Dad Bod Transformation Tips

Posted On Jun 16, 2022 By Lisa Traugott

Father playing with son on the beach

Happy Father's Day! Let's celebrate men for all they do to support and love their families. As much as I write about women and mothers challenged by their transforming bodies, I have male clients who specifically want to target their "Dad Bod."

If you haven't heard the slang term, a "Dad Bod" is basically the physique of a middle aged man who used to be in shape but now carries weight around his hips (love handles) and stomach (beer belly). Dad bods don't suddenly happen over night and as such it will take a little bit of time to get back in shape, but it absolutely can (and often is) done.

Modify your eating habits. Carbohydrates (like pasta and bread) taste great, but when you aren't burning those calories, they transform into fat storage that typically resides in your midsection. Rather than give up carbs completely, which isn't healthy, measure them. Have two slices of whole wheat instead of four slices of white bread. Double up on your vegetables and have a protein shake in the afternoon instead of a candy bar from the vending machine. These small changes can cut a lot of calories without you feeling deprived.

Hang with friends. According to a study on loneliness, more than 3 in 5 Americans feel lonely. Isolation due to the pandemic, paternity leave, retirement, or any other number of reasons can lead to anxiety and depression, which can also cause weight gain. But forming strong relationships can counter this. Have a poker night, watch a football game, or see a band with some friends. By talking with friends, you are more likely to talk through your problems rather than resort to alcohol, drugs, smoking or junk food.

A man sleeping in a bed.

Get some Zzz! Granted, if you have small children at home this can be tough. There is a reason why sleep deprivation is a form of torture. It also leads to craving carbs, which just ads on calories. This is when the phrase, "Sleep when the baby sleeps" comes in handy. It may feel lame to go to bed at ten, but trust me, when the newborn cries at midnight you'll be glad you got some sleep instead of watching TV or playing on your phone. Naps are also helpful. Sometimes on my lunch break I'll set an alarm on my phone and sleep for fifteen minutes. Even that small amount helps improve focus and concentration better than grabbing an energy drink loaded with sugar and enough caffeine to make you jittery and irritated.

Workout with your kids…sometimes. If you are pressed for time or want to do some heavy lifting on your home gym, bike, or treadmill, yes, do it while the kids are sleeping. But it's also good to workout with your kids, if only to show them that you value a healthy lifestyle. My son is 12 and he loves nothing more than doing chin ups with my husband on the bar we hang over his bedroom door. Over the years we've also run 5ks together and Spartan Kid races. The kids crave that attention from their dad and honestly, he loves coaching them to push past their own limits. Not only does this make you a fit family, it lets you make memories.

You take care of your family; remember to take care of yourself too. Eat clean, train hard and show your kids what it means to be a healthy man. Happy Father's Day!