Everyone loves to laugh at Garfield. Who wouldn’t? The world’s fattest fat cat’s hysterical! The thing about cats, however, is that fatty felines are the exception. Not the rule. Why? Because cats have the science of getting slim and staying slim built into their DNA.
I know. It’s not fair, is it?
But hey, the good news is, with a little bit of diet and exercise savvy you can follow in the padded pawprints of your furry, four-legged friend. Here’s what cats know about weight loss that you don’t.
1) Catnap often. We are, as a whole, a sleep deprived society. Being able to survive on 2-3 hours of sleep is almost something to be proud of. You can get more done if you’re not wasting your time doing that whole “sleep” thing.
But not sleeping can actually make you gain weight. Just like the rest of your body, your metabolism doesn’t function well if you’re not getting enough sleep. Add a sugary cup of coffee, a doughnut or some other quick “pick me up” to the mix, on top of the fact that you’re too tired to hit the gym, and what you have is too many calories going in and not enough going out. It’s an instant recipe for disaster.
2) Keep your face shoved in your food bowl as often as possible. There are rumors that cats, if allowed to free feed, will eventually get fat. I’ve owned cats for 27 years, and I have yet to see that happen. Cats are pretty good about choosing to snack, often, instead of gorging themselves. Small meals are easier to metabolize. Because their blood sugar doesn’t experience the peaks and troughs ours do on a three-a-day diet they have plenty of energy to exercise.
Perhaps most importantly, a cat that’s allowed to free-feed will recognize when it’s full and stop eating. They know the food’s going to be there when they come back.
3) Your food choices matter. Okay, this is more of a shout-out to cat owners than the cats themselves, but you’ll see where I’m going with this. My three cats spend most of the winter inside. Since they’re not out and about as often, we switch them to a lower-calorie indoor cat food in the winter. That way, they don’t chunk up. In the summer, when they’re outside running around most of the day, they can go back on a regular diet.
What you choose to eat is as important as how much.
4) Playtime rocks! When was the last time you took a couple of hours to play? Between paying the mortgage, cleaning the house and chasing the kids, who has the time?
It turns out you should probably be making the time. Playtime cuts down on stress, something we’ve known for years is murder on your attempts to lose weight. it also encourages you to get up and get moving. I’m not talking about vegging in front of video games here. I’m talking about chasing the ball. Jumping up in the air. Leaping from rock to rock and generally running around like a crazy person!
Keep your heart pumping, your metabolism rolling and your body slim and trim, just like your cat.