It finally happened! The shiny rock is on your left ring finger. You’ve booked an appointment to try on wedding dresses. You’re imagining standing in front of a crowd of family and friends looking more stunning in that white dress than you’ve ever looked before.
It’s game time. Time to drop a few pounds, tone up your arms, and lose that extra padding around your waist. But how do you get there? Where do you start?
This FAQ-based blog will help guide you brides-to-be and bridesmaids with some key tips to help you get in shape and look stunning on your wedding day!
What muscles should a bride-to-be focus on to look her best walking down the aisle?
This partially depends on what your problems areas are and how you want to look. Most brides are concerned with their arms and back looking great since that’s what shows the most. For this, I suggest circuit training for back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. However, many brides usually want to lose overall fat and look as slim as possible, which is best achieved with full body workouts for the biggest muscle groups. If you train your biggest muscle groups – chest, back, and legs – you’ll hit all of the other smaller muscle groups at the time and get the most calorie burn.
While no one will see your abs on your wedding day, every bride wants a slim waist to fit into her dress just perfectly. For this, focus on exercises that work the full core and help to “pull the abdomen in” like a corset: elbow planks, side planks, quadruped are all great for this. Supplement with more ab-focused exercises like bicycles, the Pilates 100, decline sit-ups, Russian Twists, and hanging leg raises.
2. Should you do cardio or weights?
Both! First of all, your nutrition is going to be about 70-80% of your weight loss, so make sure you get that dialed in first (more on that below). If you’re not sure where to start, contact me to get help with nutrition coaching. hen you’ll need a mix of cardio and weights to get your best wedding (and honeymoon!) body.
Weights will burn calories, help boost your metabolism, make you stronger, and create shape. Cardio will help to burn extra calories and eliminate excess fat. As mentioned above, as often as possible do circuits and include cardio bursts into your weight training. Things like burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, etc.
3. What should you eat to lose weight?
Women tend to think they need to eat about 1200 calories a day to lose weight, but for the majority of women, this is way too few calories! If you under eat consistently, you’ll actually slow down your metabolism. A lot of women need to be eating more protein and more calories overall in order to actually lose weight once they start weight training. It can seem counter-intuitive to eat more to lose weight, but if you’re not eating enough, your body wants to conserve energy (store fat). If you’re eating far above your basal metabolic rate (what you need just to function), then your body will use the food you give it more efficiently. Plus, eating enough will keep your energy up, cravings down, improve your sleep, your skin, workouts…basically make you feel much better.
At some point you may still need to cut calories, but don’t cut hundreds of calories out of your diet 6 months prior to your wedding date! You need to cut slowly and wisely to tone muscle and sustain your weight loss without losing energy or hurting your metabolism. For more specific, guided help with this, please contact me. You can also read my recent blog about what to lose to eat weight to get you started with more specifics.
Most importantly, what you are eating should be the right kind of healthy calories. Processed food, soda, alcohol, candy, etc., are really going to hinder your weight loss because these are toxic to your body since they’re not real food. Your body is designed to efficiently use whole foods like vegetables, whole grains, organic meat, eggs, fruits and legumes. When you eat these kinds of foods in conjunction with a workout program, you’ll have an easier time losing fat. The most important things are to eat as little sugar as possible, as little restaurant food as possible (since you don’t always know what’s in it and how it’s prepared) processed and food as possible.
If it’s not real food but comes in a package and was made with chemicals in a plant somewhere, don’t eat it.
4. How can you reduce stress during wedding planning?
Stress can majorly inhibit weight less. For your fitness goals, as well as your sanity, you’ll want to keep your stress under control…as much as a woman planning her dream wedding can, anyway!
a) Sleep – As hard as it may be with so many planning details and excitement, sleep! Sleeping 8 or more hours a night is very important for keeping your stress levels down. Not only that, but when you sleep more, your body can properly repair itself from tough workouts, stabilize your hormones, reduce cravings, and give you more energy for your workouts and daily activities.
b) Regular Workouts – Working out is proven to help reduce stress, cope with emotions, enhance creativity, and improve sleep. Even if all you can squeeze in is a 20-minute circuit or jog, keeping your body moving will do wonders for stress.
c) Reduce Caffeine – Caffeine can make you feel jittery, causes energy crashes, and reduces sleep quality. Don’t drink more when you’re tired, instead work on cutting it down and you may actually feel less stressed out. Try switching to green tea from coffee, or having half-caf coffee in the morning, then switching to decaf if you need a second cup later in the day.
d) Eat Clean & Take Vitamins – Eating a nutrient-rich diet well as getting lots of vitamins and minerals from natural foods like fruits and vegetables will keep your body in top shape and build up your immune system. You’ll have more energy and think more clearly if you are eating healthy foods and taking a multi-vitamin. And don’t forget to drinks tons of water all day long! (I like Alive! Vitamins or Rainbow Light Women’s)
Do you have other wedding prep questions as it relates to fitness and health? Leave a comment!
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