How to avoid 'dad bod'

‘Dad Bod’ is a real fear for most new fathers but with less time and energy how do you keep fit?

Written by Medibank

Becoming a parent changes everything. Bringing home your newborn baby is, undoubtedly one of the most exciting things you’ll ever experience however it can also throw even the healthiest of intentions up in the air.

With less time and energy on your hands than ever before, the thought of getting down the gym or cooking a healthy meal might seem near on impossible.

So how to you avoid the dreaded ‘dad-bod’?

Get healthy together

A healthy diet is one of the best tools in your arsenal for ensuring a healthy baby! Finding out your partner is pregnant is the perfect time to clean up your diet and introduce plenty of fresh fruit and veggies into your diet. You could even try cutting out alcohol in solidarity with her. That’s one way to win serious brownie points!

Don’t eat for two.

Although ‘eating for two’ is largely a myth, you might find that your partner’s diet changes whilst she’s pregnant, even if she’s trying to be healthy. She might find her appetite is increased or that she has discovered a taste for new things that weren’t previously on the menu at home. Whilst getting healthy together is one of the most supportive things you can do for your pregnant partner, joining her in an extra slice of cake is likely to lead to you piling on the pounds before the baby arrives. If your diet was healthy before your partner got pregnant, try to stick with it and not alter what you’re eating too much.

Keep up your exercise regime

Similarly, your partner may not be up for the same activities she was before she became pregnant. Whilst it’s good to be active during pregnancy, she might be opting for gentler exercise and be unable to keep her usual fitness regime as the due date draws nearer. It’s tempting to join your partner on the sofa and treat yourself to a rest too but, whilst your partner really needs that mid -afternoon nap, you could probably do without it.

Keep your baby in mind

Pregnancy and childbirth change everything. Suddenly your priorities are completely focused on what’s best for your baby. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect your health. Whilst it’s easy to put exercising lower down on the priority list whilst caring for your partner and baby, it’s important to remember that a healthy dad is good for the whole family. Plus you’ll need plenty of energy to keep up with your child as they grow, so make sure you can!

Get outdoors

When you’re a new parent, finding time to go to the gym can feel impossible. So kill two birds with one stone and get outside for a walk. Not only are you getting some exercise but it’s a great way to soothe baby off to sleep and to bond as a family. Or you could earn real brownie points and leave mum at home for a well-deserved nap!

Plan ahead

We all know that life gets crazy when there’s a new baby in the house. Spare time becomes a rare and precious commodity and a lack of sleep can mean that cooking a healthy dinner is the last thing on your mind. So avoid the takeaways and prep meals in advance (preferably before baby arrives) to get you through those sleep deprived first few weeks. Batch cooking and freezing meals can mean that you have a healthy option to hand rather than relying on convenience foods.

Just do it

Whether you’ve got half an hour or even just ten minutes, grabbing some time for yourself is important and can make you a better partner and parent. Getting out for a run or just doing a short circuit in the living room could be enough to boost your energy levels and get those endorphins going. Talk to your partner and work out some time in the week that you can take to get in some exercise and make sure you return the favour – likelihood is that mum will be in a much better mood after half an hour to herself too.

Stick to water

If you’re struggling to stick to a healthy diet, a small change like cutting out all soft drinks and replacing them with water could be a great kick start to weight loss. Avoiding alcohol, fruit juice and sports drinks will eliminate unnecessary calories from your diet straight away and could help you notice a difference in your waistline. Plus who needs a hangover with a new born baby in the house?

Written by Medibank

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