Many men today are unfortunately affected by the dreaded Dad Bod. As with all aspects of fitness, there is a very easy way to go about toning your body to look more like a Greek God and less like an average Joe.
The most important thing is a diet. You don’t have to adhere to a fad diet that people like to do such as paleo, liquid only, raw only, and others. You can choose a good diet like one that consists of healthy meals that are balanced, and that’s it.
If you’re trying to burn fat and lose your Dad Bod, you should eat more protein than carbs. Excess carbs give you that body type, and can be found in pasta, bread, chips, pizza, and beer.
This doesn’t mean you should go on a no-carb diet, because carbs are what you need to give you energy. Just make sure you’re not eating more carbs than anything else. You should also eat no more than about three meals per day (or six smaller ones), with a fruit or other healthy snack between each meal.
Men plagued with a dad bod frame need to ramp up their exercise. You have to put those carbs to work in order to burn fat. There are plenty of ways to go about this, including running, walking, biking, lifting weights, and any other form of cardio.
You can clock a fair amount of miles each day by finding some time to put on some music and go on a long walk around your neighborhood. Running is also applicable, and both of these can be done on a treadmill if you don’t want to go out and about at various times of the day.
Biking is a very fun way of getting in shape, and you can use it as transportation if your destination is somewhere within about 10 miles of you. Weightlifting should be done in combination with your other cardio exercises, so that while you burn fat you also put on more muscle, allowing your muscles to show through your fat quicker.
A gym membership is a great investment, and if you go to a smaller one, you can get 3 months for about $90. This will allow you to have access to all kinds of weights and machines, as well as treadmills and stair climber machines.
Don’t forget – you should drink more water than anything else. This important for you as a human regardless of whether or not you’re trying to lose weight, but it will certainly help you drop the weight quicker, because it flushes out all of the toxins.
A good tip for those who drink beer is that vodka is a great replacement for your alcohol choice because it’s a very low carb and low calorie option for those who still want to go out to bars and socialize with their friends.
The Mediterranean Diet is often praised for its ability to reduce heart disease and cancer, as well as to extend the lifespan.
And of course these are all noble aims! Most of us would consider these to be very good things and would probably be more inclined to eat any diet that could improve our health in those ways.
At the same time though, many of us also start diets because we want to lose weight. And in a lot of cases, this might actually be the stronger motivating factor and the real reason we adopt a new diet to begin with. Not always, but often!
So how is the Mediterranean Diet when it comes to weight loss? Is this all about nutrients and fats? Or can you actually expect to cut some calories and see your weight go down as well? Let’s take a closer look…
The Good and the Bad
The reason that some people might not think that the Mediterranean Diet is effective for weight loss, is that it doesn’t involve counting calories, cutting carbs or cutting fats.
You’re still eating everything you normally would, with no control in terms of the amounts that you’re allowed to eat. How can this possibly contribute to weight loss?
What’s more, is that the Mediterranean Diet is very focussed on fats – with lots of olive oil added! Seeing as fat contains 9 calories per gram (versus 4 for other types of food), this is a concern.
But then there’s good news too. For starters, the Mediterranean Diet keeps you feeling much fuller for longer. Why is that? Simply because it contains those fats and it contains lots of nutrients.
This is you giving your body real food and the kind of real food that it actually needs. As such, you don’t find yourself craving food all the time and you actually get to feel full! This aids considerably with weight loss.
What’s more is that many nutrients actually improve weight loss. For example, you will be getting things like CoQ10 from the meats and fish which will improve your energy metabolism. Garlic does the same. So do B complex vitamins!
So is this diet good for weight loss or not?
The answer is definitely yes! This is a diet that helps you to eat healthier and when you do that, weight loss will come naturally.
At the same time though, you can’t simply rely on this diet on its own to help you shed pounds.
Rather, you need to ensure that you work hard to lose weight on it as well. The fortunate thing is that the meals are delicious and the lifestyle is practical… so this is a diet you actually can be strict with!
Remaining on a diet and weight loss journey is hard enough on its own, but when you start adding in self-doubt, it becomes almost impossible. However, if you have the right mindset, you can still accomplish your goals. These tips are going to help you get to where you need to be.
