Planning for a wedding can bring on an array of emotions. Joy, excitement, but also panic! Every bride wants to look and feel her best on her big day and sometimes that can lead to a race to drop a dress size, or two.
I want to preface this article by emphasising that this is your day and no amount of weight loss should dictate your enjoyment or dull your celebration. With that said, here are top 5 tips for brides-to-be looking to shift a few pounds.
The amount of time you’ve got until your upcoming nuptials will ultimately determine how much weight you can lose. That said, there’s no reason you can’t lose up to 25lbs providing you’ve got 2-3 weeks to play with.
#1. Conquer your Calories!
If there’s one thing standing between you and your dream wedding dress, it’s calories. They’re in everything you eat and drink and ultimately dictate what happens on the scale. It can be easy to overthink things, but here’s what you really need to know:
- Calories In > Calories burned = Weight gain
- Calories In < Calories burned = Weight loss
What’s your target weight? Add a zero to that number and that’s (approximately) how many calories you should be eating each day. Naturally, it might seem that salads and celery sticks are the answer, but that approach can actually sabotage your wedding weight loss efforts.
#2. Watch the (Wedding) Cake!
I’m using wedding cake as a metaphor here, but in general refined carbohydrates (things like white bread, donuts, bagels, chips, muffins, cakes, cereal) all spell bad news for pre-wedding weight loss.
High in refined carbohydrates and sugar, these foods spike insulin levels and prime your body to store belly fat. Don’t think of them as off limits, though. Enjoy them as a treat, not an everyday staple. Instead, fill up on natural foods high in fibre, protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Use this ready-made shopping list and you can’t go wrong.
#3. Move it, Girl!
That’s the bottom line. It doesn’t matter how, when or why. The more you move, the more weight you stand to lose. Your pre-wedding goal should be to get active for at least 30 minutes every day to help boost your calorie burn.
Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to wear out your running shoes with endless running, pedaling or stepping. Excessive daily cardio basically says to your body, “Whoa, hold on to this fat. We need it. Burn this muscle instead!”
For maximum results, make your activity short, sharp and intense. You’ll burn more fat and curb your total exercise time. Using big-muscle-moves that require you to ‘push’, ‘pull’ and ‘squat’ are great, too. Use your own bodyweight or grab a pair of dumbbells for added resistance.
#4. Re-think your Drink!
Don’t worry, were not saying your wedding needs to be an alcohol free-zone (after all, what wedding would be complete without a little champers), but in the lead-up to your big day it does pay to rethink the way you drink. Most people aware blissfully unaware of how their favourite alcoholic beverages stack up in terms of calories and how they can lead to unwanted weight gain. Here’s a quick comparison –
It’s not just alcohol, either. Artificial fruit juices and soda are equally bad and should be limited as much as possible. Replace sugary drinks with water (add mint and squeezes of lemon or lime), tea and milk. Thirst often masquerades as hunger so keep a water bottle with you and sip it during the day; you’ll feel fuller without the sense of sacrifice. Don’t be afraid to have the odd tipple though, it won’t hurt 🙂
#5. …aaand Breathe!
Let’s face it, weddings can be stressful and sometimes the weight of expectation can all become too much. That’s why it’s important to take time out. Stressful situations flood our brains with cortisol, a stress hormone linked to weight gain, but just five minutes’ peace can help regulate levels.
Meditation is a great way to restore balance. To meditate, sit quietly and listen to calming music. If worries arise, acknowledge them but don’t explore them. Small things, like sharing a cuddle with a loved one, stroking a pet, taking a stroll for a few minutes or simply sitting and reflecting at your nearest park or beach can be great stress-busters, too!