How to lose weight before your wedding

Your special day is here…the day all little girls dream of. You’ve come a long way…you’ve left your awkward “I hate all boys” phase far behind, you’ve kissed many frogs and you’ve finally found your prince. Now, your parents want to give you a wedding party you’ll never forget and you’ve already heard about the surprise bachelorette party that your friends are planning. Of course, you want to look like a princess on your special day. This is the day that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Your hair has to be perfect, your skin unblemished and you definitely don’t want to look fat, plump, or even a little bloated on this special day.

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Your wedding photographs will be shared with friends, colleagues and relatives…close and random. Yes, even with that annoying little cousin of yours who’s just waiting for your hair to go limp or your paunch to show.   

This isn’t like a random weekend trip when you can look plump and no one will even bother. No way...they won’t even let you forget something as small as a smudged eye liner. Those extra pounds on your wedding day will definitely invite a lot of negative attention. Apart from these obvious reasons, you should also consider a serious weight loss program before your wedding, ecause you’re not going to feel pretty, confident and radiant if you’re less than perfect. We settle for less all the time but on your wedding day, you owe it to yourself to look your stunning best. After all, do you really want to look like you’re filling in your dress?

Planning to look your best on your wedding day should ideally start a few months in advance. A good combination of exercise and watching your food intake will help you look great on the important day. Aim at losing a specific amount of weight, preferably in inches, and assign a timeline for it.

healthy will help you achieve your goal sooner. 

Give up sinful habits such as smearing your sandwich with mayonnaise, butter and cheese. You can certainly lay off them for a few months. Every time you feel the craving, imagine it passing through your system and settling on your backside…because that’s exactly what it does. 

Skip unnecessary carbs like white bread and white rice. If you must, stick to whole wheat bread and pasta. You’ll be surprised at how delicious brown rice is. Be careful and don’t fall for the “brown bread gimmick”. Read the label before buying anything. The words to watch out for are “whole wheat” or “whole grain”.

Say no to cakes, brownies and cookies. If at all, try to limit your sinful sweet intake to the weekends. Also, proactively work towards reducing the portions. Do you really need to finish the entire portion of the 'Death by Chocolate'. Would it be so bad to share the cheesecake with your friend? Research shows that the human body craves only a little sugar and this need is satiated in the first two spoonfuls of dessert that you eat. However, what spoils it for us are the images from popular media that show people devouring large, chunky pieces of cake and large portions of fudge. Start by halving your dessert portion and stick to the weekend rule and you will feel a visible change in your craving as well.    

Another way of satisfying your sweet craving is by replacing these high fat foods with delicious fruits like berries, melons, mangoes, etc. Make it interesting by chopping several kinds of fruit and tossing it all in a huge bowl. My system always feels happy after devouring a watermelon.

If you don’t want to eat anything with high calories, avoid going shopping for food when you’re hungry. The secret to healthy eating is not buying anything you shouldn’t be eating. When you’re hungry, you’re most likely to reach out for doughnuts rather than carrots. Spare yourself the temptation and stock only healthier eating choices. Pig out all you want on healthy baked goodies, fruits, vegetables, soup, etc. When you go grocery shopping, always carry a list and stick to it. Even better, check your weight on your bathroom scales and then step out to buy your groceries.

Eat your heaviest meal in the early part of the day and as the day progresses, your meals should become lighter. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. Most models don’t eat after sunset. You don’t have to be this extreme but you can limit your calorie intake towards the end of the day. Stick to salads and soup after 7 p.m.

If you’re a comfort eater, try to understand what triggers your craving to nibble. For some people, tension, nervousness and pressure during a big project, or an unpleasant situation, could act as the trigger. But surprisingly, for many people, it's also excitement, joy and contentment. For instance, after clinching a prestigious deal, you feel like you deserve a tiramisu. If you know what triggers the craving, you’ll be able to address it better.

Try eating six small meals instead of three big ones. Your body can break down and digest smaller meals more effectively. Eating larger meals also induces sluggishness.

Drink 8-10 glasses of water in a day. Do this religiously in anyway you can. If colorful and quirky bottles help you do this, then buy them. If filling two bottles and putting them on your desk at work helps the cause, do it. If a post-it reminding you to drink water is necessary, do it. Water detoxifies your system and cleanses it. If you like water a little cold, ensure that you keep the bottle in the fridge for a bit. Whatever it takes for you to achieve this particular task, do it, because water aids weight loss and expedites the process.

