Ditch the Dad Bod in 8 Steps

Are you enjoying the wonders of fatherhood too much? Have your jeans gotten a little bit tighter around the waist? Have you had to loosen your belt a few notches?

As our responsibilities pile up, so too do the kilos. While body positivity is all the rage, shedding a few kilos for the sake of health (and an ego boost) is also an ongoing trend.

Fret not! There are plenty of ways to get your suave figure back from your bachelor years, and here are just 8 of them to start with:

1. Change your diet

Before you groan and roll your eyes, dietary changes are a great way to kick off your lifestyle revamp. With all the delicious deep-fried local cuisine and delivery services available to us, it’s easy to see how spare tyres and love handles might grow into truck tyres and huge bellies. Take a break from greasy dishes and see the difference it makes.

2. Cut down on carbs, fill up with protein

That isn’t to say you have to say goodbye to your rice or noodles! Try reducing the portion size of your carbohydrates at mealtimes and focus more on lean high-quality proteins in meat, vegetables and soy.

Fill up with protein

3. Swap sugar for water

Insulin resistance can inhibit your metabolism from working in optimum conditions and make it difficult to burn fat. Loading up on sugary cordial drinks or carbonated sodas can add on the pounds without you realising. Staying hydrated throughout the day with water helps replenish your body’s cells and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

4. Stay on the move

After a long day at work, it can be easy to flop on the couch and relax to whatever is playing on TV. Getting on the move doesn’t have to mean a HIIT session at the gym! Try taking a walk, whether it’s just around the neighbourhood or at your local park. Just 30 minutes (an hour if you like) daily will add towards your recommended count of 10,000 steps a day and can do wonders for your body.

Exercise with your kids

Is walking too boring? Grab your kids (or your fellow Dads) and plan a round of badminton or tennis! Don’t feel like paying for extra equipment? Plug in some good music or a podcast and find a flight of stairs!1

5. Decompress your stress

Stress is a huge factor in our wellbeing. The truth is, you can manage your stress and balance your cortisol levels through various techniques – and they don’t have to take a lot of your time. Try taking a short break to stretch at your desk or play a quick game of catch with the kids; even these can kickstart your metabolism and help burn that cheeseburger you had for lunch.

6. Meditate

Many men have discovered the soothing practice of meditation and its effects on health and weight management. Make this your Quiet Time. Set aside a few minutes each day to switch off your phone and TV and focus on breathing exercises to calm the mind and ease the tension from your body.

Meditation has many benefits for dads

7. Pick up a hobby

Hobbies are a great way of distracting your mind from the pressures and expectations of real life. Take a moment in your day to do the things you love whether it’s golf or fishing or reading or painting – anything, really. After all, a healthy mind is a healthy body.

8. Improve your sleep2

Did you know that your body burns approximately 50 calories while you sleep?3 While easier said than done, there are ways to begin the process. Cut out screen time at least an hour before bed, use blackout curtains and try white noise to help calm your mind for a good night’s rest.

These are just some of the ways you can get a head start in shedding your Dad Bod. Of course, as ever, practising a moderate diet and exercising regularly are the core building blocks of any healthy lifestyle.

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  1. Mekary, R. A., Grøntved, A., Despres, J. P., De Moura, L. P., Asgarzadeh, M., Willett, W. C., ... & Hu, F. B. (2015). Weight training, aerobic physical activities, and long‐term waist circumference change in men. Obesity, 23(2), 461-467.
  2. Beccuti, G., & Pannain, S. (2011). Sleep and obesity. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 14(4), 402–412. http://doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0b013e3283479109
  3. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-your-body-uses-calories-while-you-sleep
  4. https://www.euromonitor.com/amway-claims