Losing Fat for Your Family

Father loses weight to be a better role model for his children


If a man is lucky, there will come a moment when he realizes that he has responsibilities that transcend what he thought was important. Our latest before and after story, Phillip Thompson, is one of those men. Like a growing number of fathers, he realized that fatherhood meant more than taking his sons to a football game or playing catch with them in the park. Sure, activities with his children were important—he knew that—but what dawned on Phillip is that he had to be a positive role model for his sons, and that meant changing his life in a big way.

Phillip was overweight. He wasn’t a compulsive eater, but, as he admits, he simply hadn’t been paying attention to what he ate and drank. “I gained weight by being unaware of what was healthy and what wasn’t and by eating lots of foods loaded with simple carbs and very little protein, such as pasta,” he says. “I also drank a lot of beer throughout the week.”

Phillip’s menu would consist of fast food hamburgers and other fatty foods, like pizza. He’d visit the king, eat under the golden arches and dine with Wendy three times a day. The obvious result? Unwanted pounds. It was only after he began to examine his diet to identify his food blunders that he decided to switch to six nutritious meals daily, packed with health options rather than fat and simple carbs.

“When you start eating more often during the day [five or six meals], it’s easier to control your portions and consume less at each meal,” he explains. “Of course, you’re less hungry if you’ve just eaten two or three hours earlier, but the approach also made it much easier for me to stop reaching for a second helping. I knew that I would be eating my next meal in just a few short hours.”

Over time, the six-nutritious-meals-a-day gambit helped accelerate his metabolism, and, when coupled with training, he started shedding that extra fat while building lean muscle. Phillip still likes burgers, but instead of going to the local fast food parlor, he eats reduced-fat ground beef burgers—that he prepares himself—on whole wheat buns, a much more complex form of carbohydrates than white-flour, high-glycemic-index fast fare. “I actually prefer the homemade burgers,” says the now-lean Phillip, “so now I don’t crave fast food ones at all.”

As noted, food wasn’t the only thing that Phillip changed in his life. Now a regular gym goer, the proud father tracks both his fat loss and muscle gains with a detailed training program. “I never had a program when I went to the gym, but now I do—I know exactly what exercises I am going to do and record the results,” he says. “I also make sure to change up my routine every three or four weeks.”

Dropping nine percent of body fat has made Phillip a true role model. Now that he’s eating right and working out, he’ll be able to watch his sons follow in his footsteps.

Originally featured in Maximum Fitness #19, July/August 2009

The information in this article is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice or attention of any healthcare professional. Consult your physician before beginning or making changes to your diet, nutritional, supplement, or exercise program.

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