Let’s face it, during the height of safety restrictions, everyone has had more than enough opportunities and good enough reasons to accidentally develop a dad bod.
When the world locked down back in March 2020, we were given explicit instructions to stay inside and park it.
However, things are oh so close to normal out there, and now many of us are looking down at something we could charitably describe as a paunch.
It is also particularly tricky for actual dads to shake that excess weight.
Yes, it can be easy to forget that the term was coined for fathers and not just people who were entering their thirties and were not exercising as much.
Dads often find it harder to stay in shape and to get back to a physique that they are happy with.
It is also important to remember that hitting the gym for an hour or two every night to slam some weights is not exactly an option when you have a family to look after on top of a day job.
One of the biggest contributors to getting back into shape is testosterone, and there are many different reasons why you could be suffering from lower than ideal levels.
What Do We Really Mean By Dad Bod?
A dad bod is an affectionate term that we like to throw around when we are talking about our favorite slightly paunchy TV characters like Hopper on Stranger Things.
Still, there are very good reasons why men start to get a bit of a belly and see their muscles start to soften when they embark on the journey of fatherhood.
The first is a simple question of time. As a responsible parent and partner, you will, of course, be taking care of your partner during their pregnancy and making sure that you are both as ready as you can be for the arrival of a child.
Once the baby is born, then you are going to be constantly on call to make sure that you are sharing as much of the load as you can.
We all know that being a good dad means being there for your partner and your baby, so of course, there is going to be a period where your fitness regime is knocked several points down your to-do list.
So, what are the tell-tale signs of a dad bod? We are talking about the flabby spare tire around your waistline, the slight development of man boobs, and a general loss of definition when it comes to muscle tone.
It is somewhere in the grey area between being in shape and being overweight, and you may have heard the phrase “skinny-fat” being used in connection to it.
However, there are reasons to be concerned that go beyond not being happy that your partner can pinch a little roll of your excess body weight.
This can be the start of a slippery slope that is particularly worrying when you are heading north of 30.
Diabetes is a real risk to people with excess body weight, and you could also be looking at a heightened risk of cardiovascular issues.
You need to look out for belly fat in particular, as this can put you at greater risk even if your BMI (that’s your body mass index) is looking OK.
How Is Testosterone Involved
First of all, research has shown that testosterone levels in men are declining all over the world.
There are a range of different arguments as to why that is, but one of the most consistent is the stress levels that we live with every day in modern society.
We are always on call for our jobs, and we are always glued to our phones where the latest bad news comes rolling in for our attention.
There is simply more noise, more light, more aggravation and reasons for worry than there have ever been.
When you become a father, those stress levels are only going to go one way: up.
Part of preparing yourself for fatherhood is recognizing that you are going to be losing a lot of sleep and that you are going to be operating at a pretty consistent level of high anxiety as you do your very best to make sure that your baby is safe.
Talk to anyone who has raised a child about the first several months, if not a couple of years, of raising a kid, and they will tell you that your life will pretty much be a tightrope walk between total exhaustion and absolute panic.
What does testosterone have to do with stress? Well, when we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that inhibits the production of testosterone.
If our bodies are releasing cortisol while we should be resting, then we will be producing less testosterone because the majority of testosterone production occurs at night.
When we are exhausted, we tend to look for comfort and ease in our diet.
That means a lot of fat and a lot of sugar for a lot of us, which is converted into body fat more quickly and which can also lead to lower testosterone levels.
How Can I Get Rid Of A Dad Bod?
If you do not have time to commit to a full fitness regimen, then a good place to start may be thinking about where you can start fitting some exercise back into your daily routine.
If you are starting from scratch after a period of sleepless nights and little physical activity, then remember to keep it simple and focus on getting that routine going first.
It can be as simple as a jog around the block or a daily cardio workout session before work, but you are going to want to get that body moving on a regular basis.
Think about using a fitness tracker or app to help you set some goals and keep track of how much time you are exercising every day.
Diet is also going to be very important. You are going to want to start thinking a lot more carefully about how you can start to improve the quality of your diet by eliminating those high fat and high sugar foods.
Again, routine is your friend when you are looking after a young child as you are going to be short on time. Plan your meals in advance and think about when you are eating.
Look for lean protein meats, such as boiled or grilled chicken, and oily fish that are high in minerals will give you the nutrients you need.
Look for vegetables with dark leaves that are rich in iron and other minerals. And let’s not forget one of the most important things when it comes to getting back into shape: drinking plenty of water.
When you are overstressed and overtired, there is always the temptation to reach for a caffeinated beverage or an energy drink, but there is no substitute for good old-fashioned H2O.
How Can Supplements Help?
When time is not your friend, it can be difficult to make sure that you are getting all the nutrients you need in your meals. If you are looking to boost your testosterone levels, it can be even harder.
That is why supplements can be just the thing you need to help you get in shape.
You may already know about some of the vitamins and minerals that can help to boost testosterone.
For example, we all know that we should be taking vitamin D supplements to improve our immune system, particularly in the winter, but did you know that studies have also shown that it can improve your T levels?
Similarly, zinc has been shown to slow down the conversion of testosterone into estradiol (that is a form of estrogen).
Testosterone supplements will also include other plant extracts, vitamins and minerals that are harder to find either in your daily diet or from a regular multivitamin.
Developing a dad bod may be a natural part of becoming a father, but there comes a time when you need to shake it off and get back in shape.
Higher testosterone levels can help you to feel brighter and better and get you into a healthier routine and lifestyle that will certainly improve your outlook.