Your wedding day is one day when all eyes are going to be on you. And you'll also have a lot of photographs taken to remind you of how you looked then.
As a result, most brides embark on a strict diet/fitness regime in the run-up to the big event. But what's the best way to go about this?
Even if you just follow the simple advice below, you'll be making improvements to your overall health and fitness, setting up better habits for a lifetime.
- Start your fitness and health campaign six months before your wedding day. Really this shouldn't be a campaign you'll drop after the marriage - you need to implement many of these changes for the rest of your life so that it's a healthy one.
- Carbs aren't the enemy. It's poor quality carbs you should be avoiding - white bread, biscuits, fries, sugar, white rice, cakes. Decide to stick to healthy carbs - brown rice, wholemeal freshly made pasta, sweet potatoes. If you're trying to lose weight, don't eat carbs after 6pm and never after 10pm. You need some carbs first thing in the morning to kick start your metabolism and give you energy.
- Avoid alcohol in the run up to your wedding day. You need to give your liver a chance to reset itself which takes about a month. Also alcohol contains many toxins which are fat soluble - with the result that these toxins mix with existing fat which then becomes difficult to lose as the body doesn't want to expose itself to the toxins that are stored within it, hence 'stubborn' fat around the tummy!
- Keeping away from the alcohol will help you to lose weight faster and has many health benefits.
- Drink water rather than juice (which contains 25% sugars)
- If you're not used to exercising, start off with some light movements. Don't overdo it straight away. Slow and steady wins the race here - build up your activity and your stamina.
- Aim to lose a maximum of 2lbs a week and a minimum of 1lb a week.
- Pilates is great for building up your strength and re-engaging out-of-condition muscles.
- Small things will make a difference. Walking upstairs instead of taking the lift. Walking to work if you can or at least some of the way. Cutting out candy, cakes, cookies, milky drinks. Increasing the amount of exercise you do and eating more healthily. This is a good rule for life in any case, so try to set in place some good habits that you'll keep up for the rest of your life.
- It's important that you find exercise you enjoy or you won't stick to it. Okay, go to a spinning class three times a week. It's great exercise but if you don't enjoy it, you won't stick to it long term. Far better to find something you love doing that you'll want to keep at - that's why I think classes and clubs are good. Maybe you want to take up cycling. Take up ballroom dancing "Dancing with the Stars" style.
- Exercise classes are great because they're structured and disciplined. The gym is good for focusing on certain areas but remember that after 4-6 weeks of doing the same training in the gym your body stops adapting to exercise so your results will stall.
- Don't smoke. If you smoke you undo most of the good effects of your exercising and put masses of toxins in your body. You'll be setting yourself up for long term health problems besides prematurely ageing your skin, risking eye problems, teeth staining, bad breath - need I go on?
Main image features Bridesmaid Twist Dresses by Dessy.