You’ve said yes to the man of your dreams. Now it’s time to get into great shape for your wedding day and for the rest of your life.
You’ve said yes to the man of your dreams. Now it’s time to get into great shape for your wedding day and for the rest of your life. The pressure to look fabulous at your wedding is intense and can lead many brides-to-be to try quick fixes and crash diets. But those efforts can backfire. The only way to get in shape and be healthy is through a combination of diet and exercise that promotes gradual and long-lasting weight loss, said personal trainer Sue Fleming, author of the “Buff Brides” book and DVD. To get started, first assess your fitness level and get a check-up. “Start slowly with cardio (running and walking) and strength training,” Fleming advises. “Exercise three times a week for about an hour. You’ll see results and can lose a pound or 1 1/2 pounds a week safely and effectively, and it can stay off.”
Here’s a 12-month calendar with a fitness regime suggested by Lynn Bode of workoutsforbrides.com.
Month 12: Educate yourself about healthy ways to lose weight. Make a plan that includes specific milestones for the weeks and months ahead. Start moving, even if it’s light physical activity.
11: Use the FITT (Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type) principal to strategize your workout plan. Evaluate your eating habits.
10: Monitor your heart rate to ensure your workout intensity is at the right level. Make sure you perform cardiovascular and strength-training exercises. Eat five to six times per day.
9: Add interval training, repetitions of high-speed/ intensity work followed by periods of rest or low activity. This will ensure that you’re getting the most out of your workout sessions.
8: Exercise eliminates stress. Try adding yoga and/or Pilates exercises to teach awareness of breath, alignment of the spine and to strengthen muscles and keep you at peace.
7: If you are not already doing so, ensure that you are strength training three times per week. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn on a daily basis.
6: If you are not already doing so, make sure that you are spending at least 90 minutes per week performing cardio workouts.
5: Keep boredom away from your workouts by trying out a new type of activity. Check out a local dance class, go in-line skating or try an activity in which you don’t usually participate.
4: Stay the course. No major changes should be necessary at this point, but be sure you’re getting enough sleep — seven-and-a-half to eight hours a night.
3: With 12 weeks till the wedding, your schedule may be getting more hectic. Don’t abandon your workout routine. Break workouts into two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions.
2: You may feel too busy to plan healthy meals. Consider purchasing meals to freeze from a local meal preparation business or splurge on healthy meal deliveries.
1: Don’t give up no matter how busy you are. Commit to a minimum 60 minutes per week of cardio and 30 minutes per week of strength training. This routine will help you manage stress better.
Q&A with Lynn Bode
How do you set realistic expectations?
It is important for a bride to try to educate herself at least at a basic level. The Internet is a great source to research about healthy expectations for weight loss. When a bride educates herself, hopefully she will understand that a realistic goal is typically to lose no more than 2 pounds per week. Studies have proven that unrealistic expectations actually sabotage weight loss goals and can contribute to failure.
How do you establish specific weight-loss goals?
Setting short-terms goals in addition to your overall goal can be beneficial. Those allow you to focus on each milestone and celebrate each success rather than emphasizing one large goal. When you only focus on one ultimate goal, then failure can be much more disappointing and make it more challenging to motivate yourself to get back on the horse.
Keep track of your progress. If you regularly monitor yourself then you are more likely to stay on goal and also be able to adjust throughout the journey as necessary.
Weight loss goals should be based on what is right for the individual. That varies based on age and body type. Start by determining your healthy body mass index, which can then give you guidelines for appropriate weight. Now calculate how many pounds you need to lose to reach that number. Take that number and divide it by two (for two pounds per week). That will give you a guideline of how many weeks it will take you to reach that weight. Now, if your wedding date will come sooner than the calculated weeks, then you need to adjust your expected weight loss goals to match one that is realistic.
How does diet and nutrition fit in?
Diet and nutrition are absolutely as critical as exercise. Advertisers try to claim that there are magical, almost mythical foods to help you lose weight, but the truth is still: calories in versus calories out. To lose weight, you simply have to consume fewer calories than the number of calories that you burn in a day. Of course, it is most healthy to eat lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You must burn 3,500 calories in order to lose one pound.