Lose the Love Handles: Health and Fitness for Dads, Dudes and Dates

By owner | Articles

Nov 05

Health and fitness plays a major or minor role in your life, depending on many factors. For example, an aspiring athlete attributes great significance to health and fitness. At the same time, a future painter or software programmer may view health and fitness with less intensity.

The extent of your involvement in managing your health and fitness depends on many factors. The primary factor is how you think and feel about your body. At a micro level, the variation in what every individual thinks or feels about his body is staggeringly high. But, if we zoom out, a pattern begins to emerge.

A vast number of individual thoughts and feelings can be clustered into three basic modes of though or mental frameworks. These frameworks are as follows:

  • The dude mode
  • The dad mode
  • The date mode

In this article, you will learn what each of these modes are by reading their description. You will also discover common physical parameters that characterizes each mode. Plus, you will get simple, practical, and actionable advice on how to optimize your physical form when you’re in each of the three modes.

man who is extremely concerned with his clothesThe Dude Mode: A Body-Centric Man

The Random House Dictionary defines a dude as a man who is extremely concerned with his clothes, manners and grooming. This definition can include the physical body, as well. So, a dude is essentially someone who pays a great deal of attention to how his body appears.

Physical parameters for someone living in the dude mode are as follows:

  • Body fat percentage between 14 to 17 percent
  • Body mass index lesser than 24
  • Muscles within major muscle groups, such as chest, abdomen, legs, arms, and back, are well defined and clearly discernable

If you’re not sure about your body fat percentage or body mass index, you can read about it in this health and fitness blog.

Here are some tips to live it large in the dude mode:

1. Say No to Added Sugar

Your body can rapidly assimilate sugar. This is great if you want to a quick energy boost. However, if you’re looking to gain muscle mass added sugar is a bad idea. Stable blood sugar level promotes fat loss, increases muscle gain, and boosts energy level. Added sugar causes blood sugar level to fluctuate between troughs and peeks. This disrupts the stable internal environment required for muscle development.

2. Eliminate Processed and Refined Foods

Processed and Refined FoodsManufacturers run natural foods through mechanical and chemical processes to enhance their palatability and increase their shelf life. The downside is that most of the nutritive value of the original food is lost. Also, refined foods contain fattening simple carbohydrates. So, always choose fresh foods over processed foods. Another good practice is to eat the foods as close to their natural form as possible.

3. Limit Intake of Simple Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates come in two forms, namely simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Your body converts complex carbohydrates into simple carbohydrates before using it. Thus, assimilating complex carbohydrates requires an extra step. For this reason, your body absorbs complex carbohydrates steadily without causing vacillations in the blood sugar level.

4. Consume Fat from Clean Sources

Let us get one thing straight: fat isn’t the villain that people portray it to be. There’s no need to exercise obsessive control over cutting fat out of your diet. In fact, you can get 20 to 30 percent of your total calories from fat. The only thing you must ensure is that the fats are healthy. Healthy fats include polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. Unhealthy fat includes trans fats and saturated fats.

5. Pump Up Your Protein Intake

muscle growthProtein is the currency of muscle growth; therefore, you meet your daily protein requirement. An average man needs about 50 grams of proteins per day, but if you’re in the dude mode, you’ll need much more than that. Multiply your body weight in pounds with 0.8. The resultant product is the number of grams of proteins you need to eat per day.

You can rely on high quality protein sources, such as beef, chicken, salmon, eggs, and cottage cheese, to get your daily quota of proteins.

6. Optimize Exercise for Muscle Growth

Sets, repetitions, form, cadence, and rest are terms associated with exercises. You can optimize each term to increase size, strength, or endurance. In the dude mode, set these variables to promote muscle growth. You can read more about how to do this here. You can also take testosterone boosting supplements, such as ProSolutionPills, to further increase your muscle gain.

7. Increase Your Muscle’s Time Under Tension

pull-upsRemember, the more time you engage your muscles in active effort, more will be your muscle gain. Doing 51 kipping pull-ups increases your muscle’s endurance; but you will not see much muscle growth. For optimal muscle growth take four seconds to pull yourself up.
Then maintain the hold for two seconds. Finally, take four seconds to come down. You’ll be able to do just 10 to 14 repetitions this way, but don’t worry you’ll see an appreciable increase in muscle size.

