Tips to Keep Your 'Dad Bod' Healthy and Happy

Listen up men! Washboard abs are out and cuddly – but healthy – is in.

The 'dad bod' is the latest man-trend to take the world by storm. But before you get too excited, remember, the emphasis should be on health, not just shape.

In her post Why Girls Love the Dad Bod in March of this year, Mackenzie Pearson described the dad bod as ‘a nice balance between a beer gut and working out'.  
 
Others have referred to the dad bod as the male equivalent of post-pregnancy weight gain.
 
Either way, it’s a physique we’re seeing increasingly in celebrity land as young guns become silver foxes; as well as in real life, as we get a little older, have kids, and get used to the changing exercise and nutrition needs. 
 
So what can dads do to keep their bods healthy but happy?

Get moving

You might not have time to go to the gym or play basketball like you once did, so try to think of ways to incorporate more incidental activity into your day.
 
Park further away, go for family walks and leave the car at home for short trips. Walk or ride your bike instead. Little bits of activity can add up when it comes to burning off the energy you eat.
 
So get up and get moving in as many ways as you can. Why not try the Lilly Ann workout and get the kids moving, too?

Cut out the booze

Alcohol is high in unnecessary calories, and men tend to carry their weight on their bellies. This can be dangerous, because fat around your vital organs can increase your risk of type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other long-term health conditions.
 
Why not make a deal with your partner that you won’t drink when she’s pregnant, in solidarity, or you’ll have no more than two standard drinks a day with a few alcohol-free days each week? 

man in the kitchen

Plan your meals

When you have a spare hour or two on the weekends, pre-prepare healthy meals for the week, then pop them in the freezer in portion-friendly sizes so you don’t overeat. Keep in mind that half of your plate should be vegetables, a quarter of it protein and a quarter carbohydrate.
 
Filling up on vegetables (and we’re not talking hot chips) can be good for weight loss, as they’re high in fibre to keep you fuller for longer. Bags of mixed leaves can be an easy and healthy addition to any meal, and keeping a stash of frozen veggies in the freezer can be handy, too.
 
Eating out or getting takeaway doesn’t have to be unhealthy, but do your research and find out which restaurants in your area have nutritious options such as salmon and avocado sushi or grilled chicken with veggies, and try to avoid pizzas and hamburgers. 

Snack carefully

Eat regular meals throughout the day, and keep your energy levels up by snacking on a piece of fresh fruit, a handful of nuts, or a small tub of plain yoghurt. Drinking water and staying hydrated also helps to stave off hunger and keep you alert.
 
Keep healthy snacks at work and non-perishable items in your glove box to avoid the temptation of the vending machine. A tub of chopped veggies or a fresh fruit salad in the fridge leaves no room for excuses when you have the nibbles!
 
Also be conscious of when you eat. Before eating anything, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry? Or am I eating this because I’m tired, bored, or looking for a quick burst of energy?”
  
The dad bod is not a bad bod, but it pays to keep it in good working order, so you can enjoy your family, friends, work and good health for many years to come.
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