There are so many things to consider when planning a wedding—the rings, the cake, the flowers, and sometimes—losing weight. Many brides and grooms see their wedding day as an ideal time to shed pounds and get fit. And why not? Of course you want to look your best on your special day. However, like many things, there is a wrong way and a right way to wedding weight loss. Like a marriage, losing weight is a lifestyle change that requires time, consistency, and commitment. Turning to unhealthy “quick fixes” often backfires and typically ends up causing more harm than good. For those couples who wish to lose weight before their big day, here are the do’s and don’ts of wedding weight loss.
Do have realistic expectations
Setting yourself up for successful weight loss means having realistic expectations. For example, dropping 20 pounds in a month isn’t going to happen. A good rule of thumb is aiming to lose about two pounds per week, so about eight to 10 pounds a month is a reasonable maximum. This means that if you want to lose 30 pounds before your wedding day, you should start your weight loss program at least three to six months before the wedding.
Don’t try any crash diets
This includes any quick fixes like liquid diets, fasts, and diet pills. Those are all a big no-no. So are skipping meals or cutting calories so much that you’re barely eating anything at all. Not only will crash diets often lead you to gain the weight back and then some, but they can also seriously affect and damage your health long-term, creating dehydration, gallstones, kidney stones, low blood pressure and electrolyte disturbances. The short terms results just aren’t worth it.
Do drink more water and load up on fresh produce and lean protein
Regularly hydrating yourself with water, especially before and after meals, will help keep you feeling full and energized throughout the day. Loading up on fresh fruits and veggies, as well as lean protein including fish, beans, and chicken, will help build lean muscle mass and drop pounds while also satiating your appetite so you’re not hungry for sugary snacks and dessert later.
Don’t eat too much sugary or processed food
While sugary and salty processed food like cookies, chips, and crackers, are tasty treats, they’re definitely not the type of foods you want to eat when trying to lose weight. They not only promote weight gain, but are also void of any nutritional value and overconsumption can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and other ailments.
Do exercise regularly
Your diet is only half of a healthy weight loss plan. Exercise is essential when it comes to shedding pounds for your big day, busting calories and helping you tone your body from head to toe. Focus on different toning and cardio exercises, including everything from weight lifting to running to yoga to pilates and barre. Implementing three to five days of exercise in your schedule will help show you the best results.
Don’t consume a lot of alcohol
Yes, we know you’ll be enjoying a lot of toasts leading up to your wedding, but when it comes to losing weight, you’re best to eschew alcohol altogether or limit yourself to one or two drinks a week. Alcohol is filled with empty calories and sugar, and is therefore not your friend when it comes to getting a trim figure.
Don’t take yourself too seriously
Losing weight can be hard work. There will be some ups and downs, and some annoying plateaus in between. The important thing is for you to focus on your goal and why it’s important to you—but also to have a little fun while doing it. You’ll enjoy the process a lot more if you do.
While there might not be a short-term fix for your wedding weight loss goal, by sticking to a consistent healthy plan of eating nutritious food and exercising regularly, you’ll no doubt feel and look better on your big day no matter what.