Dad bods have been a

Men with a slight paunch and a distinct lack of cheese grater abs are officially “more attractive” than they were in the past.

Dad bods have been a “thing” since around 2016 and according to Planet Fitness, the modern body type’s popularity is on the up.


Despite the abundance of chiseled “Love Island Adonis” on our screens and in our magazines, it appears more and more people are turning their backs on the traditional Herculean physique.

There are many famous celebs – including Danny Dyer and Chris Pratt – who became poster boys for the bulkier build and this seems to have boosted its popularity.

Survey results published by Planet Fitness show 78 percent of people think confidence is king. The summary said: “Nearly four in five among both women and men believe a ‘dad bod’ is a sign of a man who is confident in his own skin.” (iStock)

Pratt revealed in March how he shed the pounds for a movie role but the Hollywood star has always appeared comfortable in his skin whatever his weight.

And the label even gets applied to soccer icons.

After Belgian wizard Eden Hazard signed for Real Madrid from Chelsea, pictures were released of his medical with the winger proudly showing off his very own dad bod.

For those unaware of the dad bod requirements, it’s less about total disregard for your health and physical appearance. And more about embracing the small doughy sections that come from not “hitting the gym” 19 times-a-day.

Boundless mental health benefits come from learning to love your body and realizing the “pectoral Petes” we see all around us are not realistic portrayals of the modern man.

And it seems more people are finding this new mindset – as well as the new body type – attractive.

Survey results published by Planet Fitness show 78 percent of people think confidence is king.

The summary said: “Nearly four in five among both women and men believe a ‘dad bod’ is a sign of a man who is confident in his own skin.”

Results also show 65 percent of people say the dad bod is attractive while 61 percent said men with dad bods are sexy – which is up ten percent in 2018.

With body positivity on the rise, the national study showed 23 million men in the United States claimed to have a dad bod – 71 percent of whom believe it is universally accepted.

As a result of the widespread acceptance that blokes don’t have to look like Cristiano Ronaldo – guys with dad bods are also general happier than they were in 2018 – this year’s results show.

The survey said: “More men with a dad bod – this year in comparison to last – say they are happier with their body – 79 percent vs. 64 percent.

“Having that body type has improved their life in some way – 72 percent vs. 62 percent.


“Dad bod has made them more relaxed – 46 percent vs. 37 percent.

“Men who say their ‘dad bod’ has improved their life this year claim their body type has helped them accept themselves – 48 percent.

“Or made them less concerned with their appearance – 47 percent.”

This story originally appeared on The Sun. Read more content from The Sun here.

© Provided by Entercom Radio, LLC Apparently, doing crunches isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

A new survey by Planet Fitness has revealed more Americans prefer a guy with a “dad bod” to a someone with rippling abs. For those that aren’t familiar, a “dad bod” is a slang term for a physique somewhere between a beer belly and a six-pack – think your actual dad.

National health club chain Planet Fitness commissioned the study which measured the attitudes of over 2,000 men and women and found that more and more males are self-identifying as having a “dad bod.”

The results indicated that 65% of men and women find a dad bod attractive, and 61% think a man with a fatherly figure is sexy. Most surprising was the discovery that more than half believe a dad bod is sexier than a ripped, lean stomach. Stop doing crunches!

But the results also went beyond the physical, as there were mental perks of not having the abs of a Marvel super hero, too. Nearly 80% of men said they were happier with their dad bods, while 78% of men and women think a dad bod is a sign of being confident in your own skin. Body positivity is a good thing.

Despite the findings, which could inspire some gym-goers to want to quit their memberships, Planet Fitness says they are pleased with the results.

“As home of the Judgement Free Zone, we’re proud to offer a comfortable environment for all of our members, regardless of body type,” Planet Fitness said in a statement. “Planet Fitness is challenging everyone, and not just dads, to be comfortable in their own skin and accept others for who they are.”

Now that’s a healthy regimen to follow – regardless of body type!

Gallery: 11 foods men should eat every day (Eat This, Not That!)

The past few years have seen an increased appreciation for the “dad bod,” a look perhaps best described as “fit with some extra cushioning.” Research has shown that women may prefer a dad bod to a physique that looks like it was chiseled out of marble—no doubt cause for celebration among average dudes everywhere.

But wait! Now there’s a new study that seems to be saying the opposite—that actually, women are attracted to a stronger man. Could that be true? And if it is, what does it mean for dudes with dad bods?

Here’s the deal with the most recent study favoring the muscular man. Published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B., it found a positive relationship between a male’s level of attractiveness to a woman and their perceived upper body strength.

Shirtless or sleeveless photos were taken of all the males, and their strength was assessed. With the men’s faces in the photos distorted, the study participants were then asked to rank the photos based on how strong they thought the person was. Then, they were asked to rank the photos based on level of attractiveness.

The researchers found two things: One, that people were pretty good at determining how strong a stranger was, their guesses lining up well with the male’s actual strength. And two, there was, as previously stated, a direct correlation between a male’s perceived upper body strength and his level of attractiveness.

But before you go cranking out an ungodly number of pull-ups, know this: The study isn’t as black and white as it may seem. The research was done with only college-aged females evaluating college-aged males, 160 of each. The males were all students at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The females were a combination of students, all ranging from teens to early 20s, from the University of Oklahoma and Australia’s Griffith University. In other words, it was a small-scale study on a pretty specific group of people.

