Unfortunately, like many women, Kelly's busy life caused her to gain weight. Sick and tired of her muffin top and being addicted to sweets, she was prepared to do whatever it took to walk down the aisle looking perfect on her wedding day.
Many women pledge to lose weight before walking down the aisle. In fact, a recent study done at Cornell University found more than 70 per cent of engaged women want to lose a significant amount of weight before their wedding, with 14 per cent purposely buying a dress in a smaller size to force themselves to hit their weight-loss goal.
In order to hit your goal weight, it is important to approach weight loss with a plan. Here are five foolproof strategies that work every time.
5 ways to lose weight for your wedding
1. Eat protein at every meal
Eating protein at every meal is essential for your body to feel full and burn fat. You should be able to name your protein source at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Excellent protein sources include eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, protein powder, fish, turkey, chicken and occasional red meat. Aim to have a minimum of three to five ounces of protein per meal. Three ounces of protein will generally look like one deck of Protein is a critical macronutrient that will fill you up all the while maintaining blood sugar control. The result? Less cravings and more lost pounds.
2. Go for whole grains
Choose grains that are closest to their natural state, such as brown or wild rice, oatmeal, barley or quinoa, instead of processed grains found in refined breads, pasta and cereal. Whole grain carbs will satisfy you without causing dramatic changes in blood sugar levels.
When you're first starting to lose weight, keep your portion of grains to half a cup or the size of a computer mouse. To minimize your waistline, try to keep dinner grain-free and avoid eating grains after 7p.m. Make veggies your go-to source for evening snacks, as they are nutrient dense, calorie light options that contain slow-release carbs.
Try this delicious Quinoa & Barley Salad.
Research is very clear that those who keep a food journal tend to lose more weight in the long run. Keeping a food journal will help keep you conscious of your food choices and is a way to keep accountable to your healthy eating plan. Be sure to record all of your meals, snacks, beverages, supplements and yes … even your cheats. You can also choose to record your energy levels, cravings (or lack of cravings) and overall mood.
4. Establish a sleep routine
A decrease in sleep can impede weight loss results due to hormonal fluctuations. Lack of sleep or interrupted sleep has been shown to decrease leptin levels (a hormone that makes you feel full) and increase gherlin levels (a hormone that makes you feel hungry). The best approach to having a good night's sleep is to ensure you sleep in a dark room, do not watch TV or play on the computer prior to bed, sleep in a slightly cool room and avoid conflict prior to bed. The body also thrives on a sleep routine, so try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
If all else fails, you may also consider natural non-habit forming supplements to aid in a restful sleep. Time released melatonin or passion flower tea or tincture are very helpful.
5. Don't stress about the details of your day
Cortisol (your stress hormone) can be elevated due to mild or moderate levels of chronic stress. Research has clearly demonstrated that an increase in cortisol levels can promote fat storage around your abdominal region.
So what's the solution? If you've been experiencing stress, the best way to lower it is to exercise regularly, avoid consuming too much caffeine and eat a clean diet free of refined flours and sugars. Also try to wake up 10-15 minutes earlier than you usually do and engage in some light yoga stretching, mediation or some well deserved "me" time.
Take home point:
Whether you are a bride to be, a bridesmaid or a guest, the tips above will help you meet your weight-loss goals. Whatever the occasion, start to use these simple steps to look and feel your very best!
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Dr. Joey Shulman is the author of the best selling book The Last 15 - A Weight Loss Breakthrough and founder of the Shulman Weight Loss Clinics. For more information, please visit drjoey.com.