Congratulations on getting engaged!  Your wedding is about a year away and you’re probably thinking about venues, caterers and possibly even the dress.  Why is nutrition important this far out?clairesteve-wed-1419

 

The most important thing to remember for any bride or groom is to look like yourself!  Your partner is marrying you for everything that you are right now, so don’t set unrealistic expectations for how you want to look on the big day.  The more confident you feel, the better and more relaxed you will look and confidence can come at any dress size.

 

The best way to radiate glowing health on your big day is with a healthy diet and no amount of expensive facials and treatments will change that!  So save your pennies and instead plan some simple, realistic lifestyle changes to create that radiant wedding glow:

  • Fruit and veg provide a wide range of essential nutrients such as vitamin C which can support skin health. Eat fruit and veg with every meal or snack such as berries on top of breakfast, a salad with lunch, veggie sticks with hummus or fruit with yoghurt for snacks and 2-3 veggies with dinner.
  • Struggling to make 5 a day? Pop some chopped veg like courgette, mushrooms and aubergine into Bolognese or chilli sauces or add carrots, squash and leek to stews to give them a veggie twist.
  • Don’t forget your healthy fats! Avocado, nuts and healthy oils like olive oil are a great source of vitamin E, which can help support healthy skin, so make sure you include some of these in your diet.  These fats can also be heart healthy too but make sure you keep portions small as these foods can be high in calories, so you only need small amounts.
  • Focus on fibre. Don’t be tempted to cut all carbs or cereals from your diet.  Cereals like oats, rice and wheat are a great source of fibre, which can help keep you full and also keep you regular, as well as providing valuable vitamins and minerals.
  • Protein isn’t just about power! Not only will high protein foods like meat, fish and dairy foods keep you feeling fuller for longer, they also provide a source of zinc, which helps support healthy skin and hair.
  • Hydration hydration hydration! Make sure you drink enough fluids, whether they are water, herbal teas or small amounts of tea and coffee.  This will boost skin and overall health as well as helping you avoid dehydration.  Avoid sugary drinks though as these contain lots of empty calories.

 

If you do decide you’d like to lose some body fat, then make sure you set sensible, realistic goals and give yourself plenty of time.

  • Try to lose weight steadily and slowly – not more than 1kg (2lb) a week.
  • Set a realistic weight loss goal for the time period and try to exercise too so that your focus is more on toning and strengthening, rather than the scales.
  • Don’t cut out whole food groups like cereals, dairy or all carbohydrate foods as you could well end up with a nutritional deficiency.
  • Avoid drastic, fad diets or cutting calories to very low levels. You will lose a lot of muscle, which helps you to look more toned and you will feel unwell, tired, stressed and miserable – not a good way to get ready for a happy day!
  • Go for balanced meals in smaller portion sizes – try eating off a smaller plate and chew slowly so that you have eaten less by the time you start to feel full.
  • As a rule of thumb, have a palm sized piece of protein food (meat, fish, eggs etc), a fist sized amount of carbohydrate food (rice, pasta, potatoes) and cover the rest of the plate in veg or salad.
  • Cut down on alcohol as not only is it high in calories, it also makes us want to eat more as our inhibitions are lower – try to have at least 3 alcohol-free days a week and opt for lower calorie drinks like white wine spritzers or white spirits like vodka with low calorie mixers.

 

The bottom line is, create a plan to look and feel your best that is realistic, manageable and allows you to arrive at your wedding day feeling healthy, confident and full of energy.

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