Wedding Fitness Tips to Avoid Falling Off The Wagon.
Covering all things pre-wedding diet, starting off with training, cutting carbs, calorie counting and cheat meals.
10th August 2021 by Devina Parmar
Where would you recommend for brides to start, when it comes to their ‘pre-wedding diet’?
The majority of brides who come to me have already tried different ways of doing ‘dieting’, so my advice is to start from the basics.
What I mean by this, is to start to understand food basics. We live in a world where let's face it, there’s a diet culture, and brides especially would feel the sort of pressure to look a certain way.
So, if your main goal is to look a certain way for the wedding, that’s great, but let’s do it in the healthiest way possible. I don’t fully agree with dieting, because it puts this idea into our heads that there are such things as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods - which is not the case.
If a bride was coming to me, with no prior knowledge of where to start, I’d get them to start by creating a food diary for themselves. This is such a useful tool to help brides to become aware of what they’re currently eating.
My strategy is all about figuring out where we are now, where we’d like to go and how to get there in the healthiest way possible. And, if we hit roadblocks along the way, the best thing to do - is to look back and figure out why and then tweak things to make progress possible.
That goes for our training too.
Where would you recommend a complete beginner bride to start, when it comes to training?
Okay, so my question would be, it depends on the goal you’d like to achieve.
If you’re looking to drop a dress size or so, and want to create definition, so essentially tone up, your best bet is to start building resistance training in your workout regime.
Despite what most brides think, cardio is not going to help achieve the above. The science behind this is that it can easily help you ‘shrink’, but if you’d like to create more definition and shape, resistance based training is going to help you do this because the weights we’re using are going to act as a form of resistance to help create the definition we want.
So, when I mention cardio, I mean anything classified under boot camps, classes, HIIT, running, etc., don’t get me wrong, these activities can help improve our cardiovascular health, but in small doses.
There have been studies to show that if you do cardio for long periods, it can increase your appetite, so that can only really have an adverse effect, right?
If you’re working from home, can be harder to fit in your exercise routine, and a walk too, but I’d recommend scheduling it in your diary, just as you would with your appointments, after all, it is an appointment with yourself, which can easily help alleviate stress around planning your wedding.
Would you agree on dropping carbs?
I’ll be the first to admit, I used to do this, especially when I got fed up of not seeing the results I wanted.
Looking back, I would get side effects around drops of energy levels, mood swings, and not to mention, this would make my cravings go out the roof.
So, to answer your question - no, I don’t agree.
Having done a lot more research into it, after thinking, it shouldn’t be like this, I shouldn’t be feeling miserable all the time, I learned that it’s essential for us to have carbs.
Especially being women - around our time of the month, we have a set time where there is a need for us to have carbs, to help with our biology.
Without getting too scientific, we have two specific hormones that help regulate our bodies' functions that are released during our periods. Estrogen - regulates our menstrual cycle, and another hormone is responsible for stimulating ovulation. To keep it short, if we reduce our carbs by a drastic amount, this can affect both these hormones, and therefore our periods.
What are your thoughts on calorie counting?
Following on from my previous point, this is where I’d get anyone to start from - counting calories.
This is such a great educational tool to help anyone understand how many calories are in which foods, and also plan. I don’t advocate this as a fat loss tool, but, it’s a tool that can help long-term, to start gaining a better understanding of foods.
It’s a good way of figuring out where you are now, and what needs to happen for you to get to your goal.
A lot of brides think there are set foods you should eat that you’d need to have in your diet to help for their big day, yes, there are to a certain degree - to help with improving skin complexion, etc., but nothing, in particular, to help you change your body composition. (In other words, either drop body fat or add weight).
It all comes down to how many calories you are having.
To add to that, I wouldn’t recommend Googling this, because different brides will have different amounts of calories which depend upon their lifestyle factors, such as how busy they are, how active they are, and also the goals they want to achieve.
What are your thoughts on ‘cheat meals'?
Personally, I don’t think they are necessary.
If you’ve created a way of eating that you enjoy, and is helping you get to your goals, which is 100% doable, there’s no real reason as to why you should feel the need to ‘cheat’ on your ‘diet’ so to say.
One thing I’d recommend to anyone is to write a list of foods you enjoy and find ways to incorporate this into your daily calorie intake - this is only going to help you, firstly stay sane! But, also enjoy the process.
I see and hear a lot of brides going all in, super restrictive and ‘eating clean’ Mon-Fri and then end up falling off track on the weekends, or feeling like they’ve ‘earnt’ a ‘cheat meal’ or even ‘cheat day'.
This completely defeats the whole point.
My ethos is around creating a healthy, sustainable, and enjoyable lifestyle that enhances your lifestyle, not takes away from it!
If you think about it, the reason why brides fall off the wagon in the first place, is because they’re being super restrictive, which I know, it’s not their fault because the mainstream fat loss industry is promoting a lifestyle that is just not sustainable.
So, if you think about it; Monday is the most motivational day of the week, and you’re super pumped to go, you’re going to stick to your diet, which is great. Wednesday comes round, your aunt comes round with some Indian food, and you’re tempted, but you convince yourself that your apple and salad is going to keep you full. Friday swings around, you’ve been so ‘good’ all week and your family is getting a takeaway, and you think a couple of fries won’t hurt, a couple of fries can easily turn into a packet, chocolate dessert, and maybe even a night out with a fry up the next day…
And you fall off track.
It’s not the fact you’ve fallen off track, but it’s both;
The restrictive diet
How you bounce back from falling off track
So in short, cheat meals, can, if not factored into your calories the right way, can easily lead to someone falling off track.
You can have foods you enjoy, and still, achieve the body of your dreams. You don’t have to give up any of your favourite foods, despite what social media tells you to do.
It’s not a realistic way of living, especially if you’re a bride, with lots of celebratory occasions, where you’ll more than likely have foods that don’t fit within your ‘plan’. (Side note, this is why I don’t offer meal plans or think they’re a good idea).
And, to add to that, if you’ve got cravings around your time of the month, rather than fighting against it, it’s best to work with the way the female body works, rather than against it, otherwise, you’re only going to end up craving even more sugary foods.