How to Build a Dad Bod

A curvy dad is a sexy dad. In fact, dad bods are getting so popular, many moms have them now too

People often write: “Dear humorist, how do you keep in such incredibly cruddy shape?”


Here’s how to build a dad bod, using mostly pork chops and other items you probably have lying around the house:

Protein is key, peanut butter, grilled meats, a greasy goose, a coffee can filled with lard. What you want to do is drastically slow the metabolism and completely shut down digestion.

Bacon is essential.

Chips are important too, and the smart dad – the dad with a little extra to hug – keeps several bags hidden around the house, in spots the kids won’t find them. Lube them up with salsa, or spinach dip or nacho cheese. Layer them with protein – chicken, lasagna, a cow.

Whatever you do, don’t skip dessert. In fact, you might start with dessert and work backwards, ending with breakfast, mostly pancakes and waffles.

Like protein, starches are key. Meanwhile, go light on the lettuce. Stuff’ll kill you.

To ensure the poor posture often associated with a dad bod, lean over a sports page every morning. And spend countless hours at the computer doing stat sheets for your youth team.

Whenever possible, parade your toddler around on your shoulders at theme parks or airports. On a rug, Christmas morning, spend countless hours assembling toys.

Many moms now have dad bods. They have seen the light, the joylessness of being toothpicks.

Be sure to smush the tush. Smart, savvy dads fall asleep on the couch at every opportunity, in impossible positions, much like cats. Once your spine is misaligned, you’re halfway to a dad bod.

Why a dad bod? Tastes change and health fads are fickle. But these days, a curvy dad is a sexy dad.

In troubled times, big dads are more appealing to females, who are – consciously or not – programmed to perpetuate the species by choosing the most-robust mate available.

Dad bods also have an intangible, feel-good appeal, like hometowns, basset hounds and vintage firetrucks.

According to a recent study, women prefer dad bods to men with six-packs. The study found that nearly 80% of men and women believe that a dad bod is a sign that the man is confident in himself.

That’s why John Goodman and I are considered such great catches these days, while frail baby-men like Zac Efron can’t get a date.

Soon there is bound to be a “Dad Bod Beauty Pageant,” hosted by Drew Carey. The swimsuit competition will be the highlight, since it objectivizes the contestants.

Nutritionists will tell you that a dad bod doesn’t happen overnight. At best, it’s a life’s work, and usually begins about junior year in college. By graduation, a dude should look newly pregnant.

This varies a lot by region, of course. In the South, boys usually have a small paunch going by the second grade. In Southern California, many dads never have a paunch at all. Unfortunately, the pizza is lousy here, and the sandwiches less gloppy. Hence, sad skinny six-pack dads.

Sorry, girls.

To have a dad bod in LA, you really need to make a point of it, as I obviously have.

That doesn’t mean you should ignore your health. Yesterday, I did an entire sit-up. Took me 20 minutes. Next week, I might do another.

Remember, Churchill had a paunch, as did Babe Ruth, Pablo Sandoval and Winne-the-Pooh. All great men. All a little chubby.

Many moms now have dad bods. They have seen the light, the joylessness of being toothpicks — always famished, lusty for any little morsel — and have embraced what we call the “dad-bod lifestyle.”

To me, dad-bod moms seem happier than other moms, more content to be their true selves.

I hope these dietary tips help. Results may vary. Not everybody will achieve the perfect dad bod. Like good looks, many dad bods are the result of lucky genetics as much as anything else.

As I said, pork chops are often the first step toward achieving the ideal dad body. My son Smartacus and I made pumpkin-spice pork chops the other night. We like to team up in the kitchen, shoulder to shoulder, giving each other a hard time. Occasionally, he’ll pat my tummy.

“Dad bod,” he’ll say.

“Shut up,” I say.

I found this pumpkin pork chop recipe in Parade Magazine, the last great magazine left in America, especially if you’re looking for inside info on Cameron Diaz, our last great actress.

Here’s the twist: Good as they sound, pumpkin-spice pork chops weren’t that yummy. They tasted like school books. I’m not even going to bother with the recipe here, though you can click here to get it. If you try it, be sure to double the amount of pumpkin spice.

