If you’ve been telling yourself for years that you need to trim and tone but have never quite been able to find the motivation, your wedding might just be the push you need. With all your guests focusing on you in your dress, and the photos that will be taken that you’ll want to show your grandchildren one day, now is the time to get in shape. We spoke to Jenny Craig’s leading dietitian Karen Inge for her top 13 tips for shedding before the wedding.
1. Set realistic goals.
Don’t try to be someone you are not. Understand that your shape is genetically determined. No amount of food restriction will lengthen your legs or turn your pear shape into a stick of celery. That said, by eating well and being physically active you can be the best looking in-shape pear silhouette around…firm, good colour, no blemishes and ripe for the picking!
2. Give yourself time.
You need to give yourself enough time to reach your goal weight. Remember that the rate of weight loss that is considered to be safe is between 0.5 and 1kg per week. If you need to lose around 10kg you need to give yourself between three and six months to do it.
3. Weigh yourself regularly.
Studies are suggesting that those people who monitor their weight on a regular basis seem to be able to maintain their weight much better than those who shy away from the scales. Try and weigh yourself at the same time of day with minimal clothing and no shoes.
4. Measure up as well.
I always think it is a good idea to get the tape measure out and measure your waist. From a health perspective, women need to have a waist circumference less than 88cm (don’t pull in too tightly !)
5. Start the day right.
Always start your morning with a healthy breakfast to kick start your metabolism and fuel your body for the day. A small bowl of high fibre wholegrain cereal with low fat milk and fresh fruit is a great start to a busy day. Breakfast skippers are much more likely to be overweight compared with breakfast eaters, and overweight people tend not to be hungry in the morning. If you don’t feel like eating in the morning it’s a good idea to go for a walk (even a short walk) first and then try and eat breakfast. You’ll be amazed at how much better you will feel.
6. Keep up your fluids.
The body is 60% water so keep topping it up. Drink at least eight glasses of water every day, and more if you are working or exercising in the heat. New fluid guidelines just released for women recommend 2.7 L of water per day. This can include high water contact fruit and vegetables as well as green and herbal teas. Be wary of healthy drinks that are kilojoule laden like fruit juices, smoothies, some energy drinks and of course alcohol. If you are really craving a sweet drink then go for a diet soft drink or cordial, but remember that water is best not only for your weight but also for beauty: hair , skin , nails and kidneys.
7. Limit foods that are high in saturated fat.
Do this by choosing lean cuts of meat, trimming all visible fat, removing skin from chicken and other poultry, choosing low fat dairy products, avoiding excessive amounts of butter and other high fat spreads as well as minimising the amount of high fat take-away foods, processed foods, cakes and biscuits that you eat.
8. Eat your fruit and veges.
Try to incorporate two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables into your diet every day. It’s all about fabulous bio- actives which are abundant in fruits and vegetables. They have a powerful antioxidant capacity which protects us from ill health and disease. Fruits and vegetables are low in kilojoules and fat (the exception being avocadoes, but they contain good fats and protein and are a great substitute for butter).
9. Stay away from processed foods.
Reduce the amount of highly processed, sugary foods that you eat and drink. Soft drinks, confectionery, sweet biscuits, ice confections, cakes and pastries are generally high in kilojoules and low in nutritional value. What’s important is nutrient density not energy density. So make every kilojoule count: Ensure that every kilojoule packs a powerful nutritional punch.
10. Don’t skip meals.
Skipping meals slows your metabolism and decreases your energy levels. Plus you will probably overcompensate for the meal you’ve missed by over-eating later in the day. Become a grazer. Eat smaller meals often or three meals with snacks in between each day. Healthy snacks include fresh fruit (try frozen strawberries or blueberries for longer lasting snacks), low fat yoghurt, vegetables like cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks, and small fruit muesli bars.
11. Resist fad diets.
When deciding to lose weight, so many people pop into the local bookstore and grab the latest book on a diet fad that promises miracles in the shortest possible time. Be careful because some of these may not be balanced nutritionally, increasing your risk of developing deficiencies at a time when you need more energy not less. Low carb diets and those that eliminate red meat can increase your risk of fatigue.
12. Get physical!
The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat a healthy diet and to incorporate regular physical activity into your lifestyle. To look gorgeous on the wedding day means having a fit and firm body. It’s more important than having a skinny body. Brides-to-be need to be committed to regular exercise and we need a variety of that as well: weight bearing for the bones, strength work for the muscles and aerobic for the heart and cardiovascular system. To keep you going it needs to be fun; try belly dancing, pilates, playing with the dog, going for a walk and talk with friends, taking up sailing, or windsurfing. You don’t even have to set foot in a gym (although they can be fun too… with great results).
13. Find a support team.
Finally, to keep you on the right track and losing weight at a reasonable rate, seek support. Programs like Jenny Craig provide you with a support team who can keep your motivation high and the weight off.
About Jenny Craig’s dietitian, Karen Inge
With numerous publications and regular appearances on national television and radio, Karen is highly respected in the field of nutrition. She has worked extensively in Sports Nutrition and was the first Dietitian appointed to an AFL club. Most importantly, she is also part of Jenny Craig’s Medical Advisory Board and makes sure Jenny Craig’s program is up to date with the latest scientific thinking in terms of nutrition, food and health.
by Karen Inge from Jenny Craig