Pre-wedding tips to help you get started on your health and fitness journey

Pre-wedding tips to help you get started on your own health and fitness journey Devina Parmar from Shredd for the Wed tells us her top tips for staying healthy in the run-up to the big day.

Where would you recommend I start when it comes to a pre-wedding diet? The majority of brides who come to me have already tried different ways of dieting, so my advice is to start from the basics. What I mean by this is to start to understand food basics. We live in a world where let's face it, there’s a diet culture, and brides especially feel the sort of pressure to look a certain way. So, if your main goal is to look a certain way for the wedding, let’s do it in the healthiest way possible. I don’t fully agree with dieting because it puts this idea into our heads that there are such things as good and bad foods which isn't the case. 
If a bride comes to me with no prior knowledge of where to start, I’d get them to start by creating a food diary for themselves. This is such a useful tool to help brides to become aware of what they’re currently eating. 
My strategy is all about figuring out where you are now, where you’d like to go and how to get there in the healthiest way possible. And, if we hit roadblocks along the way, the best thing to do is to look back and figure out why and then tweak things to make progress possible. That goes for our training too. 

Where would you recommend a complete beginner starts when it comes to training? It depends on the goal you’d like to achieve. If you’re looking to drop a dress size and want to create definition, your best bet is to start building resistance training in your workout regime. 
If you’d like to create more definition and shape, resistance based training is going to help you do this because weights are going to act as a form of resistance to help create the definition you want. When I mention cardio, I mean anything classified under boot camps, classes, HIIT, running, etc, these activities can also help improve our cardiovascular health, but in small doses. 
If you’re working from home, it can be harder to fit in your exercise routine, and a walk too, but I’d recommend scheduling it in your diary, just as you would with your own appointments, after all, it is an appointment with yourself, which can easily help alleviate stress around planning your wedding.

Would you agree on dropping carbs? I’ll be the first to admit, I used to do this, especially when I got fed up with not seeing the results I wanted. Looking back, I would get side effects around drops of energy levels, mood swings, and not to mention this would make my cravings go out the roof.  So, to answer your question - no, I don’t agree. Having done a lot more research into it, after thinking, it shouldn’t be like this, I shouldn’t be feeling miserable all the time, I learned that it’s essential for us to have carbs. Especially being women - around our time of the month, we have a set time where there is a need for us to have carbs to help with our biology.

What are your thoughts on calorie counting? Following on from my previous point, this is where I’d get anyone to start from - counting calories. This is such a great educational tool to help anyone understand how many calories are in which foods, and also plan out their meals effectively. I don’t advocate this as a fat loss tool, but it's a tool that can help long-term, to start gaining a better understanding of foods. It’s a good way of figuring out where you are now and what needs to happen for you to get to your goal. 

What are your thoughts on cheat meals? Personally, I don’t think they are necessary. If you’ve created a way of eating that you enjoy and is helping you get to your goals, which is 100% doable, there’s no real reason as to why you should feel the need to cheat on your diet so to say. 
One thing I’d recommend to anyone is to write a list of foods you enjoy and find ways to incorporate this into your daily calorie intake - this is only going to help you, firstly stay sane but also enjoy the process. 
I see and hear a lot of brides going all in, super restrictive and eating clean Mon-Fri and then end up falling off track on the weekends, or feeling like they’ve earnt a cheat meal or even cheat day. This completely defeats the whole point.
My ethos is around creating a healthy, sustainable way to eat so that it enhances your lifestyle and does not take away from it!  So in short, cheat meals can, if not factored into your calories the right way, can easily lead to someone falling off track. 
You can have foods you enjoy, and still, achieve the body of your dreams. You don’t have to give up any of your favourite foods, despite what social media tells you to do. It’s not a realistic way of living, especially if you’re a bride, with lots of celebratory occasions, where you’ll more than likely have foods that don’t fit within your ‘plan’. (Side note, this is why I don’t offer meal plans or think they’re a good idea).

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