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What’s more, the study pointed out that none of the males were at a level of extremely low body-fat, high muscle content that traditionally accompanies the “six-pack” ideal. The study’s author, Aaron Lukaszewski, told the Washington Post that the males did include some buff “frat guy” types, but that none of the men had “exaggerated proportions.” It stands to reason that if a guy has a dad bod—but also appears strong—women will find him more attractive.

And hey—there’s still plenty of existing research that says women love the ol’ dad bod. Planet Fitness conducted a survey earlier this year that asked over 2,000 men and women how they felt about the “dad bod.” The survey found that 7 out of 10 women were more attracted to men that had up to an additional 20 pounds on their frame.

Additionally, a small study conducted at UCLA surveyed 82 college-aged coeds and found that women were more likely to have short-term relationships with more “muscular” men, but conversely, classified their long-term partners as “more trustworthy and romantic than their one-nightstands or brief affairs.”

Our conclusion is, be healthy and work out regularly, but don’t obsess over your body image. Women prefer a guy with a sense of humor over anything else anyway, so being confident and comfortable in your own skin and being able to make her laugh is your best bet. Work out and eat healthy because it makes you feel good.

When it comes to getting in shape, snagging a membership to a low-price gym—like Planet Fitness—is definitely one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your goals. (Any gym is better than no gym!) “However, since they’ve replaced traditional functional fitness equipment—like power racks, platforms, and barbells—with rows of strength and cardio machines, you may sometimes feel limited in the type of exercise you can do,” says BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S., creator of Men’s HealthStreamFIT.

You can still get a great total-body workout—you just need to be a little more creative and use what’s available to your advantage. Here are 3 ways to maximize your time and effort, so you don’t have to sacrifice your goals or your paycheck.

Hint: You can also take Gaddour’s tips home or on the road, too.

1. Head for the Dumbbells

“Free weights will provide a more effective and functional total-body workout than machines because they’ll allow you to maximize your body’s ability for movement,” says Gaddour. Rigid machines, on the other hand, force you to fit a certain form that may not be optimal for muscle growth and fat loss.

In many cheaper gyms, the dumbbells may be the only free weights left. Fortunately, you can get a great, fat-blasting workout with just one pair.

How it works: Perform the 3 following exercises in a row without resting in between. Do as many reps of each exercise as you can in 40 seconds with perfect form. After you complete all 3 moves, rest for 60 seconds. That’s 1 round. Perform 5 total rounds for a 15-minute, fat-blasting strength circuit.

1. Chest press

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2. Bent-over row

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3. Weighted lunge

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2. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Weightless

Just because you’re at the gym doesn’t mean you can’t still take advantage of bodyweight exercises. “Some of the most classic, time-tested moves—like the pushup—don’t involve any weight but still work your major muscle groups,” says Gaddour. “You can use any number of variations to make them more challenging, or play with the pace to elevate your heart rate and calorie burn.”

Use a series of exercises to target different muscle groups for an effective, total-body workout.

How it works: Perform each move below for work periods of 30 to 60 seconds—depending on how much of a challenge you’re looking for. Rest as little as possible between movements.

1. Glute bridge

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2. Squat

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3. Pushup

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4. Row

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5. Staggered squat

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6. Hip hinge

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7. Push away

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8. Pullup

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3. Get Intense with Intervals

Take advantage of the cardio machines surrounding you. “But instead of slogging it out for 30 minutes, try upping your intensity for short, fat-burning bursts of explosive cardio,” says Gaddour. “Interval training is one of the most effective ways to torch calories and rev your metabolism.”

Combine your cardio work with fast-paced strength exercises in between sessions for a more complete total-body burn.

How it works: Pick your cardio machine of choice—a treadmill, stationary bicycle, or rowing machine—and push yourself to sustain a challenging pace for 2 minutes straight. Then get off the machine and perform one of the previously-mentioned strength exercises above for 60 seconds, resting as little as possible. That’s 1 round. Perform 10 rounds for a 30-minute workout that will leave you drenched in sweat.

Find more great new workout and hundreds of exercises at the Workout Center.

Dad bods are more attractive to women than rock hard abs: survey

Men with a slight belly and a distinct lack of cheese grater abs are officially “more attractive” than they were in the past.

Dad bods have been a “thing” since around 2016 and according to Planet Fitness, the modern body type’s popularity is on the up.

Despite the abundance of chiseled men on TV and in magazines, it appears more and more people are turning their backs on the traditional Herculean physique.


There are many famous celebs – including Danny Dyer and Chris Pratt – who became poster boys for the bulkier build and this seems to have boosted its popularity.

Pratt revealed in March how he shed the pounds for a movie role but the Hollywood star has always appeared comfortable in his skin whatever his weight.

And the label even gets applied to footballing icons.

After Belgian wizard Eden Hazard signed for Real Madrid from Chelsea, pictures were released of his medical with the winger proudly showing off his very own dad bod.

For those unaware of the dad bod requirements, it’s less about total disregard for your health and physical appearance.

And more about embracing the small doughy sections that come from not “hitting the gym” 19 times a day.

Boundless mental health benefits come from learning to love your body and realizing the “pectoral Petes” we see all around us are not realistic portrayals of the modern man.


And it seems more people are finding this new mindset – as well as the new body type – attractive.

Survey results published by Planet Fitness show 78% of people think confidence is king.

“Nearly four in five among both women and men believe a ‘dad bod’ is a sign of a man who is confident in his own skin,” according to the survey.

Results also show 65% of people say the dad bod is attractive while 61% said men with dad bods are sexy – which is up 10% from 2018.

