Is Dad Bod Creeping Up On You? Here's How To Battle It.
Dads deserve to love their body, too.
It wasn't long after we found out we were pregnant that I started putting on weight. Fulfilling her cravings meant that I was indulging in more calories than usual, and 25 pounds later I realized the inevitable was happening: I was getting a dadbod.
Now, there's nothing wrong with dadbod. In fact, some women report to finding dadbod more attractive than a ripper physique. But for me, this was new. I grew up as a skinny kid who worked hard to put on the tiny bit of muscle that I had - without adding a substantial amount of body fat. All at once, the little bit of muscle tone I had was covered by a layer of dadflab.
I realized quickly that it wasn't for me. I mean, maybe in twenty years when I've reaching my fifties and driving my daughter off to college, sure. But at twenty-seven with a newborn on the way? I figured that the next few months before the baby pops out would be a better time than ever to get back into shape and be dadbodless. And, slowly but surely, I've shedded this pesky bit of belly flab and melted off my other chin. And I'd like to share how!
If you're a dad or an expecting dad, and you're happy with your body - then by all means. Be happy! Men deserve #selflove, too. You are beautiful just the way you are. But, if you're trying to get rid of the pesky dadbod and let those abs peak through, then look no further.
Here are the five ways to transform that dadbod into the best bod of your life:
The key to being consistent with cardio is making sure you don't hate it.
The best cardio is the cardio that you do. Don't get too caught up on HIIT versus Steady Rate or anything too complicated. We're not there yet. Just find a way to get your heart rate up for 30 minutes 5x per week. Start with a few days per week at 10 minutes and work your way up. The key to being consistent with cardio is making sure you don't hate it. I play pickup basketball. Some people actually like the treadmill (not me). Some people like jogging in the park. But getting the heart rate up will not only help you keep off the chub, it also helps strengthen your heart and lungs, reduces stress, helps you sleep and can even prevent heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Pro Tip: Using a Fitbit and crushing my friends during competitions kept me motivated and actually made it fun. I been Step Curry with the walks. I use the Charge HR, it monitors my heart rate and sleep patterns, making easy to track when I'm hitting peak cardio (learn more here: Canadian friends | American friends).
2. Cut out the beer
When you're consuming alcohol your liver prioritizes burning the alcohol instead of fat.
Yes, this sucks. But most dad bods form from that daily beer habit. Sure, you might not have a drinking problem, but a daily habit of 2-3 beers really adds up over time. That's a lot of empty calories that aren't getting burned off. "Beer belly" is a real thing. The issue with beer isn't just the extra calories. First of all, when you're consuming alcohol your liver prioritizes burning the alcohol instead of fat. Secondly, alcohol increases your appetite, and the foods we pair with beer are not usually kale salads or quinoa. You don't need to eliminate completely, but if you're a daily drinker then cutting beer consumption to one day per week will work wonders. Even if you drink in excess, but keep it to one day, your body will have a much easier time managing the brews and will be able to prioritize burning fat during the other days.
Pro Tip: Fill up your fridge with Kombucha (this my fav: Canadian link | American link). I used to think Kombucha tasted like the liquid on the bottom of a garbage bag, but once your acquire the taste (like beer), it's just as satisfying as cracking a cold beer after dinner.
A great lift that strengthens your core, posture and burns a ton of fat.
Ah, the classic dad bod. Big up top, skinny on the bottom. Do you look like an old style antenna TV propped upside down? Are people secretly afraid that one day your upper body might crush your skinny legs when you stand up? Are your ankles the same size as your calves which are the same size as your thighs? You, sir, need to get your squat on. Squatting is great for many reasons, not just to build lower body strength, but it's a great lift that strengthens your core, posture and burns a ton of fat. A proper squat engages the core, which helps melt away that excess body flab and makes those dad abs pop. If you've never squatted before (we can tell) start by doing air squats, without weight, keeping your core tight and butt as low as your comfortable. Once you can get that booty to parallel, then you can start squatting the bar and begin gradually adding weight. You'll be a Kardashian in no time.
Pro Tip: When starting out, I had major trouble with stiffness and flexibility. Using a foam roller before hitting the squat rack helped immensely with getting my booty to the floor. They're not too expensive (Canadian link | American link) and you can even stretch roll yourself out on your bedroom floor before heading off to the gym.
4. Eat your veggies
Consuming vegetables instead of sweets or savoury snacks reduces your calorie intake while keeping you full.
Are you constantly telling the kiddos to eat their broccoli to get big and strong? Perhaps you should be telling yourself the same! It's an obvious one, sure, but the science backs it up. Simply put, by consuming vegetables instead of sweets or savoury snacks reduces your calorie intake while keeping you full. Guess what happens when you consume less calories? You guessed it. Bye-bye dad bod. When it comes to veggies, the greener the better and the darker the green is the best. Dark green veggies have more nutrients and fiber, as well as other added benefits. This means to opt for the kale instead of the iceberg lettuce. And broccoli. Lots of broccoli. If sitting down and eating a pound of raw kale isn't appealing to you, then invest in a quality blender and pulverize it into a smoothie. Then drink it during the ball game instead of that case of beer.
Pro Tip: If washing and chopping up veggies is too much to stomach or inconvenient, you can pop in a scoop of VegeGreens (Canadian friends | American friends) into a smoothie and away you go. Easiest way to get your veg intake without scarfing down a plate of raw broccoli. Yum.
It can be argued that sleep is the absolute most important thing for weight loss.
If you have a newborn, this might be a tough one. But you need it. It can be argued that sleep is the absolute most important thing for weight loss. For one, being sleep deprived makes you crave food. Bad food. The less you sleep, the more your willpower decreases and you gravitate towards the sugars and bad stuff. Not only that, but sleep is when you recover. Your body builds muscle and burns fat while your sleep. If you don't think sleep is tied to performance, LeBron James sleeps 12 hours a day. Every single day. As does Roger Federer, and elite athletes such as Usain Bolt, Venus Williams and Steve Nash have all reported needing over 10 hours of shut eye a night. Now, unless you're competing for NBA championships, you can probably get by on the 8 hours. But get those 8. Without sleep, you can do everything else right but still struggle with burning off the pesky dad chub, simply because your not giving your body a fair chance at recovery.
Pro Tip: If you super suck at waking up, like I do, and smash the snooze button 12 times before stumbling out of bed then a sunrise simulator alarm clock might help. It mimics the sunrise and gently wakes you up with sounds and light, unlike a normal alarm that blasts you awake with the most annoying blaring noise on Earth. Learn more here: Canadian friends | American friends