The other day I ate a big ol’ slice of humble pie.
Here’s how the story started.
I was writing a blog post (more like a rant) about how people need to start taking responsibility for what they put in their mouths. That we can’t blame anyone else for causing us to gain weight or expand our waistlines. If you want to shed fat, you just need to buckle down, do a little research on what you should be eating, and then stick to a plan. Take ownership of your food and your choices. Make the change you need in order to see results.
I must have been having a rough day…you see how that was a pretty foul rant about to happen…
I had a humbling revelation.
You see, I’ve got two kids: both bulldogs (really, they are dogs, not human kids). But they are my children and super spoiled.
Now, recently, I learned that dry dog food is pretty much garbage. That most brands of kibble are really just half fillers and the other half crap.
That even the “healthy” or “grain free” brands I was buying really weren’t good for my boys because
- It’s mostly carbs and crap and that’s not good for anyone, but 2. Their intestines just aren’t designed to digest that kind of processed food well.
Dry dog food is like the fast food our the human world. It’s just junk.
And if we fed dogs a better diet, they’d be way healthier and live much longer. And since I love my boys, I was ready to make the switch and start cooking homemade dog food.
And so I went to work on The Google – trying to find the ultimate recipe.
But holy schneikes… that was like digging through mud.
Lots of people agreed on the benefits of homemade dog food. But there were about a million other questions.
Should it be raw meat or cooked meat?
How many ounces per pound of weight?
Do different breeds need to avoid different foods?
What kind of carbs should they have?
Should they have any carbs at all?
How often can they repeat the same meal without it increasing chances of allergies?
And the most confusing part is that even if you do the food that’s recommended – you’re still missing tons of necessary dog nutrients!
Vitamin D, iron, calcium – they all need to be supplemented. Who knew you were supposed to buy powdered doggy kelp for a daily dose of sprouts?
There were thousands of different ideas and for the life of me, I couldn’t find the straight answer.
All I wanted was for a certified pet nutritionist (yep, that’s a real thing) to say:
Hey there dog lover! Here is the exact meal plan for your two kids – it’s based on their weight, their breed, it’s got all the supps they need plus a built in variety to keep them from getting allergies. All you have to do is cook.
That’s what I wanted. But that’s what I couldn’t find.
And then I thought: is this even worth it? Maybe I’ll just stick with the kibble…
It hit me.
Hello humble pie.
This is exactly what people go through when trying to figure out how to eat for fat loss. The internet, magazines, TV – all bombarded with so much information and so many diets claiming to be the perfect plan:
Weight watchers, Atkins, South Beach, Grapefruit, whatever.
They all promise the results you want.
And then of course, there’s McDonalds and Burger King and Subway. The ‘dry food kibble’ of the people world. The easy and stress free options – but the ones we know are garbage.
Here’s what my humble pie has taught me:
Every food company is out to get you to buy their ‘superior’ product. A handful of those manufactures might actually make a good and honest product.
But the LARGE majority will slap anything they can on their package to scam you into buying it.
- ‘All Natural’ really has no clear definition by the FDA (in human or dog food)
- Putting ‘Organic’ doesn’t even mean that all the ingredients are organic, just some of them.
- And any food company can sponsor a research study where the results get skewed in favor of their new and supposedly healthy product.
And when you buy these products claiming to be healthy, often times you’re just doing the best you can with the knowledge you have at the time. Just like I was doing with the ‘all natural’ kibble.
But I challenge you this:
Don’t settle for just skating by with only the knowledge you have now. Seek out information, ask questions, do a little research.
Don’t trust the food manufacturers to help you make an informed decision. Look for experts, read articles. Do some digging to expand your ‘knowledge I have now’ bank.
There may be no easy answer for the ‘perfect diet’ – but you can use all the tools at your disposal to make the best decision you can and to keep upgrading that decision as your knowledge base expands.
Now that I know kibble is garbage, I have to accept it and make a new plan. Cooking gourmet meals for the pups it is.
Do the best you can today with the information you have now –
But seek out new knowledge, absorb it and adjust your plans accordingly.
Now of course, it’s easier said than done. And although I don’t consider myself an expert on diet and nutrition, I do consider myself aware and informed and will give you my honest guidance based on the information I have.
So here are my quick 5 diet rules for a fat loss meal plan:
1. Eat a diet made of mostly vegetables, meats and healthy fats with the occasional fruit and starch mixed in.
2. If it doesn’t require a nutrition label or it only has one ingredient, you’re probably safe (i.e. eggs, spinach, chicken).
3. Invest in meats that are high quality: where animals live a life close to a natural form. If they should roam free, don’t buy it from a caged animal.
4. If it comes in a package, requires a microwave or your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, skip it.
5. And if it’s pretending to be something it’s not, avoid it (margarine isn’t butter, light yogurt isn’t yogurt). Avoid the impostors.
Do your best. Do a little research. And make your best effort tomorrow a bit more informed than today.
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