You’ve thought long and hard about how your wedding day will be. Now that the date is approaching, you’re busy working on the little details that will make your day come together. The stress of planning has been so gradual that you didn’t even realize it until your muscles got unreasonably tense and things that normally don’t bother you, do.
On top of the event itself, you want to look and feel your best on your wedding day. The problem is that even the smallest stress levels can cause you to overeat, not sleep, or drink too much.
Instead of beating yourself up, here are 9 suggestions to help you look your best on your wedding day.
1. Rethink Cheat Meals
I think we are all guilty of eating foods we know aren’t good for us. The problem is when this throws you off completely from your health and fitness goals.
You would never fall down half a staircase and think “Well, I’m already this far down. Might as well throw myself down the rest of the way,” so why would you let a cheat meal throw you off for multiple days?
It takes 3,500 calories to create 1 pound of fat, so eating that ice cream isn’t going to suddenly add 2 inches to your waist. Just get back on the “eat healthy” train for the next meal and you’ll be fine.
Poor sleep can cause a host of issues from hormone imbalance, which causes your appetite to go out of whack, to overall cognitive impairment. You can’t will yourself to sleep, but there are many steps you can take to get your sleeping patterns back on track:
Have the same sleep and wake cycles.
A consistent wake up time is key, even on weekends.
Practice good sleep hygiene.
This is stuff you’ve read many times before like limiting caffeine, turning off electronics 30 minutes to 1 hour before bed, and making sure your room temperature isn’t too hot (or cold). Plus, keeping your bedding fresh will always make you feel better about climbing in, so be sure to wash your bedding materials once every 2 to 3 weeks.
Address anxious thoughts.
Insomnia can cause sleep anxiety, which can reinforce negative thought patterns. You can tell yourself over and over again that you’ll sleep, but your subconscious mind is hard at work to prove otherwise. Once you lay down, your mind wakes up again.
To overcome insomnia, you need to work on reconditioning your brain so that it thinks sleep is a peaceful event rather than a stressful one. To do this, challenge your negative sleep thoughts (e.g., “I won’t be able to work/exercise/(insert activity) tomorrow if I don’t sleep”). Give yourself an hour per day to write these down. Even if logically it looks ridiculous. Write it down.
Then write down thoughts that counteract the negative ones (e.g., “I have slept before, and I’ll sleep again”). We can be illogical in our fears and stresses, but writing it down and logically thinking of solutions can help put your mind at ease.
Also, get out of bed if you are tossing and turning. If you only go your bed when you are sleepy, you will recondition your brain to associate your bed with sleep, rather than restlessness and stress.
3. Drink Water
We’ve all heard this one before! Water has so many vital functions in our body — from digestion to weight loss — that drinking it will definitely make you feel your best on your wedding day.
4. Avoid Sugar
Sugar not only affects your waistline, but also can wreak havoc on your skin. This happens because sugar spikes your insulin levels and causes inflammation throughout your body. When your body is inflamed, it produces proteins that break down collagen and elastin that help your skin look its best. It can also make skin conditions (like acne) worse.
If you are having a sugar craving, reach for fruit instead of candy. Not only is it nature’s candy, but also it has added vitamins, minerals, and fiber that you need in your diet.
5. Portion Control
Portion sizing has been harped on by every diet fad you’ve ever heard of. Instead of thinking of the all or nothing approach (all protein, no fat; all fat, no carbs etc.), keep it simple. Fill half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with meat or vegetarian protein sources, and a quarter with carbs. The balanced approach will satiate your appetite and curb any feelings of deprivation.
6. Ditch the Sauces
Spices and herbs are a great no-or-low calorie way to maintain or lose weight. Try marinades, homemade dressings, and low calories sauces to add tons of flavor to your food.
7. One Ingredient Foods
A simple way to eat healthy is to only eat foods with one ingredient. This pretty much takes anything that comes in a box or packaging out of the equation. It also takes added sugars or fats away too.
8. Find Exercise You Love
We constantly hear of the next best thing that will get you in shape the fastest and make you the leanest. But does it really matter if you hate every second of it?
If you love yoga, keep doing yoga. If you love running, why force yourself to join CrossFit? Being regularly active is one of the keys to life long health and maintaining a healthy weight, so don’t force yourself to do something you don’t want to just because another fad rolled around.
9. Nip Stress in the Bud
Even the most easy-going bride can experience points of elevated stress during the planning process. Stress can cause a host of issues, including the desire to overeat or drink too much. You may constantly feel like there is something that needs to be done and you can’t rest until your to-do list is complete.
It is important to remember that no one is “on” all of the time. We all need points of relaxation to recharge and rest.
To do this, think of things that make you feel centered and grounded. It could be quiet walks in nature, going for a massage, or listening to your favorite music.