So first things first (and my disclaimer to you all) – you do NOT need to lose weight FOR your wedding. I’ll tell you, those around you will probably tell you, and your H2B will probably tell you ( and if he’s telling you otherwise, well….) So if you don’t want to, don’t. No matter what wedding dress shops, seamstresses, bridal magazines or anyone else may tell you. However, as I am aware that it is something some brides do choose to do, whether that’s using it as an excuse to working toward a fitness goal, toning up, feeling more body confident and healthier and happier, I wanted to enlist some expertise to tell you why wedding “diets” don’t work, and if you do want to make changes, how to do it in the healthiest, most achievable way possible.
Seeing as I am a food lover, and whilst moderately active, definitely not the poster girl for peak fitness, I’ve enlisted some help for this week’s post from gorgeous Personal Trainer and general Fitspo Jo Spaull, who has a super level headed, sensible approach to fitness and body image, and who doesn’t believe in diets (whoop!) ~ make sure you take a trip over to her instagram for more ideas too!
Jo says ” One of the first things that springs to mind when Brides are planning their wedding is how they are going to look on the day – naturally, everyone wants to look their best, but putting yourself under pressure to look too different can leave you feeling stressed and unhappy in the lead up to what should be a happy occasion! You want to enjoy the process of planning your day without the misery and restriction that can come from some crazy fad diet. For me it’s all about simplifying things -figuring out how to be realistic, and then how to achieve what you want to in the most stress free way possible. It’s much like food prep – once you understand and master the basics, it’s easy!
I don’t believe in diets in the sense in which we all think of them (restrictive eating which give mostly temporary fixes), but we can rethink this – a diet is literally just the basis of what you eat. So whilst I may refer to diet, what I actually mean is your lifestyle. To me, diet is all about making lifestyle changes which are realistic, doable and most of all, sustainable so that it doesn’t all fall by the wayside as soon as the big day is over! So for the sake of your own sanity, please forget Low Fat, 100-calorie snacks and slimming tablets and eat Real Food. This means unprocessed, and in it’s natural form – your body doesn’t recognise or know what to do with overly processed foods, which often leads to fat being stored in all the wrong places. Similarly, don’t fall for No Carb diets either – all they will do is leave you craving certain foods, and feeling fatigued with no energy – carbs are important, especially if you are upping your excercise routine.”
Here are Jo’s top tips to help you look and feel amazing for your wedding day, whilst retaining your sanity!
- Goals are important, but you need to be realistic. You do NOT need to change everything about yourself to fit any kind of ridiculous insta-fit ideal or magazine image bride – your H2B (and your friends and family) love you for who you are already. Make this about you, and your personal goals – set milestones for what you want to achieve at maybe, 2-4 weeks, 6 – 8 weeks and then at 12 weeks plus. This allows your goals to be specific and realistic throughout.
- Drink! The power of hydration is heavily underestimated and is one of the most powerful weightloss tools at your disposal. Aim for 2 – 3 litres of water per day…everyday. We all think we drink enough water, and the truth for many of us is, we don’t.
- Home or Gym? Think about what works best for you and your routine – exercise is an important component with any lifestyle change but the gym is not for everyone. Would you prefer to workout at home around your commitments, or is the gym on your way to and from work? Where are you most likely to stick to your routine? Choose what works best for you.
- Prepare. Be ready for each week – know what you have on and what your commitments are and make sure you can squeeze in that workout, or eating properly when you are busy ~ if eating out it doesn’t have to be boring but as sensible as possible!
- Breakfast ~ Don’t skip it! A lot of people I work with don’t bother with breakfast, and see it as an optional meal – it’s not! If you don’t eat breakfast, start now. It really does set you properly for the day ahead – it curbs cravings for sugary snacks and keeps your energy levels up throughout the day.
- Food Shop & Clean Eating ~ Planning your food shop is so important. Know your meals and make sure you are organised for the week ahead – this forms part of your preparation. Use Sundays as a day to cook up some meals for the week so you can freeze them, for ease on busy days or after late nights at work.
- Portion Size ~ Many of us go a little bit nuts when it comes to portion sizes – your portions don’t need to be huge, just full of the right nutrients – so try to adhere to this rule of thumb (this is a guide, you don’t need to be super exact!) ~
- Protein Source – the size of the palm of your hand
- Fat Source – the size of your thumb
- Carbs Source – the size of a clenched fist
- Partner Up~ If you struggle with motivation to work out or with the thought of physical activity after a long and tiring day, find a workout buddy – working with someone else – partner, colleague, friend will help you to schedule your workout and less likely to duck out!
- Personal Training ~ When it comes to working out, a lot of people (men and women) aren’t sure where to start, feel overwhelmed by the prospect of change and find it hard to stick to (hence why a partner can be helpful). For specific goals and ideas, some PT sessions can be so helpful to give you direction, ensure you are working as efficiently as you can, and making the time you spend exercising as effective as possible. It also means a commitment that you have to attend!
- Finally, Enjoy ~ Wedding planning is an exciting time, and like many major life events is one that does make us re-evaluate our lifestyle choices and goals. The important thing to remember is there is no quick fix or magic pill which will change how you feel, it’s just about habit and consistency – making sustainable changes and stripping things back to basics – regular exercise and healthy food will make you feel better both physically and mentally, and hopefully body confident enough to realise you don’t need to try to look like someone else on your big day, just your happiest, healthiest self!”
I love these tips from Jo so much – these are exactly the kind of changes I could make – I definately don’t have the time or inclination for super strict complicated quick fixes! Are you making any changes in the run up to your wedding? If you have fitness or diet questions feel free to ask Jo for her advice on Instagram or Facebook, where she also posts loads of fab tips, recipes and workout moves.
Photos c/o Paul Knowles Photography