Every bride wants to look perfect on her wedding day. Selecting a dress that will make you look and feel great is an important first step. But what happens when you look in the mirror and don’t think you look quite as good as you could? When this happens it’s not uncommon for brides to try quick-fix diets to help them get in shape. Unfortunately, many dieting brides make fitness mistakes that not only prevent them from reaching their goals but also cause unnecessary stress and sometimes even illness. Those are two things no bride needs! Here are five of the most common diet mistakes as well as some tips to help you avoid them.
1. Too much, too late.
One of the most important things to remember if you are trying to lose weight is to start early. For example, don’t try to lose 20 pounds two months before the big day. The key is to plan ahead so that you can lose the weight (or just tone up) gradually. So if you’re dream-wedding day includes you being in great shape, then include fitness as a “to-do” on your overall wedding checklist. That way it will be a priority in your wedding planning.
2. Setting unachievable goals.
Many women get engaged and begin imagining themselves drastically thinner or more sculpted. Be realistic with yourself. If you’ve never been a size 6 in your life, then it is probably unrealistic to think you can magically transform just because you are getting married. And, do you really want to look so different on your wedding day that most people (including your fiancé) hardly recognize you?
3. Radical diets or fitness programs.
Brides typically are short on time and long on to-do lists. This leads many to try unhealthy fitness programs or starvation diets. Don’t be tempted by diets that promise quick, drastic results with little effort from you. You should avoid any programs that suggest taking “diet” pills or eating unbalanced meals (like eating only cabbage soup for a week). And, don’t be lured into trying dangerous things, like laxatives.
4. Not exercising.
It’s very easy for brides to say “I don’t have time to exercise” or “I’m too tired to exercise”. But diet and exercise should always go hand in hand. Consider them to be like yin and yang. Without activity your body can’t burn as many calories. If you are very short on time, try to exercise in small 10-minute bursts throughout the day. And, keep in mind that little things help too, like taking the stairs or parking at the outer edge of the mall parking lot. Plus, if you are tired from all of your planning, exercise will help give you back some energy.
5. Skipping Meals
It’s not uncommon to get caught up in your planning and then realize at 9 p.m. (as your head begins to ache) that you haven’t eaten a thing all day. While it may not be an uncommon scenario, it is unavoidable. Not only is skipping meals unhealthy, it can lead to binge eating. That often means eating very fattening foods and/or overeating all at once. To avoid this, try packing light snacks to keep on hand throughout the day. Good examples include carrot sticks, cheese strings, peanut butter on crackers, etc.
Getting in shape doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t require a lot of time. If you are trying to lose weight or firm up before your wedding, below are some sample plans to help you get started. Keep in mind that the most important thing is for a bride to feel good about herself. And no matter what size or shape, all brides are beautiful on their wedding day!
Sample Exercise FITscription:
20 – 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (3 – 5 time per week)
Example: 2-5 minutes of brisk walking, 2-5 minutes of jumping jacks (repeat for 20 – 30 minutes)
Sample Meal Plan:
Eat 5-7 small meals per day (meals should include protein, grains, vegetables, etc. to meet the food pyramid daily requirements)
Example: Small, grilled, skinless chicken breast
Slice of whole wheat bread
Slice of cheese
Glass of Water (2 or 3 would be even better)