A wedding – and with it, the added pressure to look your absolute best in front of all your friends and family – can be a stressful occasion, especially if your special day comes on the heels of the “eat everything in sight” Holiday Season. According to a Brides.com American Wedding Study, 80% of brides that get married each year (or about 2.3 million brides in the United States alone) will take steps to change their eating or exercise habits in preparation for their wedding day. If you’re looking to shed a few unwanted pounds before your 2015 Winter/Spring wedding, Imperial Palace Banquet Hall’s simple tips will help you get in tip-top shape before your “I Do’s.”
Stock Up on the Good Stuff. Now that the opportunities for Holiday binging are nearly over, it’s time to start giving your body the things it needs instead of the foods it craves. Eating plenty of protein, especially in the form of nuts, legumes, white fish, and leafy greens, will help shed those pesky pounds by building lean muscle (which burns calories) and keeping you feeling fuller for longer (which will stave off the urge to overeat), while loading up on raw foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, delivers more nutritional bang-for-your-buck than cooked foods and helps to stimulate proper digestion. Opting for quinoa, brown rice, and sweet potatoes instead of white rice, white bread, and white pasta will help keep your blood pressure balanced, and adding fennel (a liquorice-flavored root vegetable) to your diet is a great way to rid your body of excess fluids and toxins. Finally, eating small, 200-300 calorie meals 5 or 6 times a day is a great way to keep your metabolism humming along, boost your energy levels, and prevent overeating; keep snacks like fruits, nuts, and granola bars handy for these frequent “mini-meals.”
Juices, Not Excuses. Juices and smoothies aren’t just for health nuts! Drinking one green juice (preferably made with a blend of cucumber, spinach, celery, and kale) a day can reduce weight-loss-inhibiting inflammation and prevent your blood sugar from dropping too low (which can lead to over-indulging later in the day). For an extra punch, add a tablespoon of chia seeds to your juice or smoothie to keep you feeling full long after your glowing green beverage is gone.
Hydrate To Look Great. Because hunger is often mistaken for thirst, drinking lots of water throughout the day will keep your stomach from sending “Feed Me!” signals to your brain and prevent eating when you aren’t actually hungry. H2O is also the primary ingredient in your body’s metabolic processes, so knocking back multiple glasses of water (at least once every hour or two) will rev up your metabolism (which burns calories) and flush out unwanted toxins. How much water should you drink, exactly? Though the amount varies by individual and is based on weight, a good formula to follow is: Your weight ÷ 2 = the number of ounces of water you should be drinking every day. We recommend buying a large water bottle with volume marks, like a Nalgene, to keep track of your daily intake, and adding a few lemons or limes to your bottle will help keep things interesting.
Lose the Booze. Open-bar company holiday parties, second helpings of eggnog at family dinners, champagne toasts for New Year’s; the Holiday can be quite a booze-filled time of year. Though a drink (or three) might make things merry and bright, alcoholic drinks are often full of sugar and carbs, and these calories (a celebratory drink can contains 150 calories or more!) tend to add up quickly. To keep cocktails from turning into unwanted lbs., we recommend skipping the sweet drinks and opting for dry wine or “neat” drinks (pure alcohol without any mixers) instead. Another great trick is to alternate alcoholic drinks with glasses of water; this has the added benefit of warding off a terrible next-day hangover.
Sleep It Off. Though pre-wedding stress may lead to bouts of anxiety-riddled insomnia in brides-to-be, getting enough sleep is one of the most important elements in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Low energy levels from sleep deprivation can have you reaching for sugary, comfort foods in search of a quick high-fructose boost, and you might not be able to squash dangerous cravings when you’re exhausted. (A recent study reported in the New York Times actually showed that depriving people of sleep for only one night creates a pronounced changes in the way their brains responded to high-calorie junk foods.) To combat the poor decision-making that accompanies lack of sleep, we recommend enforcing a “bed time” to ensure that you get at least 7 hours of quality slumber each night.
Don’t Stress Out. For some people, chronic stress – and let’s be honest, planning a wedding can be extremely stressful – may lead to an increased appetite and stress-induced weight gain because of how the human body responds to stressful situations. Whether fleeing from a prehistoric predator or trying to decide the color of linens at the reception, your brain reacts to all stress in exactly the same way: cells release a burst of adrenaline accompanied by the chemical cortisol, which tells your body to replenish the energy that you spent running from the tiger (or wedding planner) by consuming calories. To reduced stress and the munchies that follow, try scheduling downtime into your routine; see a movie, get a massage, read a book, or just RELAX!
Exercise Your Demons. Though exercising should be the most obvious way to slim down before your big day, you’d be surprised by how many bride-to-be’s relegate the jog or yoga routine to the bottom of the priority list. If you’re serious about shedding inches, aim to do 30-45 minutes of aerobic exercise (running, cycling, swimming) three or four days a week, and choosing a time of the day when you feel the most motivated and energetic will help you stick with the routine. To ward off the “cheat days,” we recommend enlisting your bridesmaids – or even your fiance – to hold you accountable by joining you at the gym.
Though we don’t have personal trainers or nutritionists on staff (unfortunately!), our skilled event planners can take care of just about everything else. Let us show you how easy planning a wedding with Imperial Palace Banquet Hall can be!