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Ditch the Dad Bod: 4 simple steps guys can take to stay fit for life

by Brooke Sassman /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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It's a topic that's recently disrupted the national conversation on men's health. And now the phenomenon known as the dad bod — where guys carry a little extra padding around the middle and are often seen as attractive — has some concerned.

Dr. Mehmet Oz visited TODAY Thursday to discuss some of the risks associated with the “dad bod,” and what men can do to maintain a healthy physique.

Dad bod has been used to describe the likes of Seth Rogen, Jason Segal and Leonardo DiCaprio. Oz describes it as “a body that makes women not feel bad about their body.”

“Here’s the truth of it: When men have a dad bod it means they’re more focused on you and the family rather than taking care of their own body, which on the surface, means they’ll take better care of you,” he says.

But while women often find this cuddly look more attractive, Oz says not so fast.

“It might sound like this gentleman will take better care of you, but a man who really loves his family takes care of himself so he’s there for you,” he says.

Not sure if you’ve got dad bod? Break out the tape measure. Oz says a man’s waist should be less than half of his height.

Read on for tips on reigning in that dad bod.

Men's Health
Male hiker standing with his arms outstretched on a mountain top, looking over the landscape.Shutterstock

Cut out white food

Trying to eliminate that extra stomach fat? Cut things like pasta, sweets, pizza and beer from your diet. Fun fact: Beer is actually a "white" food type and can lead to that pesky beer belly.

After you eat, your body absorbs nutrients from the food. If the nutrients are healthy your liver, the largest intestinal organ in the body, loves them, converting the nutrients into substances our body needs. It helps metabolize carbohydrates and helps stabilize the body's blood sugar.
After you eat, your body absorbs nutrients from the food. If the nutrients are healthy your liver, the largest intestinal organ in the body, loves them, converting the nutrients into substances our body needs. It helps metabolize carbohydrates and helps stabilize the body's blood sugar.TODAY
As unhealthy fat stretches the belly, you end up with a dadbod. That big belly can cause high blood pressure, high levels of bad cholesterol and, ultimately, heart disease.
As unhealthy fat stretches the belly, you end up with a dadbod. That big belly can cause high blood pressure, high levels of bad cholesterol and, ultimately, heart disease.TODAY

Get enough sleep

A lack of sleep may lead to cravings of white food. Get a full night's rest to restore body function and lessen the chances of unwanted cravings.

“If you don’t sleep you will crave carbs, without any question,” Oz says. “That’s why one of the best ways to lose weight is to get better sleep.”

Don't stress

Belly size may fluctuate based on the amount of stress you’re under. Inner stress induces famine hormones, which enlarges the area.

“The body is hardwired to put weight on when it feels stressed,” Oz said. “You will eat more of the things you don’t even like and store them in your belly, which is where dad bod is most pronounced.”

Exercise

Stay active! Even as little as 10 minutes every other day, consistent weight-bearing exercises will help you move closer to that goal.

“It’s not a lot,” he says. “You can do it.”

For your healthy efforts, your dad bod, and your loved ones, will thank you.

--TODAY contributor Lisa Flam contributed to this report

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