Okay, everybody knows that “Man’s Best Friend” can help you slim down by offering non-negotiable motivation to walk around your neighborhood.
But what if your dog despises leashes like my Morky, Quigley? I’m here to say that toy breeds who buck at the conformity of being harnessed and walking a straight line for more than a few paces, can also help you lose weight.
How? Here a couple things Quigs (who is the sweetest dog ever!) does to help keep me fit:
Quigs is an ace at fetching. And while he chases after the tennis ball, I do side-to-side, standing ab exercises I learned from my Tracy Anderson mat video (www.traceyandersonmethod.com) or lunges. Throw..lunge. Throw…lunge. He gets a workout and I get in exercises I may have forgotten after my morning cardio session. It may look a little strange to the neighbors, but oh well!
Unlike large breeds, Quigs won’t devour everything you put on his plate because of his tiny stomach (and I’m not against large breeds, I also have a massive Border Collie, Bailey, in Michigan). Quigley eats until he’s full. This is such an awesome reminder for me that I should just eat until I’m satisfied, not stuffed. I really feel like I’ve messed up my satiety hormones from years of yo-yo dieting and artificial sweeteners. It’s nice to have him as a visual reminder.
All About Attention
If someone wants to pick Quigley up or pet him, his attention focuses on the person rather than the food. To him, food is just food, just sustenance, and personal attention is always more precious than chow. This seems like the obvious choice as humans, but how often do we forgo having a conversation with our loved ones, and instead grab snacks from the fridge and go comatose in front of the TV or laptop? Over time we develop habits of eating at certain times and for emotional reasons (boredom, loneliness, excitement, depression, happiness). Dogs really don’t dwell on emotion, except their overwhelming happiness to see you after you’ve been gone for a couple hours.
On the Move
He is constantly playing with his toys, including his “Chewy Vuitton” purse and “Jimmy Chew” squeaky heel (um, yes, he is a feminine diva). He is only chill when Al and I are petting him or when he knows it’s “serious time” and he needs to calm down. How does this help me lose weight? Again, he acts as a positive visual reminder. Studies show that those who fidget burn hundreds of calories more per day than those who are sedentary. So, when I see him playing and I’m in my office, I try to at least do stretches at my desk or talk on the phone standing up (every little bit helps).
Big dogs are the big calorie burners, for sure, but pocket breed owners, don’t fear! Your pooch can be your workout partner too. Do you have any workout tips you and your puppy share? I’d love to hear and remember, keep counting.