If you’re hoping to shed a few pounds before your wedding, you’re far from alone. Studies show that the majority of U.S. brides and grooms say they’re hoping to lose weight before they walk down the aisle—though the results may vary. In fact, only 18% of brides-to-be hit or exceed their goal, though over 60% make progress toward it.
These numbers might not feel comforting if you’re hoping to slim down before the ceremony, but that doesn’t mean that losing weight for a wedding should feel impossible! Whether this is your first weight loss attempt or you’ve tried to shed a few pounds in the past, a few simple tips can help you start seeing a change ASAP. Here’s what you should know as you gear up for your big day.
1. Start as Early as Possible
It’s hard to escape the fact that more time spent dieting means easier weight loss.
Think of it this way: with more time to eat right, you’ll be able to focus on making minor changes to your eating habits instead of dramatic adjustments that can leave you feeling unsatisfied. Worse, many brides-to-be ramp up their exercise regimen in the run-up to their wedding, and these intensive changes can lead to strain and fatigue at a time when relaxation is needed.
What’s more, with most traditional weight loss methods, experts recommend that you don’t lose more than two pounds per week. In other words, if you’re hoping to drop forty pounds before your wedding, you’ll need a few months to make it happen safely!
2. Set Specific Fitness Goals
Just like anything you want to achieve in life, weight loss works better when you set specific goals. Rather than moving forward with the vague plan to “lose weight,” decide what identifiable outcomes you want to see once you’re finished.
Do you want to drop a specific number of pounds? Are you hoping to trim your waist measurements? Are you hoping you’ll figure out how to fit into a wedding gown you’ve fallen in love with?
Whatever you’re dreaming of, get it down on paper! Studies show that writing out your goals can make you 42% more likely to make them come true, especially if you revisit them on a regular basis.
3. Keep a Realistic Mindset
As mentioned above, there are specific expert recommendations for the amount of weight you should plan to lose in a set amount of time. While it might be tempting to set goals that go far beyond these small numbers, it’s important to keep a realistic mindset about your weight loss capabilities.
Expecting to drop a significant amount of weight can not only be unrealistic but also unhealthy. In addition, while “fad” diets may promise extreme amounts of weight loss, they do so in a way that can harm your body in the long term.
More realistic weight loss goals should be sustainable in both the short term and the long term.
You should never expect to eat fewer calories than is healthy for your body on a regular basis. This kind of severe restriction can be a major health hazard over time, as it prompts your body to start using your muscle—including the muscles of vital organs—to provide the energy you need. It can also lead to severe fatigue and nutritional deficiencies.
Losing weight as a bride can be a challenge when you want to do so at a fast pace, but balancing your long-term health against your current goals is crucial. If you’re struggling to decide whether or not your goals are realistic, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor or a dietician for help.
4. Know Your Caloric Needs
It’s safe to say that almost anyone who’s watched their weight in the past has heard of the “calories in, calories out” method. This simple weight-loss method involves tracking your calories to understand what you’re eating and where to restrict your diet.
However, it’s important to note that your daily caloric needs are unique, so you’ll want to understand how many calories you should aim for in a given day for weight loss. While many people point to the 1,200-calorie-a-day diet as the ideal weight-loss plan, this figure may not be right for everyone.
In fact, 1,200 calories is the minimum recommended calorie intake for the average adult, meaning that it may be too low for certain dieters. Your recommendation will vary based on the amount of weight you want to lose, your current weight, your daily activity levels, and your gender.
To understand how many calories you should aim for, try using an online calorie calculator. These tools can be helpful guides, though you should take the results with a grain of salt. As always, the ideal way to find out how many calories to eat in the days before your wedding is to reach out to a medical professional.
5. Focus on More Than Calories
One of the best tips for losing weight is to focus on more than calories. Sure, the “calories in, calories out” model can help you get started, but your calorie count is just one tiny element of your diet. Some experts even argue that the model itself is flawed as a result!
While this model may still be helpful on some level, it’s also important to consider the kinds of foods you’re eating.
Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, for example, provide essential nutrients while keeping you full for longer. Other foods that have a low energy density can do the same.
Focusing on what you put into your mouth—rather than how many calories it contains—is a great way to keep on track. In addition, finding healthy foods that you enjoy eating can help you make your dietary changes more sustainable, meaning you’ll be more likely to stick to your diet as your wedding approaches!
6. Find the Right Diet for Your Needs
An important aspect of knowing how to lose weight for a wedding is deciding what kind of diet to follow.
Depending on your health needs and dietary preferences, there is a huge range of diets to choose from, each offering its own benefits. If you’re looking for a breakdown of the different kinds of dietary changes you might want to adopt, for example, check out https://www.saunabar.com.
Do your research to decide which diet fits best with your lifestyle and goals. Whether you eat more vegetarian foods or opt for a high-protein diet, find a new eating habit you can live with!
7. Don’t Forget to Exercise
While the saying that “you can’t outrun a fork” is certainly true, it doesn’t hurt to add daily exercise to your weight-loss plans.
This doesn’t mean ramping up your weight loss regimen all at once by spending hours at the gym! The last thing you want to do is overextend yourself, as this can lead to exhaustion and even injury right before your big day.
Instead, start adding more physical activity into your schedule bit by bit. You can do this by adding a few more cardio and strength exercises to your normal exercise plan, or by adding one extra day of exercise each week in the time leading up to your wedding.
8. Identify Problematic Habits
When it comes to learning how to lose weight as a bride, one of the trickiest things to remember is that your habits may work against you. Sometimes, you may not even realize that you’re undoing some of your hard-earned progress toward your fitness goals!
Common problematic eating habits include eating when you’re bored, frequent nighttime snacking, eating in front of the TV, and snacking when you’re stressed. Taking a step back to notice and track these habits can go a long way to helping you understand—and address—your binge-eating triggers.
9. Reduce Your Stress Levels
The weeks and months before your wedding can be stressful. Despite the fact that your big day is on the way, the planning and preparations—and a new weight-loss regimen—can be a lot to handle.
All of this stress can be harmful on a psychological level, but it can be just as bad for your physical health. Research shows that people who endure more chronic stress are more likely to be overweight than their low-stress counterparts. In other words, finding ways to manage your stress is crucial if you want to hit your weight loss goals fast.
Make sure to take time for self-care during your busy days. Whether you try some meditation or yoga, go for a long walk, or spend the afternoon dancing in your bedroom, it’s important to find ways to manage your stress and take care of your mental and physical health!
Start Losing Weight for a Wedding
If you’re hoping to feel great in your own skin on your big day, the tips above are the way to go. With a healthy mindset and some sustainable changes, you start toning up and losing weight for a wedding in no time. Be sure to take some time to plan out your strategy and exercise goals, and stick to your new plan as the ceremony approaches!
Looking for more health and fitness guides like this one? Don’t forget to check out our other posts for additional insights.