You want to look your best on your wedding day, and if you feel so inclined, a wedding weight loss routine may be right for you. There’s no need to resort to fad diets and over-the-top exercise programs, however. Before you dive in, it’s important to pause and think things through.
Your spouse-to-be fell in love with you the way you are, and they wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself in the pursuit of “beauty.” They want to see the glorious, smiling, radiant you waiting at the altar — and part of that is feeling good just as much as looking good.
If “feeling good” means you want to lose some weight and tone muscle, it starts with healthy habits. Here are nine strategies to help you make progress.
1. Make a Plan
How long do you have before your wedding day? The internet hosts scores of fad diets that promise to help you drop as much as 10 pounds or more in one week. However, doing so isn’t necessarily safe, nor will it give you the toned physique you’re looking for. Most experts recommend you lose one to two pounds per week for lasting results — so break out the calculator and chart a realistic course.
Remember, many people overestimate what they can accomplish in a short time, but they underestimate what they can do over the long haul. You’ll feel miserable if you wait until two weeks before the wedding and starve yourself. Your body and mind will thank you for starting early and taking a gradual approach.
2. Try a Water Workout
How do you want to look on your wedding day? Some brides love showing off their guns, but if you prefer a more streamlined physique, why not jump in the water? Research indicates that running on an underwater treadmill creates leaner muscle mass than the same workout on land. Plus, you don’t get all sweaty on humid days.
If you don’t want to swim, don’t worry. You can walk laps or try an aqua aerobics class on for size. You’ll still tone muscles due to water resistance, and you’ll love your streamlined bod.
3. Work Out in Intervals
Do you have a busy schedule that barely leaves you any breathing room, let alone workout time? Why not try high-intensity interval training (HIIT)? It can produce health benefits similar to a moderate workout that takes twice as long. It burns 25% to 30% more calories per half hour than running, biking or weightlifting.
4. Add a Little More Variety
Variety is the spice of life — and the stuff that builds muscles. Changing up your workout every now and then keeps you motivated because it staves off boredom. However, that’s not the only benefit. Mixing it up also helps you blast through training plateaus by engaging different muscle groups whenever you hit the gym.
5. Don’t Obsess Over the Scale
Your bathroom scale can be quite the prankster when you’re trying to lose weight. If you didn’t exercise previously, you might see the numbers creep before they start to diminish. Why? Muscle weighs more than fat — you will still shrink even if you don’t drop a ton.
6. Give Low-Carb a Try
Your body primarily burns carbohydrates for fuel, and when it doesn’t get enough of them through your intake, it turns to fat for energy. Research shows this approach results in rapid induction of weight loss due to ketogenesis, the process through which your body switches from burning carbs to fat. You can try several different plans, from keto to paleo to Atkins.
7. Consider a Vegetarian Diet
Studies also show that vegetarians tend to weigh less than omnivores on average. They also have leaner bodies — so if you thought that post-workout burger was doing your muscles a protein favor, think again.
A comparison of over 70,000 participants over five years indicated that strict vegetarians have the lowest mean body mass index compared to pescatarians and meat-eaters.
8. Learn to Cook
Do you live on drive-thru meals? Don’t expect to shed your pre-wedding-day weight if you do. Many fast-food products are high in sugar, carbs and fat that pack on pounds quickly. Instead, why not take a cooking course?
You can find free videos online and teach yourself how to whip up lower caloric versions of favorites that are every bit as flavorful.
Cortisol is a stress hormone, and as you prepare for your wedding day, you may have excess levels of it. Unfortunately, too much can make it challenging for you to lose weight as it signals your body to eat more to prepare for ongoing battle.
Do your best to ease stress by practicing techniques like yoga and meditation. You might also try adding adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha and astragalus to your morning coffee or tea, as evidence suggests they help decrease this substance.
Lose Pre-Wedding Weight the Healthy, Sensible Way
You don’t have to go on a crash diet to fit into your wedding dress. Follow this plan to lose weight wisely and keep it off for life as you enjoy marital bliss.