Every bride wants to look great for the wedding. Thus, it is very common for brides-to-be to go on diets to lose weight for their big day. There is nothing wrong with wanting to trim down for such a special event in one’s life, but weight loss must always be made responsibly—whatever the occasion may be.

That said, we’ve come up with a few dos and don’ts for wedding weight loss that can help you prepare for your big day:

Do: start early

Every part of wedding preparation is best done early to avoid last-minute problems, including weight loss. Say you’ve already picked out the right modest wedding gown for your big day, and it fits just right, but you still want to trim down a bit for the wedding. If this is the case, start making changes to your lifestyle as early as possible. This is because the safe rate for weight loss is only at one to two pounds per week, and if you want to lose ten or more, you should start losing weight at least a few months before your wedding.

Moreover, you have to allot time for dress alterations after you shed off the pounds, which can take a few days, depending on how many alterations you need.

Don’t: use lose-weight-quickly methods

Diet pills, laxatives, crash diets, and other rapid yet unhealthy methods of weight loss can put unnecessary stress on your body. Sure, you can lose weight quickly with these methods, but you are likely damaging your health in the process. You may even feel awful during your wedding because of the rapid weight loss, which is certainly not something any bride wants.

Do: eat more healthy food

Losing weight is not all about restricting one’s food intake—it’s more about eating more healthy foods instead of unhealthy ones. Fill your diet with more vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, whole grains, and lean meats. This way, you are not necessarily restricting yourself but rather replacing your food intake with healthier options.

Don’t: restrict calories excessively

You need a specific amount of calories each day to fulfill your energy needs. If you are trying to lose weight, you may have to eat fewer calories than you normally do, the amount of which will depend on your height, current weight, and physical activity level, among other factors.

However, do not eat less than the recommended amount of calories in an attempt to lose weight faster. Doing so can put your body in a state of stress, and wedding planning is already stressful enough. Stick to what the doctor or nutritionist tells you, and be sure that you are getting enough calories in your body each day.

Do: drink more water

Pouring water from bottle

Good hydration is a key pillar in healthy weight loss. Drink at least eight to ten glasses of water each day or more if you engage in exercise. Preparing for a wedding can be inherently stressful, and you may forget to drink water, so be sure to keep a bottle with you at all times, so it is easier to remember.

Don’t: drink your calories

Avoid drinking sugary coffee, sodas, energy drinks, milkshakes, and other calorie-rich beverages if you are trying to lose weight. The calories you get from these beverages will mostly come from sugar, which is never good in excess. Furthermore, it is better to consume these calories in the form of food that will keep you full for a longer time compared to drinks.

 Do: make time for exercise

Although diet is the most important part of weight loss, exercise is also a vital component. Wedding planning and other responsibilities can take up a bulk of your time, but try to squeeze some exercise into your routine, even if it’s just half an hour a day.

Don’t: start a crazy exercise regimen

Some people think that going all out on exercise is a great way to lose weight. But if you have only been exercising lightly or are sedentary up to now, hard exercise can do more harm than good for your muscles. Instead, start gradually, then work your way up. Light workouts and cardio are great at the start. After your body gets used to the increased level of physical activity, you can start turning up the dial and doing more intense exercise.

Losing weight for a wedding is a goal for many brides. But at the end of the day, it’s not as important as you think it is. If you want to shed off a few pounds for your wedding, keep these dos and don’ts in mind, lose weight safely, and don’t push yourself past your limits.

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