Once we become fathers, it’s common to find that a bit of weight gain has sneaked up on us. The main reason why dads gain weight is that we get busier, we don’t have as much time for sports and we don’t move as much as we did in our 20s. The other reason is that we often eat the same amount of food, even though we aren’t as active.

As someone who has worked in the health and fitness industry for over 20 years, I’m normally pretty good at maintaining my routine and keeping my weight in check, but in 2019, for the first time in my life, I could feel some extra abdominal weight coming on – that stubborn ‘spare tyre’. It coincided with the arrival of our third child and to be honest, there were a lot more post-dinner snacks than usual around that time, so it wasn’t just Snezana who succumbed to those pregnancy cravings!

Once I realised what had happened, and how it had snuck up on me, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I just had to take my own advice.

I got my dad-bod back on track by making better food choices (not a ‘diet’) and by working out (smarter, not harder).

If you’re struggling to get rid of your beer belly and you’d like to get your energy and fitness back in time for summer, and I’m going to show you how I’ve helped so many dads (myself included) take their ‘Dad Bod’ to ‘Dat Bod‘.

And if you’re up for it, I’d love you to join me on my dad bod home fitness challenge!

Is ‘Dad Bod’ a real thing?

Dad bod is a real thing, it happened to me around the time little Charlie was born.
The ‘Dad Bod’ is real.

Yes! Although I saw many of my friends lose their way in terms of fitness and health once children came along, it really wasn’t until my 3rd daughter, Charlie Lane, arrived that I understood and accepted that the danger of ‘Dad Bod’ is very real, no matter how fit and healthy you normally are.

How to start on your dad-bod transformation

My first message to dads (and men in general) is this: don’t worry about where or why the weight gain happened, the past can’t be changed. Just focus on what you can do, now, to change is your actions from today.

mindset for fitness success
If you get your mind right, your body will follow.

How to turn dad-bod into “dat-bod” at home

Taking the time to get fit and healthy isn’t really about looks or ego (although a bit of personal pride isn’t a bad thing). It’s about more vitality, energy, productivity, as well as being able to move and play with your kids, and avoid injury while you’re doing it! Focussing your fitness is about being mindful of your health and wanting to be a good role model as a father.

As a dad, I believe we owe it to them AND to ourselves, to live an active, healthy life, and be the best versions of us that we can be.

The key to having the best dad bod, and get in the best shape of your life (no matter your age) is to improve three specific areas:

  1. The quality of your workouts
  2. The consistency of your training
  3. And… your nutrition!

If you implement my steps to transform your dad-bod that I outline below, you WILL see results.

RESULTS: dad-bod transformations

15kg lost
in 8 weeks
Blair's dad bod transformation
Blair’s story

Feeling better at 53 than I did at 20! Incredible improvement in happiness and health, with positive lifestyle changes for our whole family.

16kg lost
in 8 weeks
Ashley's dad bod makeover
Ashley’s story

I’ve gained much more than I’ve lost! I now have a healthy, positive relationship within myself and my family is benefitting from my happier mindset.

24kg lost
in 7 months
Michael’s story

My shape has improved dramatically. I’ve never been this size in my adult life. Shirts I’ve gone from an extra-large to a size small.

7kg lost
in 8 weeks
pablo lost 7 kgs on the dad bod plan
Pablo’s story

I took the challenge and followed the 28 diet. With the help of the coaches and some hard work, I lost 7kg.

Sam Wood founder of 28bySamWood

I truly believe if you stay strong physically, there’s no need to worry about how old you are compared to everyone else.

The message for Dad Bods is simple – don’t worry about where or when it happened, the past cannot be changed. What you need to understand is that eating real food and getting your body moving is not about what you look like.

Getting on track with your health and fitness is about being a good role model to your children; having more energy and being able to move and play with your kids as they grow.

You might retire from the sporting field, but you really can’t afford to retire from taking care of your health.

How do I get rid of my dad-bod belly?

An expanding stomach area (aka the dad bod beer belly!) is a common problem for men, especially as we get a bit older and, as often happens, we let our fitness and nutrition slide a bit. The good news is that, when it comes to getting in shape and staying in shape, it’s not about the volume or length of your workouts. It’s about the quality.

You don’t have to spend hours in the gym. Variety, intensity and consistency will always beat volume. There are simple training tips that all dads can do at home, to get that muffin top melting and that dad bod back into shape, faster than you think!

Make every workout count rather than count every workout.


Try this dad-bod transformation workout

Swap your beer belly for a 6-pack!

If you want to lose the beer-belly and get your trim, toned midsection back, try some of these simple exercises. All dads, at all fitness levels, can do these, either at work or at home.

