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Filed under: Bride & Bridesmaids

Bride on Swing by Courtney Bowlden Photography

Don’t Stress about the Dress!
How to get in Shape for your Wedding Day

For most brides, their wedding day will be the happiest day of their life, with the opportunity to surround themselves with their closest friends and family adding to the joy of committing themselves to their partner. However, in many cases the run-up to the day itself can be immensely stressful, as not only do brides need to worry about seating plans, centerpieces and not spilling red wine on a pristine, white (and very expensive!) dress – they are also coming under increasing pressure to lose weight in time to say “I do”.

A survey of 1,000 brides conducted by Fitness magazine found that 83 per cent of respondents wished to shed a couple of pounds before their wedding, with many taking drastic action in order to do so. 36 per cent, for example, admitted turning to weight loss pills or supplements in order to speed up the process, while a highly concerning 14 per cent claimed to have fasted for a week before walking up the aisle.

Although looking ravishing in your dress may be important to you, risking your health and turning to fad diets in the run up to your wedding can take a damaging toll on both your body and your relationship. Instead, try following a healthy eating plan, taking moderate exercise and caring for yourself – after all, this is supposed to be the happiest time of your life!

Focus on Nutritional Information
If you wish to change your eating habits to shave inches from your waistline so you look amazing in your wedding dress, you are presumably checking every packet you encounter for calorie information. Unfortunately, though, this could well be the wrong way to go about losing weight! Scientifically, yes, if you consume fewer calories than you burn off you will lose a few pounds – but research published by The New England Journal of Medicine claims that it is what, rather than how much, you eat that counts. During the study, researchers found that participants eating foods high in saturated fats such as French fries, potato chips and sweetened drinks gained the most weight. So far, so obvious! However, those who continued to consume the same amount of fats but in the form of seeds, nuts and yogurt lost weight. Therefore, rather than embarking upon a zero-fat crash diet with “cheat days”, it is far better to have daily treats in the form of healthy snacks such as peanut butter on a cracker, or yogurt topped with chia seeds. Not only will you lose weight, but you will keep your nutritional intake balanced – essential for achieving that bridal glow!

Cut Down on Alcohol
This may seem like a relatively obvious tip for getting in shape for your wedding day, as we all know alcohol can lead to bloating and water retention, not to mention the effect its calories have upon our diet plans. Yet abstaining can be difficult during the high tension planning phase of a wedding, with many of us reaching for a bottle of wine to soothe our frayed nerves. Sadly, this can actually make the problem worse, as the way in which alcohol is metabolized can place a great deal of stress on the body – in other words, your mind may be a little more chilled but your body certainly isn’t! Furthermore, for those susceptible to dry skin or psoriasis, alcohol can heighten the effects of these conditions and lead to flaking as it dehydrates the body. Many brides choose to go on a detox program in the weeks leading up to their wedding as a means of removing toxins from their body, so this may be something you wish to consider instead of spending cash on a facial.

Enjoy Exercising
As peak wedding season approaches, we’ve all become familiar with the sight of brides desperate to lose the last couple of pounds on treadmills at the gym. If this type of exercise works for you, great, but if not it is definitely best to find an alternative. Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that, if you can find a type of exercise you enjoy doing, you are far more likely to stick with it until you reach your target. Trying something new, such as pilates or yoga, can help you to discover a buried passion for exercise, while those who love to exercise in groups can grab some friends and head to a dance class (that means you, bridesmaids!).

No matter what, you should always remember that no event, even your wedding, should come before your health and happiness. So don’t buy a wedding dress two sizes too small as a “motivator”, don’t starve yourself and don’t feel pressurized to lose weight if you don’t need to – at the end of the day, you will always look beautiful to your groom, and that’s what really matters!

“Wedding weight loss: How brides go to extremes” – NY Daily News – Accessed 12th June 2014

 “Should you count calories?” – – Accessed 12th June 2014

“11 proven health benefits of chia seeds” – Authority Nutrition – Accessed 12th June 2014

“Does drinking reduce my stress?” – CNN – Accessed 12th June 2014

“Nine ways alcohol can destroy your skin” – The Washington Times – Accessed 12th June 2014

“Your guide to medically-assisted detox” – Detox.Net – Accessed 12th June 2014

“Sticking with your exercise program” – Harvard Health Publications – Accessed 12th June 2014

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