8. Don’t Overdo It

If you’ve been out of the dude mode, don’t rush your return. Your muscles respond quickly to exercise; however, your tendons, bones, ligaments, joints, and nervous system take time to adapt to the new exercise regimen. If you exercise too often or too much, you’ll get injured because the auxiliary strength systems weren’t ready.

So, make sure you space your workout routine sensibly. You can do this by choosing a one day split and then working your way up. To learn more about splits, read this article.

9. Engage in Heavy Cardio

Bringing your body fat percentage within the 14 to 17 percent limit is an essential part of operating in the dude mode. So, involve yourself in intense cardiovascular workouts optimized for fat burning. You can intersperse your strength training with cardio vascular training.

10. Watch What You Eat Like a Hawk

Write down everything you eatWrite down everything you eat for two weeks in a food journal. After two weeks, review your meals to check if you’ve been eating right. Your food journal also shows positive and negative eating habits.

Once you’re cognizant of these patterns, reinforce the positive habits and systematically substitute the negative habits. You can learn how to do this by reading Charles Duhig’s book The Power of Habit.

A health and fitness specialist salary is about 34,000 dollars per year, depending on experience and other factors. The profession doesn’t offer much in terms of money; however, it provides an amazing opportunity to stay in the dude mode for a long time. Those involved in health and fitness jobs may remain in this mode during most of their professional life.

By following the above tips, you can be a dude and continue to do what you’re doing. At the end of this, you’ll look like a model featured in a health and fitness magazine.

The Dad Mode: A Man Who Wears Many Hats

A steady or sudden decrease in time devoted to physical culture marks the transition from dude mode to dad mode. In the dad mode, parenting, career, running a household, and relationships, demand as much attention as your physical appearance.

beach bodyConsequently, thoughts about maintaining that rock solid beach body isn’t the only thing in the foreground. However, the diffuse attention causes lesser effort. So, to avoid frustrating yourself, you must redefine the parameters for your body.

Physical parameters for someone living in the dad mode are as follows:

  • Maintain body fat percentage between 10 and 15 percent
  • Maintain body mass index between 24 and 26
  • Major muscles groups are broadly defined

Here’s how you can rock it in the dad mode.

1. Maintain Your Macronutrient Balance

People in the dude mode consume more proteins in high proportion, fats in moderate proportion, and carbohydrates in low proportion. However, in the dad mode, this distribution is fairly even. Ensure that you get 25 to 35 percent of your calories from proteins. Fats must contribute another 25 to 35 percentage. Finally, proteins can make up the remaining complex carbohydrates.

2. Limit Added Sugar

chocolatesThe dad mode is more accommodative when it comes to added sugar. However, you must still stay away from foods containing high amounts of added sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup. Also avoid sodas and other sweetened beverages. Limit intake of large chocolates as well.

3. Avoid Processed and Refined Foods

Processed and refined foods are nutritionally inferior to the natural foods they’re made from. As a result, you don’t get your bite’s worth in nutrition from processed and refined ingredients. However, processing and refining foods makes them tastier and easier to digest. In the dad mode, you can make a minor compromise between nutrition and taste.

4. Source Carbohydrates from Complex Sugars

Complex sugars have lower glycemic load than simple sugars. Glycemic load is a measure of how a food impacts blood sugar. Foods with low glycemic don’t trigger drastic variations in blood sugar level. While in the dad mode, try to get as much carbohydrates from foods that are of low glycemic load. If you’re eating foods with high glycemic load, eat them during the earlier part of the day.

5. Eat Fresh Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables and FruitsDudes must avoid eating fruits because most of the calories in fruits comes from sugar. Also, they’re asked to cut down on the veggies to make room for all the proteins. However, dads aren’t bound by this limitation. Thus, they can expand the flavor profile of their diet. So, dads get to enjoy a tastier diet with more options.

6. Use More Unsaturated Fats

Most of the fats in your foods contain a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fats. When you’re in the dad mode, you must avoid trans fats at all costs. However, you can eat foods with saturated fat in it as long as the majority of the fats come from unsaturated fatty acids.

7. Incorporate Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes

People in the dad mode have a higher body fat percentage bracket. As a result, their diet can accommodate calorie dense foods, such as nuts, seeds, and legumes.

