The wedding day stress of having all eyes on you can lead to crash diets and crazy workout sessions. Of course, you want to look and feel your best, but don’t let that come at the price of compromising other aspects of your health or even gaining weight in the end. While there’s hundreds of fad diets and exercises that claim you can lose 20 pounds in two weeks, looking and feeling great doesn’t happen overnight. Yes, you can lose a few pounds in a few days, but those pounds won’t stay off unless you make permanent changes to your lifestyle. Start slow and stay steady on your journey to a better you, and by your wedding day you’ll be looking and feeling better than ever. Here’s a few health myths and pitfalls to avoid on your way to the altar.
Low-Fat in Bulk Isn’t Low-Fat
Cutting back on fat consumption is great, but it shouldn’t be the go-to diet that will help you keep off the pounds. Don’t you remember the SnackWell fad a few decades ago that had people scarfing down boxes of low-fat cookies? Of course, the cookies are low in fat, but eating 20 of them at a time isn’t going to help your bottom line. Often, processed low-fat foods have extra sugar and additives to make them still taste good. Calories are still calories, so even though your food might not be full of fat on the nutrition facts, eating a large amount of it still stuffs your body with extra calories. Read the food label so you know exactly what you are putting in your body.
Don’t Get Carried Away in the Gym
You may feel the need to go crazy with your workout routine a month before the wedding, but going from zero to hero on the treadmill might not be the best trick. You can spend hours at the gym sweating and feeling great, but it won’t do any good if you eventually burn out. That first week you might feel pumped and ready to rule the world with your workout, but if your body isn’t used to the burn, by week three you might be clinging to your bed instead of the elliptical. Let your workout build over time. Slowly start exercising months before your wedding, and you’ll notice your body will be able to do more and more over time. Eventually, you’ll look down at the treadmill and realize you’ve been jogging for two miles without a fuss. You’ll also notice results each week instead of trying to cram in a whole new body in a month. Remember that slow and steady wins the race.
Gluten (Usually) Isn’t the Enemy
Going gluten-free is a big trend in weight loss right now. Gluten is a protein found in grains like rye, barley, and wheat. But unless you’re truly allergic to gluten, the stuff isn’t inherently bad for you. In fact, many foods with gluten have other nutrients your body craves and needs such as B vitamins and folate. If you unnecessarily cut out all gluten and deprive yourself of it, you may lead yourself to binging on such foods eventually—which is likely the opposite effect you want in a wedding weight loss process. So, unless you are diagnosed with Celiac Disease and your body physically can’t digest gluten, you can feel free to find another way to modify or clean up your diet.
Low-Carb Diets May Cause a Dip in Activity
The low-carb diet swept the nation back in the late ’90s. Everyone loved the fact they could cut out all carbohydrates and lose weight. The problem is that most people can’t maintain this diet for the rest of their lives, and when they eventually pick up a roll at dinner one night, the whole jig is up. Usually when entire macro nutrient groups are cut from diets, they’re craved more and more. Not only that, but our bodies are used to using carbohydrates for energy. Without them, your daily energy levels can dip, leaving you staring at the wall instead of taking a jog or staying otherwise active throughout the day. Bread and pasta aren’t the devil if you’re going to use energy they provide. Fad diets come and go. You don’t want your extra weight to come and go, too.
Cleanses and Detox Juices Only Cause Temporary Weight Loss
Cleanses may sound like a quick way to lose weight, but don’t expect the effects to last a long time. Not only do cleanses offer a short-lived weight loss, but they are tough on your body. Imagine being hungry to the point of sickness and anger. You only get to drink liquids on most detoxes, so your body will probably be screaming for some good, solid food. (You may spend lots of time on the toilet, too, since your body may be unaccustomed to the new diet.) If you do choose to put yourself through the tough time of cleansing, make sure you know exactly what is in the fluids; many detox juices are filled with added sugar. And, be realistic with yourself about the lasting (or lack thereof) effects of such weight loss.