How to Lose Dad Bod: Exercises, Diet, and More

How to Lose Dad Bod: Exercises, Diet, and More

Wondering how to lose dad bod fast?

Dad bod is a term referring to guys (or dads) sporting a soft, round body shape with a prominent belly area.

But while it's popular, this look isn’t for everyone. Not to mention, there are possible health risks in maintaining this physique. 

So, if you’re ready to move on from dad bod, we have answers for you! 

Here, we’ll talk about the science behind it, offer an actionable diet plan, suggest a workout plan, and touch on the lifestyle adjustments you can make to get rid of your dad bod for good.

What Is Dad Bod

First showing up in a 2015 essay by Mackenzie Pearson, she describes the “dad bod” as a body type with a “nice balance between beer gut and working out.”

Sounds great, right?

But it’s evolved a bit.  These days, it’s seen more as a close relative to “skinny fat,” describing thin men without muscle tone or definition.

However, the biggest factor that likely contributes to this physiological problem is lifestyle change. Dad or not, if a man goes through significant lifestyle changes causing them to be more sedentary, they’re bound to lose muscle tone and mass. As a result, the dad bod fat shows up. 

According to a 2016 study by the Feinberg School of Medicine2016 study by the Feinberg School of Medicine, fathers weigh at least four pounds heavier than their non-dad counterparts, so there is science behind this phenomenon. 

Obviously, men are free to be any shape they want. But, prominent belly fat is a sign of insulin resistance. What’s more, the lifestyle linked with dad bod (too much alcohol, eating fatty food, lack of movement, etc.) can lead to diabetes and other serious health issues. 

Dr. Karl Nadolsky, associate professor of Medicine and endocrinologist from Michigan State University says, “...insulin resistance just means subnormal response by the body to normal insulin levels…This drives cardiometabolic disease, such as pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and fatty liver.”

Having a dad bod seems “normal,” but the serious health risks that come with it deserve full attention. 

How to Get Rid of Dad Bod

All right—now that we’ve talked more about why it’s important to get rid of dad bod, let’s talk about how to actually do it.

A holistic approach is the best route for faster and lasting results. We suggest focusing on three areas:

  1. Workout or Exercise Plan
  2. Diet
  3. Lifestyle

Part 1: Dad Bod Workout Plan

A good “dad bod” workout plan involves both cardio and strength training. Building muscles speeds up metabolism and burns calories.

Performance expert Matt Jones from P3rform says, It might sound counterintuitive… but increasing muscle mass is the best solution…For every 0.5kg of muscle gained, you will burn 6-10 extra calories per day.”

Below is a sample weekly workout plan on how to get rid of dad fat. We’re going to focus on exercising multiple body parts.

Also, consider a pre-workout supplement instead of coffee. Pre-workouts are perfect for boosting energy, building endurance, muscle tone, and recovery. 


Workouts Per Week: 3x to 5x per week

Time Required: 30-60 minutes

*These are sample exercises only. Always start with your current fitness level, and don’t overdo it. 

Day 01: Shoulders and Chest 

  • Pushups
  • Bench Press
  • Overhead Press
  • Reverse Fly

Day 02: Legs

  • Walking Lunge
  • Bodyweight Squats

Day 03: Active Rest or HIIT Training

Day 04: Abs and Back Area

  • Bent Over Row
  • Pull Up
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Barbell Deadlift

Day 05: Arms Area

  • Bicep Curls
  • Floor Press
  • Close Grip Bench Press

Day 06 / 07: Active Rest Day or Full Rest Day

Short on time?

Whether it’s a newborn kid, work, social commitments, or house chores, you might have little time to work on yourself. If so, here are a few tips.

Getting a workout first thing is the easiest way to squeeze in “me” time. Keep active and try to hit 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. Start small and work your way to a consistent routine. Consistency plays a role in saying goodbye to dad bod fat once and for all. 

Part 2: Dad Bod Diet Plan

Exercise is the first big step in how to get rid of dad bod. The other? Stick to a diet plan. Focus on what needs to be done, this includes paying attention to macros and making healthier food choices.

Increase Proteins

Concentrating on macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats) ensures your body is receiving the right amount it needs. Eat more proteins for breakfast, especially on workout days. Protein builds muscle. Lean proteins like fish, eggs, and chicken increase muscle mass. For good fats, go for things like nuts, grass-fed beef, and avocados.

