Wedding & Function
Wedding & Function

Get Your Body Wedding Ready

How to Get Your Body Wedding Ready…The Smart Way

Dream dress? Check. Something borrowed? Check. Something Blue? Check. Dream body? Hmmm not quite there. Like most brides out there, you're probably on a major mission to slim down, tone up, and eat clean to look your absolute best on your special day. I am about to share with you some highly effective methods to get wedding ready, but I want to put it out there that your want to get healthy should not simply be just for your wedding… rather it should really be about getting fit and healthy for life!

So first off, lets get committed…for the long run! In exactly the same way that you are committing to your partner…i.e. for life, you need to be just as committed to your health…yip – for life! And yes, I know that all you want right now is your perfect wedding body…but trust me when I say that your wedding body certainly wont stick around if you don’t maintain permanent healthy lifestyle changes.

So, when you begin your eating and exercise plan, let’s look at your wedding day as a goal post, but lets also consider what happens after that.

A Note: I recommend giving yourself at least 4 months to work on your wedding body – this way you will have plenty of time to see results, you will lose weight slowly and consistently, at a healthy pace, and you wont feel the need to go on major quick-fix crash diets (if you want to gain all the weight back and then some after your wedding then crash diets are the way…so rather don’t!)

NUTRITION

  • Break up with the Junk

In the same way you told those player ex-boyfriends to bounce, you need to give all processed foods the boot. Anything packaged, that contains a paragraph of ingredients most of which you don’t understand, must go! Out with the junk – clear your kitchen cupboards from any possible temptations that may sabotage your success. Remember, if its in your house – you will end up eating it. Make room for healthy, nourishing snacks such as raw nuts, seeds, dates, organic biltong, and fresh fruit. Stick to wholefoods – in other words, those foods that come as they are, no hidden ingredients, processing or nasty additives.

  • Fall in Love with your Greens

Dark leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, rocket and watercress are high in fibre, and antioxidants, while broccoli, and asparagus fight inflammation, all of which support system detoxification and ultimately promote fat loss. The better your digestion, the cleaner your insides, and the cleaner your insides, more effective your body becomes at burning food and fat for energy. Green veggies also support glowing and radiant skin which is an absolute must for your wedding day.

  • Try sautéed spinach and onion, with a touch of cumin and ground pink Himalayan salt.
  • Crispy Brussel sprouts sautéed in coconut oil, cayenne pepper, Himalayan salt and garlic also makes for a nourishing, anti-inflammatory side dish that is delicious too!

Make Peace with Healthy Fats

Whoever said fats made you fat was seriously mistaken! Just because fat as a macro-nutrient is higher in calories per gram than protein or carbs, does not mean you mustn’t eat it! All it means is that your portions of fat consumed should be smaller. Healthy fats such as tahini, coconut oil, salmon oil, nut butters, olive oil, avocado and raw nuts are all fantastic sources of healthy, satiating energy that will stabilize your blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full for hours. So when you eat the right type of fats you will end up eating less because you actually feel satisfied.

  • Try macadamia nut butter spread over flax crackers as a powerful pick-me-up snack
  • Handful of raw nuts
  • Coconut flakes lightly toasted in 1 tsp. coconut oil and sprinkled with cinnamon
  • Extra virgin olive oil drizzled over salads and steamed veggies
  • Tahini poured over cinnamon roasted carrots

Get Acquainted with the Right Carbs

Low carb diets are all the rage these days, and for good reason – they do work well, that’s for sure. But that is not to say you mustn’t eat carbs. Carbs are an essential source of energy for the human body, so we need to eat them – but we need to make sure that we are choosing the right carbs. For one, fruit and vegetables are in fact carbs, so enjoying plenty of veggies and moderate amounts of fruit is a great way to ensure that you are getting good quality carbs. Sweet potatoes roasted in coconut oil, rosemary and Himalayan salt is a perfect replacement for regular fries. Cinnamon and clove spiced butternut oven baked in olive oil is utterly delicious – you wont even feel as if you have cut back on carbs. For grains your best choices include quinoa, brown rice, oats, and millet. Keep your grain based carbs for breakfast or lunch and enjoy veggies and protein for dinner.

Set a Date with your Proteins Daily

Protein, alongside fat, is a fantastic way to help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Try incorporating small portions of protein with every meal to help keep you feeling full and energized throughout the day.

Try these combos for a great protein kick

  • Egg white scramble and avo with sautéed mushrooms makes for a delicious power packing brekkie.
  • Add hemp powder to your breakfast oats
  • Salmon and avo on flax crackers or grilled chicken breasts chopped over a large leafy green salad with crumbled feta
  • Handful of nuts and seeds or biltong makes for a great protein rich snack
  • Banana and avo smoothie with added hemp or pea protein

Remember the simpler and cleaner your keep your daily food intake, the better your results will be. So enjoy plenty of the healthy foods mentioned above, and be mindful of your portions. Don’t starve yourself (this wont end well trust me!), rather eat until you are satisfied. Listen to your body, and focus on understanding your hunger and satiety ques.

EXERCISE

Month 1

For the first month, your focus should be on getting active and engaged in the program. A good way to get motivated is to start a workout diary where you can monitor your progress. Write down your starting weight. Remember that muscle weighs far more than fat so don’t become obsessed with weighing yourself. I only recommend taking your stsrting weight, middle-point weight and finishing weight. The best way to assess progress it to actually see it where it counts – that is, on your body! So don’t be shy to take progress pics – these will really help keep you motivated. You don’t have to share them with the world – they can be completely private, something only you see – but this way at least you will see actual physical changes. keep notes all the way through.

