The “Dad Bod” is so-called because it signals the onset of middle-aged flab. Men approaching middle age tend to slow down, adopt less active lifestyles and become reckless about their caloric intake. A slowing metabolism also affects their bodily profiles.
Part of the problem is that couples have different attitudes about the onset of “dad bod” and their deteriorating spare tire around their middle. Males in their middle years and approaching retirement become negligent about their physique at the same time that their wives become frantic about working out and getting back into shape for that size 6 or 8 dress instead of settling unhappily for a size 18.
Success works for men and against women, unfortunately. In their middle years, men are closer than ever to the apex of success and wealth. They circulate with middle managers and senior executives who are distinctly obese, according to Body Mass Index measures. In a nation where around one-third of the adult population is classed moderately or very severely obese and children are growing up with the same sedentary and high-calorie lifestyles, men cannot help but become steadily flabbier.
For women, the glass ceiling is a major stumbling block to career and political success. Middle age coincides with the “male menopause”. Husbands develop roving eyes, suddenly bring home a crimson roadster and actually chase second or third wives. The new objects of their affections do not much mind middle-aged flab because this plainly signals business and career success for the men. By way of example, the two front-runners for the Democratic presidential nomination are fairly fit: Carly Fiorina and Hillary Clinton
It is inhuman to expect the ordinary middle-aged man to cut back drastically on every tempting food and beverage in their regular meal plan. Even women who would like to keep their self-respect mostly give up and settle for heavyset frames till old age and retirement.
So the principal solution has to be starting an exercise program. Those who have trained for sustained sports like marathons, squash and the triathlon since youth don’t need this suggestion. They are spare and trim from working out all their lives.
Get in some exercise or other, even if it is only a walk around the block or a weekly session of golf and tennis at first. Join your wife at the gym for mixed-class aerobics and the newly-popular Zumba. At first, both of you will lose substantial pounds from sweating alone. As the weight your body carries around is reduced and you find yourselves able to work out more, you get the benefit of longer workouts or being able to move up to more vigorous regimens like free weights. This allows you to work on selected areas of your body.
Cut Out White Food
A sensible diet actually works better than exercise, mainly because men can control their caloric intake better than keeping to a successful exercise regimen. After all, the former lets any person take control at least three times a day, four if one counts the regular, after-hours stopover at a bar or country club.
Hence, the very first piece of advice of the Turkish-American cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Mehmet Oz, is to cut down on all carbohydrates and animal fats that upset the HDL-LDL (high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein) balance.
Starting with breakfast, one might consider more fruit, oatmeal, cereal and milk and cutting back on pancakes with syrup, bacon, ham, hash browns, even the sugar in one’s coffee. The rest of the day, fast food is mostly a no-no: burgers, French fries, pizza, pasta, ostensibly healthy salad with popular heavy dressings, fried seafood, and fried chicken. One also must be prepared to give up steak, pork and chicken barbecues no matter how well-done or rare because those sauces add uncounted calories to even skinned meat.
Only zero calorie, no-sodium beverages are safe alternatives to the carbohydrates in beer and wine. The more you drink at cocktail hour and with meals, the more extra calories you store away in your fatty liver and in fat bodies or adipose tissue around your abdomen. Since the liver converts sweets to glycogen and needs to metabolize all that extra alcohol and fatty carbs into important enzymes and hormones like insulin from the pancreas, it is easy for any rich diet to overwhelm that large organ. This is why middle-age flab starts with fatty liver and progresses to “beer belly”.
When fat deposits have nowhere to go except the veins where blood pressure is low or nonexistent, the inevitable happens: there is a build-up of arteriosclerotic deposits (plaque) and progressively fatal cardiovascular syndromes. This explains why far too many of the middle-aged and senior citizens are obese and fall prey to strokes.
Get Enough Sleep
Get enough sleep every day and between exercise sessions.
Avoid stress at work and family life. You know what this means for an extra martini before dinner. Here is where a loving spouse and understanding children can help.