With body positivity on the rise, the national study showed 23 million men in the United States claimed to have a dad bod – 71% of whom believe it is universally accepted.

As a result of the widespread acceptance that blokes don’t have to look like Cristiano Ronaldo – guys with dad bods are also general happier than they were in 2018 – this year’s results show.

“More men with a dad bod – this year in comparison to last – say they are happier with their body – 79 percent vs. 64 percent. Having that body type has improved their life in some way – 72 percent vs. 62 percent,” the survey said.

“Dad bod has made them more relaxed – 46 percent vs. 37 percent. Men who say their ‘dad bod’ has improved their life this year claim their body type has helped them accept themselves – 48 percent. Or made them less concerned with their appearance – 47 percent.”

This latest survey reminded us of The Sun’s 2016 list of famous men with dad bods.

Dad Bod vs. Fit Bod – Do Women Like Dad Bods?

It Turns Out Women Actually Like the Dad Bod Look

August 12, 2019 Share Tweet Flip 0 Shares

There’s been a lot of buzz about men’s bodies lately, and of an unusual kind. It isn’t the ultra-ripped, muscular superhero stand-ins who are drawing all the attention. On the contrary, it’s regular male bodies, with “spare tire” waists and pudgy stomachs. You know, the body of someone who is too damn busy to spend all his time at the gym, and with more important things to do and think about than tracking his calories and protein intake. The internet has dubbed this the “dad bod” look, and it’s a genuine cultural force.

RELATED: Health and Wellness Trends for 2019

What Is a Dad Bod?

The “dad bod” is an intermediate look, somewhere between your adolescent skinniness and your well-fed, slightly pudgy middle-aged physique. It’s not necessarily devoid of muscles, but neither is it devoid of fat. It’s the body of a man who’s enjoying life to the fullest without totally losing control of his health. No six packs, no bulging biceps and no 30-inch waists need apply. Oh, and there should be body hair, along the chest and the stomach, because that’s what grown men look like when they’re not waxing their chests for a photoshoot on the beach or an action movie role.

Understanding the Dad Bod Trend

For years, men assumed that the above look, colloquially known as the “dad bod,” was something to be ashamed of. Well, to our collective surprise, it turns out women actually like dad bods. They’re attracted to a girthy man, they enjoy cuddling up with a soft body rather than a hard one, and they certainly don’t like feeling as though their man puts more effort into his appearance than they do into theirs.

Consider what happened to actor Jason Momoa, the Hawaiian actor famous for playing the Dothraki warrior-lord Khal Dhrago on “Game of Thrones” and literal superhero Aquaman in the movie of the same name. He was recently body shamed when a picture of him on vacation, looking less than heroic, surfaced on the Internet. Stands to reason, right: formerly buff guy, beloved for his muscles and machismo, all of a sudden looks mortal, and people get upset. But when a small handful of people chirped at him on social media, something strange happened: tons more people – most of them women! – rushed to his defense. The dad bod wins again!

Other leading men famous for rocking the dad bod include Matt Damon, Chris Pratt, John Krasinski and even Leonardo DiCaprio.

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Why Do Women Like Dad Bods?

A study from Planet Fitness suggests that women are still being driven wild by a bit of extra pudge. The survey, commissioned by athletic gurus Planet Fitness and conducted by public opinion pollsters Kelton Global, recently revealed that, contrary to what you might have believed, women actually prefer their men with a bit of a belly on them.

Jessica Correa, a senior executive in Planet Fitness’ marketing department, had a few words of encouragement regarding the stunning findings.

“Our survey results show the majority of people think positively about dad bods, and men who identify as having them are proud of who they are,” Correa said. “That’s exactly how we want all of our members to feel when they come to Planet Fitness.”

As it turns out, according to the study, over three-quarters of women – or 78 percent – feel that men who rep dad bods are a little more comfortable in their own skin, displaying a striking (and alluring) amount of body confidence. That’s certainly encouraging for the fellas out there who are packing away the pizza like they’re teenagers.

Beyond that, a few other vital statistics stand out. A whopping 83 percent of mothers (making it a nearly unanimous vote among a certain subset of the ladies) said that they would be proud to have a husband with a dad bod. Whether this speaks to the current level of fitness of the man they fell in love with – and still love – or a wider trend of body positivity remains to be hashed out. And nearly half of all women surveyed admitted to believing that the dad bod was essentially the new hotness, replacing the popular six-pack abs of yesteryear.

It may seem counterintuitive for a company that operates gymnasiums to be pushing the idea that it’s OK to be a bit sedentary or out of shape, but Correa doesn’t see their survey results that way at all.

“We want our members to know they will never be judged while working out,” Correa said. “So on Father’s Day this year, we thought it would be fun to look at how men and women – parents or not – feel about the dad bod.”

Ultimately, it seems like the company is keeping with modern themes of acceptance, tolerance, and loving the body you’ve been gifted. As long as you’re happy (and healthy), there’s nothing wrong with your dad bod — or being proud of it.

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Women – Do any of you actually *prefer* “dad bods”?

…and I’m not looking for responses like “As long as he has a good personality I don’t mind,” or “I’m not in chiseled shape so I don’t expect my partner to be,” I’m wanting to know, if you were granted your choice of body type in your partner, all other things being equal, would a “dad bod” be your preference over the toned/abs type?

I know a year or so ago there was that “dad bod” craze trending all over social media but I never actually believed it, I thought it was more of just like a tongue-in cheek thing. I see people still mention it from time to time but I’ve always wondered if there was ever actually any truth to it.

