Every parent fears childhood obesity.  The increased health risks and dangers associated with being overweight, the stigma, and the judgement.  It tends to happen quietly.  You may not even notice it until it’s too late.  This type of childhood obesity effects parents.  When your child enters childhood mom and dad gain weight.  In my house, we called it fatherhood obesity.   Mom is pregnant and eating for two and Dad is just eating with Mom because her food smells great.  After 9 months of this dad steps on the scale and like the cost of your car’s gas, the numbers go up and up and up.  How do I know about this?  I was there.  When my awesome adventure into fatherhood started, I weighed in at 165lbs.  After the birth of our second (and last) child, I weighed in at about 225lbs.  About a year ago, when my XL clothes were getting tight I decided things had to change.  I read up on healthy eating, effective workout styles, and general nutritional information and in about a year I’ve lost almost 50lbs and have transformed from obese to athletic.  This is the first post in a series focusing on weight gain that tends to happen when children come into our lives and some tips and suggestions on how to loose that weight.

Disclosure:  I am not a doctor.  Anything in this or any future post should be taken as information and be discussed with your doctor prior to implementing in your diet or exercise routine.

How did it happen?  For me, it started with a taste.  With our first child, my wife was VERY sick.  She needed to eat all the time.  I’d watch her eat and think about how tasty her food looked.  So I’d take a bite.  After a few months of nibbling, I broke down and ordered a meal for myself or take a snack break too.  I wasn’t hungry, it just looked good.  Does this sound familiar?

What can be done to fix it?  For starters eat only when you’re hungry.  Make smart and informed decisions about what you’re eating.  Exercise.  If you are like me…like I was…it sounds too familiar and too daunting.  Surprisingly enough, it’s very easy and relatively painless.  It will however take time.  You should strive to loose 1lb a week.  When you set your mind to a realistic goal like this and calculate how long it will take you to reach your goal weight you’ll find that you stick to your weight loss plan because you have a realistic timeline.

I will go into detail on healthy eating, label reading, exercises, and a lot more in upcoming posts, but for know I’ll end this introductory post with some tips.

1.  Have the munchies?  Munch on a handful of almonds and berries.  The almonds are high in protein and will help you feel full while the berries will give you some vitamins and some sweetness.  Depending on the quantity, this snack could save you hundreds of calories when compared to your typical snack.

2. Never diet!  Dieting is something you do for a limited amount of time.  When it’s over you haven’t learned what good food is and why you need to eat it.  After a diet you want to reward your hard work with food you really want, which may really hurt all the progress you made.

3. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to exercise for more than 20-30 minutes daily.  You simply need to do the right kind of workouts.  In order to loose weight you want to replace fat with muscle.  A good exercise routine will have a mix of weight training (even though you don’t want to be big and bulky) and aerobics.

4.  If you can’t hunt it or grow it, you probably shouldn’t eat it.  Yes this is sounds extreme and is overly simplified, but the core principle is sound.  Manufactured food like twinkies and cheetos are high in fat and calories.  If you replace a serving of Doritos with a serving of corn chips with shredded cheese you would save yourself a hundred calories or so.

All this and more will be explained and expanded on in upcoming posts.  If you don’t need to or don’t want to loose weight, give them a read anyway as I’m sure to share an embarrassing story or two.