BRIDAL DIET: How I Dieted and Worked Out For My Wedding

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Photos by Cat Pennenga Photography

Now that the wedding is over and photos are coming to the surface on social media, I have been asked several times, what my fitness routine and diet was like for the wedding.

This worked for ME, because I KNOW from my experience in fitness competitions and life now how my body reacts to food and exercise routines, and how I prefer to look for the most important day of my life.  I didn't want adverse effects from an intense restricted diet during our honeymoon, so I took a less aggressive approach to dieting. I am here to promote a healthy approach and discourage you from believing there is a quick fix miracle product to make you wedding dress ready over night.

CRASH DIETS! I do not recommend any form of diet that may include no carbs, no sodium, no fat, no sugar, gluten-free, juice diets, fasting diet, no sprinkles, body wraps, waist trainers, and any other diet trend all wrapped up into one with a big pretty bow on it that is only good for one day. Let it be known, you cannot spot reduce. For example you don't like your midsection so you are going to obsess over that one area. * Please do not go to the extremes to lose weight.* Restricting calories to a very low amount can cause more damage than good. I am not saying this because that is "what Dr. Oz says" I am saying this because through science based evidence and my own personal experience from competing in several fitness competitions in a row. Some side effects from extreme dieting are thyroid issues, loss of menstrual cycle, poor relationship with foods, produce less estrogen and more testosterone. Endless amounts of cardio and more than 1 hour of weight lifting is in fact unhealthy. Your wedding is not meant for you to be miserable and unhappy getting ready for it. Most importantly reducing your calories and carbohydrates won't make you a pleasant person for your soon to be husband.

Now on to the real reason you are here reading this. I am going to kick this party off with what is most commonly asked. What are my work outs like? My approach to my wedding look goes back to how I vision myself as a bride ever since I was a little girl. Then I reflected on my muscles (fit girl problems) and how they respond to different training methods in the gym, and what I am most self conscious of. I recommend keeping a regular lifting schedule and keeping a balance with all muscle groups. My YouTube channel, here has many different workouts and discussions about eating clean and working out.

I  would only make it to the gym 3 times (4 if I was lucky) a week when I had a membership with work and wedding planning. My visits typically involved a 10 minute warm up on the treadmill, arc trainer, stair stepper, or stair master, and my lifting routine consisted of training the following for no more than 45 minutes.

Monday – Off
Tuesday – Legs (glutes, quads, and hamstrings)
Wednesday – Off
Thursday – Triceps, shoulders, and chest
Friday – Off
Saturday – Back, and biceps
Sunday – Off

If you can make it 5 days a week to the gym, more power to you! If I trained more I would do another leg day and maybe an upper body workout. I suggest repeating a lower body and upper body day if you have the freedom in your schedule. I also recommend giving yourself a rest day.

I focused heavily on how and what I ate or drank. Let me stress proper diet is KEY! I watched my serving sizes which could help you lose five pounds in just that initiative. I also packed healthier snacks for my desk. Cucumbers, celery, greek yogurt, bananas, apples, trail mix, boiled eggs, almonds, rice cakes and carrots are my staples to survive a long work day stuck at a desk. I would eat egg whites with spinach when I first got in during early conference calls. I would almost always have a salad for lunch or avocado with tuna (it doesn't require much meal prep time). Kyle and I loved to prepare a Fit Men Cook recipe for dinner and hope for leftovers to take for lunch. Packing lunch saved us money to put toward the wedding and also packing on pounds from eating out. If we didn't feel like putting a lot of effort into cooking dinner I always had produce to make a salad and usually have extra cooked chicken to throw on a salad so we didn't find an excuse to go out for dinner. Yes, cutting alcohol can make a huge difference. I will admit planning every little detail for your wedding is easier with a glass of vino. I did limit myself the quantity to one glass and invested in a wine vacuum seal. I did sacrifice my other indulgences for wine such as my ice cream and baked sweets.

I found that when you and your soon to be husband or wife make the effort to be healthier with you, it is not as challenging to eat healthy and go to the gym together. It is just a different way to have a date. If you have bridesmaids, they may even want to get in on the action and you could have more friends that may want to try a juice bar with you or go to a fitness class together. I could go on and write an entire book on living healthier but I am doing my best to make this short and simple without getting too complicated. I hope this serves you well with ideas for how to get ready for your wedding.


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