Wedding day preparations can be overwhelming at times. A lot of things should be scrutinized and well-planned – from the wedding cake to the flowers and rings, and even to the smallest detail of the wedding theme. After all, it is indeed a very special day for you and your groom and for everyone who will celebrate this milestone with you. Add the fact that almost all events are captured on camera today, one thing that a bride should not forget to consider important on her big day is to be in shape.
But of course, wedding or no wedding, staying in shape is easier said than done. This is especially true for brides who tend to cope to stress through eating. Regardless, you do not need to worry because that is the very reason why we are here to help you on your journey to be the fit bride you dream of.
The step-by-step guide that will follow will help prepare you to choose, plan, and execute a fitness program that will best suit your needs and goals. This will also give you an idea of how you can have a healthier lifestyle in the future.
Although please note that this guide should not replace a professional dietician’s plans and recommendations. Nonetheless, this will still pave the way to the path of your fitness journey. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Step 1: Set Your Fitness Goals for the Big Day
Now, before you start researching a list of fat burners for women, we would like for you to relax first and think deeply about what you want to happen in the future. How do you see yourself while wearing that precious wedding dress? How much weight do you want to healthily lose to look better on the big day?
Try to honestly and comprehensively answer those questions so that you may turn that vision into your target.
However, if you are still having a hard time setting your fitness goals, you may want to look and consider factors that might enlighten you in setting realistic targets. And of course, we got your back on that too. Here are some factors to consider when setting up your fitness goals for the big day.
Time Left Before the Wedding
Time spells everything. It wouldn’t matter how small or big your goals will be if you don’t have enough time to prepare for it. And this goes without saying but the more time you have before the wedding, the many more little goals and more detailed your goals can be. So it is a must to consider how much time you have left in setting up your fitness goals for the wedding.
Do you still have a year? Then you can still aim to slice off 50-100 pounds or even more before your wedding day. Reading fitness articles like the ones in Total Shape can help you lose weight sustainably.
But if you only have several months or even weeks before your wedding day, then losing a pound or a pound and a half per week is a reasonable goal to set.
Nonetheless, in general, setting up short-term fitness goals is better than setting up a one-time, big-time fitness goal. That is, it is better to set one, small goal at a time and let it eventually accumulate to achieve the “big” goal than to focus on engulfing the big goal immediately. For example, it is better to set yourself to lose 2 pounds a week for 4 weeks than to set yourself losing 8 pounds in a month. This idea has been found to reduce the pressure and overwhelm in achieving a “big” goal. Also, having achieved something weekly can motivate you to keep moving forward.
Setting up realistic weight loss targets also depends on the available resources around you. The more resources you have, the more detailed your goals can be. You may even opt to include toning your body if your resources permit you to do so. Of course, time is inarguably one of the resources we are talking about in this part. But here are some of the other resources you must consider when setting up your fitness goals:
- Fitness Partner
It can be said that having the right fitness partner by your side can double your chances of succeeding in your fitness journey. This is because, aside from motivation, the right fitness partner can guide you to correctly execute your routines. Consequently, this leads to better performance. This then yields better and faster results compared to when you exercise alone. Therefore, you can opt to choose heavier goals if you have a fitness partner.
Furthermore, having a companion by your side can nurture healthy competition and accountability – both of which are essential to success especially if you want to have a drastic fitness goal that requires an intense program.
- Gym or Exercising Equipment
Although targeted weight loss is not possible, the accessibility of certain gym or exercising equipment can give you options on which parts of your body you may opt to tone or improve. For example, having resistance bands gives you the option to work on your lower body. In particular, you may opt to focus on your glutes. On the other hand, having dumbbells available gives you the option to work on your upper muscle groups such as your triceps or shoulder muscles.
- Supply of Fresh and Healthy Foods Options
Your diet is a significant aspect of your fitness journey. Therefore, the availability and accessibility of fresh goods within your reach may limit or expand your choices in setting up your fitness goals. That is, if these food choices aren’t available or are too expensive for you to access, then you might have to limit your weight loss goals or you might need to alter your fitness program to accommodate this factor.
Step 2: Identify Aspects of Your Lifestyle That May Hinder You from Achieving Your Fitness Goals
After being clear of the goal you want to achieve, the next thing you need to do is to keep track of your general lifestyle. These include your eating habits and sleeping schedule. Then remove anything that you deem does not help achieve your fitness goals.
- Eating Habits
If you are one who eats sugars and junk foods when you’re stressed out, then I’m afraid to be the bearer of bad news but this is the time to say goodbye to these guilty pleasures. Well, at least give up on it until your wedding day is over.
To keep track of your diet, these are the questions you might want to fonder on:
- How often do you eat fast food meals?
- What meals do you usually prepare for yourself? How much meat? How much rice? (etc.)
- What unhealthy food choices do you usually eat?
Journaling your daily meals is a helpful activity that can make you more aware of your food choices. You may also choose to use diet tracking applications and calorie calculators to ease this step.
