The idea that it’s the most important meal of the day or will set up your metabolism for the day has pretty much been debunked.
However, as with water, if you make time to eat something healthy and nutritious now, then you can feel good that you have started your day well and you have done something to nurture yourself that will prevent you reaching for snacks as the day goes on and time is getting away from you.
My instant suggestion would be to have something egg based, because they you can fill it with veggies and get a highly nutritional meal instantly.
Bonus Tip – Throw in some Cinnamon
Not only will it liven up the flavours, but it will help regulate your insulin sensitivity (how your body deals with blood sugar spikes) and it is a natural fat burner (though don’t get too excited – the fat burning effects are microscopic, but everything that helps move you forward should be welcomed.
They all add up.
Yes, you are still reading the list for the ladies.
In fact, this is generally going to be more of a useful tip for women than men.
Firstly, you are likely to be trying to stay in a calorie deficit if you are looking to slim down for the wedding day.
But you don’t want to just get smaller, you want to ‘Tone Up’.
Lifting weights helps to ensure that, while your body is burning energy, it favours burning fat.
This happens because you are giving it cues that it must hang on to that muscle to keep the weights moving.
Secondly, the ladies at weddings tend to have more muscle (or areas where muscle resides) on show.
Often the shoulders and arms are exposed.
Men, on the other hand, will likely have a suit or perhaps a kilt (which shows very little when you really think about it – knees and little else, though calf shape may be an issue) but everything else is covered up in layers.
There is also the overall shape to consider. But I’ll come back to that.
If you are exposing your shoulders and arms, I’m sure you want them to look shapely. Skinny with bone or small but still wobbly are unlikely to be the effect you are going for. So, make sure you are lifting weights and that you know what you are doing with them.
Think of the Hourglass
Most wedding dresses (not all) are designed to accentuate the idea of an hourglass figure. So, anything that amplifies a difference in waist size to that above and below, is generally the desired effect.I’m not going to say that is what everyone is looking for, but it would be rare to have a look where someone is targeting a straight up and down stick look.
So, as with point 5, developing nice shoulders will help give the perception of a smaller waist.
Similarly, developing the muscles around the glutes (bum) and upper back (which may also be on show, depending on the dress) will further add to the perception of a smaller waist.
This is especially useful if you have a naturally large frame.
If you have a large rib cage or wide hips, don’t get upset about it, work with it. You may never have the waist size that the gossip magazines tell you is ‘right’, but everything is about proportion and balance. If you are naturally wider, you can make even more impactful changes by developing the right areas.
Yes, the ultimate goal for most is going to ensure that there is less fat on display. But, low body fat just means there is more of everything else on show. So how you develop that lean mass is going to play a big part in how impactful your hard work is on the final visual.
If you feel you need help in this area, and can’t afford the time or expense of a one to one personal trainer. Take a look at this online course on natural physique training. It doesn’t have to be about standing on a stage. What we are talking about here is developing your technique. So sign up to the course and work your way through the lessons at your own pace.
In conjunction with a pulling together a large event like a wedding, you would think I’d be talking emotionally here. And whilst, yes, that’s true as staying mentally focused is important in keeping you driven in all aspects of your preparation. I am talking about the physical side of things.You may feel you just want to look good and physical strength has nothing to do with your goals (or at least they are not high on the agenda at this time) if you want to make the most of things, strength is crucial.Even if we just look at it from the aesthetic side of things. On the day of the wedding, if your posture is poor, no matter how lean you are or how toned your muscles are, it won’t look good.
And, given that weddings are pretty much full day events, holding that posture for the entirety is going to take a strong and well-balanced frame (or a huge amount of energy and effort).
But, regardless of that, strength allows for increased activity in all areas.
If you are strong, you can do more in the gym during your workouts. But you can also do more during your day to day activities.
That, not only, allows you to burn more energy and therefore more calories, and build stronger and better-defined muscle tone.
It will also allow for you to simply get more done. If there are things to be moved, collected, stairs to be climbed and the like, you’ll get these things done with more speed and less stress.
There is no downside to working on your strength, only benefits. So be sure to take the time to build this into your programme early on and reap the benefits when you need them closer to the big day.
Don’t fly solo
There are enough things about to come up that will throw you off track and it will be all too easy to get distracted.
