Congratulations on your engagement. You’re not only getting used to the idea that you’re about to spend the rest of your life with your beloved, but you may also be feeling like you’re drowning in all your wedding planning decisions. All this is going to push you to your mental and physical limits at times.
Research shows that getting fitter and eating healthily can help reduce stress. Instead of following a fad diet and short-term exercise programme, lose weight and tone up so that you’ll look fabulous and feel confident on your wedding day, your honeymoon and into your married life.
Be realistic with your goals. Aim for being healthier rather than picking a specific dress size. If you can, meet with a nutritionist or personal trainer to get support to start a healthier lifestyle that you can maintain after the wedding.
Expect to lose between 4 and 8 pounds in a month. Unrealistic goals will set you up for failure and may lead you abandoning any plan to get healthier. Even if you lose weight on a starvation diet, you won’t look good because you’ll be losing metabolism, power, strength and energy — all of which you need as it’s such a stressful time.
The 4 main principles to reach your goal of losing weight and toning up are cardiovascular exercise, good nutrition, strength training, and stretching.
Top 10 Tips
1. Treat each workout like an important appointment. Start training ten weeks before the big day so that you can peak two weeks before the wedding and then maintain until the wedding day. Ask your bridesmaids to join you at the gym, this will help you keep appointments and will help you all look fabulous in the wedding photographs.
2. Save time by working out at home. Combine strength training and high-intensity cardiovascular exercises three times a week. Completing a workout you’ve already scheduled time for will give you a sense of accomplishment.
3. Design a workout around your dress: focus on your arms, shoulders and back if they’re on show, or tummy toners, legs, thighs and butt workouts for fitted dresses.
4. Walk or cycle four times a week. Even at low intensity this keeps you in the fat-burning zone.
5. Schedule in downtime to keep the stress – and Bridezilla – at bay.
6. Research recipes and plan meals in advance. You must continue to eat, particularly when you’re stressed.
7. Try and cut down on foods such as white rice, white bread and white pasta. Replace them with quinoa, brown rice and sweet potatoes to keep your blood pressure balanced.
8. For brides who have a sweet tooth, try and cut out the cakes and pastries in the 10 weeks before the wedding. If you really struggle, eat some dark chocolate as a treat after a workout.
9. Cut out alcohol. You don’t want to take in wasted calories from alcohol. Nor do you want to be hungover and skipping your workout sessions. If you miss just ten per cent of your workouts, you won’t get the results that you want.
10. Your training should be a long-term process, but you can do a boot camp to speed up your fat burning and if you want to do very intensive activity. Ideally, you really need to train for ten weeks and not use boot camps as a quick fix.