MS — Getting married can be a huge motivating force for losing weight and shaping up. According to Janice Rassin, National Bridal Director at Meyer Corporation, U.S., “Today’s Brides begin a transformation process 8 months before their wedding day. Their first step is starting a healthy eating plan followed by a new exercise regiment. Making your own meals at home is the easiest way to balance nutrition, manage portions and cut calories.”
Weddings tend to have a similar effect on members of the bridal party, parents of the engaged couple, and guests. It’s a joyous occasion when everyone dresses up and wants to make a great impression. So whether you’re the happy bride, the maid of honor, the bride’s mother or a dear friend, consider an upcoming wedding occasion a fabulous opportunity to look and feel your very best.
“Losing a few pounds has benefits beyond reducing a size,” says Rassin. “Nutrients from fruits and vegetables improve the look of your skin and hair.”
Here are some useful tips and strategies for wedding weight loss:
• Set a realistic timeframe to reach your weight goal, understanding that slow and steady is preferable to fast and drastic drops in pounds. For most people, that means a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week to avoid the counter-productive result of losing lean muscle tissue.
• Choose an eating plan that is nutritionally sound and will provide all the energy you need during this extraordinarily busy, and often stressful, period of planning a wedding. Avoid the temptation of fad diets, which tend to be unbalanced, restrictive and effective only in temporarily losing water weight, rather than excess fat.
• Focus your attention on all the wonderful foods you can eat on a healthy weight loss program, rather than obsessing about the foods that should be avoided. Fill up on nutrientdense, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as fiber-rich legumes.
• Sign up for a cooking class, ideally with your fiance, to hone your skills and knowledge about how to sear, saute, poach, steam, grill, roast, and bake a myriad of different sweet and savory foods with healthy and delicious results. You’ll have fun learning and mastering fundamental techniques and methods.
• Register for high quality pots and pans. You’ll have more confidence in the kitchen using well made cookware — the number one bridal registry gift. Home cooking is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, since you have complete control over a meal’s ingredients and portion sizes. Cooking with nonstick cookware is one of the easiest ways to reduce fat calories from your meals. Choose durable, heavy gauge nonstick cookware, such as Infinite Circulon, which heats up evenly and allows you to make even the stickiest dishes, like scrambled eggs, with little or no added oil or butter.
Another one to try is new Circulon Contempo hardanodized nonstick cookware, featuring contemporary styling and innovative storage solutions. For example, a hinged loop on the handle allows you to hang the cookware on a display rack, or tuck in when storing in cabinets. Also, the cookware’s welldesigned lids slide neatly over the handles for additional space-saving convenience. Circulon, a long-established leader of high quality nonstick cookware, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. For more information on Circulon cookware collections, anniversary promotions, as well as recipes and tips for healthy cooking, visit www.circulon.com.
• Enlist the help of a personal trainer to teach you how to exercise properly. Most personal trainers recommend a minimum of 2 one-hour long sessions a week, and sessions frequently combine core muscle strength-training, cardio and endurance exercises. It’s a great way to learn the right moves, overcome any hesitancy about lifting weights, and make sure you’re safely pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone for best results.
• If a personal trainer or gym membership isn’t right for you, consider options on the Internet. There’s a growing number of professionally designed Web diet and fitness programs geared to helping brides reach their fitness goals by their wedding day. Several dedicated sites provide a full range of useful tools you can tap with your fingers — customized meal planner, customized fitness plan, recipe database, shopping list, food log, calorie calculator, activity calculator, journal, message boards, exercise DVDs, and more.
• Get a good night’s sleep. Being tired makes it a lot harder to manage stress and focus on eating right. Health experts generally advise on getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night. When you’re well rested, it’s much easier to exercise with gusto, and smartly choose an apple over a candy bar to power through the afternoon.
• Be mindful at each meal. The latest buzz in weight loss advice is becoming more conscious of what you eat, which leads to greater satisfaction and reduces the likelihood of over-eating. Eating slowly is key, as well as removing all distractions and “multi-tasking” behavior, such as watching TV, reading, working on the computer, etc.
• Find a reason to get physical. Unless your work involves a lot of physical action, you’ll likely need to get creative in sneaking more opportunities to get up and move. At the office, stroll over to a colleague’s desk to ask a question instead of e-mailing. Walk or bike to run errands in the neighborhood. Take the stairs instead of the elevator in buildings when feasible. Catch up with friends over a walk in the park. Clean out an attic or garage. Even bake a loaf of bread — kneading by hand is a great work out for your arms!