This is true of everyone, but it’s amplified hugely when involved in planning a wedding.
However, a wedding is, by its very nature, a group activity. Even if it is to be a small event, there are always going to be a minimum of 2 people involved.
And whilst training with your partner is an option and better than flying solo, you may find that the stresses and complications you will both be dealing with in setting up everything else may make another shared task just one step too far.
Being supportive of each other is certainly useful and working on things like nutrition and meal choices would be a huge benefit.
However, bridesmaids and brides combining forces, so everyone can look to get their ideal wedding body, could be an excellent move.
Not only does it give you a support network throughout and help keep you accountable. It also gives you a time to meet up and discuss any logistics or plans before or after the training sessions.
Increase your calories
That’s not a typo, I’m saying eat MORE.
This is so counter intuitive to most people. Everything you have been taught has been, to lose weight, eat less. And whilst there is truth in that when you look at it from a certain point of view, almost every female I’ve met who has started trying to lose weight, or thinks about it a lot, eats far too little on a daily basis.
The reason, then, that they don’t lose weight (in the long term at least) is they cut the intake to such an extreme that their body starts to shut down non-essential functions. That means the internal furnace or metabolic rate of your body, decreases to match the intake you are giving it.
However, you are usually so starved and so stressed, you then binge every now and then and the result is, even if that isn’t a huge binge, your calorie burn rate is so slow, it is huge in comparison.
By eating more (assuming it is nutritious food) you will be better fueled to do more and therefore burn more.
It makes for a happier route to the desired result. It means you are healthier as a result and it means you can increase the cycle – as explained in this article on the idea of trying to Lose Weight Fast.
Now, regardless of whether you understand that, this is your wedding (or it’s someone close to you who is getting married) and you want to make this count.
Rational thought will attempt to go out the window.
You may panic because, by increasing your calories, you may, at first, put on weight and bloat a little.
This will be temporary.
Just like the cutting of calories, the increase in intake (providing you do it smoothly and don’t just double your calories overnight) will be caught up by your internal system after a few days.
There is a balance to be had here and it may take a bit of experimentation.
Just keep in mind that, starving yourself thin is never the answer.
Decrease your stress levels
If there is one thing that is going to hamper your progress to your ideal wedding day physique, it’s stress. As with lack of food intake (which is a stress) any stress will inhibit your body’s ability to function properly and therefore burn fat, build muscle, make good decisions … you get the idea.
Keep in mind, stress comes in many forms.
It’s not just about things that wind you up at work or having too much to do.
We’ve mentioned lack of nutritional input. And if you feel this is overwhelming you, have a look at this guide on Eating Healthy with a Busy Schedule.
Lack of sleep is another huge contributor (possibly number 1).
Over-doing your training (though this is rare).
Or just general overwhelm (which, when planning a wedding, is often the norm).
Often just taking a minute and breathing can be enough to make a huge difference. But, many recent studies have shown that just 10mins of mindfulness practice can have extraordinary results.
If you don’t know what that is, or you struggle to do it on your own, try this app. It’s completely free but does a great job of guiding you through the process.
Focus on the big muscles first
The temptation is always to want to work the areas you are most concerned about.
For wedding dresses, that is often arms and shoulders and then, just because you are human and female, waist and hips are always a focus area.
However, working these areas, for the most part, or of low value when it comes to lifting your metabolism and getting an overall improved body composition and tone.
The bigger the muscles you recruit, the more energy is expended in repairing that muscle afterward and so the more calories you burn as a result. Plus, those bigger muscles are now stronger, allowing you to do more in the long run.
So, even though they are hidden in most wedding dresses, focus more on legs, glutes (bum) and on the upper body side of things, back muscles.
Once you have made solid progress in these areas, then you can start to look at more specific areas.
Then give the visible areas some attention
Now, once the big areas have been hit, you can start to plan your workouts around outfit specific training.
So, if your shoulders are exposed, give them some extra attention.
If your upper back is open, do more work there (which is a good idea in general, simply for postural reasons).
Just remember, working these specific areas does not burn more fat from those areas, but once your body fat levels are down (from working on the big muscles and getting your nutrition in check) you can give these areas focus to try and shape the muscles more the way you would like to see them.
Remember, wider shoulders will give more of a perception of a small waist, so double win.
