If Leonardo Di Caprio rocked it, why can't I?
For some reason, the "Dad Bod" just doesn't carry the allure in the mirror that it does in gossip magazines. So what exactly is "The Dad Bod"?
The Bod Of The Dad
Although a subjective term, "The Dad Bod" generally involves a man in his 30's or older, who is "softly round". Once carrying an athletic body in his youth, the Dad Bod is often perceived as the result of trading the six pack of abs for a six pack of beer, as the responsibilities of parenting and supporting a family have become the priority over maintaining a sculpted physique.
The worst thing about Dad Bods are that they're a lot more fun to get than they are too lose. A few years of free flowing beers at weekend barbecues, an extra couple of slices of pizza here and indulging in dessert more often than you used to definitely wasn't anything to complain about.
Before you knew it, you felt the couch's seductive call after a hard day at work loud and clear, and the running shoes started to get dusty.. For a lot of us, this is just a part of life. Having a family and a busy schedule quickly eats into "me" time, and a fitness regime rapidly loses its appeal.
However, losing the Dad Bod may be easier than you think. Read on for 6 easy tips you can incorporate into your lifestyle to help shed the kilos, while still enjoying the Dad life!
1: Sleep More!
Sleep is absolutely vital to a healthy mind and bod.
Did you know that if you're tired, your body is going to crave carbs?
On top of that hunger for bread, pasta sugary treats and beer, the body simply doesn't perform as it should when you're tired. 7-8 hours of sleep per night is vital for healthy natural testosterone and human growth hormone production, offsetting estrogen imbalances in men, which is particularly important in those 40 or over.
But hold up, that doesn't mean skipping the morning jog in favour of a sleep-in!
Get in the routine of going to bed an hour earlier every night, and better yet, give yourself a break from the screens an hour before you hit the hay.
Stick to a morning exercise routine and a break from the screens in the evening and you'll be in bed before the kids before you know it.
2: Simple Nutritional Tweaks
Diets are intimidating, complicated and are just about the least "Dad" thing ever. You didn't get to where you are today by counting carbs or eatings salads after all!
Fortunately we're not talking fad diets, radical detoxes or strict guidelines, we're just about some simple health conscious tweaks, which are by no means to drastic, and are totally sustainable. This means that you'll be able to notice a gradual drop on the scales over time, and make a long term lifestyle change, which will keep the Dad Bod at bay for years to come!
Try to steer clear of processed foods, especially white bread, white pasta and white flour. If you're less physically active than you should be, (but you'll get there!) these foods get converted to, and stored as fat. Try to focus on lean meats, healthy fruits and vegetables, and healthy non saturated fats from coconut oil, almonds and avocados. If that all sounds too drastic, simply start with switching to wholemeal options, reducing portion sizes and keep the treats to a minimum. Simple!
3: Change Your Drinking Habits
An average bottle of Australian low carb beer such as Toohey's New, Pure Blonde or XXXX Gold contains about 100 calories. A full flavoured beer such as VB, Little Creatures Pale Ale or Carlton Draught contains about 150 calories.
"So I can just swap to low carb beer, and problem solved, right?"
A quick way to burn 100 calories is to do 40 jumping jacks, 30 crunches, 20 squats and 10 push ups.
All of a sudden having a few beers at night sounds exhausting!
When every calorie counts in kicking that Dad Bod to the curb, a few beers is definitely an easy way to fast track undo your hard work.
So what's the answer?
If you love your beer, switch to a low carb beer and try to reduce your intake. Whiskey and other spirits also contain significantly less calories than beer and wine, and there's nothing more "Dad" than a glass of whiskey!
However, no alcohol is necessarily good for weight loss, and the reality is quite the opposite. Remember, the less booze the better, but if you must indulge every now and then, stay accountable!
4: While We're Talking About Drinking, Drink More Water!
Your body is 60% water, and it is vital to replace fluid that is lost continually throughout the day.
The benefits of being well hydrated throughout the day are well founded. Adequate intake of water energises muscles, rejuvenates the skin and improves organ function, particularly your kidneys and bowels.
While drinking more water alone won't help you shed inches off your waistline, the increased wellbeing from being adequately hydrated throughout the day helps make exercise much easier. Plus, if you've been a bit of a couch potato as of late, you're definitely going to work up a sweat, and you'll want to replace all those fluids lost.
On the upside, there's no calories in water!
Switching soft drinks, fruit juices, or any other caloric beverages for non caloric beverages such as water and black coffee can have a drastic influence on your daily calorie intake. If you're the kind of Dad who likes a can of Coke or two and won't hesitate to grab a milkshake here and there, opt for water instead and you'll notice a difference before you know it!
5: Strength + Cardio = Weight Loss
Here's the good news, the secret to weight loss isn't just cardio exercise.
Resistance training burns calories throughout the day, by increasing your body's resting metabolic rate. By focusing on compound movements (exercises that use more than just one muscle group), you'll increase your efficiency in burning calories and building up strength.
This means that once the fat begins to drop off, you'll have a foundation of lean muscle mass underneath, which will create a much more appealing physique.
Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, so take it slow and ease into it! Work towards a couple of jogs or extended power walks a couple of times a week as well as a couple of resistance sessions and you'll be good to go.
And don't forget to stay active throughout the day! Take the stairs, stay on your feet, and keep your body working to burn extra calories without even trying.
6: And Finally, You've Got To Stress Less
The body is hardwired to put on weight when it feels stressed. Don't waste all your hard work by stressing out over the little things, take some time to look after yourself mentally, as well as physically.
Not only will you enjoy a better relationship with your family, you'll feel better and look better too. There are a tonne of ways to reduce stress, and going for a walk is simple, effective and has a secondary benefit of burning extra calories too!
If you haven't tried it already, give meditation a go. There are plenty of apps you can try, otherwise if you're feeling daring and are up for a challenge, try a Hatha Flow Yoga Class.
Increased cortisol production will hamper your fat loss efforts pretty quickly, so if you're feeling under the pump when you get home from work, go for a steady walk and focus on breathing in and out, rather than reaching for a beer as a quick escape.