‘Healthier’ Ever After
by Erin Elizabeth Waters
A brief guide to weight loss before your wedding day: 5 easy steps
It is no secret that every bride-to-be dreams of looking fit and fabulous on their wedding day as they walk down the aisle. But with all the time and stress that comes with the planning of a picture-perfect day, fitting into gorgeous gowns and feeling great may take some planning all on its own.
As you embark on your new life as a newlywed, why not get results that won’t backfire and last well after your honeymoon is over? With a bit of help from the experts, here are a few brief tips on getting fit, feeling great, and living “healthier ever after” …
1. Beat the Statistics: Think long-term
While there is still some skepticism as to why marriage itself packs on the pounds, studies continue to show that many couples begin to gain weight much faster after tying the knot. Given these statistics, trying “quick fix” methods for weight loss just weeks before your wedding will only tip the scale once again when your honeymoon is over. That’s why many dieticians and fitness experts recommend that brides-to-be begin a dedicated workout regimen up to 6 months prior to the big day to establish a lifestyle change that is more likely to last than the extreme dieting and binge-exercising the week before. One way to think about your weight-loss goals is to treat each exercise hour as if it were an appointment for your wedding that you would not want to miss. If you can implement a regular workout routine at least three days a week for an hour each, and never miss an “appointment”, then your fitness strategy will run smoothly and be more likely to last.
2. Get the Bridesmaids Involved
There is no better way to make sure you stay on top of your health than getting some good old-fashioned moral support involved. Ask some close friends—or even your bridesmaids, if they are in town—to join you on your weight loss mission months prior to your wedding. Not only is this a great way to ensure that you stay focused and disciplined, but it also allows you to spend some quality time with some of your favorite girls in the process. Whether this means getting a running buddy, planning healthy meals, or just telling your best friend about your goals, be sure to have someone you trust by your side to cheer you on and follow up on your endeavors.
3. Stress Management Strategies
With all of the invitations, lists, appointments, and pre-wedding planning looming over your shoulders, the pre-marriage engagement period can undoubtedly be a stressful time for future brides. And as we all know, yet another indicator of weight gain in women is high cortisol levels in the body, which are caused by an increase of stress. To avoid out-of-control stress creeping into your busy schedule, set aside some “you” time to relax, unwind, and work on your mind. Incorporate 20 minutes of meditation or Vinyassa yoga daily to clear your mind and maintain your balance.
4. Sleep Well, Drink Well
According to researchers, one of the most surprising reasons you might be gaining weight is a lack of sleep. When your body fails to get the rest that it needs, it experiences physiological stress and begins to store fat more efficiently. Other correlates of weight gain as a result of sleep loss include slowed metabolism, overeating, dehydration, and mood swings. Instead of loading up on caffeine to chug through the day and maintain a certain energy level, try adding 20 minutes of sleep a night and staying hydrated by substituting all beverages with water. Drinking water will not only make you feel more energized—it will also allow your brain to process more efficiently and your body to metabolize faster so that you can meet the demands of your hectic schedule and still stay on top of your plans to lose weight.
5. Plan Beyond Cakes and Cosmetics
When we think of wedding planning, cosmetic artists, hair stylists, and cake designs usually spring to mind. But instead of just covering the traditional bases of a future bride’s itinerary, think of monitoring calorie consumption as an equally important aspect necessary leading up to a superior celebration. Tracking what you consume in a healthy way can work wonders if you start early and remain disciplined. In order to lose 1-2 pounds per week, all you need to do is burn 500 more calories than what you consume. However, dropping too much below this threshold can be dangerous, according to dieticians. Reducing sodium, minimizing starches, and increasing intake of fibrous vegetables and drinking more water are safe ways to balance the nutritious value with diet and exercise.
Photos Courtesy Faith Dugan Photography