Exercise #1: Leg lowers

This one goes out to your lower abs! Lay flat and straight on your back and raise and lower your legs.

Exercise #2: Side planks

Lay on your side, and lift your hips off the ground and hold and feel the burn in those love handles. Switch to the other side after 1 minute.

Exercise #3: Cable resistance crunches

Torch the top of your abs by holding onto a rope and crunching.

Exercise #4: Swiss ball planks

Take your plank to a whole new level by placing your elbows on a swiss ball and hold, feeling it in the deep of your core.

Exercise #5: Back extensions

When we’re doing any exercises that target your troubled belly area, it’s so important to keep your back strong and supported. Lie on your stomach and lift your chest in the air, holding for a count of three.

Dad-Bod Tip #1: Train smarter, not harder

I get it – life is frantic. Being a father and husband is my favourite job and time has never been more valuable. We are all looking for ways to streamline our lives and our fitness commitment is often the first to go when we are overscheduled. How often do we hear the catch cry ‘I just don’t have time to exercise’? For any man who wants to transform their dad bod and get fast results, it’s not about training more, it’s about training smarter.

Dad bods see the quickest results by working smarter, not harder.

How to keep your abs working all day, every day, without breaking a sweat!

Swap your office chair for a swiss ball. Stay mindful of your posture as the day goes on, so keep your core muscles active… and no slouching!

Want to get more results from your home workout, in less time?

I’m a believer in quality over quantity when it comes to training. My 28-minute workouts are designed to get results, fast. I can guarantee, if you push yourself physically, 28 minutes a day is more than enough time to get incredible results. 28 minutes. It’s just 4% of your day, so there are no excuses about not having the time to train. And if you need even more reason to start, the results I’ve seen in my 28ers are undeniable.

28 is the magic number for a dad-bod makeover.

Geoffrey lost 15.6kg

I found a confidence, energy and happiness I thought had died in my teenage years! I feel calmer/mindful. This lifestyle transformed my mind/body beyond my aspirations!


Try this beer-belly crushing, fat-burning workout with me!

Get ready for these simple fat-burning moves.
  1. Skipping
  2. Boxing
  3. Burpees
  4. Bench Hops
  5. High Knee Sprint
  6. Squat Jumps
  7. Split Lunge Jumps

Dad-Bod Tip #2: Create & maintain a consistent routine

I like to tell my 28ers to put their workouts in their calendars. Consider your workout as an important appointment with yourself. Put it in your diary and don’t double book. You wouldn’t cancel at the last minute on a colleague or friend, so don’t cancel on yourself. Find sports or activities you enjoy and you’ll find the job’s half done for you, just so long as your endorphins are firing.

Create a consistent routine for your workouts

You wouldn’t cancel at the last minute on a colleague or friend, so don’t cancel on yourself.

If you’re training right, 28 minutes a day is all you need to get results. But, here’s the bad news: it doesn’t matter how much you train if you’re not eating right. The saying “you can’t out-train a bad diet” is true. Whenever I tell people how much exercise they need to do to burn off that 3.30pm chocolate bar, it usually comes as a shock. If you want to lose that spare tyre and uncover your best dad bod, whatever goes in, must be burnt off. And that means we also need to get your nutrition in order.

VIDEO: Hughesy ditches his dad bod with Sam Wood

Check out this before and after from my good mate, Dave Hughes.
Hughesy was down 6.7kg in 33 days on my 28 program

Dad-Bod Tip #3: Get your nutrition on track

At the end of the day, abs (and hot dad bods) are made in the kitchen, so while it’s important to build and strengthen your core it’s also essential to get rid of the spare tire that’s covering your soon to be 6-pack.

Fuel your body with the right nutrients and get your metabolic engine revving again.

When it comes to nutrition & weight loss, simple changes can make a massive difference. Start making a conscious effort to cut back on processed foods and sugars. Focus on your increasing your protein intake and increasing the good fats, and reducing the bad carbs. Remember there’s no need to cut carbs out completely, not all carbs are bad, it’s simply about fuelling your body with the right nutrients to get your metabolic engine revving again.

My rule is ‘everything in moderation. So if you really want to, go ahead, have a burger, a beer or a bar of chocolate, but just make it a ‘sometimes food’.

When you stop thinking of food as a number and start seeing it for its nutritional value you’ll realise there’s no need to count calories or skip meals. When you think about food differently, you’ll automatically choose better options and you’ll naturally start cutting out the crap.

Sam Wood & Wippa making a healthy 'dad bod be gone' lunch
Your dad bod is built in the kitchen!

Why real food gets real results

My philosophy when it comes to nutrition is ‘Just Eat Real Food’ or JERF as we refer to it at 28. I’ll never tell you to swallow raw egg whites or slam down some kind of magic shredding pill or potion. I just want you to eat real food, that’s the best way to get sustainable weight loss and a bangin’ dad bod.

