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