Type ‘wedding diet’ into an internet search and you’ll find a zillion diets for brides to be. All designed to get you looking like a model in your wedding gown.
The reality though is that planning a wedding can be a hugely stressful time for the bride to be.
Crash dieting will make you tired, moody and more likely to binge and emotionally eat. It will be difficult to enjoy your wedding day if a fad diet or miracle weight loss pill has let you down.
Feeling your best on the big day means setting realistic fitness and health goals many months out from the day of your wedding. If you are more than 10 kilograms overweight you must allow at least five to six months getting to your goal, especially if you expect to maintain the loss permanently.
Feeling beautiful is not all about weight loss, good nutrition is crucial to looking your best for the big day. Starvation, crash dieting or existing on less than 1400 calories a day just won’t supply your body with all the necessary nutrients it needs to function, especially during the frenzied weeks leading up to your wedding. The condition of your skin, hair and nails all rely on more than 50 nutrients a day, these nutrients must be supplied by your diet or you will be deficient.
Hand in hand with a healthy eating plan is exercise, to lose weight you must be burning more calories than you consume. Exercise maintains muscle, helps your body deliver oxygen and nutrients to more cells, and burns calories. Exercise is a great outlet for stress and can actually help prevent emotional or stress eating.
Don’t let the healthy lifestyle stop after the honeymoon, as several studies suggest that in the first two years of married life couples gain on average two and a half kilograms. Married life often means you become more sedentary, share more meals and have less motivation to lose weight.
Cooking and exercising together is part of a healthy marriage. Watch your portion sizes, you don’t need the same amount of food as your husband – it is not unusual for husband and wife to be similar in weight after many years or marriage.
Couples who undertake a lifestyle change together prior to the wedding find they pick up healthy habits that last a lifetime.
For those of you who still have a few kilos to lose prior to the big day, follow these guidelines.
1. Make your fitness goals a priority. If you lack motivation and need support, enlist the help of a personal trainer for the first three or four weeks, it takes 21 days to acquire a new habit so making your self-accountable will ensure you keep to your program.
2. Take advantage of D.I.T (diet-induced thermogenesis), by eating smaller meals more often your body will actually burn more calories.
3. Include protein with every meal. Protein plays a key role in controlling appetite, so including foods that contain protein will help you lose weight. Protein also helps prevent your body breaking down muscle tissue, if you are breaking down muscle you will not be burning much fat.
4. Taking your daily calories down too low will trigger the starvation response and inhibit fat burning. Women shouldn’t consume less than 1400 calories daily without supervision.
5. For your skin supplement with omega 3 fish oil, a high strength multivitamin and vitamin C. If you are trying to lose weight, you will be deficient in optimal levels of these nutrients.
6. Finally, drink more water and eat larger servings of fresh vegetables and fruit.
Focus on your fitness goals and you will have the energy to get through the frantic buildup to your wedding.