A Single Dad’s Guide to the Dad Bod

Are you looking to get in shape?  To craft that unique physique that only a father of young children can achieve?  Do you want to participate in a sexist trend that celebrates men for being out of shape, a luxury we never extend to women?  Are you tired of being so sexy?  Well, then I’ve got a handy dandy guide that will ensure you too can achieve Dad Bod excellence.  Just follow these 10 steps…

1) Eat with your kids.  Little known fact: A toddler’s favorite food is whatever is currently inside your mouth.  So if you sit down to eat with your kids every night, you will — at best! — consume 37% of the food you’ve allotted for yourself.  Portion control!

2) No, really… eat with your kids.  Don’t worry about being malnourished… you’ll quickly realize the joy that is half-chewed chicken nuggets, buttered pasta rescued from the crevice of a high chair, and pureed fruits and veggies.  I mean, what are you going to do?  Let that food go to waste while grown men are starving at that very table?

3) Stop sleeping.  Sleeping is for the lazy.  I mean, when you’re sleeping, how many calories can you possibly be burning?  5?  6?  I’m pretty sure that’s what science says.  What’s that, you say?  You can’t just stop sleeping?  You need sleep?  Fear not!  This is where your children come in handy!  Between midnight feedings, 2am vomit-fests, 4am pacifier retrievals, and the like, you won’t even remember what a good night’s sleep felt like!

4) Add weight.  But not that way.  Did you know your typical dad leaves the house with no fewer than 13 bags attached to his person?  I mean, there’s the diaper bag, food bag, milk bag, clothes bag, toy bag… And that is just for a walk to the mail box.  So load up and consider every walk an exercise in resistance training.

5) Baby curls.  You figured because your one-year-old started walking and your three-year-old has been walking for a couple years now that you are done toting kids around?  NOPE!  And you are better off for it.  How else are you going to pump the biceps if you aren’t constantly carrying your perfectly ambulatory children around?  You’ll also get some good core work in as the writhing, wiggling, squirming child will add sufficient destabilization to target the abs.

6) Cut out the booze.  You don’t have time for it anyway.  And nothing is worse for a hangover (which you’ll get if you simply consider having a drink) than your little ones pitty-patting into your room at 6am ready to “play” (AKA alternately bang on a drum and your head).

7) Exercise.  You may wonder who has time to exercise given the demands of single dad-dom.  Guess what?  You do.  Know why?  Because you WILL go insane if you don’t make time for this and you will very soon cease to be a single dad after consuming your still screaming babes.

8) Stop caring about your appearance.  Whether it’s not shaving for six days or showing up to work with an unnoticed and inexplicable stain on your clothing, you will quickly give up any consideration for your appearance, allowing you to fully embrace your emerging Dad Bod, I highly suggest to check these electric shaver reviews that can help you get the best shaver so you better your aparence.

9) Play with your kids.  If your kids are anything like mine (which they aren’t because mine are energy-laden life sucking monsters hellbent on destroying my life and sanity (which actually makes them exactly like your kids)), they will want to spend the entirety of their day playing with, on, under, behind, around, and alongside you.  So whether you are chasing them in tag, playing catch, or constantly getting up and down from the floor because “NO DADDY THAT ISN’T WHERE YOU SIT NO MATTER WHAT I JUST SAID ABOUT HOW YOU HAVE TO SIT IN THAT VERY SPOT!”, “playing” is to the Dad Bod what Cross Fit is to sociopaths.

10) Enjoy.  They grow up so fast.  I know that is a cliche but it is also so goddamn true.  In twenty years time, it is very unlikely that you look back and say, “I’m so glad I missed those moments with my children because I was working with my personal trainer.”

Image by ed and eddie

Note: That is not me in the picture.  In fact, I don’t know who that is.  That is one of my children because another thing you learn as a single dad is to have very lenient standards for babysitters.

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19 thoughts on “A Single Dad’s Guide to the Dad Bod

    • I agree – I’m not down with this overly strict segregation of kid-friendly venues from booze-serving venues (I understand NY may not be as strict on that front). How are you supposed to take your kids out if you can’t even have a drink?


      • One of the craziest things when I moved from WI to WA. I grew up going with my family to bars. My parents weren’t heavy drinkers, but bars were social gatherings, and most taverns served decent bar food, so it would be a family night out. I think most tavern owners actually liked having families with small kids around, as people would be less likely to get rowdy if kids were present.

        In WA, no kids in bars, ever. Blows my mind.


        • I actually do bring the boys out. But they aren’t at particularly good ages for it (3 and 1). I don’t drink alone at home either, but I never really did. I just spend more time home “alone” (i.e., just me and the boys).


        • IIRC you can bring kids to places as long as they serve food. Places that are food-free can’t have kids in them.

          The no kids in bars thing is also a relic from prohibition. Al Smith used to talk about going to taverns as a kid with his dad and getting a big piece of Chocolate Cake. But prohibition made drinking establishments adult only places.

          SF bars seemed to be mixed but my general observation is that parents will take babies but not little kids.


          • If it has a separate dining area, you can bring kids (like The Ram), but you can’t take kids to the bar area. I used to climb up on a barstool and eat a sandwich with my parents at the bar.


  1. So whether you are chasing them in tag, playing catch, or constantly getting up and down from the floor because “NO DADDY THAT ISN’T WHERE YOU SIT NO MATTER WHAT I JUST SAID ABOUT HOW YOU HAVE TO SIT IN THAT VERY SPOT!”, “playing” is to the Dad Bod what Cross Fit is to sociopaths.



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