Stop Counting Pounds and Inches
This is perhaps one of the most important things you can do, but also one of the most difficult. You want to track your progress so you can see if your weight loss methods are working, but every time you step on a scale and it hasn’t moved, it completely ruins your day. This is why it is important to focus more on being healthy and making smart food choices than losing weight. Dieting is more of a healthy lifestyle, and if you lose weight in the process, great! But when that is your sole reason for changing your eating habits, it tends to create a lot of doubt and depression. Throw away the scale, stop measuring yourself, and just focus on eating better.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Self-doubt also stems from what you see in other people and how it compares to your own life. No two bodies or situations are the same, so this is nothing but an unhealthy habit you need to break now. Just because someone else is losing weight faster, achieving their goals in a different way, or lives a life different from yours, doesn’t mean it is better or worse. Focus more on yourself and your own choices and less on what others are doing.
Reward Yourself For Small Changes
When you first start dieting or sticking to a healthy lifestyle, it will consist of making small changes. You might begin drinking more water, exercising more, adding fruits and vegetables to your diet, or switching to whole grains. These are all good, healthy choices that deserve rewards. Every time you commit to a change, such as opting for water instead of soda for a month, you should reward yourself! This makes you feel good about your accomplishments and gives you more motivation to continue.
Get Support as Needed
There is nothing wrong with seeking out emotional support during your journey, whether you need to attend a local overeaters anonymous group, want to see your doctor to discuss your progress, or feel like you need to see a counselor or therapist. Some people need to work on their mental or emotional state while sticking to a diet, and that can help you succeed.
Even if you feel feelings of doubt during your journey, don’t let it hold you back. Pick yourself back up and keep going.
If you’re looking to lose weight and improve your health, then one of the first things you need to do is to choose from the huge amount of different diet plans out there. Essentially, you need to decide who you’re going to listen to and what theory of weight loss you want to subscribe to!
And things get tricky right away. What you’ll find is that everyone has a different opinion – and that these opinions vary hugely. Some people to tell you to stay away from fats while others tell you to dunk them in your coffee! Who do you listen to?
And one of the strangest and most polarizing subjects you’ll come across is the debate regarding milk and bread. Some people say they’re healthy things to have in your diet, other people say they cause weight gain, brain fog and all manner of other evils!
So what’s the truth?
Where the Worries Come From (And Why They Need to Stop)
In the case of bread, people first started worrying that it could cause tiredness and weight gain as the incidence of Celiac’s disease increased. This is a condition caused by an allergy to glucose that prevents the ‘villi’ in the stomach from absorbing nutrients. Unfortunately, Celiac’s disease (and the less serious gluten sensitivity) often go undiagnosed due to similarities with other conditions such as ME and IBS. Thus many people suffer with the conditions without being any the wiser. When they eventually do come across their intolerance, they feel much better and tell everyone!
But the thing is, that won’t be the case if you don’t have a gluten sensitivity of some sort. If your digestion operates normally, you can digest bread just fine. And there are plenty of studies to prove this.
There’s a similar problem with milk. Surprisingly, a huge proportion of the planet’s population is actually lactose intolerant due to the inability to produce lactase. The caveat? The percentage is far lower in the US and Europe. Again – it just doesn’t apply!
Of course there is no harm in trying to remove food from your diet and seeing if this improves your health. But at the same time, recognize that 99% of the world’s leading athletes and thinkers eat both bread and milk and are perfectly fine!
Unfortunately, there is no ‘quick fix’ when it comes to improving your energy and your health!
Okay, maybe ten times is hyperbole… but it got your attention right?
Seriously though, sometimes the trick to sticking to a diet more effectively is just knowing the right meals and combinations of foods that you can enjoy in order to save yourself time in the kitchen while keeping your diet nutritious and low in calories!
Here are some meals that will prove to be the perfect example of that…
While bread isn’t quite the terrible enemy that a lot of people claim it to be, it is nevertheless still a common source of simple carbs and can contribute a lot of calories.
If you want to make a sandwich without bread though, there are plenty of options! One such option is to slice the top off of two mushrooms and then to use these in order to sandwich your filling. Not only does this work just as well to keep everything in place but the mushrooms provide tons of nutrition all of their own and are very good for you indeed!
There are many more breadless sandwiches out there too. A simple one? Mix up some filling and then just wrap it in a large leaf of cabbage. It’s cheaper than bread too!
Greek Yogurt Pudding
Here’s a quick and simple dessert that is excellent for packing in the nutrition and keeping those calories relatively low. Simply take some plain Greek yogurt, add some blueberries and add just the tip of a teaspoon of honey. When you mix all this up, you’ll be left with something deliciously sweet that doesn’t break the calorie bank and is filled with antioxidants!
Here’s a delicious way to start your day that will give you plenty of energy and help you to stay full until lunch.
