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Will Eating a Pet Food Only Diet Help You Lose Weight?


Some people are willing to try strange things in order to achieve their fitness goals, but there might not be a more bizarre weight-loss fad than the so-called pet food diet. Paws Natural Pet Emporium owner Dorothy Hunter has done the unthinkable: adopting a pet food only diet for 30 days. Hunter's diet consists of salmon flakes, kibble, "succulent" chicken cat food and dog treats, among other things. Hunter claims she's not engaging in lunacy for the sake of losing weight, but has admittedly dropped 2.5 pounds since beginning her pet food binge, begging the question of whether this unorthodox method of eating healthy is a good idea.

Eating Healthy

For those who live an active lifestyle, eating a nutritious diet packed with vitamins and protein is an essential prerequisite, but droves of weight loss wannabes constantly seek out the "quick fix." It's important to diet for the right reasons. Hunter enacted an unusual diet to heighten awareness about the ingredients in pet food. According to NBC News, the ingredients referenced on the back of a common breakfast bar are practically unidentifiable in comparison to a pet food bar. While it might be true that some pet food brands offer higher quality "natural" ingredients, you don't need to go to great lengths of weirdness to eat a healthy diet.

Calorie Comparisons

The practice of eating pet food is inherently unnatural. If you're willing to share a bag of dry dog food with man's best friend, chances are you're obedient enough to adhere to a strict diet. Although Hunter has claimed to have lost weight, it's actually entirely possible to gain weight from the indulgence of pet food. Furthermore, Hunter's one-week weight loss exceeding two pounds is considered moderately unhealthy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention claims a single cup of puppy chicken meal and rice contains 402 calories, which is approximately 102 calories more than half of a grilled chicken breast and a single serving of broccoli. What would you rather eat?

Avoiding Unhealthy Snack

A big part of Hunter's indulgent pet food craze is snacking on unhealthy meals. One of her favorites, flaked salmon entree, contains just 87 calories, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. While eating healthy snacks throughout the day can be a great way to maintain a healthy diet, snacking on high-sodium foods can easily undo your waistline. In reality, tossing back flakes of salmon is a healthier food choice than diving into a box of crackers or potato chips.

"Natural" Ingredients

Although Hunter claims pet food snacks are more "natural" than human snacks, it's important to realize that a decent number of pet food items are made with ingredients that most people couldn't fathom ingesting. The worst part about her "natural" weight loss is what she might have consumed in order to do it. In 2007, the Food & Drug Administration learned that certain brands of pet food were killing cats and dogs, causing a recall of specific products. The so-called natural ingredients Hunter refers to sometimes include slaughterhouse leftovers, like blood and organs. It's never a bad thing to try a new fad, but it would be wise to reserve the pet food for the pets.


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John Shea is a team sports fanatic and fitness aficionado. His work has been published across a wide platform of online audiences in the realm of health and fitness. His passion for fitness is exemplified in his writing, as he aims to help readers improve their overall well-being.

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