8. Play a Sport Regularly

If you’re in the dad mode, you don’t need to commit to regular hours in a gym. However, you can pick a sport that engages you physically and recreationally at least three of four times a week.

9. Maintain Strength and Flexibility

yoga classLiving in the dad mode doesn’t require you to devote much attention to muscle growth. However, you must continue to keep your auxiliary system strong. Sign up for a yoga class or do progressive calisthenics to keep your body strong and limber.

10. Optimize Exercise for Endurance

In the dude mode, we learned that we can optimize exercise for muscle growth. In the dad mode, you must optimize your exercise for endurance. You can see how you can increase your endurance by reading these seven tips.

11. Participate in Moderate Cardio Exercise

Regular cardiovascular exercise keeps your heart strong and improves blood circulation. So, take part in a moderately intense cardio activity two to three times a week. For instance, you can go on a morning or evening jog. And If you have kids, you can involve them in some of your cardio activities

12. Cut Yourself a Little Slack

The dad mode allows you to step back from the intensity of dude mode. So, after you consciously decide to move to the dad mode, allow yourself to step into a more relaxed routine. If you find yourself getting upset over the relatively laid back routine in the dad mode, transition to the dude mode.

The Date Mode: Time to Get Busy on Your Body

fitness routineThe date mode is an emergency mode. At times, people in the dad mode or the dude more deviate from the respective physical parameters. For instance, a person living in the dude mode temporarily suspended his health and fitness routine while on a vacation. When he returned from the holiday, he stepped into the date mode to bring his body to its pre-vacation form.

The date mode is also a way to move quickly from dad mode to dude mode. Also, you can turn to the date mode when you want immediate physical improvement within a short period, like say you want to look great for a date.

Physical parameters for triggering the date mode.

  • Any deviations from the opted mode
  • Reverse negative impacts of recent neglect
  • Rapid improvement in physical appearance

Here are some health and fitness tips for those in the date mode:

1. Eliminate Added Sugarsugar

In the date mode, you must absolutely stay away from sugar of any kind. Read and re-read the food labels to be sure. Don’t eat foods if you don’t know the sugar content in it.

2. Severely Restrict Carbohydrate Intake

When you’re in the date mode, there’s no distinction between simple carbohydrates of complex carbohydrates. Your only source of carbs must be the carbohydrates you get from your protein source.

3. Source Calories from Non-Carbohydrate Foods

No matter which mode you’re in, you still need calories to power your body. But, the source of the calories varies as per your mode. In the date mode, you must get your calories from proteins and healthy fats.

4. Engage in High Intensity Interval Training

If your body allows it, participate in high intensity interval training. This will help you get rid of excess fats that have accumulated due to recent neglect.

5. Increase Fluid Intake

get enough waterIf you don’t get enough fluids daily, your body will begin to retain water. This makes your tissues swell. To prevent this, make sure you get enough water every day. You will learn more about hydration in the next section.

General Health and Fitness Tips for All Modes

Of course, there are certain elements that play a vital role in attaining and maintaining optimal health and fitness no matter what mode you are in. These quintessential of a solid regime are as follows:

1. Get Plenty of Rest

During deep sleep, your subconscious mind becomes active and carries out growth and restoration activities. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t get the downtime to carry out these critical functions. So, make sure you get six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each day.

2. Manage Stress

Stress is a condition in which elevated cortisol levels shut down non-essential functions in order to give you more energy to tackle a problem. However, if you’re constantly think of troubles, your non-essential functions will always remain off. This prevents proper muscle growth. To prevent this, you must learn to manage your stress by methods such as meditation or yoga.

3. Stay Hydrated

Stay HydratedYou’ve probably read this in many health and fitness articles. However, the importance of staying hydrated cannot be overstated. The first mistake people make is to rely on their thirst. Actually, you must drink before you’re thirsty. Instead of thirst, let the dryness of your throat and mouth be your guides. Also, observe the color of your urine. Drink more water if your urine isn’t clear.

Now, all you got to do is decide what your mode is, follow the steps, and reap the results. Health and fitness isn’t rocket science. It’s just applied common sense. If you don’t fall into any of these categories, don’t despair.

You should follow a healthy lifestyle, no matter what category you fit into, so be sure to eat healthy, exercise regularly, get lots of rest and work on reducing stress. Avoid bad habits like smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, too.

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