The Game of Life, otherwise known as Life was created in 1860 by Milton Bradley and later updated in 1960. The game simulates a person’s travels through his or her life, from college to retirement, with jobs, marriage and possible children along the way.
If you remember, each game went on for a maddeningly long time and created unnecessarily anxious moments such as ‘Oh F#@%, we ran out of diapers!’ Just like the real world. What Life missed, however, was the lack of sleep, energy and motivation to maintain your active lifestyle when the kiddos come along. Long gone are the CrossFit days of your youth and that gut you vowed to avoid is giving you a sad smile in the mirror.
The ‘Dad Bod’
Thank you, Urban Dictionary. The dad bod is listed as a male body type that is best described as ‘softly round.’ It’s built upon the theory that once a man has found a mate and fathered a child, he doesn’t need to worry about maintaining a sculpted physique; or, if human bodies were sea mammals, dad bod would be more like a grazing manatee than a speedy dolphin.
Resist the dad bod
Your metabolism has taken a dive since last we talked. Even if you’ve grown out of your late-night cheeseburgers and Taco Bell visits, your nutrition will be the major decider on your fitness moving forward. We’ve said this many times on this blog, but the adage ‘You can’t out-train a bad diet’ is absolutely true. We’re going to give you some tips below, but for more in-depth nutritional advice, reach out to La Jolla Sports Club Personal Trainer and Nutritionist, Carl Israelsson.
Cookies, cakes, white breads and sugary cereals are stripped of their nutrients and fiber, and they lack protein. Both protein and fiber are important players in a speedy metabolism because the body has to burn extra calories to break them down. Without protein and fiber, foods are digested quickly because the body doesn’t have to spend much energy to metabolize them. This metabolizing of the food you eat is known as the thermic effect of food and accounts for 10% of your total energy expenditure.
Refined carbs also raise blood sugar and promote inflammation that is associated with chronic diseases, which can unfavorably alter the body’s metabolism.
Swap refined and processed carbs like white breads, white flour, cookies and cake for unprocessed, wholesome, quality carbohydrates like fruits and beans, and whole grains like oats, quinoa, barley and millet. Other good choices include starchy veggies like potatoes, peas and corn.
Wholesome, quality carbs keep your metabolism humming by providing long-lasting energy, thanks in part to their fiber, which slows digestion, prevents energy highs followed by energy crashes, and causes the body to have to burn extra calories to break it down. Beans, quinoa, barley and millet contain protein, which helps to keep energy levels stable while increasing the thermic effect. Unprocessed carbohydrates are packed with phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds, which fight disease and the damage associated with aging, so they keep all systems in your body working efficiently, including metabolism.
Foods high in saturated fat (such as butter, full-fat dairy products, fatty beef, pork, poultry with skin, lamb and baked goods made with palm oils) often lack two important components that increase the thermic effect: protein and fiber. Moreover, saturated fats promote inflammation and contribute to clogged arteries, increasing your risk for heart attacks and heart disease and forcing the body to work less efficiently. This puts a strain on all systems in the body, including metabolism. Chronic inflammation leads to diabetes, cancer and obesity and worsens insulin resistance, which alters metabolism and encourages fat storage.
Swap saturated fats for omega-3s, which are found in fatty fish including salmon, herring, sardines, whitefish, tuna, walnuts and flaxseeds. Omega-3s act as powerful anti-inflammatories and fight to undo the damage that saturated fats create. Aim to consume at least 3 ounces of omega-3-rich fish twice a week.
Put down that soda. Getting too much sugar can also cause insulin resistance and excess fat accumulation in the liver and abdominal cavity. When your body gets a lot of glucose, it initiates a shift in your metabolism. The breakdown of fat is reduced and the synthesis of new fat begins. Simply, insulin takes excess glucose into fat cells and triggers the storage of fat.
Drink water. You’ve heard this 100 times, because it’s true—every chemical reaction in your body relies on water. If you don’t get enough, your metabolism suffers and can’t work efficiently. Drink adequate amounts of water and your metabolism becomes a well-oiled machine.
San Diego has the best beer. We know. It’s hard to resist that one-off seasonal IPA, but that delicious brew ranges from 175-231 calories. To burn 200 calories, you need to spend an hour on the treadmill or 20mins in a HIIT class.
AND SPEAKING OF WORKING OUT
- Schedule your workouts like any other appointment
- Exercise erases stress. Still can’t bring yourself to train? Get accountable with a La Jolla Sports Club Personal Trainer or go do something active you love.
- Understand that plateaus happen, so create non-weight-related goals such as ‘Hey, I’m sleeping like a champ’ or ‘I can tolerate my kid’s kindergarten teacher after I workout.’
- Injuries and illness happen, so if you sprained your ankle running, go swim, or if your shoulder is tender, take a spin class. Too sick to sweat? Get outside and breathe in the fresh sea air, just keep moving as a routine.
- Warm up, warm up, warm up. Your muscles, bones, tendons and brain need it.
- Switch it up, your body also gets bored and needs a challenge.
- Consistency is key, get into that rhythm and maintain it as much as possible.
- Teach the new generation that it’s cool and necessary to Just keep moving.
OK… Dad bod taken care of. Check back in next week where we figure out how to up your golf, tennis and surf game for the Baby Boomer dads and grandpas out there.
Any advice for the other dads out there? How to hack your schedule? Working out with the kids? Leave a comment below!
Have a great, safe rest of the week / end!
// Your La Jolla Sports Club team