Whatever age your children are now, life as a parent is busy, particularly with the balance of work commitments and family life. But it’s absolutely possible to make the time to take care of your health – and it’s vital that you do.
Use your family as inspiration
Being healthier has helped many dads enjoy a happier family life. Looking forward to having more energy to spend time your children can be a great motivating factor in weight loss for men.
It’s also worth remembering that your kids watch everything you do, and look to you as a role model. Setting the example of living the healthiest life possible sets them up with the tools to do the same.
Research from Deakin University shows that children’s eating habits are heavily influenced by the way their dads eat. This means that your new, healthier habits will help your children develop their own healthy lifestyle right throughout their lives.
Look for healthy choices that don’t take much time
Even if you have less time to get to the gym or out for a run, you don’t have to give in to the ‘dad bod’. The good news is, men’s weight loss doesn’t have to be especially time consuming. Try these tips:
– Take a few minutes in the morning to eat a healthy breakfast, including some fruit or vegetables
– Fit in exercise wherever you can. Small things like walking up the steps at work instead of taking the lift, or doing squats while brushing your teeth can make a difference.
– Pack your own lunch, instead of buying it – your wallet and waistline will both thank you
– Drink more water: it’s free and doesn’t take up extra time, but makes a world of difference in your weight loss efforts
– Use Jenny Craig’s meal plans to make healthy eating really easy
What not to do
Sometimes a healthy choice is about what you can avoid, as well as the things you can add into your lifestyle. A few things not to do include:
– Don’t eat your children’s leftovers, because all those extras add up
– Don’t choose food at the last minute. Plan ahead to help you make healthy choices, instead of eating the convenient, fast foods that you might choose when you’re hungry.
– Don’t let parent guilt seep into your life. Taking some time to improve your health is a parenting win.
Involve your family
An old parenting saying goes like this: To children, the word ‘love’ is spelled ‘T.I.M.E.’ Your weight loss journey can incorporate plenty of that kind of love with your children.
Whether it’s on the weekend, or before or after school and work, go for a bike ride with the kids, play at the park together, have a round of backyard cricket or soccer or do a session of kid-friendly yoga on YouTube together.
Your priorities might be different now that you’re a dad, but your health is always important – for you and your family.