There are times when cuddly is cute as in the recent dad bod fad. As much as men may rejoice the fad won’t last forever, and for good reason. Teddy bear bellies might be good for snuggling, but they aren’t good for overall health. Abdominal fat is associated with poor outcomes over the long-term. If you’re rocking a dad bod, here’s how to rock out some toned abs, glutes and biceps instead.
1. Limit the bar food
Wings, nachos, pizza and beer are great for a ball game. They’re also a fast track to the dad bod zone. To get lean and build bulk you’ll need to increase your protein and fiber intake. Think beans, lean beef, veggies of all kinds (don’t fry them) and chicken (skip the skin). You don’t have to go hungry to tone and bulk, but you do have to give some thought to how you can get in quality calories instead of empty, fatty ones.
2. Get in some HIIT training
HIIT, or high intensity interval training lets you do more in less time. Add this workout strategy to your regimen to build stamina more quickly, burn more calories and more fat than you could with the same amount of steady state exercise. HIIT is just alternating periods of high intensity exercise with periods of rest or lower intensity. For example, run at full speed for ten seconds and walk for 50 seconds. Continue this cycle for the desired exercise duration.
3. Don’t skimp on sleep
The late show is entertaining but it may also be the reason you binge on junk food. Inadequate sleep and stress suppress the “I’m full” signal the brains sends under more ideal conditions. When your brain fails to send the signal, you eat even after you’re full. Those extra calories show up as a beer keg belly.
4. Add weight training to your cardio
Running is a good way to get rid of extra fat. Weight training is a good way to tone up, build muscle and boost metabolism. Higher metabolism helps your body burn calories more efficiently, so when you do enjoy bar food (on occasion) the calorie fall out isn’t as damaging. Head to the gym and work with a personal trainer who has the expertise to help with form and sequence. When you’re traveling, or managing a jam-packed schedule try body weight exercises at home or in your hotel. Squats, planks, lunges, push-ups, and bridges are a great place to start.
5. Eat breakfast
You have probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That is only true if you eat something that supports your fitness and health goals. Doughnuts don’t count. Go for protein instead. Think scrambled eggs wrapped in a whole-wheat tortilla, mashed avocado on Ezekiel bread or a hard-boiled egg on the fly.
You don’t have to train 8 hours a day to get rid of a dad bod. Just make a few modifications to your diet and step up your exercise routine. Being a dad is one of the most important jobs you can have. When you manage your health well, you increase the likelihood that you’ll be around for more Father’s Day celebrations.