dad bod

Diminishing the DAD BOD

You know who you are… you might not believe when you look in the mirror, that you have morphed into a man who has the “DAD BOD”.  Perhaps not as fit as you used to be, perhaps even starting to sport some man boobs… in need of the manzier created by Kramer and George Costanza on Seinfeld.  Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt gentlemen, you need take charge of your health.  I know I just played a little fun with  how your body may look on the outside, but imagine what might be happening on the inside.

While the women in our lives are more apt to talk about their health and weight, it is an issue regardless of gender.  Health is not only measured by the number on the scale or a few random lab values.  It is about living a, hopefully, long life that is vibrant and allows you to participate in the activities of daily living without pain… free from disease and without the need for medication!  For example, diabetes is one of the most expensive diseases and it exacerbates heart disease, the number one cause of death worldwide.  People are concerned about the cost of health care, but the best way to keep costs down is to have a healthy lifestyle.

In addition to exercise, managing stress and getting adequate sleep, eating right and even fasting, can help to improve your health.  You may have heard about various forms of fasting as a way to lose weight, but did you know that it may have other health benefits like reducing risk factors for aging and age related diseases? 

Intermittent fasting, time-restricted eating and prolong fasting diets are all the rage right now, but fasting has actually been part of the human diet for nearly 99 percent of our existence! Due to food scarcity, human beings never expected to eat three meals a day. As the world continued to modernize, the practice of fasting was actually sustained by five major world religions that still encourage the practice. Today, most Americans eat continuously throughout the day, so the concept of fasting can be overwhelming.

Let’s start with Intermittent Fasting.  This has quickly become the most popular form of fasting. In the past few years, intermittent fasting — when you don’t eat for 16-48 hours (or more) — has gained traction for its incredible effects. It centers on the belief that you simply choose when and how to eat versus consuming without deliberation. Intermittent fasting is an eating style where you eat within a specific time period. During intermittent fasting, a person will refrain from consuming calories during a full day (or some people keep it between 500-600 calories per day). It can be done anywhere from 1 to 3, non-consecutive days per week. This method allows you to eat normally 5 days a week.  Though intermittent fasting is an effective way to lose weight, it’s less a diet and more a lifestyle choice.

Time Restricted Eating also focuses on the timing of eating but does not limiting the types of food or number of calories that one consumes. This diet restricts the amount of time you spend eating.  There are apps you can download onto your phone to help you out.  Time restricting eating is a daily pattern of calorie consumption between a window of 8-12 hours each day. You should drink water or calorie-free beverages to remain hydrated. It’s a  great way to restrict food intake without calorie counting. It may also be a healthy way to avoid common diet pitfalls, such as late-night snacking. Some recent studies have shown that it can aid weight loss.  

Fasting Mimicking Diet isthe latest fasting program to catch the attention of the health community because it allows one to reap the benefits of a 5-day water fast without having to give up food! The Fasting Mimicking Diet is based on prolonged water fasting, which is typically done for 5 consecutive days, and tricks the body into thinking it’s fasting because the carefully designed calories and nutrients of the foods do not trigger nutrient-sensing pathways.  Water-only prolonged fasting enhances a natural cellular clean-up process, called autophagy, which can promote metabolic health; however, it has a high dropout rate among participants and it can be dangerous because it deprives the body of macronutrients, leads to muscle wasting and increases the risk of gallstones. This led Dr. Valter Longo, a longevity expert at USC to develop this “fasting with food” concept. This plan gives you the same health benefits of prolonged water fasting, but allows you to eat!  The stomach sees food, while the cells see fasting. The benefits are so profound that TIME magazine named Longo as one of the 50 most influential people who are transforming health care. Benefits of fasting with FMD include protection of lean body mass, maintaining healthy levels of metabolic markers and increased circulation of stem cells. The only Fasting Mimicking Diet available is called ProLon (, which has been clinically shown to result in significant fat loss without losing lean body mass in the process.  The best part is that everything you need to eat for the 5-day fast comes in mail, in a box and is plant-based. 

While the media does a great job of selling you more and more protein, the truth is that we need to eat more plant-based for health.  This is why I recommend adopting a Flexitarian eating pattern: mostly plant-based with small amounts of animal-sourced protein.  Be good to yourself, be good to your body and have a better relationship with food!

Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Unsplash

Felicia Stoler

View posts by Felicia Stoler
Felicia Stoler, DCN, MS, RDN, FACSM, FAND, known as America's Health & Wellness Expert™ is a registered dietitian nutritionist, exercise physiologist and expert consultant in disease prevention, wellness and healthful living. She is Board Certified in Lifestyle Medicine and is a Diplomate of the ABLM/ACLM. Stoler earned her Master of Science degree in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University and her Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition from Rutgers School of Health Professions. She completed her residencies at Rutgers University Athletics and ABC News Medical Unit. She has served as a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University where she teaches exercise physiology, nutrition and communications courses. Stoler has extensive media experience and hosted the second season of TLC's groundbreaking series, “Honey, We're Killing the Kids!” which targeted unhealthy lifestyles of families, across the country, in an effort to motivate them to make positive changes. She is the author of, “Living Skinny in Fat Genes™: The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great” (Pegasus, 2010), featured as a “must have” book in USA Weekend. Stoler authored the American College of Sports Medicine’s “Current Comment on Childhood Obesity.”

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