Six ways to stop rocking the dad bod

Happy beer gut
Men with average bodies became a celebrated part of pop culture in 2015 with the arrival of the term dad bod.

A Clemson University student’s viral essay described the appeal of the dad bod physique. It shows a “nice balance between a beer gut and working out” — “not an overweight guy, but isn’t one with washboard abs either.”

But just because an idea is having its pop culture moment in the sun doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Extra fat around your middle is a warning sign for health risks.

One scientific explanation

In one study, researchers discovered that the key word here is definitely dad — one source of the dad bod is unique to men with children.

A study published in American Journal of Men’s Health revealed that fathers saw their BMI increase BMI over 20 years, compared to a BMI decrease in men with no children. Also, fathers who lived with their kids saw a slightly higher increase than those who did not.

It’s never too late

The editors of “Eat This, Not That!” came up with six ways to combat dad bod:

  1. Exercise in intervals — Add periods of intense speed to aerobic exercise (running, biking, or walking) followed by periods of rest.
  2. Eat protein for breakfast — It jump-starts your metabolism and keeps your energy high all day. Best choice: eggs.
  3. Balance your meals — Chili is a great example of a balanced lunch. Made with beef, beans and veggies, it’s stacked with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  4. Supplement where needed — Vitamin D is one supplement most Americans should be taking and essential for preserving muscle tissue.
  5. Double your drinks — All of your body’s chemical reactions, including metabolism, depend on water. Make sure to drink plenty of water daily (eight to 12 eight-ounce glasses).
  6. Say goodnight to late night TV — If you do nothing else differently, getting at least an extra half-hour of sleep will make all the difference for burning fat.

Time for action

Salem Health has plenty of options for increasing your fitness — and ultimately saying bye-bye to the dad bod.

Try a fun exercise class available through the CHEC. Courses offerings vary throughout the year and range from Yoga Basics (low impact) to Lunch Hour Power (high intensity).

More information is available here or call the CHEC at 503-814-2432.

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