Many brides that their impending wedding day makes a great motivator for their weight loss goals. Upcoming nuptials are a good marker for health goals: your friends and family will be looking at you all day, you’re going to fill several albums with pictures of you and your new spouse, and you have to fit into what will likely be a very expensive and wonderful dress. All of these factors make getting in shape for your wedding an important goal, but try to keep these tips in mind as you’re dusting off your chin-up bar:
Waiting Until the Last Minute will Wreck your Body
Typical engagements last close to a year – so unless you’re running to the altar, you’ve got plenty of time to develop good, healthy habits. Don’t spend months cramming in burgers and fries as you’re addressing invitations only to switch to a cabbage-and-tequila diet two weeks before your final dress fitting. Getting healthy and losing weight is a long, difficult process, and you need to respect your body as you work toward your goals. Start small, and work your way up to taking out red meat and dessert, or drastically reducing your daily caloric intake. Long-term weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint, and if you crash diet at the last minute, you’re not going to find results that last.
Dieting Alone Isn’t Optimal
Try to think about weight loss as a reflection of both biology and physics: If your body isn’t getting as much energy as it usually gets, it’s going to find it somewhere else so you don’t starve. Your hope will obviously be that it takes what it needs from fat that you’ve already got, but there are other places your body can find what it wants: your muscles. Unless you’re using your muscles regularly (by exercising them), your body will assume that it’s cool to dissolve them. You will see yourself losing weight, but good luck with the pickle jar in a few months. Incorporate an exercise regimen in whatever capacity you can, and find time for both cardio and weight training.
When I was in high school, one of my teachers got engaged in the first few weeks of the year. She immediately switched from high sugar/high fat foods to fresh green salads and colorful, whole fruit, in addition to a high-intensity workout routine that she followed for months. By the time her big day came around, she’s lost more than fifty pounds. When school started the next year, it had all come back.
The reason most diets don’t work is because the people employing them tend to be short-sighted. They think of their new routine as a temporary hardship that will give them results that last forever, but the truth is: You can’t just diet; you have to change the way you live. Make your new habits a part of your life, or the weight will flood back to you as soon as you return from your honeymoon. Use your wedding as your motivation, not your goal.