How can I build a healthy wedding weight-loss plan?

One-carat diamond? Score! One-pound weight loss? Maybe you need a new plan.
One-carat diamond? Score! One-pound weight loss? Maybe you need a new plan.
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For most brides, wedding weight-loss concerns are right up there with the dress, attendants and venue selection in terms of importance. The heart's desire of every bride is that each individual component comes together to create an event that's both visually and emotionally beautiful.

While some become fixated on color swatches and what kind of shapes caterers can carve out of butter (the classic rosette is always nice), others zero in on their figures. These brides might embark on borderline insane diet and exercise routines to achieve so-called wedding day perfection.

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Memo to these girls: Stop the madness! Crash diets and overly ambitious workout regimens are absolutely not the way to go if you really want to achieve long-term results. So, rather than succumb to the unrealistic promises of the ever-appetizing beet and coffee diet, take a few minutes to read more about the most effective -- not to mention healthiest -- ways to become fit just in time for your wedding day. We'll help you craft a wedding weight-loss plan in four simple steps.

Consult Your Doctor About Wedding Weight Loss

If you plan to lose a lot of weight, seek your doctor's help.
If you plan to lose a lot of weight, seek your doctor's help.
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If you're hoping to drop just a few pounds, it's probably not necessary to enlist your physician's guidance on your quest to supreme fitness. You should make an appointment to discuss your goals with your doctor if you plan to lose a more significant amount of weight (say, anything more than 20 pounds), are obese or have other medical concerns, like high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol. Excessive diet and changes in your exercise routine can actually have an adverse effect on your heart and health.

The key is to check with your doc about the correct way to approach cardio and weight-training, and you'll want to find out if any medications you're taking will lose their effectiveness if you change your diet. Your physician can help you develop an ideal weight-loss plan that'll have you looking your best on your big day. With his or her help, you can be sure that the amazing body you're flaunting on the outside is just as healthy on the inside, too!

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Establish Realistic Weight-loss Goals

Weight loss isn't exactly college-level calculus. In fact, the math is actually quite simple: To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume.

Extremely motivated brides can shoot for an hour or more of exercise per day and aim to consume 1,050 and 1,200 calories daily, according to WebMD. Such a regimented plan can result in a loss of three to five pounds per week, although consuming any fewer calories can be dangerous and even counterproductive, since your body will start to think it's being starved and hold on to the fat with gusto.

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Brides interested in dropping a moderate amount of weight more slowly can expect to lose one to two pounds per week by increasing physical activity and cutting about 500 calories per day from their existing intake. Yes, progress is slow and steady when it comes to weight loss, so toss those dreams of dropping 10 pounds a week by the wayside. Above all else, give yourself plenty of time to attain your goals. If you're dropping weight the healthy way, it simply won't happen overnight.

Establish a Healthy Weight-loss Routine

Stock your kitchen with ingredients for fresh, healthy meals.
Stock your kitchen with ingredients for fresh, healthy meals.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

In terms of nutrition, the best way to stay on track is to count calories and plan your meals ahead of time. Doing so will help you avoid nothing-in-the-fridge syndrome. Unfamiliar with that? Remember the last time you looked in the fridge, found the celery and yogurt unappealing and ended up at the closest drive-thru? It happens to all of us!

Stack your pantry with healthy snacks, the fixings for delicious, low-calorie meals and the occasional sweet treat. If you're well-prepared for mealtimes and cravings, you'll stay far away from the temptations of fast food. Even if you're not a cook, you can stock up on low-cal frozen meals.

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The great news for newbie or unmotivated exercisers is that there's a fitness regimen for absolutely everyone. Hate crowded gyms? Lace up your sneakers and take a brisk walk or jog around the neighborhood. If you love cardio, get hooked on spin, step or kickboxing classes to burn a ridiculous amount of calories in only one hour. For best results, intersperse cardio with strength training to achieve muscle tone.

Avoid Wedding Weight-loss Fads

The totally uncensored truth is that if it were easy to be thin and svelte, everyone would be. We'd all be running around in string bikinis and complimenting each other's washboard abs.

This is unfortunately not the case, which is why so many women resort to fad diets to lose extra pounds. Although fad and crash diets might be tempting with their insanely unrealistic weight loss promises, the fact is that they're utterly unhealthy, even causing heart stress and death in many dieters around the world. So, the next time you're tempted to take the quick and allegedly easy route, remember that your fiancé wants to marry the healthiest and happiest version of you, not someone who puts her health at risk to squeeze into a smaller size dress.

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Sources

  • Bonci, Leslie, R.D., M.P.H. "When Should I Consult a Doctor About Starting a Weight Loss Program." ABC News. Feb. 1, 2009. (March 3, 2011).http://abcnews.go.com/Health/WellnessResource/story?id=6762399
  • "Slimming Down for Your Big Day." Dateline NBC. 2011. (March 3, 2011).http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8631080/ns/health-fitness/
  • Zelman, Kathleen, M.P.H., R.D., L.D. "Lose Weight Fast: How to Do It Safely." WebMD. (March 3, 2011).http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/lose-weight-fast-how-to-do-it-safely