7 Ways to Avoid Getting a Dad Bod
All Credits go to Mark Barroso
The soft, round look doesn't work for everyone. Here's how to avoid it.
The "dad bod Opens a New Window. " craze is all the rage right now, and it's confusing bodybuilders everywhere. Don't get us wrong, there are plenty of dads out there (ahem, Hugh Jackman Opens a New Window. ) doing work in the gym. That said, this term describes the physique that falls right between lean Opens a New Window. and overweight.
A Clemson University student wrote an essay noting its merits, saying the body type says "I go to the gym occasionally but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time." Some consider it a good thing because it makes a person more relatable.
Our stance on dad bods is simple: it's not the pizza and weekend drinking that's giving you a dad bod—it's your mentality. Most guys don't head to the gym with the goal of looking more like someone's slightly fit father. That comes from a lack of focus. If you're going to hit the gym Opens a New Window. , why not give it your all to reach the goal you started out toward?
If you follow these seven fitness tips, you'll steadily work your way out of the dad zone.
1. Lift Weights
Weightlifting is the cure for any dad bad.
Numerous scientific studies have shown the benefits of resistance training for decreased belly fat. A 2014 Obesity study, tracked the waist circumferences of 10,500 men between 1996 and 2008 and found that the top factor for keeping belly size was weight training. In fact, lifting resulted in double the decrease in waist circumference compared to moderate to vigorous aerobic activity.
2. Interval Training
You’ve heard this one before but it’s tried and true. According to a 2013 Journal of Strength and Conditioning study Opens a New Window. , rowers who did four weeks of high intensity interval training Opens a New Window. (HIIT) rowing burned more fat compared to traditional rowing. Increasing heart rate for a short period of work, say 30-60 seconds, and following that by active rest, usually ends up in more total calories burned compared to steady state cardio.
If you haven’t tried HIIT yet, don’t be afraid, since you set the work rest ratio yourself. Make this essential cardio switch to burn maximum calories.
3. Find a Diet With a Cheat Meal
There are several nutrition strategies to help you get lean with cheat meals Opens a New Window. , this way you eat like a dad bod for a meal and not look like one. Incorporating cheat meals or even days, can actually help your mind get ready for another week or few weeks of consecutive clean eating. Without a nutrition strategy, the average person might start eating for a dad bod without even realizing it. Or on the flip side, too harsh of a diet can cause you to binge once you've completed the diet causing you to return to square one (a dad bod).
Two get lean strategies are carb cycling and carb back loading. Carb cycling allows you to more eat carbs on certain days than others with getting shredded as the end result. Carb backloading calls for low carbs for a calibration period, for example 10 days, then eating whatever you want (literally) on the 11th night without gaining any fat.
4. Eat Breakfast
A 2014 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study Opens a New Window. of nearly 20,000 adults found that adults who eat breakfast, Opens a New Window. especially ones that include grains, cereals, lower-fat milk and whole fruit/100% fruit juice were less likely to be overweight/obese or have a big waist circumference.
If you find that eating breakfast every day isn’t resulting in decreased cravings throughout the day or overall improved body composition, try intermittent fasting. This way, you’ll break your fast, but it won’t be until later in the afternoon, say between noon and 4 p.m. Then, you won’t again until the same time next day or for another large span of hours.
5. Get Out of the Car
It’s known that dad bods are not necessarily overweight bods so technically this tip is for everyone, both soft and hard. Walking to work or using public transport was associated with a lower likelihood of being overweight in this 2013 American Journal of Preventative Medicine study. Opens a New Window.
Instead of taking a cab, choose to walk. And if you’re on a bus or subway, get off a few stops early to walk to your destination. Your belly will thank you.