I am thin, in shape, and I don't really believe in dieting. If you're wondering why not, I'm happy to share. Dieting creates results for short-term goals, not long-term ones. The end goal is to be healthy and your ideal size your entire life, right? Sure, you may be trying to lose weight for your wedding, but how badly do you really want to gain it right back as soon as the honeymoon kicks in? You don't want all of that hard dieting work to go to waste, so the key for losing weight for your wedding day is to lose weight - period. Losing weight, however, requires a lifestyle change. And I know it is difficult. I never really got around to changing my eating and exercise habits until my dad had his second heart attack. It took nearly losing a loved one for me to fully process the concept of how to treat my body. Hopefully it won't take something so drastic for you!
If you're in the market to lose weight for your wedding - and for after your wedding - here are tips I have to offer that I know pay off.
Eliminate white flour in all instances possible. Switch to wheat with your pasta and bread and anything else (Kashi even makes wonderful little wheat crackers, cookies, granola bars, etc.). White flour pretty much turns straight to fat in our bodies, but wheats actually offer nutrients our bodies need. Once you've made the switch, cut back. Generally speaking, we eat way too many of these kinds of carbs and they get stored as fat if we don't burn them off.
Drink more water. I know, you've heard it before, but it is essential. Not only does water aide in digestion, but it helps to keep you feeling full throughout the day, too. Replace all other drinks that you can with water. If you're in the habit of drinking juices and soda regularly, start replacing those drinks with water. You'll notice a difference immediately. When you're out drinking, make sure every other drink is water, too.
Chew gum, brush your teeth. A good way to signal to your body that you're done eating is to chew a piece of gum or to brush your teeth. The minty taste will override the taste of whatever you just ate and minimize your cravings.
Only eat until you're 80% full. You never want to eat until you're bursting at the seams. It takes a while for our digestive systems to process how much food we've eaten. Ideally, you should eat until you're 80% full and let your body do the rest. Not only is this good for avoiding that sickly full feeling, but you're stomach and intestines will actually have some room to work with when digesting your meal.
Focus on the fruits and veggies. This is another one I'm sure you've heard, but it's true! I can definitely say that most of what I eat throughout the day is comprised of fruits and veggies. Does this make what I eat boring? No way! I mix up my fruits and veggies and have made a habit of making all kinds of tasty sauces with veggies in the food processor to marinate lean meats and potatoes in.
Speaking of lean meats-eat lean meats. My advice, first and foremost, is to cut back on meat-period. I think we, collectively, eat more meat than we really need to. You don't need to eat meat every day and you certainly don't need to eat it for multiple meals a day. Think realistically about how much meat you're eating and examine whether or not you're including it in most of your meals. Once you've come face-to-face with how much meat you're really eating, start eating lean meats primarily. Fish is best (think salmon and tuna), but chicken and turkey are both okay, too. What you really want to avoid are red meats if possible. It's also important to learn more about protein. Instead of having meat every day, try incorporating more beans or nuts, for example.
Don't ignore the little things. Egg whites instead of full eggs will save calories and fat. Fat free, if you can bear it, can be a good addition to your diet. Choose the low-calorie options of dairy products (and anything else). Avoid cream-based soup. Start eating vegan hot dogs instead of regular ones (they taste nearly identical and save you so many calories and grams of fat. That goes for veggie burgers vs. regular burgers, too).
Get enough fiber. Fiber will keep your digestive system moving the way it should. More importantly, it will keep you feeling full longer. Spinach, for example, has essentially no calories (I think it's 7 calories per cup?). Yet spinach is filled with fiber and will help to keep you feeling full. Eat smartly!
And yes, exercise. Exercise is the one part of losing weight that no one seems to want to do, but trust me, it is important. Not only is it important for helping you to lose weight and maintain overall health, but it's a great mood-booster, too. Tons of people take anti-depressants daily that raise serotonin levels in their brain, but consistent exercise can provide the same feeling.
Whatever you do, don't diet drastically and don't diet temporarily. If you're eating unhealthfully and not exercising, then you need to make lifestyle changes. This isn't just about your wedding, but it will certainly help you look great on your wedding day.
If you're looking for a great accessory for your bridesmaids, look no further than this pretty Pearl Bracelet.