- Sleeping Schedule
Aside from eating, your sleep quality is also a huge factor that will determine the direction of your fitness journey. Studies show that sleep deprivation can decrease your weight loss from fat by as much as 55%. Also, being sleep-deprived can make you feel hungrier and less satisfied after your meals. Therefore, monitoring and correcting your sleep cycle are key factors for succeeding here.
Step 3: Choose a Strategy that Best Suits You
And now we go to the highlight of this article. Here, we are going to discuss specific ways how you can lose weight for your big day. Depending on your goals and the considerations we mentioned earlier, you may opt to choose to focus on using supplements, exercising, dieting, or a combination of these 3 to reach your fitness goals.
And here we want to stress the importance of sticking to a strategy that suits you, like how real bride Nicky was able to lose weight even with a busy schedule.
Supplements or dietary supplements are substances that you may take to add nutrients to your diet. These substances are generally prescribed to make a person healthy and strong. Usually, supplements are in the form of pills, capsules, tablets, or liquid products.
Some supplements may help you lose weight. Weight loss is possible because these supplements may either help you reduce your appetite such that you feel fuller after every meal, or these may reduce your absorption of calories in the form of fats, or these may increase your fat burning capability. Still, These supplements are especially effective when partnered with a good and healthy diet and regular exercise.
Here are some of the weight-loss dietary supplements that you may choose from:
- Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Garcinia Cambogia is a green, pumpkin-shaped fruit that gained popularity when it was featured on Dr. Oz’s show in 2012. This fruit contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which is the active ingredient in its extract.
The Garcinia Cambogia extract can help in your weight loss because it is found to inhibit a fat-producing enzyme in your body. This also increases your body’s production of serotonin, resulting in a potential reduction of your cravings.
What’s great about this supplement is that it has no reports of serious side effects. Although a small number of reports mentioned having mild digestive problems. Nonetheless, this supplement is recommended for minimal weight loss goals since it only causes modest weight loss.
Hydroxycut is one of the most prominent weight loss supplements out there. This supplement contains different active ingredients such as caffeine and other plant extracts that help in weight loss.
One promising study even showed that taking in hydroxycut may result in as much as 21 lbs of weight loss in 3 months. Although, more studies still have to be made.
However, when you use this supplement, sensitivity to caffeine may cause you to experience side effects in the form of anxiety, diarrhea, nausea, and irritability.
If you are a coffee lover, then we are sure that you are familiar with this substance. Caffeine is a well-known substance contained in coffee, green tea, and dark chocolate.
Caffeine supplement is popular for its ability to boost your metabolism. This means that this supplement can enhance your fat-burning ability. That’s why this is also commonly added in other weight loss supplements.
Studies have also shown that caffeine intake results in modest weight loss. But a little warning though, this substance can be addictive and may negatively affect your sleep schedule. Also, as mentioned earlier, it may cause side effects such as anxiety, diarrhea, nausea, and irritability. So, moderation in the use of caffeine as a weight loss supplement is highly recommended.
As for Glucomannan, it is a fiber found in the roots of elephant yam – better known as konjac. Glucomannan helps you eat fewer calories by promoting a feeling of fullness in your stomach.
This supplement is a winner because, besides the weight loss benefits, it also causes other positive effects such as increasing good bacteria in your intestinal tract, lowering your blood sugar, and hindering constipation.
However, it may also react with other oral medications that are taken at the same time. Moreover, some of its side effects also include bloating, flatulence, and soft stools.
Nonetheless, this is overall a good choice of weight loss supplement, especially when partnered with a healthy diet.
- Green Tea Extract
Similar to caffeine, green tea extract is also usually added to many weight loss supplements. It helps you lose weight by increasing the activity of norepinephrine in your body. This hormone helps you burn fat. Thus, this is advisable for people who want to lose belly fat.
What’s even better to know about this supplement is that it is generally well-tolerated. Furthermore, the health benefits of consuming green tea also apply to this supplement. Although, you still need to be mindful if you are caffeine sensitive because green tea extract contains a minimal amount of caffeine.
Regular and healthy exercising has always been a proven way to lose weight on any occasion. But what gives exercising an ideal weight loss routine is its added perk – it boosts your endorphin levels. And what does this entail? This just means that there will be no “bridezilla” vibes on your wedding day AND you can fit into your perfect gown without any trouble.
So, without further ado, here are some of the exercises you can stick to before your wedding day:
You might be surprised by this option but yoga is a good activity that serves as a weight loss exercise. It burns a good amount of calories when done regularly and properly. Furthermore, it promotes other health benefits that aid in losing weight.
In a study by Harvard Health, women who join two 90-minute sessions of yoga per week experienced a reduction in their waist size. Moreover, a 30-minute yoga session, at home or in gyms, burns around 150 calories.
Another good weight loss exercise is doing Zumba. Zumba is a whole workout routine in itself. It incorporates different movements that promote weight loss among many other benefits. Zumba has been found by many to be extremely fun because of the use of music and dance moves during the routine.