I’m a guy who spends a lot of time in the gym to stay fit so I was just curious.

EDIT: There seems to be some disagreement on what “dad bod” means. Somebody linked the Wikipedia article photo which is what most people mean by “dad bod,” as it is what you’ll mostly get when doing a google image search of the term. Lots of women in this thread seem to be describing this body type which isn’t typically what people mean by “dad bod,” at least from what I saw from all of the aforementioned articles and people talking about the concept IRL and googling it. I’m not saying anybody is wrong in their definitions, I’m just pointing out that it seems that different people are talking about different things in this thread. Here’s the comparison I was envisioning when making the post. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

8 reason why a ‘Dad Bod’ is waaaay more attractive

Six packs are lovely, right? But only in the beer, bread roll or crisp variety.

A six pack of ABS?! Literally, that is like a man saying he claps when the plane lands or likes being pushed around in a Tesco trolley on a Sunday morning – whilst your kids are sobbing because they have ran out of those squeezy yoghurts pouches.

That is why, Ladies and Gentlemen, is all about the ‘Dad Bod’.

If you have been buried away under a mountain of ironing, whilst desperately trying to watching Eastenders episodes – here is a quick refresher on what exactly a Dad Bod is.

A Dad Bod by definition, is not too fat nor skinny. A manly body, with a hairy chest and is definitely not ripped with muscle.

Adam Sandler demonstrating the ‘Dad Bod’.

Here are 8 reasons why you should marry a man who has a Dad Bod.*

*Obviously if they’re nice as well/you’re into that thing/he has bought you flowers at least six times.

1. Lots of cosy nights in

Some of the best nights in a relationship are spent with a Chinese takeaway. watching the lower rungs of Netflix. The more toned he is, the more likely he will say ‘err… how many calories is in this’ before making you leave your cosy, warm cave. Sigh.

2. You reach TRUE relationship goals

Which we all know, is getting the (rather concerned) ‘Are you still watching?!’ message from Netflix.

3. They won’t choose the gym over spending time with you

When you have been left alone on your ACTUAL birthday because your other half ‘couldn’t miss arm day’ then you will realise how important this is.

4. Chest hair

All ‘Dad Bods’ have chest hair (it’s the rules) and it is bloody great. Running your fingers through chest hair is as fun as going to the cinema. No ifs, no buts.

5. They won’t have an ego the size of Kanye West.

There is (probably) a study somewhere that concludes – the bigger the mans muscles, the more likely he is to have an over-inflated ego. Now, there is nothing wrong with a man with confidence. But, men who look like The Hulk on steroids are just going to answer back, ignore your Instagram selfies and run off with your best friend to Paris.

6. You can lay on them.

Imagine all the extra cushions you’d have to buy, because laying on your husband’s tummy was harder than preparing a meal for your in-laws whilst trying to comfort your teething toddler. Even Harry Potter had a better deal with his bedroom under the stairs.

7. You can revel in ‘ugly days’

Ugly days are good for the soul. It’s good to revel in your ugliness and feel disgusting for a day or two. Not wash your hair. Not shower. Drink orange juice out of the carton and wear your pyjammas which have a porridge stain in the inner thigh. It’s so much harder to do this, when your significant other, looks like he belongs in a perfume advert. Or like he’s auditioning for Ex On The Beach.

8. You will have ham to put in your children’s sandwiches

There is something about gym-goers which makes them eat any packet of ham in a 2 mile radius. If you actually want sliced meat left over, you’d have to hide it in the ironing basket.

Are you a fan of the ‘Dad Bod’? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

We’re calling bullshit on the ‘dad bod’

Do you remember where you were when you first heard the expression “dad bod”? It’s strange how evocative a term can be, can’t it? As your mind palace attempted to come to grips with the words “dad” and “bod” becoming adjacent, did you feel comforted or a creeping dread?

The dad bod movement was all about attraction – a sop for those of us who never matched up to the Greek gods prowling the gym or, even more devastatingly, had fallen into the age-old trap of “letting ourselves go”. The dad bod was sold as an empowering reassurance that even though we couldn’t grift as many Instagram likes as our chiselled bros, we still had it – with no confirmation of what “it” actually was.

As a body-confidence sell, the dad bod was, for me, the “singer-songwriter” of body types, a punt at authenticity but ultimately, as a body confidence sell, a failure. It was that old devil knocking at the door again: masculinity. Think of the dads and their bods slightly more lumber in the back of the truck, swigging a beer and prodding at burgers on a sizzling barbecue. The perfect marrying kind, maybe – real men, attractive yet unbothered by gym memberships and matcha smoothies. Galaxies away from the glamorous metrosexuals who, once finished preening in the mirror, will go on one date, come in for coffee, get the venti experience they were looking for then scoot off in search of other victims. Dads, in theory at least, are not like that – they’re reliable, stable, have only you in their thoughts. Just your average kinda bloke.

Women have endured classification and objectification by body type, mostly in the name of sexual attraction, for centuries. Men can never fully comprehend the scale of it; we’re playing catch-up, and online dating is speeding things along. Even the most rudimentary dating apps will ask your body type. The options are usually basic and rather subjective. How do you judge for yourself? Stop strangers in the street and read them the options? Ask friends who’ll lie and tell you what they think you want to hear? How pumped do you actually need to be to call yourself “athletic”? Does anyone even know what “stocky” means? And as for “slim” – I may see a great shapeless sausage in the mirror but perhaps others think me a sylph. Who’s right? And what does it all mean anyway? Bodies are unreliable witnesses and the state of yours may have no bearing on your lifestyle at all. You could be a wiry type who eats as much as they want yet can’t put on an ounce, or the guy who lives in the gym and screams at the sight of carbs yet has a glacial metabolism, or glandular issues, that keeps him stuck firmly at the same size.

