This week I have a guest post by Louise Tanner-Stokes, who is a weight management consultant and founder of Society of Self-esteem. She is a qualified nutritionist, and aims to help people be the best they can be, through weight loss support and confidence building. Louise has put together her top three tips to lose weight before your wedding.
Over to Louise!
“Over the years I’ve worked with many clients whose weight-loss journey began when they wanted to lose weight for their wedding. There’s so much pressure on women to look good generally, but especially on the big day! So many of these clients say they would actually have been a healthy weight before they started slimming down to get into the dress of their dreams. It doesn’t surprise me that when they come to me they say they’d be over the moon to be the weight they were before they started slimming. Unfortunately by the time they come to see me they’ve often tried every diet going, all the latest fads, and they’ve yo-yoed up and down over the years – gaining a little extra each time they ‘go back to eating normally’. They’ve gone from just wanting to lose half a stone to ‘look good for the photos’ to needing to shift four stone to be healthy again, by which time it just seems too difficult to achieve!
So here are my three top tips for those of you out there who are thinking about your weight in preparation for your wedding day.
Tip 1 – Avoid dieting!
Steer clear of all crash/faddy diets, slimming products or any eating plans that require you to change your whole diet. Anything that promises miracles, particularly fast weight-loss (more than a couple of pounds per week) will not help you in the long run. There is no magic wand or miracle cure when it comes to maintaining your weight in the long-term. Fast weight-loss just isn’t sustainable, particularly if you’re severely restricting your food intake. You may feel motivated by seeing the number go down drastically on the scales, but it’s unlikely to be fat you’re losing. You’ll be losing vital water and muscle glycogen – the energy stores in the muscles – which will be replaced as soon as you start eating normally again. Crash diets, particularly those where you only eat a few foods or focus on cutting out whole food groups e.g. juice cleanses, cabbage soup diet etc, are not nutritionally balanced, leaving you at risk of developing deficiencies. Unless you properly nourish your body by eating a healthy balanced diet, you’re likely to end up feeling tired and run down by the big day rather than looking your best.
Tip 2 – Check if you actually need to lose weight first
Before you even start, ask yourself do you really need to lose weight? Would you be better off finding a dress that flatters your current shape rather than trying to change yourself? Do you really want to make the changes to your lifestyle that would be necessary to achieve your target weight and could you stick to them forever? Is it really going to be that big a deal if you aren’t the ‘perfect weight’ on your big day?
Check out my blog post explaining the BMI (click here) – it’s not the most accurate indicator for checking whether your weight is healthy or not, but it’s a good starting point. If you’re actually a healthy weight already, why not focus on your activity levels rather than your diet? You could look into trying out new ways of exercising, like learning a new sport, or dancing, and try to pay attention to the change in your level of fitness rather than on the number on the scales. Of course if you know that your diet is pretty poor then maybe you could pick one or two small things to change – check out my blog post on healthy eating (click here). If you actually have quite a bit of weight to lose in order to be ‘healthy’ then try to break it down. Aiming to lose 5% of your starting weight is enough to make a significant difference to your health and is more likely to be achievable if you only have a matter of months before you get married.
Tip 3 – Work on your mindset
If you focus on results you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.
Lifelong weight management is not going to happen for you if you think that you only need to change what you’re eating until you’ve lost the weight. If you can focus on making changes that you can stick to forever, then weight-loss will happen; it may happen more slowly if you’re only making small adjustments, but it will be more likely to be permanent if you think in terms of lifestyle change. Ask yourself “can I do this forever?” If the answer is no then don’t do it. It always rings alarm bells for me when I ask someone what their dietary goals are and they say “I’m going to try to cut out chocolate” despite loving chocolate! If you love chocolate then you have to plan it into your diet otherwise you’ll just crave it more, then feel guilty when you do eat it and that’s a slippery slope leading to all sorts of other issues. It might be a better goal to limit the chocolate to certain days or halve the amount you have instead e.g. if you have a choccie bar everyday then you could try to switch to a smaller bar or have chocolate on alternate days. If you have quite a bit of weight to lose, it might help to break it down into manageable chunks – maybe your wedding day could be a milestone? The main thing is to make sure you’re thinking about the bigger picture and you believe you can stick to the changes for ever. This approach involves changing the way you think about your eating habits and about weight-loss. It’s much harder and slower, but it’s more likely to last in the long-run.
If you need help getting started with your weight-loss, why not check out my e-book on self-motivation by clicking here.”
Many thanks to Louise for contributing to this post and giving us her top three tips for losing weight before your wedding. I hope you found her wisdom useful. You can find out more on the Society of Self-esteem website, or follow Louise on Facebook.
If you found this post useful why not sign up to receive EBM Photography’s newsletter which includes more tips as well as special offers. Sign up here
Click HERE for more information.