How many times have you read these types of article? They preach to you all the things you should do. You read them and you know you should do what they say, however, there are very difficult habits to change. So let’s start at the very beginning.
1. Change your mindset
Changing any habit is not easy, in fact on average it will take 66 days for a habit change to take hold. 66 days are a lot of days to fight against, and this is a major reason it is so easy to give up. When you start a serious journey in your battle against the dad bod, focus on the idea that your goal is long term. It will take the change of old habits and the formation of new ones. It isn’t going to be easy, but what in your life has ever been easy? Instead of easy, think about how much you want to be healthy. How much do you want to be around for your children. If you can gain more life with your family, isn’t it worth 66 days to try and change?
2. Start Simple
Most people believe that to make significant change in your health it requires an complete overhaul of your behavior. That you will have to change every aspect of your life or do a complete reboot of your existence. Again this is why so many people stop trying, however this could not be farther from the truth. Simple changes can drastically improve your health.
- Unplug from the internet. Electronic devices are the devour er of free time. In fact most of the time the crawl into our productive time. Allow yourself a set time to be on your electronics per day.
- Get up and go for a walk. Walking has many health benefits and is a very effective way to get the Dad Bod battle started
- Get Outside. Go out into the wild unknown, the brutal wilderness…or just go out and enjoy some sunshine. You will find yourself more active outdoors.
- Make a list. Make a list of activities that you enjoy doing and haven’t done for some time. This will be the list to focus on during the next steps.
3. Find activities that you enjoy doing
When it comes to the Dad Bod battle, the battle will be lost before it ever starts if you do not enjoy what you are doing. Exercising is not easy, it is tiring and uncomfortable. If you do not find enjoyment in what you are doing you will be more likely to fail. Think outside the box, perhaps try an activity you have always wanted to try. Here are just a few ideas
Playing with your children. This is a great activity not only for you but for your relationship with your kids. Children are an unending generator of energy that if used correctly, will help you stay healthy and get the kids to bed at a decent time. Win, Win!
Go hiking! Get together with your family, or your buddies and go for a hike. There are trails in every area, ranging in difficulty from easy to my legs are going to fall off. I do not recommend the latter trails until you have your legs well attached.
Martial arts are also an excellent way to work yourself back into shape. There are a variety of styles to choose from. They range from a defensive style such as Aikido, to the military style of Krav Maga. The martial arts focus not only on learning to defend yourself, but also flexibility, strength and discipline. All of the tools one needs to battle the bulging belly.
Roller skating? Yep, you heard me correctly. Roller skating is a surprisingly effective way to burn some calories. Dig through your closet and blow the dust off the old set of skates you have buried deep in the closet. Start out at the skating rink, then go outside in the world with your newfound skating prowess and enjoy the outdoors. Make sure you gear up though. Helmets are in style these days!
These are just a few simple ideas to get your mind on track. The most important thing to remember is find an activity that you enjoy and do it often.
4. Change what you eat (The Most Difficult)
I know, we all know the dreaded D word. DIET is the most important aspect a person needs to change as we age. When we are young we can shovel down, several big macs and large fry, then wash it down with a supersize liquid sugar drink and not think twice. However as we age our metabolism starts to slow. At roughly 5% every decade after 40 it truly starts to add up. The slowing metabolism combined with the slow down of physical activity in our lives work hand in hand to destroy the physique of youth.
This, however hated, is not an impossible task to accomplish. Take simple steps to start.
- Avoid Fast Food– One fast food meal can negate an entire days worth of exercise (A little food for though)
- Only dine out for special occasions- Restaurants can be just as bad as fast food and can derail an exercise program very quickly. Share your order with someone, most meals in a restaurant are large enough for two adults.
- Portion Control– Use a small plate at home at meal times. We have become accustomed to large portions of food at each meal, and this is what the dad bod wants. Using a smaller plate limits the amount of food to be put on the plate. As long as you only use the plate for once a meal, it is an effective trick to control portion size.
- Avoid Processed foods-Processed foods are any food that has been modified to prevent spoiling. Canned fruits, vegetables, soup, and frozen meats, may contain high amounts of salt and sugar.
- Fresh Foods– Buy your foods fresh and avoid frozen meats and vegetables. If you need to freeze them after you get them home you can.
Remember it takes an average of 66 days to change a habit. 66 Days to change your life.
These are a few easy ways to get started in your journey in the Battle of the Bulging Belly. It will be a long and drawn out conflict, but with your guts and determination, there is nothing you can not accomplish!