Creating a bridal fitness plan needn’t be a chore. Coach and nutritionist Sarah O’Neill says brides are her best clients because they are always the most committed to achieving their goals. Here are her 10 golden rules for looking and feeling great
1. Change your drinking habits
creating a bridal fitness plan, alcohol is probably the biggest hindrance my clients face if they are aiming for a target weight. Cutting right back is obviously a good idea, but your engagement is also a time to celebrate. Wine is high in calories, so try substituting vodka or gin with slimline tonic and lime. Or order the finest sparkling water in a large wine glass.
2. Be a smart time manager
Time is the other great barrier, but there are lots of ways to fit exercise into life. For instance, start the day with a short (say, 10-minute) exercise video. Then use your daily commute by walking or running part way to work. Both use time wisely, require minimal planning and act as a metabolism booster that sets a positive mindset.
3. Set realistic goals
Set a realistic timeframe if your goal is to lose weight. You should be aiming for 1lb a week. Sadly, it’s easier to take in calories than burn them off – so don’t be fooled into thinking each exercise session earns you rewards. As a guide, two thirds of weight loss comes from what you consume, the remainder from activity.
4. Keep a food diary
I often recommend my clients keep a food diary. While we may be eating super healthily most of the time, we often forget to count the biscuits we grabbed in the office – a diary highlights nutritional faux pas and helps you stay on track.
5. Train smart
Do train smart; running burns calories and is great for weight loss, but if you want toned arms you will need to do light weights. Start out with a checklist of what you want to achieve and then get advice on which exercises work best.
6. Choose exercise you enjoy
Find something you’ll enjoy, so you stick with it, be it running, dance, team sports or quick workoutsExercise doesn’t work when it’s a punishment. If someone says they hate running I’ll say, ‘well, let’s not run’. It’s crucial to find something you enjoy – be it team sports, dance or quick workouts – so you will stick with it.
7. Drink more (water)
Thirst is often masked as hunger, so instead of reaching straight for a snack drink water. We should all be drinking two litres a day, plus a litre to compensate for every exercise session. Keep a bottle with you throughout the day to measure your intake – add lemon or lime to make it more palatable.
8. Plan your meals
Dieting is about good planning not an empty stomach, so have a well-stocked fridge to avoid the ready meal and fast food trap. A lunch box really works for my brides; take an extra one full of healthy snacks such as chopped raw vegetables – they’re guilt free and fill you up.
9. Don’t deprive yourself
Eat colourfully and, if you love cooking, keep doing it but experiment with healthier alternatives. Don’t deprive yourself of everything – if you love chocolate, factor that in as a treat.
10. Be active together
Your engagement should be the happiest time, so do as much as you can with your partner. A competition to reach goals, or simply a bike ride before that blowout Sunday lunch makes this a positive lifestyle change that you share.