With so many to-do’s on your wedding checklist, and food based pre-wedding events, you may find it tough to stay focused and motivated when it comes to your wedding weight loss and fitness goals. Although there are a lot of things that can get in the way of sticking with your diet, rest assured, there are just as many strategies that can be used to stay on track with your new healthy lifestyle.
DITCH THE DIET!
Don’t worry, that isn’t a typo. If dieting means doing something drastic for a few weeks, or a few months only to go back to eating how you did before, you need to change your mindset, and fast. The best ‘diets’ are those that create healthy habits that are lifelong. A healthy lifestyle transformation is the only way the health benefits and long-time fat loss can be maintained. Eating healthier should be viewed as something positive, rather than as deprivation. A healthy diet will change how you make your choices and how you choose to live your life.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
There are many factors that influence how hungry you feel, many of which have nothing to do with its need for nutrients. Your eating patterns, the type of food you eat, your sleep patterns, stress levels, and how dehydrated you are can all play a role. Listening to your body’s hunger signs is key. Physical hunger comes on gradually, but emotional hunger is usually sudden. Many confuse thirst as hunger. The next time you feel like you are starving try a glass of water first, and then see how you feel. If you feel like you need a specific food, but aren’t hungry then this is a clue that you are simply trying to satisfy a craving.
PLAN IT AND PREPARE IT
Planning and preparing your meals ahead of time will not only save you time, but will make choosing healthy choices a no-brainer during the week as well. Once you have planned your menu for the week, start by going shopping and then prepare your food for the week (or the next few days, depending on what works best for your schedule). Pick a time and day of the week when you can shop, cook and package your food. Use reusable containers and bags to portion your meals so that they are prepared to be taken on-the-go when needed.
KEEP AN EMERGENCY SNACK ON HAND
Do as the Boy Scouts do, and ‘always be prepared’. Keep healthy and portable foods stashed in your car, purse, and desk drawer, so you're ready when you’re hungry at work and cookies sound tempting, or when you're out all day and see the glowing fast food signs beckoning you.
TRACK YOUR FOOD
That means all of it, from the spoonful of soup you sampled for your reception menu to the little bites of cake you taste. These "hidden" calories are easy to gloss over but can really add up. Plus, research shows that the simple act of tracking your food can help you lose twice as much weight than if you don't track at all (mental tracking does not count). If you do nothing else during the final days and weeks before your wedding, track your food diligently every day.
DRINK YOUR WATER
Recent studies found that when people drink more water throughout the day, they end up eating fewer total calories. Another new study found that drinking water before each meal resulted in greater weight loss. Water and water-rich foods can help fill you up longer. Keep a cup of water in hand at parties, sip water between bites, and meet your daily quota to help prevent overeating.
INDULGE WITHOUT REGRET
The key to indulging without ruining your progress is to change your mind set about it. Remember your plan shouldn’t be about deprivation. Depriving your body and labeling things as ‘off limits’ often leads to overeating and overindulging which leads to feelings of guilt. If you have a cookie or drink here or there, it isn’t the end of the world, and won’t keep you from achieving your goals.