Weight loss is always a challenge, but it can be even more difficult when you have wedding planning on your plate. Here’s a simple guide to help you achieve those wedding weight loss goals.
If you’re engaged and you’ve set a wedding date, let the fun and celebrations begin! But let’s be real, there’s also a lot of planning. You’re making a guest list, finding the perfect venue, booking a caterer and checking a thousand other things off your wedding to-do list.
If you’re also eager to shed a few pounds for your big day, with a little extra planning, you can set yourself up for success.
With some weight loss strategies in place and the right mind frame, building the wedding day body of your dreams doesn’t have to be stressful.
To lose weight for your wedding day, here’s what not to do.
Don’t Have Unrealistic Expectations
Planning your wedding is enough pressure, don’t stress yourself out by expecting to change your body overnight.
Experts recommend setting a weight loss goal of 1-2 pounds per week.
That may not sound like a lot, but that can add up to 8 pounds of weight loss per month. Not bad at all.
And it’s attainable for most of us. With a realistic goal in place you’ll be more motivated to stick with your weight loss plan.
Note: As you get active and clean up your diet it’s possible you may lose more than 2 pounds in the beginning. This is often water weight and the result of making healthier choices, but it is normal for it to slow. If you can’t get past a plateau, consider getting help from a nutritionist or fitness coach.
Drop the Comparisons
Your body is unique. The rate at which we lose fat is different. Some of us can drop it quickly and others like myself need to work a little harder.
How quick it happens can depend on a lot of factors outside our control, including our age, genetics, and gender.
Instead of using others online for comparison (who may have been working out for years or are genetically blessed), look to use them as inspiration to consistently stay active and eat healthy.
Once you start loving and accepting your body, you’ll be more motivated to make healthy choices.
Don’t Obsess Over the Scale
Using a scale is a good way to get a starting metric of to get a general idea of how much you want to lose.
But did you know our body’s weight can fluctuate about 5 pounds per day. Factors that affect this fluctuation include: time of day, what you eat and drink, hormones.
Putting muscle through strength and resistance training can make us gain weight, while still being slimmer. This is a good thing since muscle increases our metabolism, helps our bodies burn more fat and makes us look more defined.
Instead of focusing only on your weight, take circumference body measurements of your waist, upper arms, waist, thighs and calves. Retake and journal these measurements once a month to see how you’re progressing.
Also, if your clothes are feeling looser you know you’re moving in the right direction.
Don’t Cut Calories Too Low or Starve Yourself
Attempting to lose weight too quickly is not safe and will do you more harm than good.
Not only will not eating enough cause fatigue and weakness, but it can increase your risk of injury while working out. In the long term, poor nutrition can and will hurt your metabolism.
And putting your body in starvation mode will make it harder to lose fat if it doesn’t think it’s getting enough fuel to sustain itself.
Instead of cutting your calories too low, focus on making healthy, balanced food choices that will help energize and satiate you.
Even more than exercise, eating right is key to seeing the results.
Don’t Fall Into the Stress Eating Trap
We can all agree wedding planning is a stressful and emotional time. And in times of stress, it’s easy to turn to desserts, high-calorie junk and fast food for comfort.
Sugar and refined carbohydrates taste really good. And research shows they also activate the pleasure and reward part of the brain. This triggers the release of dopamine, the body’s feel-good chemical, which is why we naturally crave them in times of stress 
But while that donut may make us feel good in the short term, these “innocent bites” can undo all your hard work and make it difficult to reach your weight loss goals.
Making poor food choices can also trigger feelings of guilt and shame later on, leaving us even more stressed later on.
Instead, find healthy ways to indulge when you need something sweet like a piece of dark chocolate or some berries with Greek yogurt.
Here are more strategies to help you lose weight for your wedding.
Setting a weight loss goal may be daunting at first, however by following some simple guidelines and committing yourself to a healthy lifestyle, you can successfully lose weight for your wedding.
1. Set Your Pre-Wedding Weight Loss Goal
You’ll be happy to learn that you’re more likely to achieve a time-sensitive weight loss goal as long as you have a plan in place.
Lucky for you the time-sensitive date for you is your wedding date. But give yourself some leeway for fittings and indulging at celebrations.
Instead of declaring to lose a large amount of weight by your wedding, a body-friendly and effective approach is to set out to achieve a small weight loss goal per week.
