You’re getting married!! Planning a wedding is totally exciting, definitely stressful and sometimes overwhelming. Your mind is racing and one of your major goals is to look amah-zing in your wedding dress. And like many brides you want to lose weight before the big day. We’ve got some ideas to get you started (they all worked for us!). But please remember that you are beautiful just as you are. At least one person–your future spouse–agrees.
You have bridesmaids help with the party planning and day-of prep so why don’t you have someone to help you get in shape? We’ve realized that the only way we can to truly commit to a healthy meal plan is with the help of a program. Using an app to organize and account for caloric intake puts us in total control of what we eat and how that impacts our bodies. We love Noom, an intuitive, delicious, encouraging app that initiates a lasting change way beyond wedding weight loss. The experts behind the app will create a meal plan to help you achieve your food and weight wedding goals. With the help of a dedicated coaching team, a group of weight loss, meal plan peers and your own inner grit, you can train your brain to push through distractions and stay the course.
Drop sneaky foods.
When is a healthy meal not healthy? When it’s filled with foods masquerading as beneficial or nutritious. Choices you make every day could actually be contributing to your weight gain rather than loss. Not every diet saboteur is easily recognized.
You would be surprised by the amount of sugar in foods such as BBQ sauce, salad dressing, spaghetti sauce, jams and jellies. Oops! We guess that salad wasn’t so healthy after all. When you eat a food that contains sugar, it triggers the release of the feel-good brain chemical dopamine. And then that super happy feeling begins to fade and you want it back ASAP. The more sugar you eat, the more sugar you need to eat for your taste buds to experience the same level of sweetness. This begins a vicious cycle of sugar cravings, blood sugar spikes, mood swings and weight gain. Swap out sugary sauces for flavor-packed salsa, hot sauce, mustard, low-sugar or sugar-free salad dressings, mayonnaise, horseradish, lemon juice, and soy sauce or tamari.
Take a few extra minutes when writing the weekly grocery list to plan the week’s meals. This will allow you to buy all the ingredients you need for the week and save you the stress and running around every evening figuring out what to prepare. No more last-minute runs to the store! You’ll also end up eating healthier food than if you get lazy and choose a fast food drive through. Or do like the Europeans and pick up enough food for tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast on your way home from work. You will always have the freshest produce, bread and fish and it will taste better than Burger King.
Time it right.
Respect your energy clock. People give up on exercise because they try to force themselves to do it at a time they are not biologically equipped to accommodate. If you are not a morning person, you won’t show up for a 6 am class no matter how many weeks you have paid for. Work out when your physical energy is highest. You don’t need to be in a gym to workout. Go for a short walk before breakfast, at lunch or after dinner or all three. Start with 5-10 minutes then work up to 30. Choose a hilly route and pick up the pace.
Find your center.
If you’re feeling freaked out and distracted by all of the wedding dress choices, it’s time to slow down and reconnect with yourself before you ease stress with food. Sit tall in a chair take a slow deep breath from your abdomen and close your eyes. Begin counting backwards from 20 and continue the slow, deep, breathing. Notice a sense of calmness that arises. Exhale and stay tall as you turn to the right and reach for the back of the chair. Keep your spine long and turn with each breath. Visualize the spine lengthening as you inhale. Fill the top corners of the chest first with the breath, and then move the breath down the body.
Then drink more water. If you asked us what we do to stay fit and healthy, we’d gladly share our secret. We drink lots of water! And so do you… right? It’s easy to let this simple healthy habit go to the wayside, especially with the rush of planning a wedding. Water does wonders for your digestion, your skin and for keeping your hunger under control. But it’s really easy to get dehydrated. You might think you’re drinking enough water over the course of a day but maybe you’re not. Being dehydrated can slow down your metabolism. Research found that people don’t start to feel thirsty until they lose 2% of their body weight in water. The 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water rule is a reasonable goal to set. Being dehydrated is an energy suck and for many people it spurs them to snack. Many times the feeling of dehydration is mistaken for hunger. The fat fighting benefits of water have an even greater initial effect on people who normally drink sugary, caloric beverages You’ll notice a difference in your body just by replacing fattening drinks and even diet soda with water.
… and lose weight. Morning eaters tend to take in fewer calories later in the day. If you’re too tired in the a.m. or just in a hurry, have a quick bowl of whole-grain cereal. If you skip because you’re not hungry when you wake up, don’t snack or eat dinner late. When your body goes 8 to 10 hours without food, it will beg you for energy to start the day.
Think yourself fit.
Try a sneaky mind game to make exercise seem easier. Negative thoughts (“I’ll never last 20 minutes on the treadmill and I’ll look terrible in my wedding gown.”), are downers that can derail your workout. For more stamina, create a happy-place code word like “honeymoon: or a can-do mantra such as “I’m the bride and I’m invincible!” Repeat it when you’re near empty and you’ll squelch the urge to quit. Or think small, specific steps, and determine exactly what you want to achieve. “I want to be a skinny bride!” is vague. A better goal might be: “I will lose five pounds by my first dress fitting on March 1st by replacing my afternoon latte and muffin with a coffee with skim milk and a banana and exercising five days a week for at least 30 minutes.” It is specific and, measurable (losing five pounds), realistic and attainable (healthy snacking and moderate exercise) on a timetable (before the dress fitting).
The editors at SheFinds wrote this article in partnership with Noom.