It may be years since your first baby arrived, but while he’s now heading off to school, Dad’s “baby” has stayed right on his belly! Sound familiar? Many fathers-to-be gain weight along with their wives during pregnancy, and in many cases, it’s the women who get back down to their normal weight first.
For other dads, the weight gain is more gradual – over the course of several pregnancies. Compound that with years of job stress, lack of exercise, exhaustion from sleep deprivation and other lifestyle changes, and it’s no wonder men get sucked into a vicious downward spiral!
The road to recovery requires the same commitment as parenting, i.e. life long! My advice to get back on track includes the following:
• Skip dessert but DON’T skip meals. If there’s no time for breakfast at home, make a peanut butter (natural only) sandwich or grab a protein bar and piece of fruit for the road. Pack a lunch and snacks. Take small bags of raw nuts and trail mix with you in the car or on the train if you are commuting. They come in handy when you’re starving! Hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, fruit and whole grain bagels are also easy to carry.
• Drink alcohol in moderation (1 drink a day or less.) What else can I say? Frequent “benders” definitely work against weight loss!
• Don’t O.D. on protein. The average American eats more protein than what he actually needs. Focus instead on fiber — eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, nuts and seeds daily will help you get the recommended 30-35 grams you need each day. This helps control blood sugar, curb cravings, maintain energy levels throughout the day and control weight.
• Bulk up on salads – they aren’t for sissies. Get as many veggies as you can. The more low calorie, high fiber, nutrient-dense foods, the better.
• Soda drinker? Cut them out. Period! All sodas (diet and regular) sabotage your efforts to lose weight. Your body will thank you.
• Make time for exercise – even if it’s a brisk walk or 15-minute bike ride . Every little bit helps. Park farther away from the office, walk, or bike to work if you can.
• Track it! Keep a food and activity log to jumpstart your new lifestyle. It will help you become aware of what you’re doing now and hold you accountable to yourself, if to no one else.
The bottom line : With a little planning, you can make a big difference in your weight and overall health.