Simply take an as avocado and cut it in half, removing the stone. Now mix up some tuna with a little mayo and horseradish and then dollop into the hollowed out center. This will fill you with protein, omega 3 fatty acid, healthy fats and tons of other good stuff!
The ultimate brunch meal: eggs royale. This is simply some bread (such as brioche) with a slice of salmon, a poached egg and some sunflower seeds. If you want to keep it as healthy and low-cal as possible, then add vinegar for seasoning. If you feel like treating yourself, then use Holondaise sauce instead!
When it comes to losing weight and getting into shape, there is one thing that matters more than any other aspect of your new diet. And that one thing is ‘adherence’.
Adherence is essentially just the technical term that describes how well you are able to stick to the diet rules you’ve set yourself. Do you stick religiously to your new calorie count? To reducing your carb intake? To getting more fruits and vegetables?
Because if you don’t stick to the rules you’ve set yourself, then it really doesn’t matter how effective that diet would have been.
Thus the priority becomes not only thinking about how you’re going to eat but also how you’re going to fit your new diet plan into your lifestyle.
And one of the biggest considerations in that regard is the role of socializing and how this will impact on your diet…
Eating is Inherently Social… And That’s a Problem!
Because what many of us forget when we set out on a diet is that eating is inherently social. Many of us will enjoy family meals around the table, while couples might see dinner as a great chance to catch up on each other’s days and to inject a little romance.
This is a great thing about eating but it’s also a problem – seeing as you’ll often find that having to avoid chocolate becomes a problem when you’re eating out with friends, or enjoying Valentine’s Day!
There are a number of solutions to this problem. One option is to just make sure that you’re very strict with yourself during the non-social meals of your day. For instance, try to keep your calories as low as possible when you’re eating lunch and breakfast and keep these consistent as well. This will give you more flexibility to eat well in the evenings. You can still be healthy but you can also stop being quite so strict.
Another option is to use that social aspect to your advantage – by dieting at the same time as a partner and getting them to experience the diet with you. This way, you can support one another and help each other through the process!
When eating out at restaurants you might find it hard to turn down dessert. One option then is to share a dessert (making yourself more social, not less so!) while another is to order a coffee instead of a massive cake!
If you want to change your diet and start losing weight/improving your shape, then often the best strategy is to start eating healthier meals.
And one of the best ways to do that is to start cooking more meals of your own. This way, you can know exactly what ingredients are going into your meals, you can choose to eat more vegetables and you can even save money.
But this where many people come stuck. Unfortunately, learning to cook isn’t all that easy and often the best laid plans end up going awry. Read on and we’ll see why that is and what you can do about it.
The Problem with Cookbooks
A good place many of us will start when trying to learn to cook is with a cookbook. This seems logical after all! Specifically, most of us will want to look for a cookbook that provides simple and quick meals, so we’ll gravitate towards things with titles like “15 Minute Meals.”
Often they promise to be affordable and simple as well as just being fast to make and put on the table.
But in all too many cases, that’s a little bit of wishful thinking. Either the writers are a little removed from the real world and don’t understand the limitations most of us have, or they just didn’t spend much time thinking the books through.
That’s why, very often, you’ll find that your recipe starts with “taking your chopped onion…”
As it happens, an onion doesn’t come chopped – and so leaving the chopping part out of the instructions is actually a little misleading. That just added 2 minutes to your preparation time – as does chopping the peppers, chopping the bacon and washing your chopping board and knife or clearing space.
Another similar problem is when the “simple ingredients” list calls for balsamic vinegar and then the very next recipe lists calls for apple cider vinegar. Cooking quickly gets expensive when you’re expected to buy different seasonings every time you make a meal!
If you have a small kitchen, you can then add struggling with space management and stacks of plates falling over to your list of troubles. We haven’t even touched on the fact that you have to divide the quantities and let loads go to waste if you’re living alone.
What sounds like a 15 minute meal is in fact a 45 minute meal at best that makes a lot of mess.
How to Make it Stick
So with all that in mind, how do you go about making your new diet plan stick? How do you fit cooking into your routine and learn some actually convenient meals that are still healthy?
One trick is to ask your mom for some recipes. She has most likely honed the art of cooking healthy meals quickly having raised you.
Another tip is to not divide the quantity and to instead freeze a lot of what you have left over.
Also don’t be afraid to experiment and to mix up the instructions. If you don’t feel like buying “a sprig of rosemary” then you can probably do without it. Either that or there are pre-packaged bottles of spices that you can use over and over again for a long time to come.
If you want to add some flavour, there are probably cheaper ingredients you can use that will last much longer.
