Nothing ruins the spark of wedding excitement more than a gruelling diet regime.
After all, it's probably one of the only times in your life that champagne is appropriate (and possible) on a daily basis. But not only that -- getting caught up in dress and pant sizes is no way to start the next chapter of your life.
The good news is that in order to embark on a healthy fitness journey that will actually be successful, restricting yourself is not the answer.
"It's especially important when you are trying to achieve a certain goal weight that you focus on the five food groups and then boost your diet with healthy fats, which help to elevate the weight loss," Katherine Baqleh, accredited dietitian at Health Victory Nutrition Experts told The Huffington Post Australia.
"These include olive oil, avocado and oily fish like salmon or sardines -- which can either be tinned or fresh," Baqleh said.
Having a handful of nuts every day, whether that's a snack or adding it to your breakfast, lunchtime salad or vegetable stir-fry is a good idea.
"Healthy fats have a number of benefits but for brides and grooms in particular, it is very good for skin health and hair shine," Baqleh said.
Pip Reed, a certified nutritionist explains while brides and grooms are the perfect client because they are so focused, concentrating too much on weight loss is something to steer clear of.
You've got to make sure there's a good alternative. If you're having chocolate cravings, swap that for dark chocolate.
"Instead, we'll focus on making sure their nutrient intake is really high. As well as looking at their stress and hormone levels," Reed told HuffPost Australia.
Ensuring people never feel deprived is key for Reed, who spends a lot of time 'healthifying' certain snacks so that people don't set themselves up to fail.
"You've got to make sure there's a good alternative. If you're having chocolate cravings, swap that for dark chocolate. If you're craving something sweet, go for Medool dates and nuts," Reed said.
If you enjoy drinking alcohol, Reed said there's absolutely no reason why you need to cut it out in the lead up to your wedding.
"It's the most celebrated time of your life, you don't want to be going to your own events saying no to champagne. It's about being smart and having a glass of water in between each drink," Reed said.
Plus, you don't want to be the drunk bride or groom at your own wedding.
"Because if you've cut out alcohol in the lead up to your wedding, it's almost inevitable that you are going to feel it after one or two drinks," Reed said.
A lot of my clients see the best results from interval sprints and it's always important to do some kind of weight training.
The other thing she will always ask brides is whether they plan to have a baby straight away.
"That changes the whole treatment as we would then concentrate on ensuring they are supported nutrient-wise with more folate supplements and ensuring they are getting enough iron," Reed said.
As for exercise, Reed said it will depend on your body type as to what approach you take. Though ensuring you do something, if only for stress relief, is important.
"A lot of my clients see the best results from interval sprints and it's always important to do some kind of weight training. Things like pilates and yoga are elongated exercises, which is what a lot of brides like," Reed said.
Reed explains it is not unusual for some women who are exercising a lot to not be seeing any results.
"This is why we look at stress levels. If somebody has high levels of stress, what is happening is the body has gone into a state distress where it is holding on to that weight. Often it's when people stop exercising, they drop weight," Reed said.
Minimising foods that can be quite inflammatory like dairy and refined sugars is an approach Reed takes with her clients.
"The more vegetables, nuts and seeds you can get into your diet, the better," Reed said.
A clear complexion is a non-negotiable for most brides and grooms, and Reed explains giving yourself at least three months to achieve this is ideal.
Start your day with a big glass of water and aim for two litres each day.
Both Reed and Baqleh agree staying hydrated is particularly important, not only to give yourself more energy, but for skin vibrance.
"Start your day with a big glass of water and aim for two litres each day. If you're finding that's too hard, jazz it up with some fresh lemon and raspberries or a little lime and cinnamon," Baqleh said.
They also warn of fad diets and explain good, nutritional food will always trump things like meal replacement shakes.
"Any fad diets that cut out a whole food group and have significant restriction of energy and carbohydrates, in particular, may result in rapid weight loss however, the results are not sustainable," Baqleh said.
Either you'll pile the weight back on before your big day, or, within the first six months of getting married.
"This makes people feel like they have failed a diet but in actual fact, it is more like the diet has failed them because it wasn't specialised or individualised to their own personal needs, nor was it built on sustainable or evidence-based nutritional advice," Baqleh said.
The bottom line? In order to be the healthiest (and happiest) version of you on your wedding day, be kind to yourself and, if you are looking to lose weight, seek specialised advice from a health professional.
After all, everyone will have a different goal.
"Having time as a practitioner to do an assessment and complete any tests to get a full picture of the individual before the wedding is crucial. From there we are able to set a time frame and guide them along the way without it being a crash diet," Reed said.Suggest a correction