As fitness professional, saying that nutrition is one of the most important factors to a successful and healthy lifestyle is tough to admit. As a busy dad however, realizing what I put into my body has never been more important.
Whether you are a new dad, busy dad, or just a guy who has lost his way during these tough years of fatherhood, you must realize that your current food choices could be preventing you from having tons of energy, stunting your sex drive, and adding to that beer belly.
The past year has showed me that the unforeseen is going to happen with fatherhood and you cannot plan for everything.
Sometimes you will not have time to go grocery shopping, and work those longer days, or not have time to eat, but if you let every external factor control how and what you put into your body, you will end up paying for it later on down the road. While eating healthy may not seem easy with all the craziness associated with being a father, I have found the following tips to be useful when trying to prioritize nutrition and balancing dad life.
- Plan Your Week In Advance
No matter what your scenario may be, preparation is key to success.
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Meal prep is a whole lot easier thanks to @6packbags and @serenagwolf from the Dude Diet. @missshawnamarie just made some cheeseburger quinoa bake and dude diet Sheppards pie #mealprep #dudedietbook #gainz #personaltrainer #personaltraining #personaltrainerlife #nutrition #healthylifestyle #protein #cheesburgers #eatcleantraindirty #sixpackbags
Lets say that you are traveling a few days a week, and will not have “time” to prepare food. You may know from experience that it is tough to eat healthy when traveling. Preparing in advance however, can allow travel to become a lot easier for you.
With a busy travel schedule you could choose to pack healthier snacks on the go which will help curb your cravings for unhealthy choices, or you can choose to fast while traveling and choose a healthy restaurant to eat at when you arrive at your destination. Either way you are being proactive instead of reactive which will help you stick to your plan rather then deviating from it.
Some of my go to travel snacks include :
Athletic Greens – A great tasting supplement to help support your immune system when on the go. I use this daily and swear by it for optimal health. Get yours here
Epic Bars – Grass Fed Beef in a little bar, what more can I say? Get yours here .
Oatmega-3 Bars : I love these things! Onnit has teamed up and created the ultimate bar. If you like peanut butter and chocolate then this is the bar for you. Grab yours here for a 10% discount.
2. Don’t worry about counting calories
There has been so much talk about eating multiple meals throughout the day to enhance the metabolism, and it can create a lot of confusion when trying to eat healthy. My experience as a busy dad has made me realize that a calorie is calorie regardless of what time you have your meals.
I’m not saying that calories in calories out does not matter, but what I am simply saying is that as a busy dad worrying about counting calories is just going to add to stress and make your life a lot more difficult. Instead of counting calories, focus on the quality of food rather then the amount of food, and keep in mind that the more active you are the more food you will require.
3. Aim for quality foods that make you feel full
Fatherhood can be stressful, and a natural reaction to stress is to reach for a snack or eat mindlessly throughout the day. One way to prevent mindless snacking is to choose foods that are satisfying and make you feel full. Here are some simple things to consider when selecting healthier options.
- Higher protein consumption throughout the day; lean meats, hard boiled eggs, Greek yogurt and fish are great options. Most men require 2 palm sized portions at each meal.
- Lower sugar intake (Aim for fruits instead of those fat free substitutes because fruits have high fiber which will help you feel full)
- Moderate fats (nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oils ect)
- Veggies at every meal ; most men require 2-3 fists sized portions at each meal
4. Use A Super shake When Strapped For Time
You will be strapped for time a lot as a busy dad and having a great alternative on the go is a key component to preventing dad bod. While I recommend planning your day as much as possible, I know that things can get crazy sometimes.
This is where the super shake comes into play. Super shakes only take about 5 minutes to make and include everything your body needs to feel full and satisfied.
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I've had a lot of people ask me about shakes. This is my go to formula for building a healthy shake. The choices are endless as long as you stick to this basic guide. It will be packed with nutrients that will fuel your body to optimize both energy and recovery. It can also be a great treat at the end of a long day. #dadbod #fitfam #fitness #fitdad #healthy #shakes #smoothies #breakfast #nutrition #recipe #athleticgreens #proteinshake #supershake #personaltrainer #equinoxmademedoit #cspfamily
Life as a dad is tough, but you create your own reality and it does not have to mean letting yourself go. Making small changes can go a long way when creating a lifestyle change. As with anything in life, consistency and action equal results. Don’t get frustrated when making small changes. Aim for 1-2 small changes a week, and over time you’ll have created new habits that will make you feel better.
To help you get on the right track, I have provided a simple meal plan for you to look at.
If you like some of these recipes and are interested in learning more strategies for busy dads, stay tuned for my newest program that includes workouts and nutritional strategies to optimize your time, energy and enhance your life. Subscribe at the bottom of my page for updates.