Whenever you read the label and it says “quick recipe” make sure you add at least 20 minutes onto the prep time!
One of the best and simplest ways to lose weight is to eat the exact same thing every single day. This way, you don’t have to count calories and you know you’ll never be making any mistakes. This is a fool-proof plan and as long as the caloric intake is low and your nutrition is ample, you’ll never need to worry about weight gain.
Or at least that’s the idea. In reality though, eating the same food very rarely results in success and this is due to one key issue: boredom.
If you are eating the exact same thing every day, then very quickly your diet will seem bland and uninspiring and you’ll end up wanting to give up. After a hard day in the office, coming home to the exact same boring salad is enough to make you want to go eat everything you see at a KFC.
Even if you have the intense mental discipline to stick with this for the first few months, you really need to ask yourself if it’s something you’re going to be able to stick with indefinitely. If the answer is no, then you should reconsider whether the diet you have chosen is really worth it.
Even if you do think you can stick at it, you should still do some soul searching. Eating is one of life’s real pleasures. Are you willing to completely give up all variation and fun in your food?
The exact same also applies to your training. While sticking to the very same training program does work (despite some claims to the contrary) it’s also really boring. Doing the same exercises day in and day out is not fun at all and this is one reason so many people struggle to get into the gym.
And in both these scenarios, the lack of flexibility can also be a practical issue. What happens when your friends want to eat out? And what happens when someone is using the machine you need for your next exercise?
As mentioned though, there are also definite benefits to being a little more straightforward with your training and diet. Keeping things consistent removes a lot of the margin for error and the confounding variables.
So the trick is to find a compromise as the solution.
One way to do this might be to keep breakfast and lunch consistent (perhaps cycling through three options) but to be more creative with dinner. Another option might be to eat a diet that consists of several different allowed foods throughout each day. This might look like this:
Two eggs OR one can of tuna OR one cut of fish
Two oranges OR one banana OR a salad
And so on.
This approach also works well for your training and in that case you can write down a list of exercises for each body part and then just make sure you find a way to get some of each into your routine.
But actually, sometimes it’s fun to just hit the gym and do whatever you feel like. You’d be surprised by just how much benefit you can get from any training – so make it fun and make working out rewarding in itself!
The right diet is 50% what you do and 50% what you don’t do. In other words, it’s not enough just to cook healthy meals, you also need to make sure you’re not accidentally taking in calories from unknown sources.
This can make life a little bit difficult for anyone starting a new diet for the first time. You might be careful to follow each step just as you should but all the while find that you have a “leak” somewhere that prevents you from being as successful as you should be.
A successful diet then means finding and plugging those leaks and being careful not to make any accidental, devastating mistakes.
Here then, we shall look at some of the most common mistakes you need to avoid to ensure that you aren’t letting anything slip through the net.
Drinking Soda Drinks
When calculating calories a lot of us forget to count our drinks. This is a massive mistake, seeing as some drinks actually contain a ton of sugar and a ton of calories.
The worst culprit? Soda drinks. If you drink Coca-Cola, 7-Up, Red Bull or anything else on a regular basis, then you are adding potentially hundreds of calories into your diet by mistake. Suddenly it makes sense why you aren’t losing the weight, right?
Other common drinks that it’s easy to forget that add calories are tea with sugar or creamy coffees like cappuccino’s and latte’s.
Not Eating Enough
This might sound counterintuitive but actually not eating enough can also be a big mistake when you’re trying to diet. Basically, many people accidentally go too extreme while trying to lose weight and this leads them to end up with zero energy for training.
Likewise, restricting your diet too much might result in your being malnourished or not getting those all-important satiety cues from your body.
Going Overboard on Cheat Days
A lot of diets recommend having a cheat day in order to avoid your body adapting to the relatively low calories and to prevent yourself from going insane with hunger and boredom.
While this is a good idea, you shouldn’t take it as a free license to consume gigantic amounts of cake as that will only add thousands of calories to your diet and make it harder to lose weight. A cheat day means relaxing your diet a little – not turning into Bruce Bogtrotter from Matilda and eating handfuls of chocolate cake…
Not Sleeping Enough
There are many additional factors involved in improving your health and losing weight that don’t seem to relate directly to how much you eat. Sleep is one such example.
You actually burn an awful lot of calories when you sleep and you produce extra testosterone, growth hormone and other anabolic hormones that help you lose weight.
What’s more, being sleepy will increase your appetite thereby causing you to snack more throughout the day. Studies show that not getting enough sleep correlates with weight gain – so start prioritizing it!