So, you may have heard me mention that I get to be a bridesmaid TWICE this year. Which means I have two friends getting married in the next year! I’m super excited because both of them were bridesmaids for me, so now it’s time to return the favor and I can’t wait! One of them gave me the idea to write about what your pre-wedding diet should look like which I thought was a great idea! I know the fall is a popular time to get married so I figured it might be something a lot of people are interested in.
What are your goals?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is what are your goals? You need to get specific and then you need to design your actions around your goals.
- Weight Loss – You need to ask yourself how much is appropriate. I don’t recommend aiming for anything greater than 2lbs/week. Look at how much time you have prior to the big day and figure out what is realistic.
- Toning Up – Maybe you are already within 10 pounds of your ideal weight and what you really want is to look more tone. How will you measure that progress? Best idea is to keep photographs. Measure for inches or keep track of body fat percentage.
- Health – Maybe the vanity goals aren’t your primary concern, maybe you just want to have the energy to enjoy the day or a really active honeymoon.
Tracking keeps you accountable to yourself, which is HIGHLY effective. There are so many routes you can go with this. You can track calories (not my favorite), macros, or write down what you eat. What works for you is highly individualized but pick one and commit to sticking with it.
Low carb, high carb, keto, carb backloading, carbs only in the morning, Atkins, UGH, let’s break it down the most important things you need to know.
- The closer you are to your goal weight the MORE carbs you need, NOT less.
- The best time to have your highest carb meal of the day is POST workout, this refuels your glycogen stores.
- Pre workout I recommend Generation UCAN because it works for everyone. It’s a slow steady burning carb that will help you continue to burn fat while giving you the energy to get your best workout on.
- If you start noticing that you are unable to push yourself in your workouts, you are tired all the time, and/or cranky despite resting and backing off on your training, then you need to up your carbohydrates. If you are unable to sleep you may need more carbohydrates at night. (Read more about carb timing and carb quality.)
- Quality is just as important as quantity. The best carbohydrates are those with the highest fiber/protein content and that are the least processed. Best options are potatoes, whole grains, and beans. Fruit is great too, but most people don’t need more than 1-2 servings a day.
Protein and Produce
- Aim for a palm size portion every single time you eat or around 20 grams. For most healthy people, I’m comfortable recommending 30% of total calories come from protein.
- Don’t make the mistake of overdoing it on protein, it’s still calories and your body will convert unused protein into sugar for energy anyways or store it as fat.
- Aim for at least one (ideally two) fistful of produce (non-starchy vegetables) every time you eat.
- The protein and fiber combination from REAL food compared to shakes/diet aids will help keep you full, especially when reducing calories. 100 calories of chicken and broccoli is always more filling than 100 calories of liquid protein.
Drink it, all day every day. At least half your body weight in fluid ounces of water, more if possible, a gallon would be great. Even slight dehydration leads to fatigue, decreased exercise performance and more. If you want to look your best, water is KEY!
What to Avoid:
Avoid artificial sweeteners, refined sugar, refined flour and inflammatory oils. You’ll also want to limit intake of natural “low calorie” sweeteners such as stevia (research is still unclear). Natural sugars such as honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, juice, fruit, etc should be minimized as well or consumed POST workout.
One to two weeks from the big day you’ll want to avoid excess salt and cruciferous vegetables. Salt, especially in deli meat, jerky, processed foods, or hot sauces will make you retain water, not a feeling you want on that special day. You’ll also want to avoid bloating vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts early on will help you shed extra pounds because the fiber will keep you full. But, they are also extremely bloating and because again, not a feeling you want on that big day.
Things to Think About
Research does show you can bounce back from short term “extreme” dieting, like what body builders do pre/post show prep. However, you will likely gain some weight when you bounce back. For that reason, and so many others, 1200 is almost NEVER the right number. Read this post to find out what your ideal caloric number is for weight loss.
Planning a wedding is stressful. Combine that with reducing your calories/portions and increasing your training load. I highly recommend supplementing with what I call the core three supplements: a high-quality multivitamin, a fish oil, and a probiotic. The multi will help replace nutrients lost from decreasing your calories. The fish oil will support inflammation, general health, oh ya and probably make your hair and skin look bomb. Probiotics support GI health which is utmost important since 80% of your immunity is located in the gut.
99% is a bitch, 100% is easierIt is easier to totally commit to something than not. Click To Tweet
It is easier to totally commit to something than not. If you are 100% committed to your training and nutrition program it will be easier than if you have wiggle room. This is why diets and cleanses often work well, they get you to be 100% committed to something with parameters. Normally I’m all about 80/20 and intuitive eating, but if you are looking to really look good on your wedding day. It might be easier to be 100% all in. The only drawback is you don’t want to lose your mind on your wedding day and gain 10 pounds THAT day. Although that’s unlikely unless you pound down 30,000 extra calories, you know what I mean. Find a way to keep yourself on track without feeling like you will lose all control after the wedding. For me, it was eating out once a week.
This is going to be a multiple part series, the next part will have training suggestions. For all those brides to be, bridesmaids, and mothers of the bride out there what else do you want to know? Leave me a comment! Training plans or meal plans?
Remember, although I am an RD, this information is not intended to substitute medical advice or individualized nutrition advice. If you have a wedding coming up, I’d love to work with you, visit my nutrition counseling website for more information!
More Weight Loss Hot Topics:
- Why 1200 Is Not The Right Number <— one of my most popular posts
- What Is The Best Weight Loss Program < —- read this before going on another diet!
- National Junk Food Day- Awareness of External Factors that Influence Eating
- Nuts and Avocados for Weight Loss or Weight Gain?
- What Living in Moderation Really Means
- The 80/20 Rule- Feeding Your Body and Your Soul
- Dealing With Stress Eating
- Intuitive Eating
- Retraining Your Brain
- Being Flexible with Meals and Workouts
- Thoughts on Weighing In
- Calorie Counting Journey Part 1: Weight Loss
- Calorie Counting Journey Part 2: Signs It’s Working Against You
- Calorie Counting Journey Part 3: How I Stopped Counting & Started Living
- 5 Easy Weight Loss (or Maintenance) Tips —> life after calorie counting
- Skipping the “Lite” Menu
- How to Practice Portion Control Without Counting or Measuring
- Tightening Up Your Diet Without Dieting
- Are you a Moderator or Abstainer?
- Willpower: An Unlimited versus Finite Resource?
- Tips to Eat More Veggies!
- Why I Don’t Use The Words “Cheat Meals”