I ate from the ‘slow feeder’ bowl my cat hates for a week – I lost weight but almost got kicked out of a restaurant
CELEBRITY diets are a dime a dozen and most only work if you’re rich.
To achieve my own weight loss goals, I turned to a constant source of inspiration: my cat, Dottie.
Dottie was chronically underweight as a kid, but in the last two years she’s put on a few pounds (who hasn’t?).
Now she needs to lose a little weight to stay healthy.
As her roommate/sister/mother/benefactor, it is my job to facilitate this change.
To correct my overcorrection, I made some changes to her diet, but the aspect she most reluctantly left behind is The Bowl.
Twice a day, Dottie eats a perfectly portioned serving of weight control food from her $8.99 Petstages Slow Feeder Bowl.
The grooves in the bowl prevent her from eating too quickly. Instead of gobbling, Dottie can only grab a few pieces of food at a time.
she hates it so much
Thanks to an ingenious system of command strips, hot glue and a placemat, Dottie no longer turns the bowl upside down as soon as I leave the room.
But before I anchored the whole setup in place, I regularly found that the Slow Feeder Dish had been dragged through the apartment.
It seemed wrong to force Dottie on a diet protocol, especially when I hadn’t tried it myself.
I have a humble weight loss goal of my own that is, “Don’t outgrow my favorite pair of jeans.”
Ever since my grocery store launched an exciting new brand of popcorn, everything would boil down to portion control.
So I bought a slow feeder bowl identical to Dottie’s.
After all, eating from a special bowl isn’t as wild as some celebrity diets.
A cat bowl sounded better than gulping down salt water or wearing a futuristic mask or the hassle and risk of prescription drugs.
When the bowl arrived, I gave it a thorough rinse in my kitchen sink, then set it next to my cereal in anticipation of breakfast.
I never skip breakfast and usually alternate between granola and milk or yogurt and granola. Diversity is the spice of life!
On my first day on the Dottie Diet, I poured cereal and milk into the bowl, pleased with the patterns the fun “maze” made.
Ah, all Signs should include an activity, I thought. Dottie only hates this because she never aged from the kids meals at the restaurant.
This excitement lasted until I actually started eating. I could only spoon up a few flakes of granola at a time.
It was difficult to get the stray pecans and cranberries onto my spoon; Getting milk in my spoon was impossible.
I ended up drinking the milk from the bowl as nature intended and scraping my wet cereal onto the rim of the bowl.
Eating breakfast took four times as long as normal, and there was still a lot of food stuck to the inner ribs of the bowl.
“That never happens You‘ I said aloud to Dottie, who was watching me eat with grim disinterest.
I hoped my next meal would be better and it was! Macaroni and Cheese is skewerable – Fork Food was a lot easier to navigate.
The next morning I decided to try yogurt. But I made an adjustment to my typical recipe.
Instead of yoghurt and muesli I only used yoghurt. Something told me that keeping it simple was the right move.
Sure enough, yogurt alone was a struggle. I could only eat about two-thirds of my portion with my spoon.
I tried to lick off the rest face first like Dottie, but when that was a bust I scraped some out with my fingers and left the rest behind.
Breakfast was hard all week. One day, in a hurry, I decided to have a protein shake instead.
I didn’t have time to chase a single cornflake through a maze.
Other meals were hit or miss. My friends gently tease me about my tendency to eat “slimy” foods.
Most of my weekday meals consist of soup, a protein, some veggies and grits, rice, or quinoa.
My Homemade Grits are easy, quick, and mindless meals, but they’re the opposite of what a “slow feeder” bowl is all about.
Desperate for a change, I put my bowl in a plastic bag and set off.
At a local coffee shop, I ordered a delicious salad with avocados, bacon, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese.
When it got to my table, I dutifully loaded the salad into my slow feeder, pouring in the dressing as I went.
It took a while for anyone to notice that I was hiding behind my iced coffee, but after a few raised eyebrows from a waiter, he stopped by.
He pointed to a sign above the bar and loudly repeated the restaurant rule: “No outside food,” he told me.
After some confused back and forth, I effectively explained that I had emptied the bowl.
If it were against their policy, I’d happily throw it out – although my salad, which I ate slowly and steadily, was easier to eat my standard porridge.
He was having a brief private meeting with someone in the kitchen. I ate salad as fast as I could while no one was looking.
When my waiter returned he reluctantly allowed me and my bowl to stay as long as I didn’t rinse it in the sink.
He wasn’t as keen on my brilliant Ziploc bag solution as I had hoped, but we made peace (and he liked me more after I tipped).
Back home, I ran out of a worryingly small amount of easy-to-eat food.
My last full bowl meal was a mix of leftovers, frozen veggies, and a multigrain rice and quinoa mix.
The slow feeder holds up to three-quarters of a cup of “wet or dry food,” but it wouldn’t hold my full serving of the grain shell.
But that’s okay. Even that tiny portion took me a full thirty minutes to eat, and I didn’t come close to getting all the food out of the bowl.
As I ate I thought I think that’s why they say difficult things are gruelingabsolutely furious at my own pun.
Meals were abysmal, but there was one area where the Slow Feeder really excelled.
Snacks! This bowl is great for snacks. Pecans, popcorn, M&Ms (mini or regular), trail mix—they all belong in this bowl.
It’s perfect for portion control, an important limit for me as I can and will eat a family-sized bag of popcorn in one sitting.
And the maze inside the bowl keeps you from mindlessly shoving every last crumb in your face, even during movie night.
At the end of the week, Dottie and I had a weigh-in to see where we were.
She lost 0.4 pounds just as on target with her healthy weight loss plan.
I lost half that amount – 0.2 pounds – which would be more impressive if I wasn’t eight times her height.
The weight loss wasn’t worth the struggle, and I probably burned off that .2lb with the sheer power of my hanger by mid-dinner.
But my bowl stays in the closet for nights when I want a mindful snack portion.
Used this way, I think it can be a sustainable, healthy habit.
While the slow feeder bowl isn’t a magic weight loss trick, I can understand why Dottie is so frustrated by it.
I’ll reward her with some tasty (low calorie) treats and go back to my regular dishes for meals.
I could be worse off when it comes to niche diets though – I’d rather share Dottie’s dishes than her food.
If this celebrity diet ever hits the headlines, it will be time for me to retire.
https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/7294495/cat-food-diet-weight-loss-secret-trick/ I ate from the ‘slow feeder’ bowl my cat hates for a week – I lost weight but almost got kicked out of a restaurant