I'm so excited to share this article written for us by Janine from Lean with Janine. She first contacted us after I shared the awful Instagram post from UK Bride (remember they thought the hashtag #loseweightgainahusband was an appropriate post-Christmas motivational message?) as she had a 100% more positive health message to send to Brides.
So here are Janine's top 10 tips for wedding wellness in the build up to your big day.
Every bride wants to look their best on their wedding day. Yet the chaos of life with the added stress of wedding planning can make it hard to find the motivation for exercise and healthy eating.
If you're nearing the final countdown to your wedding day, you could probably use the reset button to get you feeling and looking your most fabulous.
1. Bottoms up!
Save the guzzling of champagne for the big day and concentrate on getting some water down you. Forget the magic pills, miracle shakes and other nonsense and enjoy nature’s own elixir.
Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. If you don’t stay hydrated you will start to notice your skin looking duller, lips getting dryer, and have trouble concentrating. Everything you want to avoid on the run-up to the wedding.
2. Find time to relax
Being stressed can lead to overeating, loss of sleep, and breakouts. As the wedding gets closer, it’s more important than ever to set aside time to relax.
Planning for one of the most special days of your life can be stressful. Despite the giddy excitement of picking the dress, the bridesmaids, and all the fun parts, there’s also the not-so-fun parts like the logistics of how to keep certain family members apart and, oh goodness, the first dance!
How do you combat stress? You need to do something — anything— that you find relaxing. Whether it’s having a bubble bath with a magazine, chatting to a friend, or even trying some meditation.
3. Try to get 7 hours sleep each night
We know it’s easier said than done, but sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect both your mental health and physical health.
To get a more restful night, you should try to avoid looking at your mobile phone or tablet within 1-2 hours before bedtime as the blue light it emits can be disruptive to your body’s natural sleep cycles. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evenings will also help you get a better night’s sleep.
4. Be mindful of what you're eating
Next time you reach for a late night snack. HALT!
Are you Hormonal? Anxious? Lonely? Tired?
It can be tempting to go on a snacking binge when you feel down, but this will lead to consuming unnecessary calories when you’re not even truly hungry. Planning a wedding is stressful but eating your emotions isn’t the answer. You’ll feel so much better if you reward your body with healthy, nutritious food and stay clear from processed junk.
5. Eat more protein and fibre
If you’re feeling hungry all the time, it may be because you’re not getting enough protein or fibre in your diet.
Protein and fibre make you feel fuller for longer with fewer calories than carbohydrates, so when you are trying to shift a few stubborn pounds, it’s a good idea to increase your protein and fibre intake.
In addition to feeling fuller, fibre actually prevents your body from absorbing some of the calories in the foods you eat, aiding weight loss.
6. Switch up your exercise routine
One of the biggest mistakes people make when exercising is doing the same moves for months on end. If you don’t regularly change your routine, you're going to stop getting results.
Doing a combination of multi-muscle exercises that target several groups at the same time — like squats or lunges - will help you burn more calories, build more lean tissue, and drive your metabolism.
Exercise can also strengthen your circadian rhythms, promoting daytime alertness and helping bring on sleepiness at night.
Regularly exfoliating buffs away dead, flaky skin to reveal a shinier, smoother complexion. It can minimise clogged pores, prevent breakouts and help your skin to absorb serums and moisturisers better.
A bright, fresh face will guarantee that "bridal glow” we all want to achieve.
8. Give your home a make-over
Your home should be a place of calm and relaxation. A cluttered home can cause anxiety and stress – the very thing you need to avoid when you’re trying to plan a wedding.
Channel your inner Marie Kondō with this simple, but effective equation: 3,2,1.
Throw or donate 3 items that you don’t need or want. For example, stuff with missing buttons, missing parts, or that have seen better days.
Sell 2 items that are in great condition but you never wear or use. If they don’t bring you joy, there’s no need to keep them.
Then, treat yourself to 1 new item that you love.
You’ll soon find yourself feeling a lot more organised and relaxed when you’re at home.
Follow the 80:20 rule
Calorie counting and a restrictive diet is boring and usually ends up in a binging session with more anxiety over food.
Instead, aim to eat well 80% of the time, and treat yourself the other 20%. Perhaps that means having a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner but treating yourself to a piece of cake in the evening. Or having a huge brunch with friends and balancing it with a small dinner.
Depriving yourself of all treats and food you love on the lead up to the wedding simply isn’t sustainable and can leave you feeling deflated, which is why the 80-20 rule works well.
10. Wake up and work out
Dragging yourself out of a warm, cosy bed to work out doesn’t sound appealing to most people but, according to science, a morning workout could do amazing things for your body.
Levels of cortisol — a hormone that promotes fat metabolism for energy — are higher in the morning, so working out first thing will help burn off the fat stores. Exercising in the morning for 30 minutes before eating is the most effective way to lose those stubborn pounds.
Plus, you can then enjoy the rest of the day knowing you’ve already done something to get you the wedding bod you desire.
Feeling confident and beautiful on your wedding day will help you treasure the memories long after the day is over. When you look back at the photographs, you want to see yourself as relaxed and comfortable.