Your big day is around the corner, and you want to look good in your dress or tux. Fair enough – but weight loss does not have to be complicated. Many brides and grooms looking to lose weight for wedding in 2 months or less often feel pressured to resort to extreme dieting to achieve their goal.
The truth is, you need to think of your mental and physical health in the days leading up to the wedding and long after that. It’s important to pursue your weight loss goal safely and in a way that will help you sustain the results. Here is everything you need to know to lose weight in time for your wedding.
Creating A Calorie Deficit Is The Best Way To Lose Weight For Wedding
As we all know, weight loss occurs when we burn more calories than we take in. A calorie deficit is a difference between the number of calories you consume and the number of calories you expend. When you create a calorie deficit your body burns fat as an energy source to make up for the missing calories (6).
There are two ways to create a calorie deficit: cutting calories through diet and burning calories through exercise. You can also use a combination of both.
Before you decide how to go about creating a calorie deficit, you need to calculate your calorie needs.
What Is The Ideal Calorie Deficit?
To achieve a calorie deficit through diet, you need to cut your daily caloric intake further below the number of calories your body uses for energy.
With a little math, you can figure out how many calories this means you should consume each day.
First, use the Harris-Benedict or other equation (or an online calculator) to determine your basal metabolic rate – the minimum amount of energy it takes to support life (3).
Then, using an activity factor, determine how many additional calories you need to consume based on your lifestyle activities (such as exercise) and adjust accordingly according to whether weight loss or weight maintenance is desired (2).
Luckily you don’t have to do all the math yourself, there are a variety of tools that can help you figure out the number of calories to cut from your diet.
Keep in mind that this is just a starting point and should be adjusted up or down based on how quickly (or slowly) you lose weight.
Remember, if you’re not losing weight after two weeks—despite healthy eating and exercise —you likely need to decrease your caloric intake further. However, many people find it difficult to create a calorie deficit through dietary means alone because they are too hungry while doing so. This is why exercise can help you create a larger deficit without eating too little.
Whether you’re a workout beast or just a beginner making your first foray into the world of fitness and dieting – BetterMe has a lot to offer to both newbies and experts! Install the app and experience the versatility first-hand!
Creating A Calorie Deficit Through Diet
The main way to create a calorie deficit is through your diet, which would require eating fewer calories than normal.
That said, it’s not as simple as just taking in fewer calories each day—you need to rethink your portions and the types of foods you eat. For example, certain foods are denser in terms of nutrients per calorie (e.g., vegetables), while others are less nutrient-dense but more calorically dense (e.g., candy).
Furthermore, some meals may contain a similar number of total calories but be composed of drastically different macronutrient ratios and be much more or much less filling (e.g., a small slice of pizza vs. a large bowl of salad with salmon).
In the end, you need to strike a balance between nutrient-rich foods, low-calorie density foods, and fewer total calories. This doesn’t have to be complicated—just focus on filling your plate with lots of vegetables at each meal, pairing food with protein whenever possible, and using healthy fats sparingly.
Intermittent fasting is a useful tool for reducing how much you eat each day as you head towards your wedding (7). This involves alternating between periods of not eating (i.e., fasting) and then feasting with a focus on nutritious, filling foods and portions. There are various types of IF diets, including:
Eating normally every other day, and on the fasting days consuming only around 500 calories.
Eat Stop Eat
Once or twice per week, restricting caloric intake over a full 24 hour period up to once per month.
Eating only within a specific window of time each day (e.g., 8am to 6pm) and fasting outside of that timeframe.
All three methods are intended to result in roughly the same thing—an overall calorie deficit, albeit with slightly different mechanisms. For example, time-restricted feeding tends to be more effective at reducing body weight because it allows regular meals that can power your workout sessions and help create an even larger calorie deficit.
However, all three systems are believed to increase fat oxidation and energy expenditure throughout the day due to faster metabolism following short periods of little or no food intake. The potential end result is not just greater weight loss but also (7):
- Less hunger
- Better insulin sensitivity
- Increased brown adipose tissue (brown fat) levels
- More fat burning.
Creating A Calorie Deficit Through Exercise
One of the most commonly used methods to create a calorie deficit is through exercise, which could involve anything from walking the dog to running intervals at high intensity. The right activity depends entirely on your goals.
If you’re looking for weight loss, higher-intensity activities are often ideal because they burn more calories per minute. Aim for 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least 5 days of the week (e.g., jogging) plus two strength-training sessions each week—and increase either or both in duration or intensity as needed to continue seeing results (1)!
When you set out to achieve a calorie deficit via exercise, keep in mind that it’s not just about what you do—it’s also about when you do it.
For instance, cardio burns more calories during the activity than strength training does. However, strength training has more of an impact on total energy expenditure because of its effect on resting metabolic rate (the number of calories your body uses at rest).
