Every woman wants to look and feel her very best on her wedding day. And for many women, “feeling their best” involves slimming down. This is why so many brides turn to fad diets in the months before their weddings: Atkins, South Beach, paleo, and most recently keto.
The keto diet operates quite similarly to Atkins, the “it-diet” of the early 2000s. Essentially, by eliminating carbs and sugars from your diet, you can force your body into a state of ketosis, in which your body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. This diet has helped many people see significant weight loss, and keto advocates say it’s a diet with long-term applications.
If you’re ready to up your protein levels and drop those pounds, you might want to give keto a try. But how do you do it? Here are a few tips.
Calculate Your Personal Macros
If you want keto to work, you have to achieve ketosis. If you want to achieve ketosis, you have to eat the right amounts of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. These three values are known as “macros,” (short for macro nutrients) and they vary from person to person.
Your macros depend on your current weight, your fitness level, and your weight loss goals. Use a macro calculator (there are tons of free ones available online) to determine just how many grams of fat, protein, and carbs you need to eat each day. Once you have those measurements ready, you can start your keto diet in earnest.
Consider an App to Help You Out
You have your macros written down and you’re ready to get going. There’s just one problem: you have no idea what 100 grams of protein (or whatever your macros are) looks like!
If you’re not a nutrition expert, this part can get a little complicated. How much fat is in an avocado? How large a chicken breast should you eat for lunch? Luckily, these days you don’t need to know the ins and outs of nutrition to master the keto diet—all you need is an app.
There are countless apps available that can help you track your daily food intake. Some of them are keto-specific while others may focus on sheer calorie counts or other diets, but they all help track the number of carbs, fats, and protein in your food. Just make sure to log all your meals and you’ll be on track.
Get Some Variety in Your Diet
Many people think that the keto diet is all about three things: butter (“They even put it in their coffee!”), bacon, and more butter (“Seriously! IN THE COFFEE!”). This leads folks to think that keto is a boring diet, one that will get old long before you start to see results.
While you technically could live on bacon alone during keto, it’s not recommended. Firstly, that would be awful for even the biggest bacon fanatic. Secondly, there are tons of delicious recipes that are totally keto-friendly.
Pasta with zucchini noodles. Chicken with cauliflower mashed potatoes. Almond flour waffles with sugar-free syrup (yes, it exists). There are loads of possibilities within the keto diet, so don’t be afraid to try something new. You might even find a new favorite!
Plan Your “Cheat Days” Carefully
When you’re planning a wedding, it’s not always possible to have a completely clean diet. There are cake tastings, bridal shower brunches, complimentary champagne while you shop for your gown, and a million other events that will tempt you towards carb-filled, sweet treats.
I’m not saying you should avoid those events—in fact, just the opposite! However, if you’re going to indulge a little, it’s best to do some preemptive planning. See, once your body gets used to the keto life, it responds to carbs and sugar the way you might respond to alcohol: a bloated, uncomfortable, hungover feeling. Carefully scheduling your “cheat days” can give you time to recover and avoid any lingering discomfort.
Be Kind to Your Body
Finally, it’s important to remember that the number on your scale isn’t anything to stress about. While you may want to be a size two by the time you walk down the aisle, it’s OK to give yourself a break when you need one. Treat your body with love and compassion throughout the wedding planning process. You’ll be much happier if you do!