Which example below reads as achievable? Which one reads as overwhelming?
- I want to lose 50 pounds
- I can lose 1 pound this week
Focusing on what you can do weekly will help you stay motivated and on track as you make gradual progress toward your larger goal.
For healthy weight loss aim to lose 1-2 pounds each week until you reach your goal weight.
Here’s a rough timeline for weight loss goals if you stick with a healthy weight loss plan of 1-2 pounds per week:
- 2 Weeks: 2-4 pounds
- 1 Month: 4-8 pounds
- 3 Months: 12-24 pounds
- 6 Months: 24-48 pounds
- 1 year: 50 – 100 pounds
Even if you’re not seeing results immediately, don’t give up. Weight loss and building muscle if you’re working out happen at different rates for all of us. They can depend on a variety of factors including genetics, age, gender, and hormones.
It’s also common to hit a plateau after initial weight loss, which is often water weight. This is perfectly normal, but you may need some extra help to get over the hump. This is where a professional, like a fitness coach, can make a tremendous difference.
Wedding Prep Tip: Check with your seamstress or tailor for their policies on final dress and suit fittings in the last couple of weeks leading up to the wedding. Requiring additional alterations after your last scheduled fitting, even if due to weight loss, will most likely cost you more money. Aim to maintain your weight after your last fitting so you know your dress or suit will fit perfectly.
2. Here’s How Many Calories You Need to Burn to Lose
The truth is simple: to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat. It’s best to get your calorie burn from a combination of eating a lower-calorie diet and increased activity through exercise.
- To lose 1 pound per week: Burn 500 calories more than you eat each day
- To lose 2 pounds per week: Burn 1000 calories more than you eat each day
💡 Use the calorie counter below to help you estimate the number of calories that you should eat each day.
Apps like MyFitnessPal are super helpful for keeping track of your daily calories. They can calculate and keep track of how much you should eat each day.
They can also integrate with your smart fitness watch to gather your calorie burn data from your daily activity and when you work out.
3 . Start Intermittent Fasting (IF)
IF has been making waves in the health and wellness world, and for good reason! Studies show that intermittent fasting, which involves alternating periods of eating and fasting, is effective and can help you burn more fat to lose weight.
There are several methods of IF to choose from and a 2015 review found that any intermittent fasting style will result in some weight loss.
But the easiest is the 16/8 Method. Here’s how you do it:
- Only eat within an 8-hour window during the day.
- Fast for 16 hours (while you sleep counts!)
- If you eat dinner at 7, don’t eat again until 11 am the following morning.
- Repeat this cycle every day.
- While fasting, only drink zero-calorie beverages like water, black coffee, and tea.
IF may be difficult at first, but you can work your way up to 16 hours and don’t have to do it all at once. Try lengthening the time you would normally eat by another hour every few days. It’s easier to do than you think.
Another popular method, but may be more difficult especially if you’re working out regularly, is the 5:2 diet. Here you eat normally for five days a week and eat only 500-600 calories for the other two.
4. A Meal Plan is a Recipe For Success
Meal planning is a great way to portion out your food so you don’t overeat. And when you’re cooking more at home, it’s easier to cut out refined processed foods that are usually high in calories and low in nutrients that leave us hungry for more later on.
By balancing protein, carbs, and fats, you’ll be setting yourself up for success on your weight loss journey.
- Increase Your Protein Intake: You’ll feel fuller for longer and boost your metabolism. Your body also uses 30% of the energy from protein to break it down. Aim for lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, fish, and legumes. Limit red meat.
- Choose Complex Carbs: Sources include whole grains, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. Avoid refined processed carbs like white bread and sugar which spike blood sugar and can cause cravings.
- Add in Healthy Fats: Avocado, olive oil, and nuts can help you feel satiated and support overall health. Eat these in moderation as they’re high in calories.
An easy way to fill your dish is with this formula:
- 50% with veggies or greens
- 25% with protein
- 25% with complex carbs (sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc.)
- Add a thumb size amount of healthy fat (avocado, olive oil, etc.)
Bottom line: when you have healthy choices prepared, you’ll be less likely to go off the menu and binge on junk. If you’re weight training don’t forget to have a protein shake post workout to help build and repair muscle.
