A lot of my buddies have or are expecting babies.
But that’s not all they’re expecting.
They’re expecting dad bods.
Yes, a dad bod.
The cute little euphemism that’s very “in” right now.
It’s that five – ten extra pounds on the body that used to be decently lean.
It’s real. It’s controversial.
It might make you want to ask yourself (or your baby daddy) some tough questions.
Let’s discuss dad bod, shall we?
But first, we should crack a beer, have a slice, and put our feet up, right? Right?
Notes: The photo above is of my baby and me. Her name is LuSeal. So I’m a dad. A dog dad. My body isn’t what it used to be, but it definitely isn’t a dad bod. But, according to the study we’re about to discuss, I’m doomed. Or am I?
Dad Bod Isn’t Really New
As you get older, your metabolism slows down a bit.
You have a family with kids and thus less time for yourself.
You gain a few pounds because that’s what dads do.
But an article recently went viral making dad bod a thing.
In it, dad bod is described simply:
I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.
Then, spin-off pieces surfaced about how women love dad bods, too.
Now there are several people who say this is yet another gender inequality issue. And that it emphasizes the importance of maintaining one’s body for women and not men.
(Probably true, but we aren’t going there.)
Bottom line is this: Dad bod is a thing and everyone’s talking about it.
But here’s why it’s ACTUALLY important:
Dad bod is a real, proven thing.
The Dad Bod Study
According to the following study from the American Journal of Men’s Health, dad bod is real. It was studied:
- Over 20 years.
- With 10,000+ participants.
- By real doctors from real institutions (Northwestern, UC-Irvine, Boston College, etc.)
It basically said fathers gain weight leading up to and throughout fatherhood. And, they do so more than non-fathers (and fathers who do not live with the family).
Here’s the chart:
So it’s real. But the study doesn’t explain why it happens.
What Your Dad Bod Might Mean
You can blame your dad bod on your aging and slowing metabolism.
But only a TINY bit.
Age, in and of itself, has a genuine, but minuscule role on metabolism.
So what is to blame? Let’s see, could it be?
- Take-out food?
- The fact that you haven’t been to the gym or moved your body in months?
Sure, you have a lot more responsibilities at home and at work. And you’re under a lot of pressure to do all “the things”.
You’re putting your family first. You’re providing.
But is your dad bod a sign of success as a stable, providing father? Or is it, maybe, just the opposite?
Questions to Ask Yourself (or Baby Daddy)
Dad bod, as we discussed, is mostly a result of poor choices.
- Ordering in instead of cooking.
- Happy hour instead of heading home.
- Watching basketball instead of playing.
Why when you used to be so good?
Let’s ask some questions:
- Are you stressed at work? If yes, why?
- Are you stressed at home? If yes, why?
- How are your energy levels at work? Why?
- How are your energy levels at home? Why?
- How’s your performance at work? Why?
- How’s your performance at home? Why?
- How happy are you? Why?
Make no mistake, eating and drinking is a great way to cope.
I did it for YEARS when I lived on the road.
Even when you think you’re “living the dream”, your actions (or lack thereof) might say otherwise.
So what’s a dad (or soon-to-be) supposed to do?
How to Deal with Dad Bod
Really, it doesn’t take much.
And that’s the key.
Don’t do too much.
Pick one small thing and get some momentum going in the right direction.
A couple times per week, do three sets of pushups before showering. The other days, do squats.
Pack a healthy lunch and eat at your desk. Go for a walk during normal lunch break.
Because you’re a dad now. You don’t have time to go to the gym daily for an hour or cook yourself four meals per day.
Your family needs you.
They need you now. They need you forever.
Because less dad bod means:
- Better dad.
- Happier dad.
- Healthier (and longer-living) dad.
And that’s sure to please mom (and probably motivate her to get the same results for herself).
Not so bad, huh, Dad?
- Longitudinal Study of Body Mass Index in Young Males and the Transition to Fatherhood http://jmh.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/07/21/1557988315596224.full
- The Science of the Dad Bod http://gizmodo.com/the-science-of-the-dad-bod-1720796446
- Why Girls Love The Dad Bod http://theodysseyonline.com/clemson/dad-bod/97484
- ‘Dad Bod’ Is a Sexist Atrocity http://time.com/3846828/dad-bod-is-a-sexist-atrocity/