The Be Strong Dog!

The Be Strong Dog

Did you know that Be Strong had a dog? Well we do! She comes to the office with us every day, and her name is Willow. She comes on all of our monthly walks and runs with Rachel.  Willow loves running in the fields and woodlands, chasing squirrels and rabbits and has endless amounts of energy. She makes us tired just watching her and if someone mentions the words ‘walk’ or ‘run’ she’s up, and raring to go!

But, it wasn’t always this way, and we are going to tell you a tale about the Be Strong dog.

A few years ago, Willow had started to become sluggish on her walks and they gradually became shorter and less energetic.

It reached a point where she was breathless most of the time and in even mildly warm weather she was drooling and panting furiously.

She had started to limp on her rear legs and in a morning she was very stiff indeed. She seemed happy though, always sleeping at our feet, only getting up when she knew there was food around. We decided to take her to the vets to see what was wrong with her – was it her joints, arthritis? Was there something else lingering beneath the surface, we were worried!

The vet did some tests which included listening to her heart, taking some blood and weighing her and we returned to the waiting room. The vet nurse called us in some 40 minutes later and the vet was looking at us with a very serious look on his face. We just knew it wasn’t good news.

He told us that our dog had diabetes, inflamed joints, lots of water retention and a weak heart. She was really at risk and we were absolutely devastated – we had got her from a good breeder, we researched her bloodline, what had gone wrong?

We knew she had been gradually putting on weight over the years, she’d been eating lots and lots of treats, she absolutely loves ‘pig’s ears’. She has a great appetite, always pestering for her next meal all the family are constantly giving her leftovers which she patiently waits for. What we didn’t know was that she was actually 50% heavier than she should have been – the weight was slowly killing her.

Vet Advice

The vets advice was simple, we had to give her a measured amount of dog food twice each day, and walk her for 40 minutes in a morning and 30 minutes before bed. Both walks would be off the lead and we would throw her favourite ball for her on each walk. There would be no additional treats or leftover foods.

The transformation in such a short period of time was astounding. After just 6 months she was livelier, no longer breathless or drooling. She was like a young pup again, with bright eyes, fresh breath and she jumped out of bed each morning. We returned to the vets where the vet gave him a totally clean bill of health, she was cured!

There was no miracle shakes, pills or potions involved. No colours or points in sight! The Be Strong dog simply ate the correct amount of food each day and increased the amount she moved. The only difference between the Be Strong dog and us is choice. As humans we can choose to eat more and move less, or we can choose to eat less and move more. It all really depends on you, and how important it is to you.

NHS Advice

When we eat and drink more calories than we use up, our bodies store the excess as body fat. If this continues, over time we may become overweight and can become obese. Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

Many adults in the UK need to lose weight, and to do this they need to eat and drink fewer calories. Combining these changes with increased physical activity is the best way to achieve a healthier weight.

How much should you eat?

Our bodies need energy to keep us alive and our organs and cells functioning normally. The amount you need to eat for your body to do this depends on a range of factors, including your size, age, gender, your body composition and how physically active you are.

To maintain a stable weight, the energy we put into our bodies must be the same as the energy we use up through normal body functions and physical activity. An important part of a healthy diet is eating the right amount of calories; balancing the energy you put into your body with the energy you use. We eat more calories than our body burns and we gain weight. We eat less calories than our body burns and we lose weight. It is that simple. No convoluted combinations of food types, no optimising, no pills and potions, get a calorie deficit and you will lose weight.

With a  Be Strong membership you receive your own personalised nutrition plan, which you can access here. You can also access different plans that help you to mange your calories to fit in with your lifestyle here.

This week!

Keep it simple, think of the Be Strong dog, forget all your magic pills and potions, and focus on energy in vs energy out.

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