How to fend off the dad bod – 4 lean tips
Fathers day is just around the corner and recently, there has been a lot of talk regarding the attractiveness of the 2018 'Dad Bod'. However, there is a whole lot more evidence that suggests the 'Dad Bod' is less attractive and a whole lot unhealthier for your body. Let's be honest, Brad Pitt simply wouldn't be the Brad Pitt we know and love if he was rocking the 'Dad Bod' and looked tired 24/7. That extra weight, lack of exercise and nutritious foods, simply means that you will feel more sluggish, and tired than those who do their best to prevent 'Dad Bod on set'.
Don't get me wrong, after I retired from rugby, the fear and reality of the 'Dad Bod' was extremely real. All of sudden, I went from training every single day, putting in at least two hours a day into physical exercise, to working in a gym and training other people for 9 hour days. At the end of the day, I was exhausted and couldn't think of anything worse than exercising myself. The reality is real! However, with some hard work, handy tricks, and some lean-life balancing, I have managed to not only fend off the 'Dad Bod' but I have actually improved my physical health when compared my rugby playing days and I look leaner than ever before.
These are some of my favourite tips!
1. Make Time for Yourself - Keep it Short, Intense, and Extra Lean
HIIT training is 100% my go to form of training now I am a father. Once upon a time, I could spend hours in the gym. Lifting heavy weights, sometimes two a day sessions, separate cardio and weights sessions, etc. Not to mention, this type of training regime required an enormous amount of time and effort being dedicated to fuelling my body. It simply wasn't sustainable in real life. ESPECIALLY, fatherhood/working life!
Therefore, one of the BEST parenting tips I have learned is HIIT training. Using, short, intense bouts of exercise to spike your heart rate. This type of training will not only set your metabolism on fire immediately, but it will also give you what is known as the "after burn" which means your body will continue to burn calories long after your workout. YES, this is a leanmazing benefit, but what I love even more is the rush of endorphins I get after each and every HIIT session. HIIT training is hard and therefore, you get a huge sense of accomplishment after your workout and ultimately, feel happier, and more energized throughout your day.
2. Lean Prep for the family - Meal Prep together!
Meal prep is one of the best ways to ensure you stay lean all year round. By preparing our food, we ensure we will have leanness on hand no matter how crazy or busy our days get.
However, if you're a parent, eating a piece of broccoli and chicken day after day isn't going to be enjoyable for either you, OR your family. Therefore, it's vital that we cook tasty, interesting and nutritious foods the ENTIRE family can enjoy.
I think this is really important because if you can get your family on board the lean train, you will get so much more support and encouragement that the leanness will literally just become a way of life.
Try experimenting with different sauces, spices and herbs to living things up and keep them interesting. For example, these lean chicken tenders and homemade sauce taste leanmazing and are SO easy to make for the entire family. I promise, everyone will love them, even Hudson at 14 months old devoured them!
3. Family adventures - Leantivity together means leanness together
In my eyes, the more we can get the family involved in our lean journey the better. That's why I LOVE family adventures. Whether that means going for a weekend walk, bike or hike with the family, or if your kids are a little older, try a jog or some family sporting action like basketball or tennis.
When Hudson was a baby (in my eyes he's still a baby but technically he's a toddler now...*sigh*), my wife and I loved (and so did he) to strap him into the baby Bjorn and go for a long walk. It added a little extra weight and most importantly was super enjoyable with Hudson.
Getting the family involved not only makes everyone feel great but also sets a great example for your kids at a young age. Kids who exercise at a young age are far more likely to continue healthy habits as they get older.
4. Treat yo self - You've earned it!
When we work hard, eat nice and healthy, a treat once in a while with the family is MUCH deserved! DO not feel guilty, instead, so long as your putting the work in, you should have a big smile on your face, while enjoys a tasty sugary treat together.
LEAN WARNING: If you have a treat, do not compound things and fuel your body with sugary snacks for days. The key is to enjoy a treat, and then get straight back on the lean train!