Fatherhood…. WOW IT’S APPROACHING FAST!!
Within a week, I will be having my baby. Which means #DadBod is about to take over… right?
The phrase “Dad Bod” was creating by someone making fun of the way a guy let’s go of himself after having a child. And just like a lot of men do, they hid behind it with jokes and laughter to cover up what they were actually insecure about (their bodies).
Now that may sound harsh, but it’s reality.
And I’m allowed to slap all the Dads in the face with it because I am a Dad (love saying that), because growing up I too hid behind fat jokes and laughter to avoid admitting that I was insecure, and because I’m a coach.
I’m a coach who has helped A LOT of Dads redefine what Dad Bod means.
That’s why I’m writing this, to help you, the Dad, finally figure out how to reverse Dad-Boditis (The Accumulation Of Dad Bod).
So first, what actually causes Dad Bod to occur?
It cannot be blamed on the baby or anyone else. Your pregnant wife had cravings, I get it – but you didn’t. Your baby takes up a ton of time, I get it – but that doesn’t mean you need to neglect eating real food like an adult.
(This is written in a somewhat harsh manor for 2 reasons – it’s me slapping myself into discipline pre-baby and I’m writing it to the Dads, so suck it up – and if you’re not a Dad but need the reality check, this is for you too!)
Things That Cause Dad Bod:
Lack of Movement.
MOVEMENT is what keeps us lean, not Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 strength program. And although that is a phenomenal program, you’re in a position where you may not have the time or consistency in your schedule to get too specific with training – so stop focusing on perfection, focus on simplicity and action.
I always tell people, only set out to do exactly what you’re 100% capable of. That’s why I set a Key 4 for my business each week; the 4 things I must get done.
Now, I could get double that done in a week if I’m on point. But those are the most important keys and if I set 8 and only got 7, I failed. Even though 7 is way more than 4.
Which is why when planning your training, keep it basic and just move.
You have a lot of responsibilities now; you’re the man of the house and have a family.
But that is not a reason for health and strength to decline! Push ups, air squats, glute bridges, band pull aparts, planks and sit-ups, walking…. There is SO much you can accomplish inside your own home that can be done in 20 minutes or less.
The issue is not the how; it’s just the actual doing.
I get it, time is scarce and you’re exhausted. I am too and I know it’s only going to get worse. But there’s nothing worse then getting to a place you don’t want to be and knowing how you could’ve prevented it.
And let’s be honest, this is exactly where the concept “slow down to speed up” applies. If you take care of your physical body, EVERYTHING will improve in your life.
Here’s what I did… I talked to my partner (I know, crazy right? Communication is a solid way of accomplishing things….).
She’s been pregnant for 9 months.
I have more respect for her than anyone on the planet.
And I know how excited she is to be back in her old body.
Which means she’s completely open to the idea of focusing on quality nutrition after the baby is here. We are a team, so we’re using teamwork to make sure junks not in the house, we’re still cooking, and we’re not forgetting about our health.
My suggestion to you, Dad…. Talk to your spouse, be open about wanting to be lean and healthy, and make a plan.
If it took double the time to cook a very basic healthy meal then it does to grab a snack out of the pantry or microwave something up, you’re still only 10 minutes into that meal… 10 minutes is worth a better body.
And adding to all of that, real whole foods are even more important for the baby than anyone else. They have the most sensitive and pliable immune, autoimmune, gut, and digestive system on this planet and if we do not take care of them – they can grow older with many different issues.
I’m beyond motivated for good health because I want my daughter to be chronic disease free, which is something that is unfortunately sweeping the nation in 2018. If you need proof, read Deep Nutrition or Unconventional Medicine.
You got the family, your significant other, and your job to manage.
That’s a lot and it probably stresses you out.
But guess what causes even more stress… Excess body fat and poor nutrition.
Both of those things cause a direct rise in cortisol and when we combine all of this together, you’re experiencing chronically elevated cortisol levels – aka they never come down.
But the worst part about stress and hormones is that it’s literally a reoccurring cycle of more and more stress. The more stressed your mind gets, the more stress your body gets, and the more stress your body gets… The more stressed your mind gets.
And the only way to stop this cycle is to start removing stressors one by one OR simply improving your mind and body’s ability to handle that stress.
I suggest the later, first. Because a lot of your stress isn’t coming from things you have choices over… But you absolutely do have choices over how you handle that stress.
So how do you handle that stress, better? I’ll get to that. Keep reading.
(Picture Cred – worcesterfitness.com)
All right, so this is where I help you stop the cycle and break out of that Dad Bod.
1.) TRACK YOUR MACROS.
The best way for me to describe this… Is through a money analogy.
Macros are like your budget, but with food.
So let’s say you were to laying out a yearly budget with your finances and determine that you had $200,000 to spend this year. That’s going to help you cover gas, groceries, mortgage, car payment, coaching, etc…
But then you go out on January 1st, New Years Day, and buy a $160k Audi R8.
You screwed yourself and your budget, because now you have $40k for literally everything that you need.
