Welcoming a baby into your family is exciting. The unwanted pounds that often accompany that new bundle of joy? Not so much.
New research indicates it's not just new moms who are at risk of packing on the pounds post baby. According to a study published in the American Journal of Men's Health, new dads experience an increase in Body Mass Index (BMI) following the birth of a child, even if they don't live with their newborns.
It's no wonder. Having a new child is wonderful. It's also stressful, busy beyond comprehension, and mind-numbingly exhausting.
Here are some tips for all you dads who want to beat the baby weight:
- Don't forget time for yourself. It's easy to lose oneself in the face of a constantly demanding newborn. Remember that your greatest gift to your child will be a healthy, energetic you. Schedule time to exercise, and do it. The whole family will benefit from your dedicating time to stay in shape.
- Buy a jogging stroller and run with your child when she's old enough. If you are friends with other dads who have newborns, schedule time to run around your local park together. Stop the strollers mid-way for some push-ups and sit-ups.
- Exhaustion can often lead to unhealthy eating habits. Instead of pizza runs, stock the freezer with healthier, quick options. Grab frozen vegetables, which are just as healthy as fresh ones. Go ahead and get some frozen meals, making sure they include protein and a healthy portion of vegetables. If you're a cook, make double recipes of your favorite dishes and freeze the rest.
- A baby's crazy schedule may mean you snack more and eat fewer meals. Make sure you have healthy options for snacking. Generally, this means choosing whole foods over processed, packaged foods. Buy bags of baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, bananas, apples, nuts, dried fruits, yogurt, healthy soups, whole wheat crackers and cheese (in limited quantities).
- Get your wife on board with your plans. Tell her what kind of time you need for exercise and why. Put your exercise time on the family calendar. A supportive wife will make sure you get out the door and meet your healthy living goals.