Instead, you can have ready-to-go breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with whole foods with a focus on lean protein sources such as fish, poultry, tofu, eggs, fruits, and vegetables and high-fiber foods like beans and whole grains like oatmeal.
Prepping healthy snacks will also help fuel you through the day, so you don’t end up binging later on.
Most meal planners do most of their cooking on the weekend to have food ready for the week. While it might seem like a lot of work at first, it will save you time in the kitchen during the week.
If you don’t enjoy cooking or have the time, consider ordering from a healthy meal delivery service.
5. Work Exercise Into Your Routine
Exercising without addressing your diet won’t get you far with weight loss. But making exercise a part of your daily routine is still a really important part of the process.
Although it may be tough to get going if you find fun ways to exercise, it won’t feel like a chore.
Try fun activities like hiking, biking, dancing, or skating. Whatever makes you happy and energized. This will help you stay motivated and engaged in your workout.
You can also join a gym or even go for daily brisk walks in the park. And your steps count! Work your way up to 10,000 per day.
If you want to work out at home, you can find free fitness classes on YouTube or use an app like Future to guide you through your daily workout.
Consider using a fitness watch like a Fitbit or Apple Watch. Not only can they be motivating, but they can help estimate how many calories you’re burning each day while keeping track of your daily activity.
While it’s important to make time for regular exercise, you don’t want to overdo it especially if you’re just getting back into a routine.
💡 Need help with a workout plan? Try our favorite fitness app, Future.
6. Find Healthy Ways to Manage Wedding Planning Stress
Stress can raise the hormone cortisol, which can trigger weight gain, bloating, and cravings.
Active ways to reduce stress include getting out in nature, meditation, and exercise. Yoga is a wonderful way to relax while building strength and increasing flexibility. Even a quick walk can boost endorphins, burn calories and reduce appetite.
With your wedding on the way, remember to take time to pamper yourself with a soak in the bath or head to the spa for a facial or massage. And don’t forget to prioritize sleep.
A healthy body and a healthy mind can help lead to a successful and stress-free wedding planning experience.
7. Stay Hydrated and Learn to Love Water
Soda and other sugar laden coffee drinks are filled with extra empty calories that work against weight loss. Instead, studies show water can help suppress your appetite, boost your metabolism, and promote fat loss. Plus it’s calorie-free!
Aim to drink half your weight in ounces each day. So if you’re 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces. This is just a guide and you may need more if you’re exercising intensely or live in a dry climate.
If you’re still getting used to drinking water, add slices of lemon, lime, or grapefruit to infuse their yummy flavor. Frozen fruit like mango or strawberries can double as ice cubes and are so delicious.
Unsweetened black, green, and herbal teas are great too. Green tea contains compounds that increase metabolism and promote fat burning.
8. Avoid Drinking Alcohol (For a While)
Weddings are a time for joyful celebrations. But consider reducing or cutting out casual alcohol consumption leading up to your wedding day.
You’ll avoid the bloating, dehydration, and added empty calories that come with drinking.
If you do indulge once in a while, opt for low-calorie options per serving like:
- Wine (120-150 calories)
- Extra dry sparkling wine/champagne (100 calories)
- Light beer (100-140 calories),
- Liquor (vodka, tequila, gin etc) with club soda or diet mixer (about 100 calories).
High-calorie cocktails to avoid include margaritas (300-500 calories), Long Island Iced Teas (400-500 calories), and any sweet, fruity, or creamy cocktails like daiquiris (250-500 calories).
9. Keep Track of Your Progress to Stay Accountable
Staying motivated to reach your goals can be a challenge. That’s why it’s important to have ways to keep yourself accountable.
In a journal, planner, or app on your phone, keep track of your weight, body measurements, and exercise activity to see how you’re doing and make adjustments along the way if needed.
Making a vision or Pinterest Board with motivational fitness quotes and pictures can help inspire you. These positive reminders can keep you motivated when you don’t feel like working out or eating a cheat meal, to keep reaching your goal!
If you find that you’re slipping up from time to time, set a reminder to track your food intake and exercise habits again.
10. Take Progress Pics To Validate Your Hard Work
Often we can feel like we’re working out and eating right, but we’re not seeing those results. But positive changes, although subtle, are there, even if we can’t see them.