Ditch Processed, Fatty & Sugary Food

A dad bod grows over time from lack of movement, guzzling soda, sugary sweets, processed everything, and the ever favorite, alcohol. An obesity researcher from the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Michael Jensen says, “In general, alcohol intake is associated with bigger waists because when you drink alcohol, the liver burns alcohol instead of fat.”

Schedule Cheat Meals

Treat yourself to a weekly cheat meal. If your wife bakes a cookie, by all means, eat it. But don’t gorge on 10 of them at a time! 

Portion Control

Moderation is as important as watching what you put into your mouth. Piled too much on your plate? Don’t feel pressure to finish it all. 

Sample Meal Plan For A Dad Bod Diet

Target Calories (for shedding dad bod belly fat): 1,500 to 1,800 calories per day

Sample Meal Plan:

Breakfast: Omelet with Veggies, Strawberries & Avocados

Snack: Greek yogurt, Berries

Lunch: Baked Fish (Cod or Salmon) with Brown Rice / Tofu, Veggies

Snack: Carrot or Celery Sticks (Veggie Sticks)

Dinner: Chicken, Lean Pork or Meat, Seafood, Brown Rice or Sweet Potatoes

Snack: Cottage Cheese with Sunflower Seeds, Veggie Sticks

Choosing The Right Diet

There’s no perfect diet. Whether you opt to track macros, carb cycle, do Keto, or go for Paleo, all diets do the same thing – restrict carb intake. The best diet is one you can follow consistently. 

Part 3: Lifestyle Adjustments

The final component to the trifecta of how to lose dad bod is to make lifestyle adjustments. Keeping off the dad belly means making conscious changes in several areas. Here are our suggestions:

1. Get 7- 9 Hours of Sleep

Surprised? Don’t be. Sleep is a must when getting in shape. Put down the phone, turn off the TV, and get to bed early. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night and watch that visceral fat shrink bit by bit!

2. Choose To Be Active

Stick to an exercise routine and go for activities that move your body. Start walking the dog, keep your gym routine, or engage in sports or active hobbies. 

3. Drink Water

Drop the beer-guzzling and drink more water instead. A high water intake keeps you full and cuts the desire to overeat. University of Utah researchers discovered that adults who drank 8 to 12 glasses of water (8 oz. glasses) had a higher metabolic rate than those who drank 4 glasses a day.

4. Cut Back On The Stress

Overwhelmed at work? Leave it outside and don’t bring it home. Destress by doing activities that let you relax. Do what you can to take care of your mental and emotional health.

Results & Success Stories

Eliminating a dad bod seems daunting, but it’s not impossible. Here are two regular guys who have gone through this journey and succeeded.

Source: The Guardian

Séamas O’Reilly

Dad Bod Transformation Time: 7 Weeks

Pounds Shed: 2 Stone or 12 kg

“I realize I’d spent my life carrying around certain self-serving fictions about health and fitness…At the end of the regime, I had changed, but so had my preconceptions about the process itself..”

Source: Men’s Health

Simon Khinda

Dad Bod Transformation Time: 22 – 23 Weeks

Pounds Shed: 27 lbs. (Gained 13 lbs. of muscle)

“I said I felt pretty confident in myself before this transformation, but afterward, my confidence shot through the roof. I have much more energy to play with my daughter. My physical with my doctor was amazing. I sleep a hell of a lot better, and I feel much more virile!”

Both men committed to making the change. They dedicated themselves to a workout routine and chose healthier food options. They also cut back on boozing during their transformational period. As you can see, the results speak for themselves!


Dad or not, you may be tired of carrying a beer belly everywhere. If you’re ready to transform your body, it can be done. Others have done it, and so can you!

Getting rid of your dad bod requires work. It means following a tried-and-true solution to whipping your body back into a healthier form. 

Prepare yourself to stick to a workout plan. Join a fitness club, and maybe even hire a trainer. It also means eating healthier meals or adopting a specific diet. Finally, it means embracing better lifestyle choices like moving more, getting better sleep, and minimizing stressors in your life.

So, what do you say? 

Are you ready to shed your dad bod and say hello to a fitter, leaner, and healthier you? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear about your journey.