You have put a lot of time and effort into preparing everything else so why not put a little time into preparing yourself. Let’s get you some useful tips from experts to help kick off your pre-wedding shape-up plan with gusto.
All eyes will be on you on the big day and its reason enough to get into shape. The trick is to keep your hands out of the cookie jar and your body in motion in the months before the big day. According to Indrayani Pawar, Dietician, Hinduja Healthcare Surgical, Mumbai, the ideal time to aim for a weight loss is around two months before the big day. “The months before a wedding can be very stressful with numerous things to do. Women need to be practical in their weight-loss goals,” cautions Pawar.
Click here for Fitness for brides – My story in the March issue of Wedding Vows magazine, March 2015
Move your body
Exercise not only helps you lose weight, it also tightens the skin and stimulates mood enhancers which make us feel good. You don’t have to make the gym your second home. “Begin by walking early morning for 30- 45 minutes. Combining that with power yoga and pilates at home will show great results. And if you they have a choice you could also join a gym for some strength training or functional training,” says Dr. Asif Khan, Programme Manager, Fitness Transformation Program, JW Marriott Mumbai.
Apart from overall body fat reduction, toned tummies and upper arms, hips and bums are areas that most brides should work at. The good news is that a targeted fitness and diet programme can help brides achieve their weight-loss goal. Here’s a snapshot of the exercise for individual body parts as suggested by Dr Khan:
- Chest- chest press – 5 sets (target 50 to 10 reps)
- Shoulder- military machine press- 5 sets (target 10 to 25 reps)
- Back – high pull – 5 sets (targets 15 to 50 reps)
- Triceps- triceps extension- 5 sets (target 5 to 10 reps)
- Biceps- bicep cable extension- 5 sets (target 12 to 25 reps)
- Core or tummy – plank – target 1 to 5 minutes, hanging leg raises -5 sets (target 10 to 25 reps)
- Hips, inner thighs , quads , overall thighs – full squat in smith machine, leg press, leg curl, dumbbell lunges ( 3 sets each targets 15 to 25 reps)
A healthy, balanced diet is important at all times, but in the run-up to a wedding it’s vital. Skipping meals can sabotage your weight-loss efforts just as much as overeating can. When we don’t eat enough, our body starts to hold on to all the calories we consume and stores them as fat. Losing weight on a starvation diet may not be a good idea after all. The lack of nutrition will diminish your muscle mass while increasing your fat. Thankfully, most brides naturally lose weight in the two weeks prior to their wedding as they get busy with last-minute shopping and running errands.
The ideal balanced diet is three moderately sized meals and two-three small snacks a day. “An alarm system may sound funny but it’s the smartest way to keep up your eating plan. Set an alarm on your phone for your meals and water, this way you will never miss or forget your snack, no matter where you are,” suggests Tripti Gupta, Lifestyle Consultant and Nutritionist. Your diet should include lean protein like – eggs, fish, and chicken breast and fats like avocado salad, flex seed, sunflower seed, almonds, walnuts, fish oil, and salmon oil. Include lots of vegetables in your diet as they are high in fibre, help circulation, support skin’s elasticity and give you the antioxidants to kill free radicals in the body for that feel-good factor.
When you step out to shop or try out your dress carry the food you plan to eat. “Keep away from outside foods, MSG, sauces, chutneys and carbonated beverages as much as possible as they lead to bloating, water retention and dullness,” cautions Gupta.
Cut back on alcohol.
While alcohol is fat-free and low in carbohydrates, it is high in calories.
“If you must drink, nurse your glass slowly, and opt for a glass (approx. 150 ml of red or white wine), and limit the number of servings,” suggests Pawar.
Brides glow naturally with feelings of love and excitement on their special day. But if you want your skin to look nothing less than radiant on the big day, drink up! Not happy hour! We mean water, and plenty of it. In the run up to the big event, stress can affect your hormonal balance which may lead to breakouts, rashes and even overly oily or dry skin.
“Drink at least 1.5 – 2 litres of water a day. It helps the body flush out toxins and keep you from over-snacking during the day,” advises Pawar. Natural fluids like coconut water, vegetable juices, lime juice, buttermilk are superb choices in addition to water and green tea.
Watch your posture. You can look taller and slimmer by standing tall, with a straight back, lifting your chest and lengthening your neck.
Try to work out in the morning. It’s proven that morning exercisers have a 77 per cent higher success rate.
Having a light energy-boosting snack before you hit the gym will help you burn more calories in the gym.
When eating out at a restaurant look out for key words: Baked, grilled or steamed. Avoid breaded, fried and cream sauces.
To avoid bloating, a week before the wedding go easy on alcohol, salt, simple sugars, and food that cause gas.
Ideal meal plan for a bride who has just 2 months before her wedding, by Indrayani Pawar, Team Leader Dietician, Hinduja Healthcare Surgical, Khar, Mumbai
Early Morning: 1 Cup luke warm water + ½ lime squeezed. 5-6 Almonds OR 2 Walnuts
Breakfast: 1 Cup Skimmed Milk + 2 Tbsp High fiber cereals (like Oats / Muessli/ Wheat flakes / Broken wheat / Puffed Rajgeera) with raisins or dates for sweetening instead of sugar
Mid Morning: 1 -2 Seasonal Fruits + 2 tsp Flax seeds or sunflower seeds
Lunch: Plenty of Raw vegetable salad with a dash of lime, Multigrain rotis Or Brown rice, Stir fry Vegetables (Bowl full) with some low fat paneer or tofu pcs OR Scrambled Egg white or Chicken pcs, Plain dal Or Low fat Curd
Evening: 1 Cup green tea + Steamed Sprouts
Dinner: Unstrained Mix vegetable soup or Raw vegetables salads with sautéed paneer/ fish/ chicken and 1 medium size Jowar/ Bajra/ Ragi Roti
Nivedita Jayaram Pawar
This story was published in Wedding Vows magazine March 2015. Click here for the magazine version Fitness for brides