The scale can be deceiving. Each day, our weight can fluctuate anywhere from 2 to 5 pounds in response to hormones or what we eat.
Taking progress photos can be a powerful tool to help you visualize your progression. It’s also a wonderful way to keep track of your journey so you can see how far you’ve come when you reach your goal.
Take photos consistently. You can do it monthly and/or weekly always at the same time of day (morning, before you eat and after you use the bathroom, is best).
Get both sides and front and back. For consistency, wear the same clothes and opt for good lighting. You can use a mirror, set your phone on a timer or get someone to help.
11. Celebrate and Reward your Accomplishments Along the Way
Rewarding yourself for reaching your weekly and monthly goals will help keep you on track, keep your spirits high, and keep your positive momentum going.
A reward can be anything from getting some new workout clothes after losing 2 pounds to indulging in your favorite dessert after losing 20 pounds! The key is to find something that makes you feel good about yourself, and that will keep you motivated throughout your weight loss journey.
If you make a mistake or have a tough day, don’t beat yourself up – that only leads to frustration and, in a worst-case scenario, failure.
Instead, take some time to relax and reflect on your successes. Then get back to your healthy habits the next day.
12. Setting Up a Support System is Key
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face when trying to lose weight for your wedding is sustaining motivation. When times get tough, having a support system to cheer you on can be empowering.
Having someone to hold us accountable drastically increases our chances of reaching our weight loss goals by 95%.
Here are some ways to find support:
- See if any family, friends, or members of the wedding party want to get in shape with you.
- Workout with your partner.
- Join an online support group or forum. They’re also a great place to get advice or learn some tricks. Here are a few to get you started:
- Join a health-minded Facebook group: Fitness Sisters HSG, Goal Crushers, Sweating for the Wedding
- See if your gym has a local meetup or online chat group.
- Search Tiktok for health and weight loss inspired videos.
- Post check-in updates on your Instagram profile under hashtags like these: #shreddingforthewedding, #fitnessmotivation, #weightlossinspiration, #weightlossjourney
- Visit these inspiring Reddit subs: r/fitnessgirls, r/beginnerfitness,r/progresspics, r/loseit
- Start your own!
- Choose someone who’s a positive influence that you trust and who will support you through your weight loss journey.
13. Getting a Fitness Coach Can Be a Game Changer
We’ve already discussed you’ll be 95% more likely to reach your goals and make healthier choices if you have someone who’s checking in on you.
If you’ve had trouble getting in shape on your own in the past, a fitness coach can help set you up with a healthy weight loss and exercise plan so you can finally reach your goals.
If you’re short on time and don’t have time meeting up with a trainer at your local gym, consider a remote online coach.
There are tons of workout apps to choose from.
But the only app that combines daily accountability with custom workout plans and does both amazingly well, is Future Fitness, a virtual training app.
Designed around the science of what motivates us to stay on track, Future is unique because:
A.) You’ll get paired up with your own professional fitness coach.
B.) They’ll make you custom weekly workout plans that can be changed anytime.
C.) Your Future fitness coach will check in and message you every day to keep you motivated to exercise, eat healthy and help you through weight loss plateaus. They’ll even schedule a video chat for a quick meeting.
It’s like having a friend who can help you whenever you need with fitness and nutrition advice while keeping it fun. And the coaches have incredible bios. Many have worked with Olympic, professional and college athletes. Read through their amazing bios here.
Don’t have a gym membership? Or only want to workout at home?
With Future you don’t need any special equipment and workouts can be done inside, outside, home, the park or at the gym. Want a mix of home and gym workouts? They can do that too. It’s all based on what keeps you happy to get moving.
Having Future App is Like Having a Friendly Fitness Pro Guide You Through Your Weight Loss
Weight loss isn’t always easy, but your Future fitness coach will help you stick to an exercise and diet plan. The more results you see the more motivated you’ll be to keep going.
Where to find it?
Future is available for download for both the Apple and Android devices.
Losing weight before your wedding day shouldn’t be a source of anxiety. By following a balanced diet, staying active, and managing stress, you’ll be able to reach your fitness goals, feel confident, and look radiant on your wedding day.
If you need help, ask for it. Getting a fitness coach or personal trainer can help take the stress out of figuring out an exercise plan that’s right for you while supporting you every step of the way.
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