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6 Things You Must Know to Avoid Pre-Wedding Weight Gain

Wedding planning is stressful! There always seems to be too much to do and too little time to get it done. Though everyone deals with stress differently, weight gain is a commonly reported issue amongst stressed out folks like busy brides-to-be.

Here are the top 6 Things You Must Know to Avoid Pre-Wedding Weight Gain:

  1. Evaluate Your Options & Build a Balanced Plate

Whether you are at a buffet, celebration, or on the run there are usually several food options available for you to choose from; some healthier than others. Though making an occasional exception to indulge might usually be fine, the closer you get to your wedding day the more important it is to be extra vigilant of your intake.

The best way to balance out calories and nutrition is to aim for a healthy plate, which features ¼ protein + ¼ carbohydrates + ½ vegetables.

  • Go for lean proteins such as beans, lentils, tofu, poultry, and lean cuts of meat
  • Choose complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole grain bread or pasta, buckwheat, quinoa, barley, oatmeal; stay away from white & refined grains
  • Load up on vegetables—two handfuls worth at lunch & dinner—of various colours that are served fresh, steamed, grilled, or lightly sautéed

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  1. Use Smaller Plates

The eyes are often hungrier than the stomach, especially when we are famished. Most people fill their plates to the brim and consume larger portions than are needed to satisfy hunger. As visual queues are an important aspect of satiety, it is important to understand how to use them to your advantage.

Using smaller plates will help you feel fuller with a smaller amount of food. This is particularly important if you have a habit of finishing everything on your plate. Eating an identical portion of food from a filled small plate will actually make you feel fuller than eating the same amount of food from a partly empty larger plate. Think of it as an optical food illusion that you can use to control your weight without changing the foods you eat.

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  1. Limit “Sometimes Foods”

Between engagement parties, bridal showers, and wedding food tastings there is sure to be a fair share of “sometimes foods”—sugary, fried, and generally unhealthy food options.

Though it will likely be impossible to avoid these entirely, it is important to try and limit them. They can wreak havoc not only on your waistline, but also on your skin and overall mood.

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  1. Be Mindful of liquid calories

Though watching our calories often focuses on the foods we eat, it is important to also be mindful of the liquid calories one may be consuming. Both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages can have quite the caloric kick.

Consider the following:

  • A medium white hot chocolate from Tim Horton’s is 380 calories. If you have 2 a week for 1 year, this adds up to just over 10 lbs.
  • Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, which is almost as much a gram of fat, with some varieties—like liqueurs—adding calories to that with sugars. A shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream is about 121 calories. If you have 3 shots per week for a year, that adds up to just over 5 lbs.

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  1. Work in a Workout Plan

Though nutrition is a huge part of the weight control pie, we cannot discount the importance of exercise. Being physically active can help burn off those extra calories, as well as improve overall health and mood. However, it’s important not to give yourself permission to eat extra because you exercised a little, as calories are much harder to work off than consume.

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  1. Review Your Intake with a Registered Dietitian

Tried all of the above and still gaining weight or not losing it fast enough? Do you feel stuck and unsure about what you’re doing wrong or how to eat healthy? Best for Bride’s personal nutrition consultant—Anna Gofeld, RD, M.A.N.—can help answer all of your food related questions.

Getting advice from a registered dietitian (RD) is the best way to make sure you’re on the right track with your eating. As the only nutrition professionals accredited by a provincial regulatory body, RDs use evidence-based knowledge and skills to promote good health. Since dietitian services are included in many employers’ health insurance plans, you may be able to access Anna’s services for free or at a low out-of-pocket cost. Most importantly, an RD will help you make changes that are sustainable for life, which is more than what any fad diet can offer. Investing in professional nutrition counsel is investing in your health for year to come.

And for a LIMITED TIME, Best for Bride customers receive a 10% discount* on services from Eat Well Anna Nutrition Consulting

Wishing you great health and good food,

Anna Gofeld, RD, M.A.N., BASc

Owner of Eat Well Anna Nutrition Consulting – annagofeld.com
Registered Dietitian
Masters of Applied Nutrition
BASc Nutrition and Food

*New clients only. Limit of one discount per customer. Offer may be revoked at any time and cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Best for Bride offer must be mentioned prior to payment to be applied. Limited time offer. No cash value.
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The Benefits of Eating Chocolate

The month of February is often associated with Valentine’s Day, an occasion often celebrated with chocolate. Considering its historic use as an aphrodisiac, ability to improve mood, and potential heart health benefits, it is no wonder why this dark delight has long been linked to the celebration of love.

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Here are some benefits of eating chocolate include:

1. Improved mode, libido, and alertness

Eating chocolate releases chemicals in the brain that can help improve mode and libido. As well, its caffeine and threobromine content gives chocolate stimulant properties similar to coffee, which may help to improve alertness. This, in combination with the carbohydrate energy it supplies, makes chocolate a great snack for long romantic evenings.