Dating apps cannot see beyond the superficial, so unless you want to explain your thyroid in your bio, you must select an option and hope for the best. But if “dad bod” is the most evocative way to say you’re average, what’s your body type saying about you? And how do you classify it?

Take abs, for example, the six-pack, the “washboard stomach” of old. “Athletic” is the box you might tick here. What does it say to someone romantically interested in you? That you take care of yourself, yes, you’re committed to exercise and monitoring your nutrition, for better or worse – beware of fad diets and their effect on bad breath. To the casual observer, a six-pack is a sign you are active, a go-getter, the antithesis of laziness, but it could also mean you’re vain or someone who prioritises looks over a personality. Even if none of that is true and you’re simply genetically blessed enough to get ripped from 25 minutes of loading the dishwasher a week. It’s a minefield.

Some larger guys who aren’t ripped have to make do with their attractiveness being infantilised or fetishised. They are marked as cuddly, or the dreaded “jolly”, or branded a teddy bear, all to make them sound less threatening, more lovable – though you do also get hulks and daddies offering a slightly different proposition, but perhaps that’s a story for another day. Heavier guys often find themselves exposed to more blatant fetishising and patronising from other app users – either break out that hulk smash to make it clear you’re not taking any shit or, if you don’t care either way, take full advantage.

If you’re on the svelter side, there’s not much available moniker-wise unless you are, surprise surprise, a white gay man – then it becomes a whole periodic table, including delights such as twink, chicken and otter for the more hirsute among you. If you’re a skinny guy you could perhaps play up the geeky angle – even though many a nerd has discovered protein shakes; it’s all getting very Peter Parker out there – or perhaps take advantage of the fact every clothing house on earth designs with you in mind and reinvent yourself as a fashionista. You could be slim for any number of reasons – salad fandom, genes, whatever – but as I learned from my beanpole days, once their worship of your waistline subsides, things can get tired, and middle-aged spread is waiting to board its flight, so make sure your personality isn’t also on the lean side. (I tried and failed on that one, tbh.)

And don’t be fooled by the “dad bod” tag either… If anything, it was a vague equivalent to the “cool girl” myth. The dad bod cares just enough to look outwardly healthy, certainly lifts a dumbbell or two in the garage but wouldn’t collapse into himself when presented with a pizza; super hot but still attainable, a bizarre Zen-like figure, totally at ease with himself but not so at ease that his standards started slipping or, even worse, be became complacent and left you for good. Not the clearest of messages, after all, is it?

There is an upside to this categorisation – labels can help marginalised people, or those not “traditionally hot”, find each other – but your body doesn’t need a nickname or a title to be attractive. All it needs is confidence attached. Being who you are isn’t about fitting into a narrow set of searchable criteria, and it’s only when all of us – whether sculpted or scrawny, whip-thin or well-built – reject the idea of being a body type and embrace being an actual person whose body shape may or may not change, the better off we will all be.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day, so if you must assign yourself a body shape, don’t say you’re buff if the most weightlifting you’ve ever done is move the sofa to vacuum under it – in more cases than you would think, honesty is hotter than pecs.

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I’ll Admit It—I Find Guys With Dad Bods Hot

I used to drool over the guy with the Baywatch bod. Things have changed, though. Now that I work at a gym and practically live around buff boys, I’m over the Scott Eastwood look. I’ll take the guy with the belly any day. Here’s why I’m attracted to the dad bod:

He isn’t so full of himself.

The dad bod dude is comfortable in his own skin but he doesn’t flex every time he walks past a mirror or strut around in a bro tank. This guy doesn’t get his confidence from women gawking after him or random guys asking what protein he uses. Instead, he finds his confidence from the way he treats others and how hard he works (which means he’s probably a decent human being).

His six-pack abs aren’t the ultimate priority.

Some meatheads spend four hours in the gym. Did you catch that? FOUR. HOURS. Maybe the dad bod man spends more of his time hunting with his buddies or taking his mom shopping. Either way, his priorities are invested in spending time with people rather than maxing out his ab workout. That’s good boyfriend material right there.

Besides, nasty veins and too-hard tummies aren’t attractive.

I’m not saying that ripped guys aren’t handsome, but big, nasty veins are just disgusting to me. And there’s nothing quite like wanting a soft, warm embrace when you feel like you just hugged an arctic rock. No one wants to cuddle with an igloo of a boyfriend-even if that boyfriend has rock hard abs.

You can find him enjoying other hobbies.

I’m making a blanketed statement here, but you can bet that the dad bod guy’s more well-rounded with hobbies. Instead of weightlifting he probably enjoys woodworking. Instead of dead lifting, he might enjoy dancing. I’d choose a guy who can DIY a coffee table for me or spin me on the dance floor over a gym rat any day.

His hobbies can be just as pro-active.

So maybe this guy doesn’t bench press 450 pounds and maybe he can’t run a mile in under five minutes, but since when are these the qualities for a decent future spouse? He can be just as active picking up a game of flag football with his family or taking his girlfriend hiking. You don’t have to live in a gym to be healthy husband material. DUH.

You don’t feel so obligated to look flawless.