While this is more taxing than other exercises, it is also a rewarding activity. About 300 calories can be burned within an hour of a mid-intensity Zumba session. On the other hand, a high-intensity hour of this can help you burn up to 900 calories.
- Basic Exercises
Basic exercises such as stretching, walking, jogging, and jumping ropes are surely a great help in losing weight. What’s even greater with these exercises is that you can do them with little to no equipment and at any place and time you can think of.
You may incorporate any of these exercises into your routine by allotting at least 30 minutes of exercise for 3-4 days every week. Then gradually increase from there. Other than this, some people have suggested cross-fit training, running and even getting a personal trainer to lose weight for the big day.
Calorie count or calorie calculation is an important aspect of watching your diet. The golden rule is to eat just enough. Remember that eating less than you need may sabotage your fitness journey in the process.
Also, it is critical to note that simply lessening the amount of food to eat isn’t the right thing to do. Crash diets may impact your health negatively. This is because abruptly eating far fewer calories than is healthily needed may truthfully result in weight loss, but this is more often caused by the loss of water in your body. Crash diets may also lead to nutritional deficiency which in turn, may result in unpleasant changes in your body (i.e. hair, nails, and skin).
We also know that eating healthily at this point in your life is as critical a factor in building a happy married life with your husband. So, please indulge and don’t be afraid to feed yourself. Just watch out for the foods you should avoid and the foods you can heartily include in your menus.
Here are the foods you should avoid or moderately eat before your wedding day:
- High-Fat Dairy Products
This goes without saying but this type of dairy product contains a large number of calories. Therefore, regularly incorporating this into your diet may lead to weight gain. Also, other studies have shown that these foods cause bloating in people who are sensitive to dairy.
Some examples of these foods are whole milk, coffee creamers, butter, and cheeses.
- High-Fat Meats and Products
For the same reason as above, high-fat meats should be avoided or, at the very least, minimized. Some examples of high-fat meats and products are fatty cuts of beef, pork, and lamb, the dark parts of chicken meat and its skin, lard, and oils.
- High-Sugar Foods and Beverages
High-sugar products are highly caloric. Therefore, you might need to avoid indulging in these foods and beverages. Some examples of such are
- Salty Foods
Salty foods are known to promote your body’s retention of water. This in turn causes bloating and even sluggishness. Additionally, foods with high salt content can cause headaches.
Some examples of salty foods include fries, pasta, all sorts of junk foods, pizza, pretzel, and most fast foods.
- Alcoholic Beverages
Now we know that you might get sad from this but alcoholic beverages promote bloating. So I’m afraid you need to say goodbye to your favorite wines and beers for now.
Here are the foods you may freely eat before your big day:
- Fruits and Vegetables
The vast majority of fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients that are helpful for your weight loss journey. These are also generally low in calories so indulging in these snacks is guilt-free.
Some of the fruits and vegetables you might want to check out are grapefruits, apples, berries, oranges, pumpkin, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, and many, many more.
- Lean Meats
Compared to non-lean meats, lean meats have less calorie content while still having rich content of proteins. Including lean meats in your diet menus instead of non-lean meats is also a healthy way to lose weight.
Some good examples of lean meat that you can include in your diet menus are pork tenderloin, white-fleshed fish such as cod, tilapia, and mullet, and chicken breast.
- Low-Fat Dairy Products
As the name suggests, low-fat dairy products are low in fat, and therefore, are low in calories as well. Some examples of these are skimmed milk, cream cheese or fat-free cream cheese, and plain, low-fat yogurt.
So now that you are already able to choose a strategy that will be most suitable to your needs and wants for your big day, let’s head to the next step.
Step 4: Stick to the Plan
We are now down to the last step of this guide. But don’t relax just yet. The last step can be said to be the hardest part of this journey. Sticking or committing to the plan takes more than just resources and physical effort. For this part, your mind will be the one to take the test.
That being said, if you’re just not seeing the results that you want, you can always just rent a wedding dress from a trusted company so you have one less thing to worry about.
Here are some tips to help you set your eyes on your goals:
- Have an Accountability Partner
You may ask your groom-to-be to help you motivate yourself daily. A trusted family member or a friend can also help you monitor your progress. The thing is, whoever can give you the necessary support when you feel down is a good accountability partner to have.
- Set Reminders
Willingness on your part may be abundant. But with the overflowing wedding concerns here and there might divert your attention from this fitness journey you want to have. Therefore, it would be helpful if you set up alarms on your phone on when your exercise would be. You may also post handwritten notes on immediately visible places (i.e. refrigerator door) about your diet menus.
You read that right. Run! That is, run away from temptations. Give your potato chips and chocolate bars away. Empty your refrigerator of the foods you need to avoid. A friend is urging you to attend a drinking party? Decline. But of course, communicate it well.
And that’s it! We hope that this guide helps you to be the fit bride for your big day. Now that you’re on your way to slimming down, you can check out wedding gown recommendations and other bridal tips here.