Fortunately, a thousand little Snickers bars are probably in your house right now. Dad is probably stashing them, or maybe Mom. Check his workbench, or her jewelry drawer.

Basically, this is just the start of dad-bod season – featuring candy, warm pie and gravy boats — the total opposite of bikini season, featuring a moonscape of empty plates.

So live a little, OK? Go back for seconds, dip random stuff in chocolate. Fa-la-la-la-laaa till you drop.

After all, know who has the best dad bod of all? Santa.

Both pleased and sad to report that the Nov. 11 Rose Bowl hike is sold out. Plenty more Happy Hour Hikes on the way, though. To ensure you’re getting hiking invites, go to and sign up under NEWSLETTERS. Also coming (in December): the first Gin & Tonic Society Gingle Bell Bash. Gingle all the way!

30 thoughts on “How to Build a Dad Bod

  1. One of your laugh out loudest! Loved it. You forgot to acknowledge that COVID has given dads a helping hand in gaining those extra squeezable love handles. See? 2020 hasn’t been ALL bad.

      1. Damn! 6’3” would be nice, but I can slouch down to 5’10” if I have to. Funny, you look taller in your photos! Great photo of you from earlier this week-the one with your child from years ago. A girl can dream…

  2. Today’s entry/entree was terrific. And I gained three pounds just looking at the photos. This looks to be a much more achievable goal than that Charles Atlas workout I signed up for when I was eleven. More fun, too. Thanks, Mr. Erskine!

      1. Yup. Maybe Action Comics, or War Comics, in which I learned that when German soldiers were shot, they died saying “Arrrgggh!” and when Japanese soldiers got hit they said, “Aaaiiiieee!”

  3. This was fun. The hidden gem In it was brilliant – “ Dad bods also have an intangible, feel-good appeal, like hometowns, basset hounds and vintage firetrucks.”

  4. Ah, Chris. You’ve done it again. The paunch can be attractive, and I have proof. My high school sweetheart often affectionately called me ‘Pooh’, and from that day forward I knew I had to commit and uphold all things ‘paunch’.

  5. Hi Chris, Not sure if I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to go on the hike November 11th? Remember, if you do too many of these hikes, you’re in jeopardy of losing your dad bod.

  6. Hmm. Willing suspension of disbelief because when you pop up on SpectrumNews1 with Lisa McRee you’re thin. And tv puts on pounds. 🤔

  7. Love vintage fire trucks. Covina Park had one for years in the sand box, and we all loved to scramble all over it,then my kids . Then some council member thought someone would sue the city, so they took it out! Afraid of some litigious jerk! I also make pumpkin pie from scratch, real pumpkin , not from the can . The season is on! As always, you are hilarious!!! Just the right spin on everything! Do you get tired of people always praising you?

  8. Thanks for a much needed laugh this morning!!! Have to agree about the pizza too – altho, after twenty years of futile searching, I have found one place that has excellent pizza….Pizza Buona on Alvarado….and the lady that runs the register, and things in general, is so nice!

  9. So funny. So true. Yes live a little! Paunch is in the eye of the beholder anyway. By the way Lou Malnati’s ships pizza! And yes those Charles Atlas ads were on the back pages of comic books. I remember reading Archie comic books as a kid in the back of the Ford Country Squire when we drove up to Minocqua WI in the summer. Great memories.

    1. Age is no walk in the park
      Leaves things like a bump in the dark
      That in light of day
      Can cause much dismay
      And leave an outpouch to mark
      The wisdom gained from its lark

      That is to say (as The Beatles did):
      “At least, when I turn out the light
      I know that it is my own…”
      Except that one of the great
      pleasures in life is stroking
      (Caressing ?) someone else’s
      “Wisdom”, dearly gained.
      Ah! life. Ah! Covid. Ah! Autumn. Ah!
      Halloween. Ah! Thanksgiving Up
      Ahead. Live a little,; which is wisdom even more dearly gained… and have a great masked, distanced hike on the 11th, a little bigger than before via the appetitive ecstasy that inevitably follows such ‘walks in the park’. Sic transit, as they say.

  10. Good. I can have pecan pie and not feel guilty!!
    Diabetic lady bod going to cheat for Turkey Day. I can work it off on next Rose Bowl Walk.

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