Transforming Your Dad Bod: Diet Your Way to Fitness

The term “dad bod” should not be considered a compliment if directed your way. At least, I wouldn’t take it that way. It is basically a slap in the face when you think about it. They are implying that you have gained unflattering weight but it’s okay because you are getting old. It’s the dreaded double whammy!

Rather than just grin and bear it while dying on the inside, you can take steps to change your dad bod into something the rest of the fathers will be envious of.

While this article is just focusing on diet alone, be sure to read the rest of the Transforming Your Dad Bod series for the best results.

Listen to the Professionals

I have been a personal trainer on the side for about two decades now and have been published in health and fitness magazines. Personal training is something that I love, especially when I see the physical changes in my clients and witness their mental growth as well in the fitness field. While I am always busy as a father, writer, and educator, I still make time for a few clients a week just because I get as excited as they do about their health.

Many people do not take the time to do proper research, or they search in the wrong places for information on diet and nutrition. There are a lot of voices and opinions out there, so it is easy to get distracted or receive false or misleading information. It is best to seek help from those who are professionals in the field of fitness and nutrition. The training and experience we have accumulated throughout the years can help you get on the right track quickly, and avoid costly mistakes.

Health and Fitness Is 75 Percent Diet

I’ll do my best to explain the diet concept in a real-world scenario for you. If you have spent any time consistently going to the gym in your life, you can always see men and women that are there every single day and totally busting it on the treadmill or in the weight room. Yet, with how hard they are working out almost daily, they still have the same body they always have and if you ran into them on the street and were strangers, you wouldn’t even be able to tell they were in the gym so often.

It is because their diet is not on point. They need to develop a proper diet that they can manage for the rest of their lives. Quick diets that only last a couple of months may get you results in the short time, but eventually they will fade away. You need to create the right diet that will become part of your everyday lifestyle.

Health and fitness is 75 percent diet and only 25 percent exercise. Of course, you will hear some people proclaim these numbers are more like 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise, but you get the idea. You can’t out-train a bad diet no matter how hard you are hitting it at the gym. If you are eating junk, you can lift and run as much as you want. You will still have the dad bod at the end of the day as you try to convince your dad friends that you workout as often as you do.

So What Would Be the Proper Diet to Lose the Dad Bod?

Back in the day, the whole thing was about counting calories when trying to lose weight. Forget this concept right now. For instance, if you were going to restrict yourself to 1,800 calories a day, this doesn’t say one thing about where those calories are coming from. You could be eating 1,800 calories of cake a day and that would not be good for your midsection. While counting calories can be helpful, don’t depend on it to transform your dad bod into something you can be more proud of.


You may have heard the term thrown around before, but perhaps you weren’t quite sure what macronutrients actually meant. And that’s okay. It is one of those words that sounds complicated but is really overly simple.

The three major macronutrients we find in food are carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Instead of focusing on counting calories, you need to look at the percentage that you are consuming each day of these three macronutrients. These three key things are responsible for helping to build muscle, providing energy, and for dropping those unwanted pounds.

Finding the Right Macronutrients Balance

If you are really approaching changing your body seriously, you can’t just say you are going to eat your fruits and vegetables, quit with the sweets, and consume as much protein as possible. While it is true that this may be better than your current diet, you have to go about this smartly.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends keeping your macronutrients in your diet somewhere in this sort of widespread range.

● Protein: 10 to 35 percent of your calories come from protein.
● Fats: 20 to 35 percent of your calories come from good fats.
● Carbs: 45 to 65 percent of your calories come from carbs.

If I was more interested in losing weight and trying to put on some muscle, I would be on the high side of protein (35 to 40 percent). Protein fills you up much quicker so you can’t eat as much of everything else and when combined with strength training, you will be putting on some lean muscle. Even just consuming a good amount of protein a day will help you retain the muscle mass you already have.

Eat Like a Caveman

As a father, you certainly don’t want to be a caveman towards your children and your wife. But as far as your diet goes, eat only what was available during prehistoric times. This means you leave all of the overly processed foods on the shelves and drink water, eat your fruits and vegetables, and consume all types of protein from animals to nuts.

By focusing on your macronutrients and keeping your caloric intake around 2,000 calories, you can definitely get a better shape to your dad bod in no time!

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