Your Guide to Becoming a Bridal Babe

Congratulations—you’re getting married! Learn how to eat and exercise so you can look your sexy best on the big day.

Dieting should never be about deprivation, and particularly not now. If you starve yourself, you’ll be grumpy on your wedding day—and who needs that? So, on special occasions, have fun sampling a few tempting dishes and the rest of the time eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Say “buh-bye” to guilt. If you splurge, don’t beat yourself up about it. Get back on track the next day and take it from there.

breakfast buzz

Breakfast Buzz

Say this after us: Breakfast eaters lose weight and maintain weight loss better than other people do. Here’s what to have: cereal, with dried fruit or fresh fruit, and milk, soy milk or yogurt. Or try yogurt and fruit, or peanut butter on whole wheat with slices of apple, pear or banana. If you like granola bars, look for a kind that supplies more than just a couple grams of protein, at least three to four grams of fiber and limited sugar.

Photo by Bananastock/Punchstock

Peppy Foods to Pop in Your Purse

You’re off and running to the finish line—the big day, that is. These snacks will keep up your energy and keep off the weight.

  • 1 oz. package of peanuts or almonds
  • Plastic bag holding 3/4 cup whole-grain cereal
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit, like raisins or apricots, plus a few tablespoons of nuts or seeds
  • Slice of reduced-fat cheddar or Swiss cheese with a piece of a favorite fruit
  • Half a peanut butter sandwich made with one slice of whole-grain bread and all-fruit spread
  • Mini whole-wheat pitas stuffed with healthy hummus, baby carrots and slices of raw red or yellow pepper or cucumber
  • A low-calorie, low-sugar nutrition bar
  • Peanut butter on whole-wheat crackers

Try This!

Craving a high-calorie coffee drink? Whip this up instead:

1 cup orange juice
1 cup cut-up cantaloupe
1 8-oz. carton nonfat plain yogurt
1 10-oz. bag frozen, unsweetened strawberries.

In blender, puree orange juice with cantaloupe. Add other ingredients and blend.
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 93 cals.

Photo by Michael Essig

Drink up!

Substitute Smarts

Mashed potatoes/butter: 237 cal OR Baked sweet potato: 160 cal
Slice pizza: 230 cal OR One cup popcorn: 31 cal
Slice/chocolate cake: 250 cal OR Chocolate kiss: 17 cal each
Pasta/cream sauce: 353 cal OR Pasta/marinara sauce: 295 cal
Cream-based soup: 129 cal OR Chicken rice or vegetable with beef broth: 70 cal

Two Weeks to the Big Day: Diet RX: Stick to foods that digest easily. For breakfast, try a fruit smoothie, such as the strawberry melon smoothie above. For lunch, have sliced turkey on whole grain bread or chicken noodle soup and fruit. Dinner could be grilled chicken or fish with a sweet potato. On the morning of the Big Day, have a hard-boiled egg with toast and OJ. That should get you through it!

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You've Gotta Move!

Get some exercise every day. If you don't have much time now, shorten your workout. Even 15 minutes can burn 100 calories or more. Plus, exercise is a great stress reducer, which means you're less likely to overeat due to tension.

Fast Tone-Up Tip:Take some water bottles along when you're going to meet with a wedding vendor. While you're waiting, do overhead presses. Grunt work gets results!

Photo by Superstock

5 Pounds Down

You’ve socked on five pounds. Is there a healthy, nonstressful way to knock them off before the wedding? Karen Collins, R.D., makes these simple suggestions:

  • If you cut your daily portions by a quarter, you may be able to eliminate 500 calories a day. Try sticking to a modest amount of lean protein, a moderate amount of whole grains and fresh fruit and then fill up on as many low-calorie vegetables as you want.
  • Cut 300 calories a day by slashing extra fat and sugar. That doesn’t mean that you should have no fat—some is fine. But every time you choose a
    low-fat option instead of a fried one, mustard instead of mayo on a sandwich and so on, you will be taking in fewer calories.
  • Avoid empty calories: sodas, sweetened drinks, crackers, sweet or salty snack foods. And what about that bowl of hard candy at the office? One piece a week doesn’t matter, but if you’re grabbing one every time you walk by, it does.

TIP: Use an 8-inch plate instead of a 10-inch one. Research shows that we tend to pile more food on bigger plates.

Double Strength

Exercising together helps both of you stay motivated. If you aren’t gym types, then get out your bikes and ride in the park on weekends. Resolve to take the stairs instead of the elevator; whenever possible, walk instead of taking the car. Bonus: Research shows that couples who exercise regularly report having better sex with their partners. There’s a motivator for you!

Photo by Comstock/Punchstock

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