You’ve just got engaged and until now you haven’t really noticed your weight has started to creep up over the last years. Nothing makes you nit pick your body more than when you’re going to put a wedding dress on it.
The reality is your current lifestyle could be having more effect than you think. We all know the obvious triggers such as eating too much and not doing much exercise but there are some other factors you may not be thinking about that can play a big part in weight gain before your wedding.
Below are some of the most common triggers to avoid so that you can lose weight for your wedding day.
Struggling to keep your stress levels under control? I know when you throw planning a wedding on top of everything else you have going on it can send those stress level through the roof!
Unfortunately, there’s a good chance this added stress is affecting your weight – especially for brides. Your body releases the stress hormone, cortisol, during stressful periods and this can send your blood sugar levels haywire. According to studies, high cortisol production leaves you craving sweet foods and means you’ll probably eat more calories.
Cortisol also changes how your body uses glucose, makes it harder to burn fat and makes it easier to store fat. Women are more likely to store fat on their stomach which explains why so many brides say they want to lose weight from their stomach before their wedding. Abdominal fat has been linked to health issues so it’s definitely something you want to keep to a minimum!
Not taking care of your health can lead to eating in line with your emotions rather than when you’re genuinely hungry. Feeling sad, stressed, lonely, bored or disappointed can lead you to eat to fill an emotional void and crave high calorie foods like sugar and carbs.
That sugar hit might leave you feeling a bit better in the immediate aftermath but in the longer term, this type of emotional eating can have a big effect on your weight. A lot of the time, you won’t get a signal to say that you’re full until it’s too late so it’s easy to find that you’ve eaten a lot more than you planned in a very short space of time. You probably won’t feel any better afterwards. In fact, you’ll probably feel a whole lot worse as emotional eating has been linked to making you feel guilty and ashamed of your food choices.
Poor sleep quality makes you more likely to eat more calories and gain weight. This is because it disrupts hormones that control your appetite. Lack of sleep increases production of ghrelin and decreases leptin levels, which means it’s harder to manage your appetite.
Sleeping well is one of the underrated ways to keep your weight in check as your levels of these hormones will be a lot more balanced.
Getting enough sleep will also boost your moods, your energy and have you feeling motivated to be healthy in your daily life. If you’re tired and sluggish you’re more likely to miss that wedding workout and constantly snack through the day.
Lack of Muscle Tone
If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk all day and aren’t very active, you probably don’t have much muscle mass. This might not seem like a big deal but it’s a common weight gain trigger.
Lean muscle boosts your metabolism and makes it that little bit easier to burn calories. If you don’t have much lean muscle, your metabolism doesn’t get this benefit and it’s harder to burn calories.
One of the best ways to build more muscle mass is through strength training. Don’t worry- you won’t end up looking like a bodybuilder! Brides are always coming to me saying they want a toned look in their wedding dress. Using strength training in their wedding workouts is the perfect way to build a toned and shapely body with minimal body fat.
Not Eating Enough
When you think of going on a wedding diet more often than not means you’re definitely going to lose weight, right? Not always! Eating too little actually slows down your metabolism and encourages the body to go into “starvation mode” because it doesn’t know when it’s next meal is coming. This allows it to run on fewer calories. This also leads to you burning fewer calories so your body uses them instead to survive.
A slow metabolism is the last thing a Bride wants leading into her wedding day.
These restrictive diets are also very hard to adhere to long term. Chances are, you’ll go back to a less restrictive way of eating but your body can still be more likely to store fat. This is why many people find that they gain weight again quickly after coming off a low calorie diet.
Choosing “Low Fat” Foods
Just because a food claims to be “low fat” doesn’t always mean that it’s going to help you to lose that weight for your wedding.
A lot of supposedly “low fat” options are often high in sugar and salt to make them more tasty and can also contain a lot of calories. If you’re eating too many of these “low fat” foods on your wedding diet you’re probably going to actually put weight on!
My Advice for Avoiding These Triggers
So, what can you do to avoid these common triggers and get your body in that dream wedding dress?
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet that isn’t too restrictive on calories and stay away from “low fat” foods that can promote weight gain
- Be physically active and incorporate strength training to help tone up your body and gain a bit more muscle
- Get plenty of sleep to keep appetite hormones in balance
- Make stress reduction a big part of your self care routine and finding healthier ways to manage your emotions that don’t involve emotional eating
- Pay attention when you’re eating so that you don’t overeat or eat the wrong foods.