Strength training can elevate your metabolism for up to 38 hours following the workout, helping to create a calorie deficit throughout the day (5). Cardio only elevates metabolism slightly during the workout and reduces it back to baseline within 24 hours. Thus, people who want to lose weight fast should focus more on strength training in addition to cardio in an effort to boost total daily energy expenditure.
How To Stay Motivated To Lose Weight For Wedding?
Set SMART Goals
First, set some SMART goals for yourself. The acronym SMART stands for:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable/Achievable
- R – Relevant/Realistic
- T – Time-bound
Are you looking to lose 2 pounds per week or are you hoping to drop 5 lbs over 2 months? Establishing your goal will help you stay motivated as it gives you something to work towards. Rather than just wanting to lose a few pounds, how about creating a specific wardrobe goal where the number of inches lost is more impressive than the number on the scale?
Setting short-term weekly goals can help push you along during those times when motivation isn’t keeping up with your progress! When choosing these smaller milestones, choose ones that are easily attainable so that you’re feeling successful and stay motivated enough to keep up with your healthy habits. An example might be setting a goal to exercise 5 days this week.
When losing weight, especially in a short time frame, it’s important to remember that success doesn’t happen overnight. Everyone starts somewhere and there are different body types so don’t compare yourself to others or allow yourself to be discouraged if you aren’t losing as quickly as someone else. Setbacks are frustrating but try not to let them get the best of you.
Dropping pounds by the dozens without putting yourself through the wringer is everyone’s weight loss pipe dream. But what if we told you that the BetterMe app can make that happen? Keep yourself in prime shape with our fat-blasting workouts, delicious budget-sparing recipes, and body-transforming challenges with our app!
Lose Weight For Wedding: Change Your Mindset From Weight Loss To Overall Health
While losing weight for your wedding may seem like the most important thing to you right now, try not to take it too far. Remember that this is just one event in your life and being healthy should be the main priority.
If you push yourself so hard that you are sacrificing your health then what are you really gaining? You have all of eternity to wear a certain size but only one wedding day to wear your gown!
By focusing on eating nutritionally dense foods rather than calorie counting will help keep weight loss results sustainable long term. Plus if you eat better, it means fewer cravings for junk food which makes staying motivated easier over time (4)!
You’ll look your best on your wedding day if you feel happy, healthy, and confident. When it comes down to losing weight before a wedding or simply taking care of yourself overall- why not do both?
Treat Yourself Occasionally
When it comes down to it, you can’t expect yourself not to eat anything unhealthy for months on end. Allow yourself some treats in moderation instead of restricting every single thing that isn’t good for you. Feeling deprived will lead to binging which will set you back in your larger weight loss goals.
You can still enjoy your favourite pre-wedding activities with a few simple changes! If you love food, go ahead and eat it but choose healthy options.
Prepare yourself by eating protein or complex carbs before an event so that you are less likely to want to indulge in high-calorie hors d’oeuvres (8).
Limit the size of your plates so that you aren’t tempted to pile on extra servings just because there’s more on your plate than usual.
Healthier drink choices are also important when trying to lose weight before a wedding, but one glass of champagne is not going to erase weeks of effort.
An Accountability Partner Will Make Your Journey Easier
Even if you have the best intentions sometimes it’s hard to stick to your goals a hundred per cent of the time. Having a support system can make or break your weight loss success, which is why hiring a personal trainer, nutritionist, or coach may be beneficial for you!
Oftentimes people fail not because they don’t have discipline, but because they lose their sense of direction along the way. Accountability partners help keep you focused through daily check-ins so that you can hold each other accountable without judgement.
The Bottom Line
The best way to lose weight for your wedding is to not think of it as a “chore” or something to dread. It can be an exciting time to have fun with your partner and try new adventures together! Make your weight loss journey a positive experience by staying focused on overall health rather than obsessing over the number on the scale.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 30 Minutes of Daily Exercise Enough to Shed Pounds (2012, webmd.com)
- Ability of the Harris Benedict formula to predict energy requirements differs with weight history and ethnicity (2008, nih.gov)
- Basal Metabolic Rate- An Overview (2013, sciencedirect.com)
- Diet Type and Changes in Food Cravings following Weight Loss: Findings from the POUNDS LOST Trial (2014, nih.gov)
- Effect of acute resistance exercise on postexercise oxygen consumption and resting metabolic rate in young women (2000, nih.gov)
- Fat loss depends on energy deficit only, independently of the method for weight loss (2007, pubmed.gov)
- Intermittent Fasting: What is it, and how does it work? (n.d., hopkinsmedicine.org)
- Protein and satiety: implications for weight management (2008, pubmed.gov)