Get in Shape for Your Wedding

For many of us it takes a very special goal to motivate us into actually doing something about those few extra pounds or toning the part of our body that we are always conscious of! What could be a better incentive than getting the look you want for your wedding day?

Healthy and sensible eating, together with aerobic exercise is the most effective way of reducing excess fat and toning up permanently and safely. Find a local health and fitness club or consultancy which specialises in designing personalised healthy eating and exercise programmes for the bride-to-be and the shape they want for their wedding. Talk to them and design a realistic programme for what you want - you won't regret it! In the meantime here are some tips on how to look your best on your wedding day.

Healthy Eating Weight Loss

The old adage of "diets don't work" is true for most people. People are drawn to the promised quick results, which nearly always ends in failure or leads to 'yo-yo' dieting due to the fact that you are unable to overcome the most powerful natural instinct; the drive to eat in order to survive. Even if the regime is stuck to, diets can leave you looking tired, gaunt and feeling hungry, nauseous, nervous and irritable - not the ideal state to be in on your wedding day. So the answer to loosing weight sensibly and feeling healthy, is to take it slowly by adopting a healthy eating regime:

  • Aim to loose 1-1.5 lbs per week by reducing calorie intake by 500 per day.
  • Eat slow release carbohydrate's e.g. brown pasta, pulses, porridge, vegetables, yoghurt etc. Carbohydrates will produce more consistent energy levels, longer relief from hunger and give your body more chance to use up fat rather than storing it. Carbohydrates should make up 60% of daily food intake.
  • Reduce amount of saturated fats e.g. crisps, chocolate, spreads, fried food but increase essential fats e.g. fish, nuts, seeds. Fat should make up 20% of daily food intake, with no more than 10% coming from saturated fats.
  • Eat some high-protein foods such as meat and poultry. Grill or roast rather than fry, trim off any visible fat and remove the skin from chicken and turkey. Protein should make up 20 % of your daily food intake.
  • Increase amount of fibre e.g. vegetables, dried fruit, baked potato, wholemeal bread.
  • Reduce processed foods e.g. frozen, tinned, pickled foods etc and refined foods e.g. white bread, white pasta, white rice etc.
  • Drink at least 2 litres of water a day and reduce amount of caffeine, sugary drinks and alcohol.
  • Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, either with meals or as a snack. Also supplement with a good multivitamin.
  • Eat small frequent meals and try to avoid heavy meals in evening or missing meals  "A little of what you fancy does you good" is absolutely right. As long as you don't binge, a little of what you fancy won't have any effect on your weight loss. 

Exercise and Resistance Training

Exercise and resistance or weight training are essential components of any weight loss and toning up programme.

When you are active your body burns fat and sugars predominantly but when you are inactive your body burns more sugar than fat. So as you become fitter, your body's ability to burn fat will increase. Also, exercising releases hormones called endorphins which help improve your mood and aid in dealing with the wedding planning stress!

People often fear that working with weights will build bulky muscle. This is not true. Weight training is essential for shaping and toning the body and is the key to raising your metabolic rate. Muscle burns the most energy in the body and the more you use it, the more energy it burns.

  • Exercising for 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week will increase your fitness level. This doesn't mean you have to go to the gym and hate every minute of it! Fast walking is an excellent means of exercise when first starting an exercise programme and can fit into any busy schedule. When performed properly fast walking can burn many more calories than regular walking. Alternatively you could get off the bus a stop earlier than normal, walk to work instead of driving or walk in your lunch break. Use the stairs - not the lift!
  • When you feel your fitness level increase try some interval training by walking then running - beginners should start with a longer walking phase and build up to a longer running phase as they reach a higher level of fitness.
  • Press-ups are a great exercise for toning up the back of the arms and shoulders. Start with half press-ups and progress to full press-ups once you have built up strength. 2 sets of 15 twice a week.
  • Squats and lunges will help tone up the thighs, buttocks, lower leg muscles, abdominals and lower back. As you get stronger use hand weights to increase the intensity of the exercise. 2 sets of 25 twice a week
  • Basic crunches are the most effective ways of toning the stomach. Make sure you keep the movement slow and focus on tensing your stomach and keeping your back flat to the floor. 
  • Invest in some hand held weights and start a whole body weight training programme for all over toning.

Oh yes - I nearly forgot to mention - all of this applies to the groom as well!

Get fit and look your best

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