It’s easy to become a father. It’s hard to be a dad, to help your children grow strong and healthy while taking care of yourself. Being a good dad takes a tremendous amount of time and energy, and sometimes at the end of the day, you don’t have any time and energy left for you.

Keep it lean with the kids 2

Great dads keep themselves strong and healthy. When it comes to getting and staying muscular and lean, there are plenty of ways to do it, while staying present for your kids.

1. Keep It Lean With The Kids

Get your kids away from the TV or their phones and go be active together. Find a few hours on a weekend to check out places like outdoor themed parks for zip-lining and hiking, or spend a few hours at public swimming pools or local parks.

Make plans to do something with other families. The accountability of plans made with other people will help you stick to getting out of the house on time.

2. Keep Adventuring

Keep adventuring

If you want a real adventure, download the free version of the Geocaching app to your phone and go for a treasure hunt! It’s really a treasure hunt, and you can do it anywhere in the world—there are even several geocaches on the continent of Antarctica. There are probably some within a mile of your house. The thrill of finding a geocache becomes addictive, and it may turn out to be the active new hobby your family needs.

3. Keep It Colorful

Keep it colorful

Every parenting book tells you to make sure your children are getting a variety of whole foods, fruits, and vegetables, but what about you? When you think of meal planning: think color. And for Pete’s sake, eat breakfast! For a quick protein-rich breakfast, go with a microwave omelet or some scrambled eggs and add pre-chopped veggies like tomatoes, avocado, peppers or spinach.

4. Keep Up With Your Macronutrients

Food for thought

Take some time and figure out the macronutrient ratios1 that can help you balance your meals more easily. It’s a great way to lose weight, build muscle, and maintain your weight loss, especially if you’ve plateaued.

5. Keep Drinking Water

Keep drinking water

Soft drinks taste great, but they’re not doing you any favors. Stop drinking your calories, and you’ll find that you can meet your weight loss goals faster. You’re already encouraging your kids to drink water, so set a good example. Add fresh sliced cucumbers, strawberries, oranges, lemons or limes to water to add a little zing, which will also help fight food cravings.

6. Keep Track of Your Alcohol

Keep track of your alcohol

Craft beer is delicious, and it contributes to the spare tire many Dad Bods sport. While beer has a lot of carbs, clear liquors don’t—but any added mixers contribute calories and sugar. Choose a lighter carb beer or glass of wine.

If you’re an unwind with a cocktail kind of guy, resist the urge to mix with juices and try mixing flavored vodka and soda or sparkling water instead. And whatever you are planning to have, try to prevent hangovers at any cost.

7. Keep Eating Lean Protein

Sandwich with salmon

When meal planning, opt for lean protein like chicken and turkey. Tuna, salmon, tilapia, cod, are all great lean protein options. Red meat is okay to include sometimes, if you choose the leaner cuts of meat and opt for grass-feed beef.

8. Keep Getting The Family Involved

Keep getting the family involved

This isn’t a one-man show. Surround yourself with little minions of health by encouraging family meal planning, and cooking together on nights when your schedules allow it. Or discover great recipes for healthy snacks, such as homemade protein bars.

9. Keep Making Healthy Choices

Keep making healthy choices

“Abs are made in the gym, but revealed in the kitchen.”2 To get and stay lean and muscular, it requires diligence to stay on track with healthy meal choices and carving out time for being active. Set alarms to remind you to stop what you’re doing and drink a full glass of water, to do 20 pushups or 50 jumping jacks.

Small increments always add up to a whole. Committing to an entire hour of working out in the morning is hard. Committing to 25 crunches is easy.

10. Keep Feeling Supported

Keep feeling supported

There’s no way you’ll stick to a plan for getting lean and muscular unless you know you have support and accountability. Find websites and forums for people you identify with and then feel free to share your ideas with like-minded users. You may discover a new potential and, source of motivation!

11. Keep It Fast When You Don’t Have Time

Keep it fast when you don't have time

Some days, the plan is going to go out the window. If you can’t make it to a gym, try a fast, full-body, fat-burning workout. Turn your favourite workout music on and you can improvise by combining any kind of body-weight fitness moves you can think of.

How about a quick circuit of pushups, bicycle crunches, burpees, lunches, squats and high knee jumps? That’ll get your heart racing.

12. Keep Away From Quick Fixes

Your Dad Bod didn’t happen overnight, and the fix isn’t going to be found in a pill or a special supplement or in a bottle. Focus on taking each small step, and making it count. It’s just like when you helped your baby learn to walk. It’s just one foot in front of the other. Sometimes you fall down, but the important thing is you get back up again.

What’s one small step you can take right now?

  1. com,. ‘Free Bodybuilding Macronutrient Calculator’. N.p., 2015. Web. 1 Nov. 2015.
  2. org,. ‘Understanding Why Abs Are Made In The Gym But Revealed In The Kitchen’. N.p., 2013. Web. 1 Nov. 2015.

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