Sunday, April 5, 2015

Learning how to maintain a healthy weight - from our pets

It is not a secret. We have obese cats and dogs, a good many of them. And I will gander a guess - an educated one, I've read research - that pets gain weight when we give them people food - in addition to their pet food.  I have also read that ad libitum feeding is better than intermittent feeding. Pets - maybe the study was on cats - eat less when the food is left for them all day (I'm sure it was cats, dogs are sort of dumb), than when the food is presented and taken away. Sound familiar?  Its a bit of a take on restriction and forbidden foods - if you think you wont' get to eat that again, you want to eat a lot of it when you have the chance, especially, it seems, if you are a cat.

Anyways, I recently adopted one, a cat, after not having one for several years. My cat will not get people food - ever. I did buy him some treats though - good for his teeth.  And imagine my surprise (delight even) at this label instruction:
As with any treat, always adjust amount of main meal to compensate for calories delivered by treats.
In addition, the label tells you how many calories per treat, and how many treats a day your cat should have based on his or her weight.  But the instruction to compensate is priceless and relevant: you can't just keep adding calories - even good ones - and not expect to gain weight.

If its important for a cat, isn't it important for you?  Sure - have a glass of wine, but those 150 to 200 calories COUNT towards your daily total, they are not supposed to be 'add ons' - you must compensate... pretend you're a cat.

I am referencing Feline Greenies, BTW, and my cat likes them - in moderation!