Tip: Try not to focus on quick results—you don't want to get discouraged early on or you'll never stick to the program. This is about creating a healthy change in your lifestyle that will show up with time.

Exercise Regime for Month 1:

Complete the following routine 3 x per week

20 minutes of aerobic activity (skipping, interval running, burpees, jumping jacks and mountain climbers)

Combine with:

3 sets of 50 stomach crunches
3 sets of 10 push-ups
3 sets 1 min planks
2 set of 15 squats
Tip: When squatting, imagine you're sitting down on a chair behind you. If you look down and your knees are extended beyond your toes, readjust your position. Doing a squat incorrectly can result in injury, so be careful.
1 x foam rolling / stretching session
1 x yoga class

 Month 2

Still here? Good work! Get out the diary (or your camera) again and record your progress. Don't focus too much on weight loss yet—what you should be taking note of is an increase in energy and stamina. Since you've been working out three - four times per week, you should start to feel like you're getting into a routine that's quickly becoming second nature. In your journal, take extra time to write down how you feel, how you're dealing with stress and what you think you are gaining from your exercise program. During month two, you'll pair your aerobic activity with HITT training so you can start toning and firming even further.

Exercise Regime Month 2

Complete the following routine 3 times per week:

10 minutes cardio (skipping / interval running)
2 min burpees
2 min knee high jumps
30 seconds lunging
1 min planking
2 sets of 30 stomach crunches
2 set of 10 push-ups (Can't do a full push-up yet? No worries. Start with modified push-ups on your knees and work your way up.)
15 min cardio (skipping/ interval running)
For any exercise throughout that has multiple sets, you should rest 1–2 minutes between completing each set.

Month 3

Need a bit of a boost? Take your photo, then flip back to the first page of your journal (or check out that first photo) to see the changes you've made in just a few months. Also, get out your calendar to check how quickly your wedding day is approaching and remind yourself why you're doing all of this. Visualize yourself coming down the aisle in the best shape ever -- and don't give up! Remember your mindset is just as important and nutrition and exercise! Take your midpoint weight: Even if you haven't lost weight, you should be seeing some serious results in your muscle tone by now. You may have even gained a few kg’s—muscle is denser than fat remember, so you've most likely turned some of that fat into long, lean muscle.

Exercise Regime for Month 3

Time to take it up a notch!
Complete the following routine 4 times per week:
40 minutes of aerobic activity
3 sets of 20 stomach crunches
3 sets of 10 push-ups
3 sets of 10 squats
3 sets 1o lunges
2 sets of 10 bicep curls
2 sets of 10 tricep curls
1 x yoga/pilates class per week
1 x stretching and foam rolling session 

Tip: Make sure you are getting plenty of healthy sleep throughout your program – at least 7 hours every night.

Month 4

Congrats! You are doing so well! Take a moment to congratulate yourself—you're nearly there and you're doing an amazing job! Weigh yourself, take your measurements and snap a photo. If you've been following the program consistently, you definitely should notice some substantial changes by now. Friends and family should definitely start to notice. (Prepare for compliments to start pouring in soon!) In month four, get ready for the final push! Come on…you can do it!!!

Tip: At this point, if nothing or very little has changed, you may need a more advanced program. Try consulting a personal trainer and a nutrition specialist for help addressing your specific needs.

Exercise Regime for month 4

Complete the following routine 4 times per week:
5 minutes skipping
2 minute burpees
1 minute mountain climbers
4 minutes skipping
1 minute burpees
1 minute mountain climbers
1 minute skipping
1 minute burpees
1 minute mountain climbers
30 seconds knee high jumps
30 seconds running on the spot
1 minute skipping
3 sets of 30 stomach crunches
30 seconds back leg raises –both legs (targeting glutes)
30 seconds side leg raises – both legs (targeting glutes)
3 sets of 15 push-ups
3 sets of 15 squats
3 sets of 15 bicep curls
3 sets of 15 tricep curls
2 sets of 10 chest presses
2 x yoga/pilates class
1 x stretching and foam rolling session

You’ve Made it! Well Done. Take a few days off before your wedding day to pamper and relax your body. (Spa day anyone?) You deserve to look and feel your best. Once the celebrations are over don’t forget to stick to your regime. Mix it up a bit by adding some Boxing / Dance / Pilates/ Body Barre / HITT /Bootcamp sessions into your exercise schedule to keep things fun, challenging and interesting.

Those Wedding bells are ringing…go and enjoy your special day, and give your new body some love!

Yours in Health Always,
Cara-Lisa Sham,
@caralishious
www.caralishious.com

BIO - ABOUT CARA

Cara, founder of the Caralishious brand, is a health blogger, nutrition consultant and health foods producer with a passion for all things wholesome and nourishing. With 17 years of dancing behind her, Cara has first-hand experience in sports nutrition, body conditioning, and holistic living. Her mission is to inspire both her clients and those around her to enjoy a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Cara is all about keeping it real, simple, natural, effective and completely fad-free! You can find Cara-Lisa’s online meal plans and lifestyle guides at www.caralishious.com. The Caralishious blog also includes healthy recipes and offers simple and sustainable ways to obtain and maintain lasting health. Keep a look out for Caralishious Coconut Milk Ice-Cream and Caralishious FitFuel High Protein Vegan Ice cream - completely Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, Low Carb and Guilt Free! The perfect treat to curb your cravings! Available in four delectable flavours at selected stores across Johannesburg and Cape Town.  

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