But keep in mind, direct ab work is rarely a good use of your time and efforts in this instance. At best, it will help sculpt some abs (if they are visible) but the energy burn is minimal and even if you do manage to build your abs up, under a wedding dress, it could just cause the midsection to be pushed out and take away from the taper you are most likely looking for.
This is a very individual thing. However, I stress again – working an area directly does not burn fat from that area! So, when you zero in on specific body parts, be sure it’s to shape and sculpt already visible or part visible muscle.
And as, on most people, fat tends to come off the extremities first (face, shoulders, arms, calves etc) the exposed parts on wedding outfits tend to be good candidates for focused training.
Remember! Healthy looks better than skinny (plus it lasts longer and feels better)
I can’t stress this enough.
As you get closer to the wedding date, you will become more and more self-critical.Your knee-jerk reaction is going to be to do something drastic.Cut your calories.
Try to go and exercise beyond your means.
Take fat burners or something equally or more idiotic.
Mostly, if the issue is still too many wobbly bits, you’ll look to starve yourself thin rather than sticking to the plan, no matter how much you understand this is counterproductive to your goals.
As much as you may think the skinnier the better, it never looks good.
Sallow or loose skin; unhealthy complexion; bloodshot eyes; dark circles; bony shoulders, dull and lifeless hair etc.
None of these things look good!
And whilst you may feel you can cover these things up with make-up, fake tan and a good stylist, it is always evident. You can see someone who has dieted off the weight a mile off.
The compliments may be there of “Oh you’ve done well” or “You’ve worked so hard”, but the reality is, if you looked healthy, but with a little more weight, you would radiate, feel good and be able to enjoy your day more because you’ll have more energy and you’ll look even better in your photos.
A wedding is meant to be a commitment to a strong and happy future. It’s a line in the sand that you and your partner will go on, together, to build a fantastic life together.
Doesn’t your commitment to your partner deserve a commitment to taking care of yourself and taking the healthy option? Getting yourself into a position where you will have a healthy future, rather than being skinny for a day and having stresses and issues thereafter as your body’s internal structure has been destroyed in the process?
Make good and healthy choices and they will reflect externally. Plus, they will last.
Make superficial choices and they will be just that. Short term, covering over the cracks and a false impression of what you truly are on the inside.
Get enough sleep
This is hard enough at the best of times for many people.
Now, with a wedding date approaching, there are many things working against you.
Firstly, there is so much to do, so you could sit up half the night doing the preparations because you have too much on at work or elsewhere during the day.
For my wedding, we had issues with the company doing our invitations and had to sit up, two nights running, making them ourselves, to get them out in a reasonable time to get responses.
But, just the idea of anything going wrong, or, dare I say it, any doubts that are creeping in. All these things can add to the lack of sleep.
As mentioned, this is a stress. It’s a huge stress. And it only multiplies the issues that caused it in the first place.
So, whilst I’ve covered stress already, I just wanted to re-emphasize the importance of rest and recovery.
You can stay up half the night working on something that, due to your exhausted nature, will likely be slow and full of mistakes or misjudgments. Or you can get some sleep, get up refreshed and be more efficient the next day.
And from the point of view of your physique on the day of the wedding, getting sufficient sleep is critical to your success level. So, do not underestimate this. Don’t let your tiredness trick you into making bad decisions. Get the rest you need and make the most of the day that follows.
You are vowing to love and cherish and expecting the same in return. Then look to love yourself the way you hope your partner would.
You (hopefully) only get one shot at a wedding day. I understand, you want your memories to be as perfect as they can be. You want to look your best. But, after months of planning, stressing, ups and downs, the day will arrive and then be over in the blink of an eye. You will feel amazing. Everyone in attendance will be there to support you and wish you well. You will spend so much time trying to get through the rituals, talk to everyone and get the photos, cake cutting, dances and the like, done at the right time, the day will fly past.
Make a plan, make it early, do the best you can, but you set the goals, so don’t feel there is success or failure. All you can do is give the level of effort you feel you need to be successful. To stick to your roadmap and get the elements done the same way you will every other element of the preparations.
But, always keep in mind – without energy, you will achieve little, without your health, you will enjoy none of it. Yes, you want to be your best on the day. But, that best is both internal and external.