Losing the Baby Fat: A Father’s Journey – Part 1

In this series of posts, I will be documenting my journey back to a healthy and maintainable weight after piling on the kilos following the birth of our first child.

In this first post, I will outline the factors that have contributed to my gradual weight gain. Future posts will follow my efforts to lose the weight as I try to schedule in work, family time, exercise and start eating a healthier diet.

Baby Fat

It’s harmless at first, your wife/partner is pregnant and eating guilt free. Naturally this rubs off on Dad and we start to gain a little weigh at first. In the slow beginning we don’t notice it because all the attention is on the mum to be and the baby.

So what contributes to a father’s weight gain after the birth of a child?

Sleep

Next thing you know the baby is born and you have all sorts of things to contend with. First you have the interrupted sleep. 

One of the more interesting ideas that has been smouldering and is now gaining momentum is the appreciation of the fact that sleep and sleep disruption do remarkable things to the body — including possibly influencing our weight

Dr. David Rapoport, head of NYU Sleep Center

Without even doing much wrong, we’re disadvantaged due to the joys of late night feeds and nappy changes.

Ok, so we probably can’t do much about the sleep, but it’s not the only thing contributing to the slowly expanding waist line. I dare say the amount of physical exercise you’re doing has decreased as well.

Exercise

Before our baby came along, I was training or playing cricket 4-5 days a week during the summer months. Most of this was after work in the evenings varying from about 5pm to 8pm. Once baby came along this dropped to 2 days a week.

It wasn’t being lazy, simply that the times I would normally be training, I was now at home helping my wife with the whole dinner, bath & bed routine. Frankly I wouldn’t have wanted to be doing anything else, this is some of the most precious time, especially when they’re so young.

It wasn’t a whole lot of exercise, but not doing it is enough to slightly tip the balance against you in the quest to maintain a healthy weight.

Diet

When you have a baby you start thinking about food in a whole new way. The only problem with that is you’re generally thinking about the food the baby should be eating and not what you are eating.

In my case, the evening consisted of rushing around trying to work out what we needed to do for our first baby, and before we knew it baby was in bed and it was 8 or 9pm and we hadn’t eaten our own dinner! This settles down once you’ve sorted yourself out and found a routine.

The problem with realising that it’s so late and you haven’t eaten is that you generally want something now, and “fast” food is rarely good for you.

Result

The result of the sleep interruption, reduced exercise and poor diet for me is about 10kg more weight than I would like to be carrying.

The posts that will follow in this series will document my efforts to get back to a healthy weight that will allow me to keep up with my son as he grows.