As I’ve said in a previous post, your partner-to-be loves you for who you are and confidence can come at any shape or size. Self-love does not come from a smaller waist measurement or a lower number on the scales. It’s important that you arrive by your partner’s side still looking like yourself.
Wedding planning can be stressful, especially in the last few weeks, so it’s important to keep up your energy levels and avoid crash diets. If you’ve decided to try to drop a dress size for your wedding, here are some tips to do so healthily.
Step 1: Be SMART!
Specific – rather than saying “I want to lose weight”, set yourself a goal in real terms like inches or dress sizes e.g. “I want to go from a size 14 to a 12”. That way, your goal is tangible.
Measurable – by setting a goal in terms of inches or dress sizes, you will know when you are there. The reason I don’t recommend the scales is that you could lose half a stone in weight by crash dieting but that could be water and muscle weight, in which case, it won’t necessarily change the way you look (and it won’t be healthy or sustainable weight loss). Using a tape measure is more accurate and a better indication of health, particularly if you measure your waist to height ratio.
Achievable – If you’ve 12 weeks to go before your dress fitting, setting yourself a goal of losing 3 stone in weight or dropping 3 dress sizes isn’t achievable (at least not healthily!) You also won’t look like the person your partner loves! Make sure your goals are achievable.
Realistic – given your lifestyle (work commitments, amount of free time for cooking, exercising, wedding planning, socialising etc.) how much are you able to commit to getting healthier? It’s no use signing up to a strict plan that doesn’t allow for any socialising or trips out, or for something that will leave you permanently hungry and miserable. Be realistic about how many changes to your lifestyle that you can make and prioritise the ones you’re most likely to sustain.
Time-based – You have a deadline of your final dress fitting, so make sure those lifestyle changes start to happen at least 12 weeks before this to give you chance to achieve your goals gradually and healthily.
Step 2: Don’t diet!
Or at least, don’t do a fad diet, where most of the initial weight loss is water and you also risk losing the precious muscle that keeps you toned and strong. You’ll be much more likely to pile the pounds back on and more after the wedding. Here are 5 tips for healthy, sustainable weight loss:
Step 3: Get active
Whether it’s going on a daily walk, taking the stairs at work, going swimming or signing up for a class, try to work some activity in to your lifestyle. Resistance exercises, where you lift weights or just your own body weight are great for helping to tone up and you can even do them at home.
Exercise not only burns calories and is heart healthy but resistance exercise helps to tone and work muscles which can boost your metabolism and help you look firmer and leaner.
So there you have it! Weight loss shouldn’t be top of your list when you’re getting married but if you want to drop a dress size, this is the healthiest way to do it.
Many thanks to Dr Margaret Ashwell OBE for her pioneering work in body shape analysis and for her permission to link through to her excellent shape chart.