concept lost on teen boys, it is unabashedly offensive to them.

That’s because they can clear out the entire sweet-and-sour chicken bin of the Royal Sushi Buffet (twice!) and still ask to stop off at Handel’s on the way home for a triple treat of cookie dough, chocolate peanut butter and birthday cake ice cream scoops heaped onto a waffle cone and washed down with a regular Pepsi only to weigh themselves the next morning and discover that they’ve lost a pound.

Hmpfity hmpf!

Did I mention that teenage boys are often trying to gain weight?

Ha! I merely sniffed the Oreos bag yesterday and immediately gained four pounds. Indeed, the whole irony of this situation is not lost on middle-aged women.

Yet it is true that slapping a few pounds on that too-lean frame clearly would be helpful in the “how the heck do I keep pants on this kid?” department, since there’s really nothing readily available in the size of “getting taller by the second” by “no way that waist is slim enough for this man-child.”

And, hungry as Kyle is continuously, he still manages to be a bit of a picky eater. Another anomaly of this entire conundrum; as in, the same boy who scarfed down an entire mountain of bacon fries in about 42 seconds turned up his nose at my homemade chicken scampi the very next night. That’s when I made the threat: “Watch it, kid, or you’ll be eating nectar for the foreseeable future.”

—- Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist and proud mom of an always starving teen boy. Send her your recipes for large parties and any Twinkie coupons