Few things scream “it’s time to get in shape” more than getting engaged. Your wedding day is much more than just a regular day. It’s when every bride wants to look and feel her best.
But with the stress of everything that a wedding involves – finding an unforgettable venue, the best photographer, beautiful flower arrangements, delicious food, and good music – planning for this special day can easily become a tower of stressful events for the couple. Adding to the stress of wedding planning, for your “big day’ may also include dieting and losing weight so you can fit in that perfect dress you have been dreaming about.
Stress can slow you down, but having your wedding day as a deadline can help you find the motivation you need to find a nutrition plan that works for you. These six tips will help you start on your goal of looking and feeling beautiful on your special day:
I suggest replacing breakfast and lunch with a protein shake that provides about 20 grams of protein and at least 200 calories to keep you full and satisfied until your next meal. The advantage to this approach is that well-balanced protein shake provides easy protein and calorie control, since you know exactly what goes into it. And, with enough protein to help keep you satisfied, you’ll be less likely to make poor choices when you go out with your girlfriends. Rather than giving up time with your friends, I suggest you have a shake before meeting up, then socializing over a green salad with a little dressing on the side or a broth-based soup.
Cooking at home will give you a lot of control over what you eat and how much. If you do use the meal replacements for two meals a day, your third meal should place an emphasis on lean proteins and vegetables. Build your meal on proteins such as poultry breast or fish—and have both a vegetable salad and cooked vegetables alongside. Also, limit your starch to one small portion and, if you do have a starchy side, choose whole grains whenever possible.
A well-planned snack in the afternoon can help take the edge off hunger at dinner time. It’s also a great time to sneak in some extra fruits and vegetables. Rather than grazing on sweets or chips, try to eat a protein-based snack such as a small carton of yogurt, a protein snack bar, some raw veggies with hummus or a little bit of cottage cheese with fruit.
You need two or three servings of fruit a day. An easy way to meet your needs is to add fruit to your shakes, which will allow you to have your daily fruit needs more or less covered.
Logging your food intake is a good idea for a couple of reasons. For one thing, it will help you to keep your calories in check. And it can also help you with your emotional eating as well. When you get the urge to eat, I suggest you pull out your food diary and write down how you are feeling instead. If you can delay the urge to eat, even if only by a few minutes, the hunger for a snack is likely to pass.
It’s important to combine exercise with your healthy diet in order to meet your goals. But choose activities that you enjoy – if you don’t, it’s unlikely you’ll stick with your exercise plan. Ideally, your exercise program will include both cardio and strength training – but you can get your cardio by fast walking, swimming, bicycling or dancing, for example. Many people rely on food to cope with stressful situations; however, stress eating doesn’t usually take away stress – and often adds weight. Since exercise is a great stress-reducer, it can help you deal with the stress while losing pounds and toning your body – and will help ensure that you’ll look your best in that beautiful wedding dress.
Remember, years from today nobody will remember the food or the flowers, but they will remember you. So have fun planning your big day and take care of yourself as you prepare.