Weddings bring out the desire to shape up for everyone involved. Follow these 5 simple tips from Peak Performance Trainer Jessi Kneeland to help you slim down before the big day.
1. Commit to it
When setting your weight loss goals, allow yourself enough time to lose 1-2 pounds a week. Start Phase 1, which I call the “Healthy Lifestyle Choice Phase” as soon as you can, especially if you have a significant amount of weight to lose. Limit processed food and sugar, increase veggies and protein, exercise regularly, drink a lot of water and get plenty of sleep.
Then start Phase 2 which I call “Crunch Time Phase,” about 6-8 weeks before your final fitting. This phase includes cutting all sugars, alcohol, dairy and starchy carbs, depending on how far from your ultimate goal you are. It can also include increasing your exercise commitment by either frequency or intensity. If you’re doing 3 days a week, now is the time to increase to 5 or 6 days a week. If you’ve been using the pink dumbbells, now is the time to head to the actual weight room. Be careful not to do too much too soon. Beginning a strict diet or training regime 3-4 months in advance can feel overwhelming and cause you to lose motivation with still a month to go.
2. Weight train
To achieve a slimmed down and tone look, weight training is the best option. You simply cannot achieve the tight, toned look people want by only doing cardio. For most brides during crunch time, I suggest weight training 3 times a week in addition to cardio 2 to 3 times a week. I also encourage a weekly yoga class, to remember to breath, stretch and focus on themselves. Crunch time often coincides with the most stressful weeks of wedding-planning, so this often gets forgotten.
3. Make a vow…to your fitness routine
This will vary from bride to bride, but I’d suggest a minimum commitment of 5 workouts a week. You can always add cardio in the morning or a yoga class here and there — but at minimum you should be exercising 5 times a week. Don’t forget to commit to buying, prepping and cooking most of your own food, so that you never have to decide between a muffin or a bagel for breakfast. Writing down your goals can also be helpful and reassuring when you’re feeling tired, hungry and cranky.
4. Be upfront with your seamstress
Tell her your goals, and be honest about how close you think you can reach your goal size. She needs to know at your first fitting that you plan to lose a few inches from everywhere. She might discourage further weight loss after the second fitting, but she should know your goals the first time she examines the dress so that she can assess the situation based on the cut and material of the dress. You may have to be in “wedding shape” several weeks before your big day, which just means that you’ll be in maintenance-mode for a few weeks after you’ve hit your goal.
5. Do some last-minute prep
The third and final phase starts about 72 hours before you walk down the aisle. I recommend cutting your sodium intake down, drinking lots of water and cutting out all dairy and starchy carbs. Plan a workout that hits the muscles you want highlighted in your dress. Most importantly — sleep as much as you can, get a massage and enjoy yourself!