Most brides dream of being in the best shape ever on their big day. However, even though this ranks high on their list of things to do, it can become one of those things that is left to the last minute, especially if you are planning your own wedding (eek!). Follow these top tips to help achieve a more trimmer you, in time for your special day…
1. Be Realistic – Timing
It is important to set realistic goals for yourself, in regards to weight loss and fitness. Losing weight should be a gradual process. Ideally 2 lbs. / 1 kg. is a steady rate of weight loss that in the long term will be sustainable. Dramatic weight loss over a short period of time is not advised, as it can lead to deficiencies and is difficult to maintain. Start at least 8-12 weeks before your big day, if you are looking to lose approximately 14-28 lbs.
To improve fitness levels, a gradual approach is best. Joining the gym or exercise classes at least six weeks in advance will allow your body to adapt to the increased physical exertion, as well as help make your metabolism more efficient, meaning you burn calories at a faster rate.
2. Eat Wisely
Balanced meals that are portion controlled are recommended to help aid in weight loss. As a rule, all meals should have 1 portion of carbohydrate (preferably wholegrain bread, brown rice, wholegrain pasta or new potatoes), 1 portion of protein (meat, fish, egg, quorn), and 1 portion of vegetables/fruit. A portion of carbohydrate shouldn’t be any bigger than a quarter of a normal dining plate (40-45 grams of pasta, rice, or 3-4 new potatoes). Protein should make up another quarter, and the remaining half should be vegetables or fruit.
To help get the right balance, try to plan your meals beforehand and consider each food group. This way you avoid having too much of any one food group and over eating at meal times. This is useful to do while shopping for groceries as well – think about the balance of your shopping trolley as you would your plate!
3. Conscious Snacking
At times, we can find ourselves eating out of boredom or when catching up on our favorite sitcoms. To avoid this, try to see eating as a separate activity, that needs your undivided attention. This can prevent over eating and unnecessary snacking throughout the day. Snacks should be kept to a maximum two per day and should ideally be 100kcal per snack. I would recommend keeping one piece of fruit (roughly the size of your palm) for your snack choice. For those of you with a sweet tooth, change from whole size chocolate bars to mini versions, and for all you savory fans, crisps should ideally be baked and low in salt.
Weighing yourself too often can be disheartening, so don’t jump on the scales daily! Allow yourself time to make changes to your lifestyle and time for the results to show. It’s a good idea to monitor your progress every two weeks or once a month, time permitting. If the goal is to tone up, keeping track of waist and hip measurements is a beneficial way to monitor progress. Dropping a dress size, looser jewelry, or going up a notch on your belt are all great indicators of toning up/losing weight. Please note: your final dress fitting should be when you are aiming to keep your weight stable.
5. Get Moving
Losing weight is all about energy balance. The aim should be to achieve a negative energy balance—this is when you are burning more calories than you are consuming. The best way to start moving more is to fit it into your daily routine. A walk to the shops, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or by parking 10 minutes’ walk away from the shopping mall or work/office are ways to get moving without having to make any major adjustments. Swapping your car for a bike, so you can cycle on the weekends, or, if possible, walking and leaving the car at home when you can are all effective changes.
Dos & Don’ts on the Big Day
1. Don’t chew gum – this can cause you to take in excess air making you feel bloated and uncomfortable.
2. Do stay hydrated – drink plenty of water to help keep you focused, alert (as it’s a long day), and radiant. You will lose a lot of water through perspiration, so it’s important to replace this.
Avoid energy drinks and caffeine, as it will raise your heart rate and blood pressure, which aren’t great if you’re already nervous! Plus, they will dehydrate your body.
3. Don’t eat junk food – this will make you feel sluggish and lethargic during the day.
4. Do eat breakfast – have a light breakfast, such as fruit, toast, or a wholegrain cereal to help keep your energy levels up.
5. Do eat little and often – this will help keep your blood glucose levels regulated and energy levels up throughout the day.
About Saran Garcha
Saran Garcha is a registered dietitian from London, UK. After graduating with a Masters from University of Kings College London, she obtained her registered dietitian status in 2008 and has since worked for the National Health Service (NHS). Within this time, she has worked in several specialist clinical areas including obesity, gastroenterology, oncology, and cardiology. She currently works for a NHS Trust in North London and continues to write and see private clients for one-to-one diet consultations.
To contact Saran Garcha, please go to her Facebook page: Saran Garcha – Registered Dietitian, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org