From ‘dad bod’ to ‘fit bod’

Published: 04/29/2016

For you guys aged 30+, standing in front of the mirror, staring at your paunch…don’t panic! You’re still attractive! Last summer, the ‘dad bod’ was hailed as the new, sexy alternative to the six pack, for any man (Leonardo Dicaprio got top spot) who had honed his one pack of soft, squidgy, cuddly flesh.

So why are men more susceptible to this in their 30s? Like women of a certain age, (see our January blogpost) our bodies change. Testosterone, the key muscle-building hormone, starts to decline and the metabolism drops, making it harder to maintain muscle mass and shift excess weight.

Lifestyle obstacles also come into play – family and work commitments, stress, fatigue, and so on. All this can lead to a poor diet with fitness taking a back seat. So whilst the little bulge might seem acceptable, it can have underlying health implications such as:

• signs of obesity
• high levels of cholesterol
• coronary heart disease
• type II diabetes

But it’s okay. We’re just offering a little tough love because guess what? You can still hone your ‘dad bod’ to a healthier ‘fit bod’. Here’s some simple changes that will help you maintain your sexy ‘dad bod’ appeal with the added benefit of vitality, energy and good health.


Work in a fitness routine 2-3 times a week for 20-30 mins
This will help to increase testosterone and growth hormone levels, all of which contribute to maintaining muscle tissue, building body strength and controlling metabolism.

We’re not suggesting you have to join a gym, we’re talking exercise at home, in your garden or the local park. Got kids? Get them involved. Or find a place where the kids can play while you train. If you’ve not been to our bootcamp on a Sunday, come along with your kids. It’s fun, safe and, more importantly, you get a good workout.

Try a bit of HIIT training; High Intensity Interval Training.
If you’re uncertain what this is, read March’s blogpost and download the WAFA HIIT workout and have a go. Do this 2-3 times a week and feel the physical and mental difference.

Do a 30-40 minute strength training programme once a week.
Ideally this does include using weights so if you don’t have these at home then you might have to get to a gym. If you choose the right programme that involves a series of compound exercises (these are exercises that work whole muscle groups like your legs at one time) like deadlifts, squats, benchpresses (similar to those we prescribe for the ladies) then you can be in and out of the gym in a jiffy – literally 30-40 mins including warm-up and cool down.

If you’re not sure about this, then get a personal trainer to write you a programme and show you how it’s done.


Eat Clean Monday to Friday with 5 basic steps.
Here’s 5 simple steps to ‘eat clean’ so that come Saturday you can get the barbecue on, enjoy a beer and chow down on a burger, guilt free.

1. Reduce your sugar intake. Opt for fresh ingredients – if you’re short of time and opting for tinned/processed foods, then always read the labels. Sugar can be in disguise so if you see these names in the ingredients, check the sugar content usually under the number of carbs section; sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, dextrose, molasses, hydrolysed, starch, honey, invert sugar, cane sugar, high fructose corn-syrup, brown sugar, corn sweetener, rice/corn/cane/maple/golden/palm syrup and agave nectar.

2. Reduce your consumption of refined grains; anything that’s white is out – white bread, rice, pasta etc. Replace with more salad and veg.

3. Eat protein in moderation. You only need 1g of protein per kg of your bodyweight daily. If you take on an exercise programme you might need to add a little more protein – more guidance on this here. (link to protein post)

4. Eat more fat! Yep, we said it! We’re talking healthy fats like olive/ rapeseed / groundnut / almond / coconut oils, nuts, seeds and avocado.

5. Eat more fibre. Fruits, berries, veg, whole grains, flax seed, chia seeds, beans, nuts, unprocessed oats

Add supplements to your diet.
This is for those of you who want to get rid of the dad bod altogether or hope to reach your fitness goals faster through adding supplements to your weekly routine like BCAA, HMB, Glutamine, Creatine, Whey Protein and much more. However we would only suggest you do this by consulting an expert otherwise you could very easily burn a hole in your wallet whilst these products go stale in the cupboard.

So add a little structure and discipline to your life by taking some of our advice. Set some simple goals, then get to it and hone that gorgeous ‘fit bod’ of yours.

Our piece also features in this month’s Tooting Daily Press. Read here.