For most brides, the single most important thing on the day of their wedding is looking their best. From their hair to their makeup to finding the perfect wedding dress and veil, it’s all about feeling beautiful on that very special day. For many of us, the first thing we think of when wanting to feel more confident is losing weight. If you’re a bride and you’re looking to start a diet or want to tone up a bit, there are some things you should do.
We all know the weight-loss mantra of “eat right and exercise more,” but generally speaking it is entirely too vague to really work long term, and short-term solutions often leave you not only unhappy but also unhealthy. If your timeline for weight loss is tight and ends at the point of your wedding day, you probably want some specifics that are easy to remember and even easier to follow and can create some habits that will carry you well beyond your wedding weight loss goal.
Drink water. This is one of the first keys to weight loss. People drink more calories than they realize. Whether it is in the form of soda, sweetened teas, or even fruit juices, eliminating as many calories as possible is the first step to dropping those pounds. In addition to making you feel fuller so you eat less, water consumption helps your body stay hydrated, which will be important as you become more and more active. In particular, drink water approximately 30 minutes prior to eating. One study showed drinking water a half hour before meals increased weight loss by 44 percent over three months!
Drink coffee and tea. If you’re a coffee drinker, then drink as much as you want. The caffeine can boost your metabolism by 3-11 percent. Remember, however, that adding too much sugar or milk or creamer to your cup might change the caloric intake overall. As indicated above, stay away from sugary drinks of any kind to avoid drinking in calories.
Focus on home cooking and whole foods. Eating out is probably a no-no if you’re looking to lose weight. Focus instead on developing meals that are high in protein. Eating a high-protein breakfast can help reduce cravings and decrease your calorie intake throughout the day, so you may want to consider a protein shake over processed cereals.
Eat mostly whole foods and avoid consuming too many processed foods. A whole food would be considered, ideally, as a food with only one ingredient (e.g., apple, chicken, cucumber). These foods reduce cholesterol, regulate blood sugars, and have been shown to help you maintain your weight. Whole foods are healthier, more satisfying, and less likely to promote overeating.
An easy tip for beginners is to focus their grocery shopping to the “outside” of the grocery store where the whole foods are primarily housed. The inner aisles of grocery stores are more likely to have processed foods, which is any food with more than one ingredient and where food companies typically add sugar, preservatives, dyes, and saturated or trans fat. Chicken, pork, and fish should be staples in your diet, along with a wide range of vegetables and fruits. If you’re looking for healthy snacks, think about nuts or beef jerky.
Eat slowly. Eat slowly and mindfully. Slow eaters tend to be thinner because they eat less. Eating slowly allows your feeling of fullness to become apparent because it induces satiety hormones. Fast eaters tend to eat more because the process of “feeling full” takes about 20 minutes, so slowing down gives your brain the time it needs to receive the signals of satiation.
Weigh yourself every day. I know this rule of thumb sounds less than enticing, but knowing where you are in relation to your goal is critical. It is not hard for a pound or two to creep up on us, so weighing yourself will allow you to stay on track. Research has shown that people who weigh themselves regularly are not only more likely to reach their weight loss goal, but to keep the weight off long-term. If stepping on a scale brings you that much closer to your goal, why not just do it?
Get your rest. Get your rest every night. Poor sleep is one major risk factor for weight gain, so getting the appropriate amount of shut-eye is critical to reaching your goal. Don’t let the stress and busy-ness associated with wedding planning keep you from doing what you need to do to lose weight and feel beautiful!
Do you have any weight loss tips you can share?