The type of physique a man “earns” when the increasing pressures of work life, married life, and especially fatherhood no longer allow him the time or drive to maintain a hard, toned figure. As a result, what was once a sculpted, chiseled frame degresses into a soft, flabby heaping pile of I Don’t Give A Shit Anymore.“Rick used to be jacked when he played football in college. Now he has a wife, three kids, and a demanding job, so he rocks the Dad Bod!”
LLDB – Ladies Love the Dad Bod
Dad Bod Self-Image
Women aren’t the only sufferers of poor self-image. Men suffer as well and the acceptance of the dad bod has helped in this regard. You don’t have to have a perfectly chiseled body in order to be considered attractive since the dad bod movement. We all need a little bit of fat on our bones to survive, keep us warm and help us fluctuate between pant sizes on a monthly basis. Unfortunately, the obesity numbers in the United States have been increasing steadily for many years.
According to the CDC (and you can read more about the stats if you’re so inclined here):
- Percent of adults aged 20 and over with obesity: 39.8% (2015-2016)
- Percent of adults aged 20 and over with overweight, including obesity: 71.6% (2015-2016)
Dad Bod Behaviors That Can Be Troublesome
Eating too much
If you’re the type of guy who sits on the couch every night and polishes off a bag of chips after eating six pieces of pizza, you may have a problem. The math is simple. If you take in more calories than you burn off you will gain weight. The human body is set up to store those extra calories as fat. For us guys that fat tends to sink down to our gut creating a nice doughy center of gravity. This excess fat can lead to a whole array of health issues including heart problems such as clogged arteries, stroke, hypertension, etc. Diabetes is also another condition that arises from being overweight as does issues with joints, kidneys, liver, on and on.
The good news is, it’s never too late to start eating healthy and dieting. Take control of your life and limit the number of calories you are taking in. I’m not saying you need to swear off pizza and chips altogether (though it wouldn’t be a terrible thing) but instead limit how much of each you are eating. You will lose weight if you simply eat less. Instead of 6 slices of pizza cut it down to 3 or 4 and have a salad as well. I’m exaggerating with six slices of pizza but it’s to amplify the point that if you eat less, you will lose weight.
There are numerous diets out there to choose from as well. Consider Weight Watchers or if you’re game I have heard great things about the KETO diet, though it may be harder to maintain than Weight Watchers.
Lack of Exercise
Regular exercise is a necessity for everyone. Besides the obvious benefit of weight loss, it’s also good for your mind and can help you get a handle on stress. Men tend to ignore stress and write it off as a part of life but stress can lead to its own host of illnesses.
If you take in extra calories it’s important to combat those extra calories with exercise. Start small and increase your exercise each week. In the beginning, try 15-30 minutes a day for at least 4 days a week. Mix up your workouts between weight training and cardio.
If you can’t get to the gym go for a walk with your kids or the dog. Mow the lawn or just do something active.
Drinking too much
I’m all for a nice frothy cold one after a long day. But often times we see one cold one turns into 2 and 3 and 6. You always hear “everything is fine in moderation” and that’s true for moderate alcohol and it’s positive effects. The problem is drinks 2-5 are what is deemed excessive alcohol consumption and is what leads to the very unhealthy “beer belly”, “beer gut” or “spare tire”. I’m not saying you have to be a size 30 waist but remember that excess weight in this region can lead to cardiovascular problems and diabetes as well as excessive dad bod.
Aim to be somewhere in the middle
No one is perfect so if a 100% life change is not in the cards for you, aim to be somewhere in the middle. Be more conscious of your daily food consumption and change your diet where necessary to eat less processed and more natural food. It’s all about better choices. Smaller food portions, less alcohol and be more active. This doesn’t have to happen overnight. Take small steps to ensure you stick with it. It gets harder to stay in shape as you get older as your metabolism changes. Make adjustments as necessary and stick with it! You can change your dad bod over time if you decide to!