How Important Is A Pre-Wedding Diet Plan For You When You Are Looking Forward To A Perfect Wedding Day?
As impressionable adolescents, young girls seem to be the ones most enthralled by older female relatives preparing for an upcoming wedding. Same for me and my barely elder-than-me cousin sister, who were the zealously devoted and starry-eyed spectators of bridal rituals in the extended family. We would park ourselves in the bride-to-be’s house for weeks preceding the wedding, carefully taking down mental notes on the do-s and don’t-s. Food generally, and feeding the bride, were always an important part of these customs and being much younger we were always part of the feasts. Apart from being fun, our eagerness was the only way to learn these secret mantras – by observing and imbibing. When it was the turn of my partner sister to get married, we both felt dizzy at the prospect of putting to practice all the information that we had gleaned over the years. My sister had always been plump, and everyone found her incredibly adorable because of her chubby and happy disposition. She however suddenly went into reverse gear after the wedding date was fixed, and wanted to shed all the puppy fat before her big day. So she refused to eat anything that she doubted as being remotely fattening. After 14 weeks of painful abstinence, she had lost oodles of weight, along with the natural glow on her face that once used to be her calling card. People complimented her on how slim she had become, but also added: “you look tired, must be the stress of getting married.” In her bid to be thinner, she had not bargained for the fact that crash dieting can also make her appear less radiant and more stressed. Two years later, she is now leaner and prettier than she has ever been before, thanks to more prudent and healthy dietary choices, though the regret of not having looked her best on her wedding day continues to bother her. My sister is not alone in her quest for perfection on her wedding day. All women, and men, want to look their best on their wedding day. It is not necessarily societal pressure; the wedding day also marks the beginning of a new journey in an individual’s life. It being a planned event in one’s life, nobody would want to appear as being unprepared or careless about it. So, what are the elements that constitute a healthy and successful pre-wedding diet? Let us find out. Identify the goals – Before planning the diet, the first question you should ask yourself is “what is my goal?” Do you want to target specific bulges that may be unflattering? Or do you want to lose weight just because that is what everybody does? Whatever be your reason, you have to remember that by subjecting your body to drastic dietary changes, you may end up looking unlike what you had planned. To lose weight overall and to target hard-to-get-rid-of bulges, the importance of exercise cannot be emphasised enough. While toning muscles by exercising regularly will make you look healthier, losing weight only by crash-dieting will make you lose muscle mass, your skin will sag and your metabolic rate will slow down. None of it sounds helpful, isn’t it? Crash-dieting versus healthy diet - But then, you may ask, isn’t pre-wedding diet important? Of course, it is; what you eat has a direct bearing on how you look. But by randomly cutting down on certain food groups, you will not achieve the desired results. The mantra is healthy-eating, as opposed to not eating or binge-eating. One cannot keep a plant in darkness, without water or soil, and expect it to flourish. The right amount of sunshine, water and nutrients in the soil help the plant grow and look healthy. We need carbohydrates, fats and proteins - the macronutrients, and vitamins and minerals - the micronutrients in our diet. Yes, carbohydrates too, because carbohydrates are the main source of energy that fuels all our activities. Cutting down on carbohydrates completely leads to loss of energy and makes one feel sluggish and irritable. Carbohydrates can be classified into three major types – sugar, starch and fiber. The intake of carbohydrate should be controlled in the reverse order – high fiber, moderate quantity of starch and least quantity of sugar. By sugar what is meant is food groups containing natural sugar. Added sugar found in processed foods should be avoided at any cost. High-fiber diets are important for the proper functioning of your digestive system. Cutting down on fibers will lead to gastric issues and constipation, which in turn will make your skin dull and prone to pimple eruptions. Starchy food in moderate quantity will help release energy slowly over sustained period of time. To go through the lengthy and exhausting wedding rituals, you will need quite a bit of energy. You have to meet and accept the wishes of a thousand guests over many hours, without losing the smile on your face. Imagine how much energy that would require! Increasing the sources of lean protein, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and antioxidants in your diet, while cutting down on saturated fats will help you stick to your resolution of a leaner and fitter self before the wedding day. Protein is the building block of the human body, and helps build and repair the muscles, and is responsible for the synthesis of few important hormones including insulin and enzymatic activities in the body. You will not feel energized and ready to participate in the upcoming events without your body functioning properly. Lean proteins like beans and skinless chicken breasts will also help you feel satiated for longer. Diet and stress – If you have been eating indiscriminately over the years i.e. without counting the calories, cutting down on your calorie intake suddenly may affect your body and mind adversely. From a 3000-calorie diet, if you reduce your intake to 1500 calories per day, apart from the pangs of emptiness within that will make you think of food most of the time, you may also experience mood swings, depression and social withdrawal. Cutting down on food drastically, along with the anxiousness of major changes that are about to happen in your life can elevate your stress level to maximum. Marriage is not just one special day in your life. It is a commitment that has to be approached with conviction and calmness. Sharing your life so intimately with another person, irrespective of how long you both have known each other can be a daunting experience initially. If at the beginning of this journey, you are constantly fretting or feeling low because of calorific deficiency your partner may also start feeling nervous. To avoid such situations, you can start by reducing your calorie intake by 20 percent of your daily requirement. If you need 2000 calories daily, consuming 1800 calories will help you stick to your diet plan without affecting your mood. This sustainable plan will also reduce the chances of binge-eating. Choices, not changes – Approaching any situation positively is the key to happiness. It is equally true for your dietary changes and for your wedding. When we are bogged down by the phrase “big changes”, we tend to feel over-anxious and unsure of the outcome. Dietary changes work similarly. Instead of thinking of the changes, if we think of the reasons behind the choices that we are making, whether it is our life partner, or what we are going to have for the next meal, the transition will be much happier. The more satisfied we are with our choices, the more will we stay committed to it. Food does complement our happiness, and in the run-up to your wedding day, you will not feel truly happy should you go hungry in order to lose weight. Eating mindfully, in controlled portions, will help you achieve your goals without compromising on your overall health and well-being. The secret to happiness in marriage is the same - be mindful of the portion of every element in your relationship. Wish you all the best! Your big day just around the corner? Why not check out our bridal packages where we take care of not just your skin and hair care needs, but also help you shed the unwanted kilos to fit seamlessly in your dream dress!
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