How to Shed Weight 8 Weeks Out From a Wedding
Posted in Wedding essentials on April 13, 2016
Whether or not you subscribe to the idea that your wedding is supposed to be the happiest day of your live, you do want to look best. And sometimes looking your best means losing a little bit of weight so you fit perfectly in that amazing dress you spent a fortune on. Yet with all the stress of planning your wedding it's easy to do the exact opposite.
Luckily you can reverse it and lose that weight even if you are only a couple months away from your big day. You won't lose a hundred pounds in eight weeks, but if you're trying to shed ten or fifteen you can definitely accomplish it over a short timeframe —without starving yourself or busting your body at the gym. In fact, if you make a number of small lifestyle changes now you can keep losing weight or maintain the perfect weight after your wedding.
What to Eat
The first change you need to make if you want to lose weight is to change your diet. While exercise does matter, especially if you want to actually have toned muscles rather than simply losing weight, your diet is still the most important factor. You might be surprised how much weight you can lose just by making these changes.
- Take a break from booze
Alcohol might be fun but it is also killing your waist line, especially if you like to drink mixed drinks or fruity liqueurs. Even the most bitter alcoholic drinks still consist of many empty calories, and the fruity/mixed drinks also contain a massive amount of sugar. Besides, taking a few weeks off will save you a lot of money—money you can spend on your honeymoon!
Once your wedding has come and gone, keep alcohol to a minimum and you'll be able to keep the weight off (and save a fortune).
- Switch out the creamy salad dressing
I love Caesar salad as much as the next woman but the truth is that using creamy dressing is almost the same as dumping a large spoonful of animal fat on your salad. Switch to vinaigrette dressings and experiment by making your own to keeping things interesting. If you really must have your Caesar salad dressing, use the bare minimum to keep your salad healthy.
- Trade lettuce in for spinach
Spinach has a higher concentration of nutrients, specifically iron, than lettuce, and therefore fills you up more quickly. Having a small spinach salad with vinaigrette dressing before dinner will make you much less likely to overeat at dinner.
- Drink more water
Often when we feel hungry it's actually that we're dehydrated—a significant amount of our daily water intake comes from food. Water also fills up the belly so you don't overeat at meals. Oh, and it helps flush all the nasty stuff out of your body so your skin looks amazing on your big day.
- Give up fast food
I know you've heard this one before, but it is absolutely true. Fast food is killing you just as much as potato chips. If you can't stand the idea of giving up fast food completely, at least cut it down to once every couple of weeks.
- Allow yourself a cheat day every week
One big mistake brides to be make is completely restricting themselves in the month or two before they get married. While this might lead to the weight loss you desire it also often leads to binging at and after the wedding on all those foods you couldn't enjoy. If you build in one cheat meal per week (and make sure to keep your cheating within reason) you're far more likely to keep the diet changes after your wedding. A great way to do a cheat meal is to allow yourself a 90 minute window per week where you can eat anything you like. Chances are, after that 90 minutes you’ll be happy to wait another week!
How to work out
Changing your diet might be the first important step towards losing weight but working out is still important, especially if you want to lose a significant amount of weight before your wedding or develop muscle tone. I've compiled some tricks to help you find time as well as some of the simplest and most powerful exercises you can perform.
- Become an active watcher
If you're like the average American you spend 3-5 hours a night on the couch watching TV. You can turn this into exercise time by jogging on the spot, shadow boxing or dancing.
- Take advantage of time in line
Time spent in line doesn't have to be wasted. Even something as simple as switching your weight from one foot to the other while contracting your core muscles can help you burn a few extra calories.
- Wake up a little earlier to exercise
Studies show that people who exercise in the AM are more likely to stick with their routine. And you don't have to wake up much earlier. Even waking up 20 minutes earlier and doing 5 minutes of stretching and 15 minutes of jogging in place or shadow boxing can get your heart pumping and your body burning calories.
- Get a core workout DVD
Gym memberships are expensive and getting to the gym can be a real hassle, especially when you're already spending most of your time running pre-wedding errands. And if you don't have time for a lot of working out, getting a core workout is the best way to lose that weight. One of these DVDs usually only costs around $25 and you can use them whenever it is convenient for you.
- Do some calf raises
This is probably the easiest exercise to add to your daily life. You can literally do it anywhere you can stand up. All you have to do is slowly lift yourself up onto your toes and then lower yourself, moving slowly so your muscles face the highest level of resistance.
- Go biking
A bike ride is one of the best ways to have fun and get in a great weight loss-focussed exercise at the same time. Try to ride for at least a couple mile every time you go out to maximize the rides effectiveness.
- Do the upside down bicycle
Can't actually find the time to get out of the house and go for a bike ride? Having some terrible spring weather? Stretch yourself out on an exercise mat (if you don't have one of these, get one; a good one costs only $20-30 and opens you up to hundreds of exercises) on your back. Raise your arms up towards the sky, lift your shoulders up and start moving your legs as if you are pushing invisible pedals. Keep the movements slow and controlled to increase resistance and contract your core muscles. Go until your muscles are screaming at you to stop.
Changing your lifestyle
Changing what you eat and how you work out will definitely help you lose weight, but there are still more factors influencing how quickly your metabolism works and how much muscle you build. Some of these changes will also make it easier to stick with your exercise routine and your new diet.
- Get support
You are far more likely to stick with your goals if the people you love are supporting you every step of the way. Transform your friends and family into a cheerleading squad. Challenge your fiancé to commit to the lifestyle changes with you. Find an online community where you can connect with other people trying to become healthier. There are many different ways to find the support you need. The important thing is that you actively seek it out.
- Develop stress coping mechanisms
Chronic stress can cause you to gain weight and there's plenty of stress to be had when you're planning a wedding. You can't avoid the stress altogether but you can find ways to release it: meditate for a few minutes a day, take a scented bath at least once a week, get a professional massage, write all your stressors out in a journal. There are almost as many coping mechanisms as there are people.
- Get more sleep
When you don't get enough sleep you don't have the willpower to say no to unhealthy snacks or drinks. Your body is also more likely to crave high sugar foods when you're sleep deprived. Make sure you actually schedule yourself 7-9 hours of sleep every single night. If you're having trouble sleeping, cut back on caffeine, do a more intense workout in the morning and make sure you have a consistent night time routine.
Even if your wedding is a couple months away it is possible to lose enough weight to fit perfectly in your dress. Stick with these lifestyle changes after the big day and you can keep the weight off long afterwards.