As a bride-to-be, it’s only natural that you want to look your best for the big day. In the midst of all that planning, be sure to put your sanity and health at the forefront, not the size of your dress.
Congrats! Your wedding date has just been set for under a year from now. You’re feeling the excitement and anticipation of the big day, so you start digging right into the planning.
And in the midst of all that, you find yourself consuming bridal content through social media and magazines. Everywhere you look, you see reminders of body ‘ideals’ and start feeling that pressure of being thin and losing weight to look your best.
Advice around crash diets, restrictions and eliminations run rampant in bride-to-be content, so I decided to investigate this for my own wedding. I ran an informal poll asking people about their thoughts around wedding weight loss. Just about everyone who had not gone through a wedding yet had a unanimous answer:
The intent to slim down for their big day.
However, when I polled former brides, they sang a different tune. Many said: “No way, don’t try to lose weight for your wedding.
It’s overrated, it will make you feel bad about yourself, and the time is stressful enough without pressure to lose weight.”
In fact, many brides said they did it, and wouldn’t recommend it.
Hindsight is 20/20, right?
I believe in loving yourself where you’re at, but I also know there is a way to work on yourself in a positive way, if you choose to. After all, whether it is your wedding, a big holiday party, or a momentous birthday, we all want to look our best and feel confident. However, we deserve to feel good without the exhaustion of trying to control and stress over everything we eat.
Here are 5 quick tips to look and feel better without removing every food you love from your life.
1. Get active.
Get some movement in at least three days a week. Find a friend and hold each other accountable. Get a trainer together, attend fitness classes, or go for walks. Prefer a solo motivator? Invest in new gear, a trainer, a new membership, or some studio classes or online subscription that will make exercising fun.
2. Eat greens 2 times per day.
You don’t need a crash diet to tell you you’re not eating enough veggies. Greens fight inflammation and help digestion, so focus on getting in more of this good stuff, and worry less about what you must be eliminating. Quick tip: add greens to your eggs in the AM, a smoothie, and include a salad at dinner
3. Cut down on added sugar.
If you’re trying to reduce your added sugar intake, cut down in a way where you won’t feel deprived and end up overeating. Identify where you habitually take in sugar, like your coffee or oatmeal to help you recognize where you are eating sugar without even thinking about it. Consider some fun replacements like dried fruit, fresh fruit, and dark chocolate.
4. Cook at home more than you are now.
You don’t need some quick fix diet to convince you that planning ahead and eating at home is important. Plan and prep ahead, and make sure you’re getting in a balance of nutritious foods to keep you nourished and satisfied.
5. Drink smart.
When we are in celebration mode there is also an excess of outings, happy hours, dinners, and more. It can also be hard to juggle social happenings with your goals. Drink responsibly by sticking to non-sugary cocktails and simple drinks like dry wine, light beer, vodka or other liquor of choice with soda water. If you want a specialty cocktail, ask them to replace the sweetened soda or juice in the drink with seltzer water.
Of course, the choice is ultimately up to you, but ask yourself this before you consider going full force on that wedding crash diet:
Have you tried to lose weight through dieting before, and was it sustainable?
For 95% of people, crash dieting backfires…always.
In knowing these odds, it’s probably not worth it to stress so much on your body’s appearance. And in the midst of all the planning craziness, simply remember what your big day is really about:
Adapted from the original article.
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Courtney Ferreira, MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian based in Baltimore, MD with a passion for helping individuals reach their health and wellness through flavorful whole foods and freedom from counting calories, fat, and minutes on a treadmill. For more insightful tips on living your healthiest life, visit Courtney at the RealFoodCourt.