Losing weight can be challenging. It’s difficult to juggle the need for weight loss with the demands of everyday life — which is perhaps why half of Americans attribute their lack of success with weight loss to a failure in self-discipline. When you have so much else going on, you may find it difficult to concentrate on shedding the pounds. Therefore, it might seem counterintuitive to try to lose weight before your wedding. However, the fact is that your engagement period, in the ramp up to the wedding, is the perfect time to start exploring new fitness tips and get in shape.
Every bride wants to look her best for the wedding, and the fact is that you’re going to have to deal with some level of stress anyway as you plan for your wedding day. If you get fit and trim in preparation for your big day, you’re at least doing something which — unlike the rest of your wedding plans — can carry over to the rest of your life, after your wedding. However, if you do want to not only get in shape but have long term results, you’ll want to avoid the typical fad-based fitness tips. You need to focus on building something long-term. Let’s look into some fitness tips and how you can feel your best, not only for your wedding, but for the future you’ll share with your spouse.
Juggling Act: Balancing Wedding Planning Stress With Weight Loss
Let’s discuss what may be your biggest obstacle first: how do you lose weight and get in shape while planning a wedding? Wedding planning can cause a lot of strain on not only the bride, but the couple itself; you may end up seeking marriage advice before you actually get married, just because you’re so stressed out by the planning process! Fortunately, you can balance weight loss with your wedding planning process — all without losing your mind. But it may involve a bit of a measured approach.
Perhaps the best way that you can view your weight loss journey while planning your wedding is by turning it into a kind of natural stress relief. That is, in essence, what a good workout provides after all. A good workout relieves a certain amount of endorphins, which will help you relax while at the same time helping you lose a good bit of weight. Furthermore, going to the gym or jogging around your neighborhood forces you to focus on something other than your wedding planning for a while. You don’t necessarily have to create an overly complex workout routine. Just picking up a few fitness tips here and there, and going out of your way to dedicate a certain amount of time to exercise each day, can make a big difference.
This same attitude can be extended beyond exercise, of course. A lot of people find that taking control of their diet can be reassuring, in a sense. Take some time to meal plan, to focus, again, on something other than your wedding. Cooking healthier meals may not only help you get fit — it can also introduce you to new food, and disrupt the boring routines that you may fall into over the years. This in itself can have a major impact on your mood and stress levels. Much of the time, intaking food that has more nutritional value can actually have a positive effect on your attitude. As your body feels better, so will your mind.
Fitness Tips: Incorporating Exercise Into Your Wedding Planning
But when you get down to it — what are the best ways to incorporate exercise and really concentrate on it as you plan your wedding? Well, for one thing, it’s a good idea to get at least half an hour of exercise, five days a week minimally. If you want to get in shape before your wedding, you’ll probably need to target the specific parts of your body that are giving you “trouble”. Certainly, you’ll want to create a fitness approach that is unique to you and your specific needs, and it may vary depending on your health. But the basic idea is that you’ll want to focus both on cardio and a bit of weight training in order to lose weight and build some level of muscle tone. Keep in mind that as you do this, you should be in touch with your doctor. Your doctor can definitely give you advice on what general types of exercises are right for you, and if you do have a medical condition that is preventing you from losing weight, you should be full informed about it before you start following any fitness tips. The more you know about your body, the more likely you will be to have the kinds of results that you want.
On that note, should you seek out any further professional advice? Deciding whether or not you should hire a personal trainer can be a difficult call, especially if you’re already stretching your wedding budget. Personal trainers have pros and cons. A great one can offer excellent fitness tips and help you stay motivated; however, a poor one can derail your routine and cause you undue stress. If you do decide to work with a personal trainer, try out a few before committing to one, and keep in mind that if it’s not working for you, that’s okay. Sure, you’ll want to get as fit as you can before your wedding, but not at the expense of your mental health. Ultimately, your wedding day will be great not because of how you look, but because you’re committing yourself to your partner.
