By Allison Hoffman
One of the added stressors of a winter wedding is continuing to maintain the size you want to walk down the aisle in the midst of all those holiday shindigs … party after party, after party, after party. Here are a few tips to avoiding unwanted weight gain before you say “I do:”
Hit the Gym
In the months leading up to your big day, get into a maintainable exercise regime that combines both cardio and strength training. As the body builds muscle, it increases it’s metabolic rate, which in turn helps to burn more calories and decrease fat.
There are a number of cardio workouts depending on what motivates you and what’s best for your body (consider any injuries, health conditions or other limitations). Consider running outside, treadmills or ellipticals, cycling or spinning or a rowing machine. I recently tried a hydro-rower … now that’s a workout!
Integrate resistance training into your routine with the help of a licensed trainer or online tutorials. Make sure to work all of those body parts! Squatting, walking lunges, planking, push ups, sit-ups and everyone’s favorite, BURPEES, are all a good start.
Try Out a New Class
If you’re more motivated to exercise in a group, there are endless options and in fact, it might be beneficial to incorporate a few different types of workouts into your weekly routine.
CrossFit is a high intensity workout regime that does just what is described above – combining the fundamental movements of cardio, weightlifting and gymnastics for a full body workout trusted by athletes, celebrities, military and others.
HIIT classes are also becoming popular at gyms across the United States. What does it stand for? High-Intensity Interval Training. Expect a jam-packed hour of intense quick movements to keep your heart rate up while you burn baby burn.
Pilates and yoga – especially hot or flow – are alternative workouts often well-suited for women eager to burn and get lean. The perk? In addition to building muscle and flexibility in these types of workouts, there is a mental component that can help one stay balanced and calm, a necessity during wedding prep AND the holidays. Did someone say in-laws?
Start the Day Right
You’ve heard it from your mother, teacher, doctor and now us. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day in order to simply maintain your body weight or promote weight loss. Researchers have linked it to the way the body’s metabolism works, and there are studies that show that satisfaction and proper fueling from the get-go helps us to avoid sugar and fat cravings as the day goes on.
Ideally, choose foods that are low in sugar, high in protein, and infuse some “good” carbs — which are better to eat earlier in the day when your body has the entire day to burn them off. A few suggestions: nut butter and sliced bananas on gluten-free toast, cottage cheese with mixed berries, avocado toast with a sunny-side up egg or just the traditional low-sugar oatmeal with a side of fruit.
Eat Smaller Portions
Rather than filling up on two-to-three high-caloric meals each day, opt for five-six smaller snacks/meals, which will help to boost your metabolism, control blood sugar, avoid cravings and ultimately consume less. This tactic is especially key on the day of a holiday event, where you’ll be tempted by high-calorie dips, fried bite-sized balls of deliciousness and pastries galore. Fill up before you leave the house on a high-protein snack, such as low-fat cheese and gluten-free crackers, carrot sticks and hummus or sliced apples with a teaspoon of peanut-butter. You’ll be able to politely say “no thank you” when those pigs in a blanket come around.
Try it On … Again and Again
“I am pretty, I feel pretty!” You SHOULD feel pretty – GORGEOUS actually – especially in your wedding attire. Try on your wedding dress, or ensemble slated for the rehearsal dinner, bridal luncheon or other wedding festivity and love yourself in it day in and day out. See an area you don’t like? WORK ON IT leading up to the big day … there’s no better motivation than simply to feel fabulous!
IN ADDITION, don’t forget to pamper yourself. You’re working hard to look and feel good for this major life milestone. Take some time to meditate, get a blowout and either do a DIY or professional mani/pedi. These small tokens of self-care can contribute to your overall bridal bod and mindset in a BIG way. Stop wasting time, get it girl!