Let’s get real here, if your man looks like Hercules, you feel obligated to look like Wonder Woman. That sucks because no woman wants that kind of pressure. Sure, you should go for jogs or take up an active hobby like swimming or horseback riding, but you aren’t stressed out about the reality that you have no idea what a leg curl machine is.

You can eat that piece of cheesecake guilt-free.

Gym junkies are typically protein power rangers. So instead of having a nice bowl of pasta at Olive Garden, your dinner dates look more like raw chicken and kale. Ewww. But when you’re dating the man with a dad bod, both of you can enjoy a splurge night. You can go for that piece of cheesecake. (You can even ask for seconds.)

Taking pictures doesn’t cause a crying spell.

Snapping pictures of a special occasion is always a great idea. That’s how we remember the important stuff. But you don’t wanna remember the time you felt like a beached whale standing next to your Vin Diesel-looking boyfriend. If you’re dating a man who isn’t only five percent body fat, you won’t have to force a candid smile. You’ll smile a little brighter when you feel more comfortable in your own skin.

He won’t die when he’s actually a Dad and can’t keep up his physique.
When this man has a baby, diapers take priority over dumbbells. He won’t complain about waking up to feed the baby because he won’t be busting down the gym doors at five a.m. You won’t have to worry about him panicking because he has to stay home with the baby rather than go to the gym. He’ll actually be a father, not just a sperm donor whose life revolves around nothing more than his hot bod.

He’ll show his child how to do more than throw around weights.
Your child has a chance to enjoy creative, outdoor activities that don’t involve sweaty mats and barbells. HOORAY! The dad bod dad will take his son fishing or catch fireflies with his daughter. His definition of “bonding” with your children won’t revolve around a dark, dingy gym.

This man will always be hot in your eyes because you didn’t fall for the shallow stuff.
You won’t realize, “Oh, crap… I’m not married to the same jacked man I was 20 years ago.” If you liked him for the dad bod at twenty, you’ll like him for that same dad bod at forty. It won’t be necessary to stare down the GQ magazines at the grocery store to get your eye candy fix. In fact, you’ll be just as turned on by your dad bod babe as you were day one.

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Is Your Dad Bod In-Style or Unhealthy?

Men have been working out to increase muscle mass for decades. Every generation comes up with new phrases that refer to this phenomenon, such as getting “ripped” or “swole” or “yoked,” as a result of men searching for the optimal physique that has been influenced by athletes, movie stars and other public figures. In recent years, a new opposing trend has emerged in pop culture known as the Dad Bod. Instead of marveling at the muscular look, celebrities and every-men alike have embraced a rough-around-the-edges approach to the male aesthetic.

The term Dad Bod has been used to classify men who are slightly overweight and don’t possess a sculpted frame. The positive attention this new trend has received could be seen as an effort to promote a positive self-image in men who otherwise may have had some insecurities about the way they look. Society embracing an archetype that is more attainable by a higher percentage of the male population is an uplifting occurrence and allows men to realize that you don’t have to have the perfect body to be considered healthy and attractive. The human body does need a certain level of fat to survive, as fat serves as an insulator for your core body temperature and aids with hormone production. However, with obesity rates higher than ever, it’s important to emphasize weight management and metabolic health, so recognizing body types that are close to the optimal body fat range is a good start to improving general health.

The focus on Dad Bods have provided a positive shift in visual standards and self-image, which is very beneficial for the male population, but they can also promote dangerous habits as well. Here is how you can tell if your Dad Bod is a good look or evidence of an unhealthy lifestyle:

Avoid These Behaviors

Dad Bods are thought by many to be caused by typical “dad” activities: eating a lot, drinking a lot, and exercising very little. You have probably seen on multiple occasions the “TV Dad”, sitting in his arm chair with a big plate of food and a beer, glued to his big screen. Making these activities an everyday routine can be a recipe for disaster on your health. While having the chiseled muscle tone of a bodybuilder seems like a far cry for TV Dad and other regular joes, moderation is almost always the way to go, and achieving your Dad Bod look shouldn’t exclude you from living a healthy lifestyle.


Overeating is a common problem in the present day, as taking in more calories than you need leads to the body storing the excess as fat. Too much body fat leads to a myriad of health issues, such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Overeating over extended periods of time can also lead to the development of visceral fat, which is a dense collection of fat tissue that sits in the trunk and surrounds the organs. Visceral fat is harder to get rid of, and often forms as a result of weight gain during adulthood. Its presence in the abdominal region causes the risk of hypertension to increase significantly, especially in younger men. It’s never too early to take control of your diet, as the habits you pick up during your college years can have long-term consequences and build an unhealthy base for your Dad Bod. Limit your caloric intake, and add more variety to your diet to avoid developing visceral fat around your waist.

Lack of Exercise

One way to offset the extra calories and combat the metabolic conditions that can be caused by a poor diet is regular exercise. However, even if you don’t think you carry a bunch of extra weight, a regular exercise regimen is important to ensure that you aren’t skinny fat. You don’t need to possess the muscle tone of a bodybuilder, but skeletal muscle tissue plays a large role in breaking down carbohydrates and promoting other regular body functions. The only way to develop muscle tissue is through exercise, so it can’t be ruled out even if you believe you have reached an acceptable weight.

An easy way to determine if you have solid metabolic health, no matter what body type you have, is to examine your lean muscle mass compared to your body fat. Those with Dad Bods should consider adding an exercise program to their daily routine, especially resistance training, as the benefits are too vital to pass up.

