I am thrilled to be writing a very special feature today for Powder Bride & Evening Wear, a private curated bridal and evening wear boutique located in the heart of downtown Toronto.
My Top 10 Pre-wedding Weight Management Tips
The desire for pre-wedding weight management is a common one for soon-to-be-married couples.
Your wedding day is an immensely special occasion and very often brides and grooms are motivated to manage their weight in order to look and feel their best.
Today’s article is not meant to promote or encourage the need for a “pre-wedding diet”, rather it is simply written to help offer practical healthy eating guidance for those who are feeling particularly compelled to eat healthier leading up to their wedding dates.
Remember that weight loss takes time and losing 1-2 pounds a week is a healthy sustainable goal.
There are two simple, primary objectives you can strive for in order to help you reach this goal:
- Eat Healthier
- Eat Less
Now achieving these two objectives is easier said than done, but my 10 expert pre-wedding weight management tips will put you in the best position possible as you prepare for your big day.
- Re-think Your Drink: Soft drinks and beer are two of the biggest contributors of excess calories to the average person’s diet. Swapping out your standard cola for water or a diet variety, and cutting back on your beer and alcohol intake will certainly help you with your pre wedding weight loss goals. Consuming a few less drinks a week is all it takes to get you started.
- Have salad, hold the dressing: Eating more vegetables is a healthy approach to weight management. Many dieters turn to salads for weight management because you can consume a large amount of vegetables for relatively few and very nutrient-rich calories. This is a well-intentioned and reasonable approach to weight loss, but one that can be sabotaged by poor dressing choices. Stick to moderate amounts of oil, vinegar and lemon juice based dressings and avoid the high calorie creamy ranch varieties in order to get the most out of your salad.
- Hold The Honey ( & syrups, jams): Do you like to add honey, maple syrup, jam or other sugary additions to your favourite drinks/snacks or meals? If so, you aren’t alone because these foods are known to contribute a significant amount of calories to the average person’s diet. Need a sweet fix? Grab yourself a piece of fruit or ½ cup of berries instead.
- Control your use of oil & butter: Excessive use of oil and butter for food preparation can be a major calorie culprit. Prepare foods with minimal oil and opt for foods that are steamed or baked rather than fried. Make a point of using no more than 2-3 tbsp of oil a day and consider abandoning butter completely as it really does not offer anything nutrition wise.
- Substitute The Snacks: Chips, chocolate bars and other snack foods can be enough to sabotage any pre wedding diet goals. My #1 suggestion for people looking for something “fun” to snack on is to invest in an air popper and enjoy air popped popcorn in place of those other indulgences. Three cups of air popped popcorn comes in at around only 100 calories!
- Measure your meals: Don’t like any of the advice you have read so far? You can try taking the approach of cutting down everything you eat by 25%. In order to do this, you will need to make a conscious effort to understand your current eating habits ( in terms of the amounts of certain foods you are eating at each meal time) and actively choose to eat less.
- Up Your Fibre: Generally speaking, higher fibre choices are healthier choices. Upping your vegetable intake, swapping in beans & lentils in place of fatty meats and switching to whole grains (ie: switching from white rice/bread/pasta to whole grain rice/bread/pasta) is a great way to boost your fibre intake and help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
- Start your day right: If you don’t already eat breakfast, now is a great time to start. It may sound strange that I am asking you to eat more, but a healthy breakfast will help keep you full and focused and may reduce your snack cravings and total intake later in the day. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy either; a handful of nuts or seeds with a piece of fruit is perfect.
- Incorporate Soups: Home-made broth based soup is a secret weapon when it comes to getting a lot in you for fewer calories, especially if your soup is full of satisfying low-calorie green vegetables like kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and so on. Broth-based soups are inherently low in calories, and will help keep you feeling full because of all the fluid volume you will be taking in.
- Eat Smart When You’re Out: Eating out less, even 1-2 times less per week, is an obvious and effective pre-wedding weight management strategy but, in the context of real life, sometimes eating out is unavoidable. My best advice to you in this regard is to take advantage of the readily available nutrition & calorie information that most restaurants provide online and use it to help you make educated dining decisions.
There you have it folks, my 10 expert tips to kick start your pre-wedding weight management goals. Don’t fret if not every single goal appeals to you, but the more you take on board , the easier it will be to reach your goals.
All the best and happy wedding prepping!
Andy De Santis RD MPH