Whether you’re a bride-to-be, the proud parent-of-the-bride, a bridesmaid or a guest who wants to look your best, a wedding day is a time to look and feel fabulous. The pursuit of “shedding for the wedding” has become famed in recent years, as women starve in their determination to look gorgeous in their gowns. But we’d like to offer a reality check: You want to enjoy that wedding day, not feel faint throughout! You can lose weight safely and effectively in a healthy way by following these tips:
• Eat breakfast. It might seem contradictory to start off by saying “eat,” but studies show that eating breakfast helps you control your food intake the rest of the day, optimizes your metabolism and gives you a boost of energy to take on all those pre-wedding day tasks. We’re not talkin’ about toasted coconut donuts, though!
Enjoy a healthy breakfast such as oatmeal, whole grain cereals, an egg white omelet or a protein shake. Catch 22: Avoid breakfast choices with sugar, which will give you an energy spike and then a plummet. A good choice: Erewhon Organic Crispy Brown Rice Cereal without salt, topped with unsweetened soy milk such as White Wave Unsweetened Organic Silk® Soymilk.
• Need a pick-me-up so you figure you’ll steer to Starbucks or another café? Watch what you order. Although a cuppa coffee can perk you up, a fancy drink made with cream, sugar and chocolate can cost you as much as 800 fattening calories!
Instead, hydrate your body with water and nosh on food, not liquid calories, for energy. Pair lean protein with good carbohydrates such as fruit or whole grains. For example, you could enjoy low-fat string cheese with a pear, or a whole grain cracker spread with nut butter. Keep canned fruit packed in its natural juice, such as Edward & Sons Native Forest, on hand.
• Here’s a tip to take off pounds fast: Make salad the focus of your lunch and dinner. Pile up the green lettuce, slice and dice tomatoes, use assorted summer squash raw (or lightly steam, cool and keep in the fridge just for this purpose), and chop mushrooms on top. For nature’s best source of protein: Beans! They’re fiber-rich, inexpensive and low in fat. Try different types, such as pinto beans, chick peas and kidney beans.
A delicious combination: Eden Foods Organic Cannellini White Kidney Beans over tomatoes and thinly sliced purple onions, topped with a sprinkling of fat-free string cheese, diced left-over chicken breast or tofu. Over it all, use calorie-free salad dressing from Walden Farms, in flavors ranging from Honey Dijon to Thousand Island.
• Can’t wait for a slice of wedding cake and want to lose weight but have your cake now? We’re all over that idea! Just go with a sugar-free, high protein version: an Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Cookies’n'Crème shake. With just 130 calories per scoop, you can blend up with unsweetened almond milk for a divine dessert or before-bed sweet dreams treat.
Joanne Eglash, Vitacost.com’s Diet Diva, has a master of science in holistic nutrition and more than 15 years experience as a nutrition consultant, blogger, author and journalist. She has written for a wide range of publications and websites, including ediets.com,Natural Health magazine, Shape magazine, Success magazine, Energy for Women and Chefs. Joanne is currently the national Diets columnist for the online news and entertainment site, Examiner.com, and a features food columnist for Yahoo.