Excess Alcohol Consumption

Plenty of men have enjoyed an ice-cold beer, or two, or three… you get the point. The “beer belly,’ which is often considered the flag for dad bods, is also a common sign of years of excessive alcohol consumption. Alcoholic beverages aren’t inherently unhealthy, as moderate alcohol consumption (1 drink per day for women and 2 for men) can actually have positive health effects. The line between alcohol benefiting your health and hurting your health is an extremely fine one, as that second or third drink pushes you into excess alcohol consumption, which brings similar health problems as overeating or a lack of exercise.

The “beer belly” also refers to the collection of visceral fat, which emphasizes the need for moderation, as the collection of fat around the organs is difficult to get rid of, and carries an elevated risk of metabolic syndrome. While a perfectly trim waist does not need to be the goal for every man, avoiding adding mass through too many drinks is crucial to preventing metabolic syndrome and creating a healthy body.

Find a Happy Medium

The magic of the Dad Bod is that imperfections are appreciated instead of judged. Perfection is a goal that can’t be reached, but a healthier lifestyle is easily attainable. In order to have a Dad Bod that is also healthy, you must find a happy medium between positive body image and healthy body composition.

Applying the Dad Bod mindset to your daily choices is a great way to improve your health. Instead of tackling an intense diet, emphasize making a few healthy choices. Pick a smaller portion at your next meal or add some color to your plate with different produce options. With the obesity epidemic affecting populations all over the world, simple methods to improve nutrition can make all of the difference.

The formation of the Dad Bod trend has addressed a troubling side effect of social media, in which individuals work to develop the appearance of a successful life, instead of actually doing the work to create that success. Embracing your Dad Bod means separating the stigma of working out, which is now viewed as obsessive and self-involved. Exercise should be viewed as a therapeutic activity which is used to improve emotional and physical health. Working out doesn’t have to completely transform your appearance. It can just transform your quality of life.

Maintain Your Healthy Dad Bod

You have a Dad Bod, which wasn’t a big deal 10 years ago, but now is the desired look. That’s a great position to be in, but don’t let the trend negatively affect your health. Remember that having a Dad Bod doesn’t preclude you from making healthy choices. Moderation in eating and drinking is key, and exercise is a valuable addition to your daily life. Instead of seeking perfection in your appearance and lifestyle, just appreciate how you look and strive to improve your unhealthy practices little by little.

The Dad Bod trend is an encouraging development in the world of self-image. If used correctly, a positive shift in social norms and overall health can occur. The “perfect physique” should be whatever Bod you have now, but your health and body composition can still be a work in progress. Strive for regular improvement, not perfection. That’s what the Dad Bod is all about.


Evan Hadrick is a former collegiate track athlete who graduated from the University of Miami and currently works as a track & Field/Cross Country coach and athletic administrator in Dallas, TX. You can read more of his work at StateoftheU.com, where he is an assistant editor contributing sports commentary about University of Miami athletics.

When the dad-bod phenomenon went viral last spring, I covered my eyes and ears. And I held my nose, too, because frankly, this trend stinks. Substitute a letter and you get “bad bod.” Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Still, I couldn’t escape it. Friends, coworkers, and media outlets alike peppered me with questions on dad-bod, which boiled down to some version of: As the leader of a brand known for putting guys with rippling abs on the cover, isn’t it ironic/awesome that women actually prefer men with a bulge in their bellies?

Um, no.

First of all, I didn’t believe it. As a 46-year-old man with a demanding job, two overscheduled kids, and jeans that tighten with unnerving ease, I’m fairly certain there aren’t posters of me (or anyone who looks like me) hanging in college dorms around the nation.

Yet it was a college student at Clemson who started the conversation with a blog post titled “Why Girls Love the Dad Bod.” Mackenzie Pearson wrote that her friends are increasingly hot for guys with bodies that scream “I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time” because they find this more “natural, human, and attractive.”

Sure they do.

Surveys note that young women also prize walks on the beach and being kind to puppies. But none of it means they’ll ignore the biological imperatives when selecting mates, whether it’s for one night or for a lifetime.

Face it: The dad bod is just a precursor to dead bod, and women know that intuitively. It’s survival of the fittest, people, not the survival of fattest. The most desirable sex partners show maximum fitness, because good DNA always wins, and good parenting is difficult.

Hence: Sexy = Healthy, and always will. Paging Charles Darwin: You’re needed in the operating room, stat, to cut stupid dad-bod ideas out of the public consciousness!

Back to that dad bod guy. Those eight pieces of pizza he’s eating don’t just bloat his belly; they can pack fat into his abdomen, which forms a toxic wrap around his internal organs. So his allegedly adorable jiggle can cause a host of ugly health problems: inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. A 2008 study of more than 360,000 people found that belly fat doubles your risk of an early death.

So, to me, the term dad bod stinks of something else: an excuse—to exercise less, to care less about my body, because my wife, and maybe even the undergraduate women of Clemson, will love me the way I am, no matter how pudgy I get. That’s dangerous, quite literally.

Men’s Health didn’t say much about dad bods last spring, because a) we try to rise above stupidity, and b) we figured (hoped) the “trend” would be gone in 15 minutes. But this week, the idea has bulged over the cultural beltline again, as researchers from Northwestern announced that, after studying how the bodies of 10,253 men changed over 14 years, they can report definitively that the dad bod actually exists. Noted.

A writer for the Washington Post crunched the dad-bod demographics, and determined that, in the U.S. alone, they number 27.8 million strong. “If dad bods were a state they’d be bigger than Texas,” the Post reported. “If they were a country, they’d be larger than Australia.”

