Guys who are rocking the dad bod, listen up: Although it has been considered the latest body positive trend for the male physique, having more fat around your middle is doing you much more harm than good. If you’re a man with a dad bod who can’t turn down those few extra slices of pizza, you’ve left yourself open to a host of potentially ugly health problems: inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Additionally, a 2008 study mentioned in Men’s Health of more than 360,00 people found carrying that extra body fat around your middle doubles your risk of an early death. If you do have a dad bod, don’t be discouraged. It’s easy to make small tweaks to your diet and workout routine. Here are four simple ways you can transform your dad bod.
Keep this mind: Eat well, have fun, and make sure to never ignore the fine line between moderation and excess.
1. Drink light beer
Drinking your calories is the easiest way to pack and keep on the pounds because liquid calories have nothing to do with making you feel full. If you’re a man who loves his beer and cannot imagine giving it up, why not try drinking light beer instead of the heavier beers you’re used to? The difference in taste is not that stark. There are so many options out there: Corona Light, Bud Light, Miller Light, etc. No need to go overboard with the beers, simply make smarter choices. Remember though, not all light beers are created equal because with each brand or label, when it’s labeled “light” its meaning varies between brands. It can mean it’s light in calories, light in carbs or lighter in alcohol. Pay attention to the label on the side if you’re unsure. To perk you up a bit, we must mention that there are health benefits to drinking beer. Just don’t overdo it.
2. Avoid eating late
The Daily Mail reports on a study that found that between two groups that ate the same amount of calories in a day, the group that ate later in the evening is the group that gained more weight. This study, which used mice, suggests that when we eat is just as important as what we put in our mouths. Scientists warn that some of your sedimentary habits, like eating while you browse the web, play on your phone, or watch a late movie is likely contributing to rising obesity levels. Dr. Satchidananda Panda, the study’s lead author, said that at certain times of the day the liver, intestines, and muscles are at their peak efficiency, while at other times they’re less active or “sleeping.” Dr. Panda adds, “Every organ has a clock. Those metabolic cycles are critical. When mice or people eat throughout the day and night, it can throw off those normal metabolic cycles.” So if you can stop your late noshing, you can probably take a few pounds off.
3. Be active every day
This is actually much easier than it sounds, and no, you don’t need to start training for a marathon to be “active” everyday. If you’re not a gym-goer, then start small — walk and take the stairs when you can. Also, try and make a little bit of an effort to join the gym. If you’re not into exercising by yourself because it doesn’t motivate you, then try joining a gym that offers group fitness classes, like spinning. If you’re more of a competitive guy, join a boxing or kickboxing gym. It’s important to keep your workouts fun and motivating and not see it as a chore where you have to stand in front of a mirror and pump iron. If you’re not a gym guy at all, join a recreational intramural league, be it baseball or whatever other sport you were good at in high school. Or get outside and play with your kids.