2. Antioxidants

Chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which help repair damaged cells in the body and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease. However, antioxidant content varies greatly among chocolate products, with the least processed—i.e. cocoa powder and dark chocolate—being highest in flavonoid content and potential health benefits. For the greatest benefit, choose dark or unsweetened chocolate that lists 60% or more cocoa solids on the label.

Despite some health benefits of chocolate, it also contains compounds that are detrimental to health.

Cocoa butter—a saturated fat that can raise cholesterol—is a popular chocolate additive. As well, all chocolate is high in sugar, fat, and calories, which could all lead to increased weight and associated co-morbidities. Unfortunately, milk chocolate, white chocolate, or chocolates with any sort if additives (nuts, nougat, caramel, etc.) are low in flavonoid content and thereby lower in health benefit.

When weighing out the pros and cons, it is still best to enjoy chocolate in small quantities, particularly since research is insufficient to recommend chocolate for its health benefits benefits. If you do choose to indulge,

  • choose dark chocolate containing >60% of cocoa solids
  • use cocoa powder in beverages and baking to reduce the fat and calories content

The health benefit of flavonoids can also be reaped from consuming citrus fruits, apples, berries, nuts, grapes, green tea and onions. In addition, these foods provide other nutrients beneficial to overall health and can easily be incorporated into the daily diet without the drawbacks of chocolate.

If you have any questions about healthy eating, weight loss, chocolate or any other foods, Registered Dietitian Anna Gofeld will be more than happy to answer them for you.

~Live, love, laugh, and eat chocolate in moderation~

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5 Reasons for Newlyweds to Adopt Healthy Habits

It’s no secret that good nutrition and lifestyle habits are important to living a long and healthy life. We often make New Year’s resolutions or “I’ll start on Monday” goals, but lack the motivation to begin or maintain the changes.

However, as you make the transition into married life, it is more important than ever to adopt healthy habits. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. New chapter brings change

Getting married brings a lot of changes into your life. New extended family, new ring, perhaps a new last name or house—there are many ways in which a wedding changes your life.

It is important to use this time of transition to bring as many positive changes into your life as possible, using this momentum as motivation. This is a great time to change your health habits for the better, such as improving your eating and exercise routines.

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  1. Eating for two

The food choices you make now will affect at least two people—you and your spouse—as well as anyone else who may be joining you.

Considering that each food choice you make will have at least double the impact than before—on both your short-term and long-term health—it is a worthwhile investment to make sure you’re doing it right.

Getting advice from a registered dietitian (RD) is the best way to make sure you’re on the right track with your eating. As the only nutrition professionals accredited by a provincial regulatory body, RDs use evidence-based knowledge and skills to promote good health. Since registered dietitian services are included in many employers’ health insurance plans, they can often be access for free or at low out-of-pocket cost. Most importantly, an RD will help you make changes that are sustainable for life, which is more than what any fad diet can offer. Investing in their professional counsel is investing in your health for year to come.

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  1. You have an ally

Now that you’re married and living together, you both have a new ally, by your side to support you through the easy and difficult aspects of change. Take advantage of this and make health improvements a team effort.

People seeking to make positive health changes often reported that having a gym buddy or healthy eating friend has helped to keep them motivated to reach their goals. Cooking or being active together is also a great bonding opportunity. Getting healthy together will allow you to strengthen your bodies, but also your new bond as you find more activities you enjoy doing together.

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  1. You have someone to be healthy for

You’re no longer on your own. The health choices you make impact your spouse, but have an even greater impact on your kids, both current and future.

We learn eating habits at an early age and often maintain them for life. As the rate of childhood obesity continues to rise, it serves as a reminder to the importance of setting a good example and building good nutrition habits early in life. Obesity often starts in childhood and continues into later life, so it’s important to prevent the problem before it begins.

Parental attitudes toward health usually transfer over to their kids, as they take queues from what they observe in their environment to form their own preferences. Parents and caregivers are the gatekeepers to good nutrition and healthy habits. If children can only choose between several healthy options, they have no opportunity to make unhealthy choices.

Start by building your own good eating habits now, so that when kids come along it will be one less thing you have to worry about.

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  1. Stay beautiful for years to come

Many couples will set a “wedding body” goal as motivation to lose weight and start exercising. It’s a shame that these positive changes are often abandoned after the big day.

However, your wedding should be a checkpoint instead of an endpoint to your healthy habits. Who doesn’t want to look as good for the rest of their lives as they did on their big day—or even better!

Instead of reverting to your old unhealthy lifestyle and nutrition habits, adopt those improvements into your new union. Use your anniversary as a way to assess your progress in the last year and since your wedding, as well as identify what else you need to work on. This will help you both look good and feel great for life, not just for one day.

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Wishing you great health and good food,

Anna Gofeld, RD, M.A.N., BASc

Owner of Eat Well Anna Nutrition Consulting – annagofeld.com
Registered Dietitian
Masters of Applied Nutrition
BASc Nutrition and Food