Busy, stressed, and out of shape.

How to upgrade your dad bod, create progress, and conquer a couple of the common issues most men face.

By: Adam Meadows

Time to get personal

Busy with an ever changing schedule, stressed to the max, and sporting a dad bod (but not the good kind) … sound familiar?

As men enter into their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s, most start feeling like they’ve traded in the washboard abs for a front-loading washing machine.

You start getting older and life becomes less about Saturdays with the boys and more about career, family, and what feels like an overload of responsibilities.

Suddenly you’re getting less sleep, you’re more sore, your sex drive peaks and then slowly starts to decline (ouch), and you ache in places you didn’t even know you had.

It’s easy to feel like there’s no time to take care of yourself. And that extra bit of fluff you’ve put on seems to keep getting … fluffier.

But between the lack of energy and all the stress and responsibilities overtaking your schedule, how are you supposed to do anything about it?

The mistake most men make is trying to tackle an impossible goal and then beating their selves up when they fail … leading to self loathing and inconsistency. To make a real difference, it’s about manageable goals.

So quick recap:

  • ISSUE #1 – Your life is crazy busy
  • ISSUE #2 – You know where changes can be made… you’re just not sure how to be consistent  

Here’s a few things to help you overcome these issues and upgrade that dad bod.

Embrace exercise minimalism

You don’t have to spend an hour in the gym every day to make a change. Stop trying to channel that gym rat mentality and focus on what works for your lifestyle.

Whether you can fit in a full workout, an at-home workout, or just something super quick… doing SOMETHING is always better than doing nothing at all.

The main thing to focus on is to keep continual progress and do one thing to make your workout a little more challenging every time you do it.

  • Ran 3 minutes last time? Try to push to 3 and a half minutes.
  • Doing a bodyweight workout? Try and up the reps or decrease the rest time between sets.
  • Have access to dumbbells, etc? Increase the weight.

Choose whatever you’re comfortable with, just make sure you’re doing ONE thing more than last time.

Make small changes in your nutrition

Most guys know that real results are cooked up in the kitchen and understand how important a solid nutrition plan is.

The problem is, they don’t know where to start. That, or they try starting a new diet that changes everything all at once, which usually fails.

Instead of trying to change everything (adding fuel to that stress flame), try just changing one thing at a time.

Ease into it sparky.

Pick one thing that will make a difference and focus on that for a couple of weeks. Once you’re consistent for about 2-3 weeks, then add on one new thing.

It’s all about simple and strategic changes that build and add up over time. Ask yourself, “What’s one thing that I could change about my eating habits that would make me feel better about myself?”

Instead of having 2 beers every night, just have one. Cut down on carbs by having a salad instead of fries. Choose things that will have the biggest impact on your life right now and make manageable goals that you REALLY feel you can stick to.

Find accountability

Everyone knows consistency issues key… but that’s easier said than done, right? This is where the struggle gets real.

You may know what to do, but actually doing it (especially consistently) is the hard part.

Crossfit, P90X, workout DVDs, diet fads. The list goes on and on, and most men are familiar with these kinds of programs.

Now, these aren’t necessarily bad options, but for most guys they end up failing over time.

Why? They’re surface solutions.

  • No gym? Use ours.
  • Wanna lose weight? Don’t even breathe around carbs.
  • No energy? Chug this pre-workout and then lift this giant tire.

They don’t solve core issues and habits. And they definitely don’t adapt to the ups and downs of your everyday life. Which makes it almost impossible to stick to it.

And when you fall off, it only makes you feel more hopeless and discouraged.

To help you stay consistent, you need a plan that’s flexible and will help you meet your goals so that you stay motivated. 

Find a program that is customizable, proven to work, and is something you actually enjoy doing. These are the 3 pillars of a great exercise and nutrition program.

Another great tip? Find a person or a community to hold you accountable.

No one always feels like working out or choosing a salad over fries. But when we’re being held accountable by another person or we belong to a group going after a collective goal, we’re more likely to do it anyways.

Whether you don’t want to disappoint that person/group, or you just don’t want to lose face and look lazy. Either way, having someone checking in on you will help you stick to it, even on the low-motivation days. 


Doesn’t sound sexy… but it works. And actually following through with your actions (however small) will build confidence and traction… leading to bigger steps.

Like… always. Do 5 squats right now. Seriously… I’ll wait.

Done? Guess what? That’s more activity/movement than if you’d done nothing.

It’s that simple.

Meal plans and complex workout programs sound great… but rarely work in the long run. Life is always throwing curveballs… so it’s important to have an approach with flexibility.

Try it out. Pick just one thing about how you eat (the thing you think will make the biggest improvement to your nutrition) and focus on just that for a few weeks or so.

Once you’ve been consistent for 2-3 weeks… pick something else.

Stop trying to go it alone. Get you a squad and enjoy accountability, encouragement, and shared fur baby photos.