The stress and anxiety that most brides experience as their wedding day approaches can be overwhelming for them. The amount of preparation involved and the countless number of details needing attention can make it very difficult to eat sensibly and maintain even a modest level of good nutrition. I can recall countless conversations with brides who are so stressed out in the month or so before their wedding that they abandon all good eating habits and either starve themselves or binge on junk food to handle the stress.
Many are genuinely terrified that they’ll be overweight and unattractive on their wedding day or even worse won’t be able to fit into their dream wedding gown.
I have been working with a personal trainer for the past 10 years who continually reminds me how just a few simple changes to your daily routine can make a huge difference. The four basic principles I outline below really do work. I’ve had personal success using these strategies and continue to follow them on a daily basis. Many of my clients who have requested my help and followed this advice have had remarkable results. Start this program at least 3-4 weeks before your wedding day and see for yourself.
1. Water, Water and more Water
Hydration is critical. While the benefits are countless this is one of the hardest things to implement into your daily routine. Whenever I would neglect this item my trainer would recite how water lowers body fat, flushes cellulite, improves digestion, gets rid of dark circles under the eyes, and makes you feel full. These are just a few of the benefits of drinking the required 2.5 litres of water per day.
This may seem like a lot but I found the easiest way to get into the habit is to break the amounts down into manageable amounts:
• Keep a bottle of water beside your bed. Before you go to sleep drink 1/2 the bottle and as soon as you wake up (before your feet touch the floor) drink the remaining 1/2 bottle
• Before each meal drink a half a bottle of water
• Carry water with you and sip it throughout the day
I can’t overemphasize how important this step is.
2. Go for a 10 minute Walk Every Day
Start with this…you can always increase later after it becomes routine. It’s enough to gently boost your metabolism and keep you active.
3. Eat Often but Only in Small Portions
Before I started this method of eating I would starve myself for a couple of days whenever I wanted to lose weight. It seemed logical to me at the time. When I started personal training I had to modify many of my bad eating habits. I had to start eating 6 meals a day. Don’t panic, it’s easier than it sounds. Every 3-4 hours from the time you wake up eat a little something. Your digestive system is far more efficient at handling a series of small meals than it is at tackling one large meal.
I usually eat at 7am, 10 am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10 pm
Your meal portions (meat, veggies, carbs) should be no larger than the palm of your hand and no thicker than the palm of your hand.
4. Eat Healthy
I could spend days offering suggestions on meal variations but there are many excellent books that have been written to give you ideas. I will share my recommendations in another upcoming article.
So to make it simple a typical meal should be a protein, a carbohydrate and a vegetable or fruit.
Here is a sample daily meal plan that I eat to get you started:
Meal one: Protein shake with 1% milk (I like whey protein drinks such as IsoPro)
Meal two: 1/2 an apple and cottage cheese or yogurt
Meal three: Piece of chicken (no skin) and a small salad
Meal four: Cheese and the balance of the apple
Meal five: Piece of lean meat, rice or potatoes, vegetables
Meal six: Low fat chocolate pudding mixed with protein powder
5. The Best Part – Reward Yourself!
Choose one day a week as your reward day and eat whatever you want and as much as you want. Whether you like pasta, cookies, ice cream or my personal favorite chocolate.
Don’t worry, you won’t gain fat if you do this because for the past six days your body has been used to eating what I term ‘clean’ food. On the seventh day your body thinks you are going to do the same and when you don’t it gets fooled and eliminates the effects of the ‘junk’ food. In essence you are tricking your body that day but you must eat cleanly on the following day.
I have told many upcoming brides about this method of eating and almost all of them have emailed me back to let me know how thrilled they were at reaching their target goal of weight loss. I hope it works for you too.
As a final note of encouragement, my daughter used this method of eating and in 1 year she went from a size 18 to a size 2. This was four years ago and she has still maintained her weight to this day.
These simple techniques will not only help you quickly, safely and effectively lose at least one dress size but they will also help you feel more energetic, vibrant and healthy. Not to mention the positive effect it will have on your skin texture and overall appearance.
Stay on track and you’ll be amazed at your results. Eat well, drink plenty of water and as you progress, simply imagine your groom seeing you for the first time in your wedding gown and watching his jaw drop in speechless silence.