BIG diet DAY

Look FAB­U­LOUS for your big day. Fol­low this sim­ple plan and be a slim­mer, sex­ier bride.

True Love Bride - - Cover Story | Bride - By Lila Bruk

3-6 MONTHS BE­FORE

Now is the time to put into place healthy eat­ing habits that will start you on your weight-loss jour­ney, and that you can main­tain in the long term. Af­ter all, you don’t want to lose all the weight for the event only to start re­gain­ing it the fol­low­ing day.

Some healthy eat­ing habits

Eat five or six small meals a day. Avoid crash di­ets. Rather start your diet ear­lier so that there’s no last-minute rush. Don’t cut out any food groups, such as carbs or fats. Drink enough wa­ter. Avoid caf­feine. Eat fruits and veg­eta­bles, es­pe­cially brightly coloured ones, which have the added ben­e­fit of mak­ing your skin glow. Try to have two to four serv­ings of fruit (one serv­ing is equal to one piece of fruit or half a cup of chopped fruit). Eat five to eight serv­ings of veg­eta­bles (one serv­ing is equal to half a cup of cooked veg­eta­bles or one cup of raw veg­eta­bles) per day. Choose low- GI foods. Keep a food di­ary so you’re aware of what you’re con­sum­ing. Choose the right fats. "Bad" fats are sat­u­rated fats found in but­ter, cream, red meat, liver and pro­cessed food such as pies and bis­cuits. "Good" fats are un­sat­u­rated fats found in av­o­ca­dos, olives, olive oil, fish, seeds and nuts (es­pe­cially wal­nuts). Choose cook­ing meth­ods that are as healthy as pos­si­ble and use min­i­mal oil – grill, bake, steam or boil your foods rather than fry them; and re­move the skin from chicken and trim the fat off meat be­fore cook­ing. Drink green tea, which boosts the me­tab­o­lism and, there­fore, aids your weight loss. Eat break­fast – it truly is the most im­por­tant meal of the day. Stud­ies have shown that peo­ple who eat break­fast tend to eat less dur­ing the rest of the day. Start your day with a bowl of fi­bre-rich ce­real with fat-free milk or yo­ghurt. Get enough sleep. Re­search has shown that when some­one doesn’t get enough sleep, there is an in­crease in the body’s lev­els of the stress hor­mone cor­ti­sol. Cor­ti­sol in­creases your ap­petite and crav­ings for sweet, starchy foods, as well as the body’s propen­sity to store fat around the ab­domen. Get mov­ing! Aim for at least 30 min­utes of ex­er­cise, four to five days a week.

1 MONTH BE­FORE

As the stress mounts with only one month to go, it can be tempt­ing to start eat­ing all the foods you know you shouldn’t. Here’s how to stick to the plan: The best way to avoid eat­ing junk food is to avoid buy­ing it in the first place. Keep your willpower strong by never shop­ping when hun­gry; and try to stick to the area of the shop where all the health­ier, whole foods are (such as dairy, fruit and veg­eta­bles, meat and seafood). Con­tinue eat­ing five to six small meals a day to keep your blood sugar lev­els sta­ble. If your blood sugar dips too low, you’re more likely to get crav­ings. When go­ing to a braai or a party, al­ways of­fer to bring a salad or another healthy dish, so you know there will be some­thing you can eat with a clear con­science. Make sure you drink enough wa­ter. We of­ten crave starchy and sweet things when we’re de­hy­drated. If you’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a per­sis­tent crav­ing for cer­tain foods, try to dis­tract your­self. You may just find that you didn’t need cho­co­late as much as you thought you did. Ex­er­cise is great to beat crav­ings be­cause it re­leases en­dor­phins, which make you feel so good that you’re less likely to want to reach for greasy or sug­ary treats. Load up on stress-bust­ing foods and ban the ones that make you anx­ious: vi­ta­min B (found in whole­grain ce­re­als and bread, dairy prod­ucts, red meat, liver, poul­try, eggs, fish and legumes) helps, while caf­feine and nico­tine can ex­ac­er­bate the prob­lem.

THE NIGHT BE­FORE

Choose foods that are en­er­gis­ing, fill­ing, calm­ing.

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