With that being said, if you feel like a personal trainer is too much of a commitment, consider perhaps joining a gym or fitness club. This could potentially be most cost efficient, while still helping you stay motivated in a social atmosphere that provides the fitness tips you need. Furthermore, having a space that is yours, where you can focus on getting fit versus arranging a menu or seating chart, can be very beneficial to a busy bride. A lot of gyms and fitness clubs now offer a variety of different types of equipment, as well as plans that are made to accommodate varying budgets. And again, you don’t necessarily have to give up the wedding planning bug. You can always work out on the treadmill while listening to podcasts about wedding planning! Just try not to completely lose yourself in the planning process.
When it comes to creating a workout routine, you may want to alternate between different cardio machines, like an elliptical versus a treadmill, throughout the week. You’ll want to build up the levels at which you’re working out over time. Similarly, you should gradually build up the weights that you’re lifting and strength training with. For most brides, the focus is going to be on cardio; you’ll want to shed your pre-wedding weight first, then tone the muscle. Don’t expect to see instant results. Weight loss always requires dedication, and there is no such thing as an instant fix to any sort of weight issue. But with that being said, if you’re dedicated and begin your weight loss journey soon after you get engaged, you shouldn’t have too much of an issue. After all, most brides spend about a year — sometimes more — planning their weddings. With the right fitness tips and a good amount of willpower, you should get to where you want to be, or at least close to it, by your wedding day. After your wedding, it will be a matter of maintenance!
Avoid Fads: Creating A Healthy Pre-Wedding Diet
Of course, losing weight isn’t all about fitness tips and working out. You’ll also want to focus on your diet. Your diet affects your weight in a huge way, and if you exercise without a healthy diet, you probably won’t get the results you want, at least not in a timely manner. With that being said, a lot of people find that it’s easy to get caught up in fad diets when losing weight before the wedding. This is in part because there are so many fad diets, many of which are not effective, targeted towards brides. The fact is that if you’re undertaking a “cleanse” to help you lose weight quickly, you probably will lose a good amount of weight in a short amount of time. Will you keep it off after the wedding? No. And if you don’t time your cleanse correctly, you may very well gain the weight back before you even walk down the aisle.
Rather than working on a fad diet, you should first assess what you’re taking in that might negatively affect your body. This often comes back to sugar. Yes, sugar can put a smile on your face, but it’s not very good for your body. Sugar can not only affect your health; it’s also just something that tends to help people pack on the pounds. Cutting down on dessert, and only taking in sugars through fruit, for example, can really make a big difference in your diet. But it’s not just about avoiding cookies and ice cream. Cut out soda — do you really need it? Look at the ingredients of the foods you eat on a regular basis. You might be surprised by how much sugar they actually have. On the other hand, this might also mean that you need to dial back the drinking. Not only do a lot of alcoholic beverages contain a surprising amount of sugar — they just tend to be bad for your diet in general. Is it very possible that you’ll break these new rules on your wedding day? Yes; nobody wants to miss out on a drink and a slice of cake on their wedding day! But you’re also allowed to bend a bit every now and then, and you can return to your typical diet after the honeymoon.
A good diet isn’t just about taking away bad things, but adding in good things as well. Try to take up meal planning in order to not only avoid mindless snacking but perhaps focus on adding in things like greens and fruit to your diet. Perhaps one day of the week could be your salad day, while another day would be the day to focus on whole grains. Meal planning can actually be rather fun, and doing so can help you cut down on your stress and get a bit more organized. Don’t neglect the basics either. A lot of brides get rather dehydrated while planning their weddings and getting fit at the same time, especially as the temperature heats up and summer wedding season begins. Drink a lot of water, and don’t forget to check in on your own health ever now and then. Taking care of yourself is about more than listening to fitness tips and looking your best before the wedding. It’s also about taking measure of where you are not only physically, but mentally.
Keep in mind that all the fitness tips in the world can’t make you lose weight faster than your body will naturally. Don’t stress out if you aren’t shedding before the wedding on the schedule that you expected. Simply reevaluate your plan, stay determined, and maybe get a little bit of advice from professionals on what to do next — whether you’re talking to an employee at your gym or your doctor. You can look the way you want to look before your wedding. Keep your eye on the prize — and maybe keep a photo of your dress as an extra motivator — and you’ll get to where you want to be before your big day!
Author: Caroline Sibley
Caroline is a freelance content creator and creative writer. VCUArts alum with a focus on the arts, travel, and culture.