Make healthy swaps.

Sub out your usual breakfast cereal with a healthy dose of poached eggs and avocado, ditch those diet soft drinks for water and chuck that Kit Kat out for a protein bliss ball instead.

Lose the booze.

Try to ditch the drink for a while. Or aim for at least 5 alcohol-free days a week if you can’t go completely without, especially while you’re trying to trim your belly down.

Perfect your portions.

As hungry dads, we all too often feel the need to lick our plates clean (and the rest of the families too, for that matter). Don’t let your eyes get too big for your stomach and watch how much you’re piling up your plate. If you’ve given yourself too much, don’t feel the need to finish it all.

Incorporate these healthy-eating tips into your daily eating routine and watch that not-so-manly muffin top disappear.

RECIPES: banish that dad-bod beer belly!

These are some of my favourite “dad-approved” recipes taken from my 28 program’s eating plan. I would love for you to try some for yourself, they taste so good, you’ll probably forget you’re eating healthy!

Who said you couldn’t have carbs while transforming your dad bod?
Homemade Chicken Burger
A quick and nutritious meal for lunch or dinner. A good hit of protein and carbs to help keep you powering along with your active life.
Get the full recipe
Thai Beef Larb & Fried Egg Recipe
Thai Beef Larb With Fried Egg
Cook this healthy version of this Thai takeaway. Larb is a type of minced meat salad from Laos and it's not just tasty, it's packed with over 40g of protein so you'll stay fuller for longer.
Get the full recipe

If you’re a keto-diet fan, try this bunless beef burger for a big punch of protein and good fats.
Naked Steak Sanga Recipe
Everyone loves a steak sandwich… even if it’s sans sandwich! Tasty and delicious, you can cook the steak quickly on a barbeque if you prefer.
Get the full recipe
Bloke Beef ‘n’ Beer with Mash Recipe
Bloke Beef ‘n’ Beer with Mash Recipe
How about some simple, slow-cooked brisket with delicious meat that just falls apart in your mouth. If it doesn’t have you going back for seconds, I don’t know what will!
Get the full recipe

How to lose your dad bod in 28 days

28 minutes a day, for 28 days is all it takes to start to see real changes in your body. The good news is that you don’t need to go hardcore on the intensity every day. You’ll get the best results if you work smarter, not harder, remember?

Read how Wippa from Nova went from ‘Dad Bod’ to ‘Dat Bod’ in 28 days.

wippa dad body before & after
Wippa got a dad bod makeover from Sam Wood!

For the quickest dad-bod makeover, you should balance your fitness routine with high-intensity and low-intensity activities.

  • During the week make sure you do your daily 28-minute high-intensity workout and then, on the weekend, change it up!
  • Your weekends should be about active-recovery, which means gentler activities to keep your body moving, that will improve your mobility and flexibility.
  • Spend some play-time with the kids, go on a bike ride, kick a ball… keep moving.

Aim for 5 high-intensity workout days during the week and then, on the weekend, change it up!

JOIN: The dad-bod home fitness challenge!

Are you ready to get rid of that dad bod and get into great shape? My program, 28 By Sam Wood, is Australia’s #1 home fitness & nutrition program for a reason: it gets results!

15kg lost
in 8 weeks
Blair's dad bod transformation
Feeling better at 53 than I did at 20! Incredible improvement in happiness and health, with positive lifestyle changes for our whole family.
16kg lost
in 8 weeks
Ashley's dad bod makeover
I’ve gained much more than I’ve lost! I now have a healthy, positive relationship within myself and my family is benefitting from my happier mindset.

When you trust the process and follow the 28 plan you’ll take your dad bod to dat bod in no time.

Join 28 to get me as your home personal trainer… in your pocket!

Once you’ve joined my 28 program, download my app and then well get started! And keep your eye out for my daily ‘Sam Cam’ (you’ll get a notification on your phone when I’ve uploaded it). I record these every day, in real-time, to help you get on track and stay on track.

I’ll send you daily, live ‘Sam Cam’s’ via the app, to help you stay on track


Are you up for the home fitness dad-bod challenge? For less than $2 a day you’ll receive all the workouts, tools AND support to help you get on track, and STAY on track. No ongoing contracts. All you need is your phone and 28 minutes a day. It really is that easy!


Need More Help? FAQs

Got a question? Drop us a line and we’ll get back to you ASAP


Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change to their lives. Sam Wood has over 20 years experience as a personal trainer and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators in the health & fitness industry. Sam is the founder and personal trainer of 28, Australia’s #1 home fitness and nutrition program, and he's also the proud owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed, based in Brighton, Melbourne.