I’m a personal trainer, and at one point my dog was extremely overweight. That’s pretty embarrassing. He’s also part dachshund, which is one of the worst kind of dogs to be overweight. Whoops. Here’s how portion control fixed our dog’s health, and how it applies to you.
What we did to help him lose weight was mind-numbingly simple. The best part is everything we did is something people can do to change their lives as well. In a year he lost almost half of his bodyweight. Here’s a comparison photo. At his heaviest he was 31 pounds. Today he weighs 18 pounds.
Chainsaw is my snuggle buddy, my emotional support dog, and one of my best friends. I was pretty ashamed to have allowed his weight to get out of hand and put his health at risk.
Portion control helped weight loss
We started to measure out his food.
We researched how much a dog his size should be eating, and we got little measuring bowls to scoop his food out with.
We mixed his food with pumpkin.
His vet recommended it to help him feel full, saying the fiber would keep him from feeling dissatisfied. By the way, he’s now obsessed with pumpkin.
We cut his treats in half.
Instead of giving him a whole treat (even though they were tiny), we broke them into pieces.
What Can People Learn from Chainsaw?
Well, besides the obvious like loyalty, how to bark at nothing, and how to be adorable, we can learn a lot from this furry cuddle nugget.
Portion control makes a big difference in weight loss!
Find out how much someone your size and activity level should be eating and plate your food accordingly. Not sure? The Fit Tutor offers nutrition coaching to teach you how much and what to eat without counting calories or going hungry, and there are helpful plate graphics from companies like Precision Nutrition. I recommend measuring your food in measuring bowls, or getting a portion control plate to help you get started!
Not all portion control plates are created equal. Either of these would be great:
Don’t think you can be trusted? I get it. Find a friend to text pictures of your plate to, or join The Fit Tutor and try out our accountability. It really helps!
Fill up on fiber and veggies.
Fill up on foods high in fiber, or start each meal with a hearty salad chock full of veggies before you chow down (just choose your dressing wisely). Touch the carbs on your plate last (rice, pasta, etc), and gauge your fullness before you attack them.
Rule #1 in wise snacking is don’t let yourself get so hungry you eat everything in sight. Snack about 3 hours after your last meal, or when you feel hungry. Eat a small snack, then wait 20 minutes. If you’re still hungry then eat a little more.
And don’t be too cool to measure out your snacks. I eat mixed nuts out of a measuring bowl on a regular basis. And if you measure them out, you won’t be caught red handed snacking on the couch with your hand in a bag of chips. No crumbies, no weight gain, no embarrassment. Win-win-win.
Bowls are more practical than spoons or cups for snacking. I use these:
These are practical, doable changes to apply to your lifestyle to see results. You can always start with one, and then work your way up to the other two. I know you can do it.
If you’re intrigued by our nutrition coaching or are looking to start exercising, check out The Fit Tutor. We offer exercise instruction and workouts for every level, for at home or at the gym. Don’t wait to make the effort to feel more confident in your body. Join today!
You are worth the time and effort it takes to get healthy!
And just so she’s not left out for not having a weight issue, this is Chainsaw’s partner in crime, Samurai Warrior Princess:
And yes, there are affiliate links in this post. I recommend these products because they are better than others- many portion control plates have too much room for carbs and fruit! If you use these links I get a little extra pocket change at no extra cost to you, and will put it right back in the business- thanks! :)