Now let’s flip the scrip and talk nutrition.
If your dietary budget is 250 grams of carbs per day and you eat a double stack of pancakes for breakfast, eliminating 198g of your total daily carb intake, you’ve screwed yourself into only having 52g of carbs left for your day – making lunch and dinner very limited.
So why does this apply to #DadLife?
Because you need to have nutritional flexibility in order to create sustainable results. Whether it’s because you don’t have the time to cook a gourmet healthy meal or because your kid wants ice cream today and guess what, so do you.
Tracking macros gives you a budget system to create flexibility while still staying in shape or improving results. It gives you metrics to adjust and ways to bounce back, overall just providing an actual system so you KNOW how to change the results you’re seeing.
2.) INTERMITTENT FASTING.
Intermittent fasting provides hormonal benefits, cognitive enhancement, a cleansing affect, and so much more when it comes to health. But that’s not why it made the list… (Check out my article on IF to learn all the benefits)
It made the list because it simplifies everything about your diet.
You just skip breakfast, giving you one less meal to worry about AND 2-3 more meals for you to be flexible with. It’s much easier to have a big dinner with the family, when you only eat 2-3 meals per day – and those first 1-2 meals are very light.
This can make staying lean WAY easier for a lot of the guys I work with.
3.) BASIC TRAINING PROGRAM.
Hip hinge, squat, single leg something, push something, pull twice as much, and work your core. Ok, there you go… program design in less than 20 words.
It really is that simple, too.
If you do all those movement patterns, you’ll pretty much hit every muscle group on your body and accomplish a workout that promotes better posture, joints, health, fat loss, and muscle gain.
So stop stressing that you can’t do what The Rock is doing, just do something.
If you’re one of the Dad’s that has a home garage or 45-60 minutes a day to hit the gym, even better – get an individualized training program and go the extra mile.
4.) WALK DAILY.
Movement is the overarching key to a functional, healthy, and lean body.
A lot of people become fathers and don’t have the time to move as much or go to the gym as often, but I’m pretty damn sure we can all walk more often. Even if that’s up and down the stairs while taking a call (I do this all the time).
The issue with most people is that this is just to simple to really invest time and energy into.
But I can guarantee if you found 10-20 minutes to go on a walk every day, you’d feel better mentally, physically, AND lose more body fat.
5.) MEDITATE DAILY.
You need to create space for yourself, alone… every single week.
With all the stress and noise in today’s society, we all need to practice more meditative exercises – this isn’t just for Dads.
Spend 5-10 minutes each day, lying down or sitting up straight, meditating. Follow your breath, tune out the white noise, listen to some nature noises, and just be calm. Headspace is one of the most powerful things we can do for our mental and emotional health.
When you do this, regularly, cortisol levels will lower – which is the stress hormone that often stops people from losing belly fat, because it’s chronically elevated.
6.) JOURNAL DAILY.
Just like number 5, you need to write your thoughts out also.
There’s a part of the brain that is more active when we write and I believe we should all practice it more.
If you don’t know what to write about, check out something I use very often-called Positive Focus (Free download – you don’t even have to give me your email, just take it and use it so you can get better).
This will force you to stop, reflect, and actually learn from situations that are happening in your life.
Again, this is going to force you to slow down, appreciate, and lower stress levels.
7.) COOK DINNER FOR YOUR FAMILY.
Take the food into your own control! If you’re cooking, you can make sure it’s healthier and even fits into your macros.
This is the simplest game changer you can use… Instead of complaining about not having the healthy options, CREATE THEM.
Plus if you cook, she’ll be happy and we know what they say, “Happy wife, happy life.”
8.) INVEST IN SOME ACCOUNTABILITY.
Get a coach. Plain and simple. It’s the best investment you can possibly make in yourself.
Because even if you find the smartest training program and nutrition plan, it’s not going to work if you leave out the accountability factor. This is what keeps you going, gives you the adjustments needed along the way, and essentially helps guide you down the path without getting confused.
Whether that’s hiring a coach or purchasing a training program, you should be investing your watch and your wallet into your success (time and money).
9.) STAND MORE THAN YOU SIT.
Another super simple one – notice that theme? Trying to keep it simple for you, Pops.
When you’re rocking the baby, stand up.
When you’re on your laptop, stand up.
When you’re watching TV, stand up.
Any chance you get to stand up rather than sit, take it! Sounds to simple, but all the little things in this add up and truly create a healthier, leaner, and more successful physical being.
10.) CUT THE BEER, PICK A DIFFERENT SEDATION.
Just stop drinking beer so much.
You don’t need a beer every night, that’s a story in your head. Choose a positive sedation to relax, lower stress, and chill out.
I’ve had guys lose a significant amount of weight by simply doing this.
(Picture by https://estebvn.com/)
Well there you have it; The 10-Step Guide to Avoiding a DadBod.
Use this and have things mapped out PRIOR to the baby coming, if you can. And if your baby is already here, just implement as many of these as you can as soon as you can.
The truth is, things don’t need to be complicated.
We just try to make them complicated