Larger is right. Larger around the middle. Larger in health risks. Larger in the E.R., and larger six feet under.

The dad bod is being heralded as great news for real men and the women who love to snuggle up to guys’ cushy bellies. It’s not. But maybe it’s resonating because it’s permission to live a life of moderation—not to count every calorie or deny yourself every cookie. That’s a message Men’s Health has been pushing for 27 years. Eat well. Play hard. Have fun. But never ignore fine line between moderation and excess—especially as you age, because that damn line moves on you.

The Northwestern researchers pinned a cause to that excessive effect: As guys get older—as their metabolism naturally slows and testosterone wanes, as they juggle demanding careers and kids’ soccer schedules—they tend to jiggle extra lard. I see that trend in the mirror every morning.

I may not have a dad bod, but I often feel like I’m teetering toward it. And I don’t take it standing still; I get moving. A 10-minute bodyweight workout before leaving for the office. Some basketball over lunch. Gotta nip it, quick. It’s way easier to prevent a pot belly than to lose one.

So don’t be fooled, men. If you spot a dad bod in the mirror, it should mean only one thing to you: It’s time to hit the gym.

Death to the dad bod! Kill it before it kills you!

Bill Phillips is Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Health and author of The Better Man Project.

Dad bod: Should you love it or lose it?

Are you rocking a dad bod? That’s a term affectionately coined in recent years to refer to guys with extra padding around the middle.

If so, you’re not alone. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 32 percent of American men age 20 to 34 are overweight, 40 percent of 35-44-year-olds, and 41 percent of 45-54-year-old men. That means there are almost 28 million dad bods in the U.S.

According to a recent survey promoted by a popular gym chain, 70 percent of people believe that dad bods are universally accepted today, and about two-thirds of women find men with dad bods both attractive (67 percent) and sexy (62 percent). The report even says that 65 percent of women would rather marry someone with a dad bod than a man with a six-pack.

Dad bods are in. So what’s the problem?

While in recent years it’s been the trend to embrace the dad bod, being overweight and having a sedentary lifestyle is not healthy. Numerous studies have shown that excess abdominal fat greatly increases the chance of dying from cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States.

For tips to help you succeed read: 10 Easy Ways To Get Started With Exercise

Obesity can contribute to high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol – which can ultimately lead to heart disease. And a lack of physical activity has been clearly shown to be a significant factor for cardiovascular disease (American Heart Association).

Exercise helps zap stress and burnout

For many men who juggle a busy life of career and family, finding the time to devote to fitness is a major obstacle. However, having a busy, stressful life means that you need the benefits of exercise all the more.

Men tend to be reluctant to believe that stress is having an impact on their health, reports the American Psychological Association. Yet men are more likely than women to report being diagnosed with the types of chronic physical illnesses that are often linked to high-stress levels and unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors.

Studies have shown that physical activity can reduce burnout, a severe and persistent form of fatigue from work stress. Exercise was found to be the most effective buffer against burnout, particularly for those with sedentary jobs. (IDEA Health and Fitness Journal, June 2018)

Regular exercise will help you manage your stress — and by extension be a better father, spouse, and employee. Meditation; yoga; martial arts; participating in a team sport that you enjoy such as golf, bowling or softball; taking your dogs for a walk; or playing with your kids in the park are all healthy outlets for stress. Getting enough sleep is important, too.

Easy ways busy guys can ditch the dad bod

Start small, keep it simple

If you aren’t accustomed to exercising, start with 15 to 20 minutes a day, 3-4 days a week, and gradually work your way up to more.

Easing into exercise, and being consistent with working out, can also help you remain injury-free. Guys over 30 are especially susceptible to weekend warrior injuries.

While you should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day, you can break this up into three 10-minute segments throughout your day if that works better for you.

And it doesn’t have to be in a gym; all physical activity counts. Find something you enjoy doing, and carve out some time for it.

Here are some simple ways dads can burn an extra 300 calories (230 lb. man)

Watch your portions

As the saying goes, “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” If you’re looking to reduce belly fat, you likely won’t get there through exercise alone. The good news is small changes can make a big difference when it comes to your diet, too.

To get started without a lot of pain, consider cutting back rather than eliminating your favorites.

It all adds up

If you burn an extra 300 calories per day with physical activity and reduce your food/beverage intake by 300 calories a day, you could lose over a pound a week. That’s more than 50 pounds in a year!

Take advantage of your benefits

As a Blue Cross NC member, you can get discounts on a wide variety of fitness, health and lifestyle products, and services through Blue365 — including gym memberships, fitness trackers and more.

Log on to Blue Connect to find out if your plan offers health coaching.

Access nutrition counseling services by calling the number on the back of your member ID card or use Find A Doctor to locate a provider.

Do it for them

Don’t worry guys – women still love your dad bod. And you should love yourself, too, just as you are. Be healthy and work out regularly, but don’t obsess over your body image.

Take care of yourself so you can be there for your family for many years to come. And when you do, you are setting a positive example for your kids of the importance of exercise and a healthy lifestyle. The time and effort are worth it. Your family is worth it. And so are you.

About Michelle Rogers, CPT

Michelle Rogers is a Certified Personal Trainer who specializes in healthy living for adults over 40. She leads classes and workshops online at Reachable Fitness, her virtual exercise studio. Find out more at www.michellerogers.fitness and connect on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @MRhealthyliving. Michelle is a Blue Cross NC member and is compensated for this blog post.

Why do women like dad bods?

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