Avoid red meat completely. If you must, limit your intake to a couple of days a week. You can replace the red meat with delicious grilled chicken and baked fish.

Try a one-day detox diet every week. Assign a day of the week when you will only eat fresh fruit and salads (with low or no fat dressing). It will not only clean your system but will also help your skin glow. Do not do this on the weekends, since it’s difficult to stick to fruits and veggies when you’re out with friends. Assign a day when you know you’ll be super busy, like Mondays. Typically, diets make you think of food all the time. So if you’re already distracted and have this crazy workload, chances are you won’t think of calling for a cheeseburger and will be forced to eat the fruit salad you made for yourself. 

Avoid high calorie breakfast options like ham and bacon or pancakes. Look up nutritious and tasty recipes. You’ll find loads of them on the net. Many dieters blog their own recipes with variations. Choose from Rolled white oats, cooked in skimmed milk, with apple and dates (no sugar), Wild mushroom and sun-dried tomatoes tossed in virgin olive oil, Strawberry or apple smoothie and Cornflakes with raisins and dates. These are just some of the many options. You can eat all you want and still lose weight if you just eat the right food.

Tea or coffee without sugar is an acquired taste. And if you’re going to be strong about the rest of the things in this list, you can cut yourself some slack and add sugar to your daily cup of tea. If you can cut down on aerated drinks, allow yourself coffee and tea with sugar. If you’re really enthusiastic, you can try black coffee with cinnamon or black tea with lemon grass. However, the key to effective weight loss is not pushing yourself beyond the point of endurance. It will only make you cranky on your wedding day and no one wants that.    

Maintain a food diary. You will be shocked at how much you’re really eating, once you start writing it down. Also, if you feel like you have to write it down, you will stop munching on cookies and crackers or nuts when you don’t really need to.

Carry lunch from home. When you’re stuck in a meeting and get out only at 2 p.m., chances are you will order fried chicken or a pizza. You can completely eliminate this by fixing your own lunch. It will only take all of 15 minutes. 

If you want to speed up your weight loss program and want to achive your ideal body type by your wedding day, you will have to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day. Any form of exercise that’s fun for you is fine. Dancing, pilates, swimming, running…absolutely anything. Do it for 20 minutes at least thrice a week for best results. Depending on the amount of weight you want to lose your regime will vary. Consult a professional for guidance.

Cardiovascular forms of exercise include running, aerobics, cycling, swimming, etc. They help increase the heart rate. However, some muscle training along with cardio will help you achieve your ideal body weight since muscle burns fat for a longer time.

Don’t even think you have to join a gym and invest in expensive tracks suits. You can buy dumbbells from your local exercise store or online and work out while watching television. You can exercise even when you’re traveling with the help of resistance tubes.

If you’re crunched for time, spot jog for 10 minutes. Or use a skipping rope. If you’re lucky enough to live close to a pool, try swimming. Swimming is the best form of exercise. Swim freestyle for 20 minutes, five days a week.

Cycling can be fun but it does not exercise your entire body. Cycle and run on alternate days. Doing it in combination with running will also help you stay motivated.

Aerobics, dancing and walking are other alternatives that you could explore. Taking a salsa session with your fiancé will not only help you lose weight but can also be a great pre-wedding gift. After all, you will be so crazed with endless shopping, trials, sampling the caterer’s appetizers and meeting wedding planners that this time together will be more than welcome.

Whatever you plan to do, create a schedule and paste it in a place where you can see it the first thing in the morning. The schedule can be anything—a diet plan or the number of meals you’ve eaten. You could also raise the bar by making a note of the number of minutes you ran or the number of crunches you did.

Don’t burn out by trying to do all this at one time. With regard to your diet, try giving up one sinful habit at one time. Doing it gradually will ensure that you stick to it. Also, choose one form of cardio exercise, and if you can squeeze it in, one form of muscle training as well. If you manage to do this, you can be sure to reach your ideal weight by the big day. And remember to eat an extra large portion of your wedding cake as a reward!

This article does not constitute medical advice. Please consult your doctor or a health care professional before starting any weight loss program.