A recent study has indicated that the average British man puts on more than one and a half stone in weight when he ventures in to fatherhood.
The research, commissioned by Benenden Healthcare Society and the Men's Health Forum charity, examined the lifestyle habits of 2,000 fathers.
Lack of sleep, increase in takeaway meals and lack of exercise were all cited as the reasons men suffer with their ‘baby weight'.
No man wants their belly to be used as a human trampoline by his kids! And if you want to see your kids grow up, it is important to keep your heart healthy. The parent lifestyle is a hectic one, but there are ways you can take control before you fall into this particular parent trap.
Coping with exhaustion
No one can survive without sleep, not even Batman! A lack of sleep disrupts every physiologic function in the body, it can promote weight gain by boosting hunger and also slow the rate that calories are burned.
Unfortunately tiredness comes with any new parenting role, however don’t lose hope. Sneak in sleep whenever you can, sleep when your baby sleeps and if friends or family visit don’t be a macho man – embrace offered help! Ask if they can watch the child whilst you have a quick ‘power nap.’
Being overtired can lead to ramifications in the workplace. If you have a particularly demanding job, you might benefit by working fewer days, having later starts or earlier finishes. If this isn’t financial viable, delegate tasks and try and get a change of scenery during break times.
Finally, lay off the booze; let’s face it, newborns and hangovers are not friends. Also aim to go to bed earlier, you may hate the idea and it may not be the same but even football and Match of the Day can be recorded!
Fast Food, Fast weight gain
Rest assured, no one is going to criticize you for grabbing that last slice of pizza or snacking on a McDonalds on the way home from work, but make sure this doesn’t quickly become your routine. Unsurprisingly, lack of time is the key reason why not enough nutritious meals are eaten.
Take time to think what is easy to eat and prepare. Eating healthier will increase energy levels. Eat fruit and vegetables, starchy foods such as pasta, bread, potatoes and cereal and protein rich foods such as meat and fish.
Drinking milk can help you lose weight and also build muscle. According to Men’s Health, drinking two to three glasses of milk a day, whether it's skimmed or whole, lowers the likelihood of both a heart attack and stroke.
Sometimes the word exercise can fill a man with dread – even more so a new father. However, it really doesn’t have to involve too much activity. Try and spend 30 minutes a day walking. Even walking with the pram alongside your partner will do good and give you some quality time together.
If all else fails, turn your baby in to a gym! When cuddles don’t sooth a cranky baby, do the ‘Peek-a-boo pop-ups.’ Lie on your back and use outstretched arms to support your baby and begin gently lifting them up and down, towards then away from your chest. In return you are bound to be on the receiving end of a happy giggling baby and feel the burn in your triceps. Now that is what you call multi-tasking.