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Laura Hunt

Fit and Beautiful for Your Wedding
Your Kindergarten Teacher Was Right.....
Mischa Kubancik

Mischa Kubancik is the co-founder of Beyond Limits, a personal training company in San Francisco. In addition to helping brides prepare for their weddings, she is also a certified triathlon coach and has been helping clients reach their goals for over ten years.

It Getting in shape for you wedding means maintaining a consistent exercise program with strength training, cardio exercise and stretching. It also means taking a close look at what you are eating (and when you are eating it) to make sure you are giving your body the fuel it needs without going overboard.

In essence, losing weight is a simple mathematical equation: each day, you should use more calories than you take in. But as we all know, it is harder than it sounds. Let's start by looking at the role food plays in your fitness program.

Get the most out of your food

Food contains calories and calories are the fuel we use to function – not just moving, but thinking, breathing and living. Women need approximately 1500 calories per day (this is an average – you may be more or less) to operate efficiently, but not all calories are created equal. When choosing foods to eat, you should use "Nutritional Density" as your guide. Nutritional Density means trying to get the most value out of each calorie. If you are deciding between two food choices with roughly the same calorie content, go for the one that has more vitamins, minerals, protein and other nutrients you need. Avoid "empty calories" these are the ones that cut into your quota, but don't give you much benefit.

Kindergarten teachers were right:
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

When you eat also has an impact. We've all heard the phrase "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" and it's true. By eating something in the morning, you give your body fuel for the day which makes you more alert and productive. It also helps you avoid getting too hungry which is when you make poor food choices and reach for whatever is handy – usually foods that don't have much nutritional value. If you are not in the habit of eating in the morning, start slowly (glass of juice; piece of toast; cup of yogurt; etc.) and try to build from there. If you exercise in the morning, it is even more important to eat something first. You wouldn't expect your car to run without gas, so how can you expect your body to run without its fuel?

Sick and tired?

It is tempting to try to speed up your weight loss by severely restricting your calories, but this can have damaging side effects. Not eating (or not eating enough) lowers your immune system making you much more susceptible to colds and flu. As the wedding gets closer and you are under more and more stress, your immune system is going to be over-taxed, meaning you may be walking the aisle with a drippy nose and watery eyes – not to mention not being able to enjoy your day to the fullest. Stay healthy by keeping your calorie intake at an appropriate level. If you aren't sure, contact a registered nutritionist to help you.

The best combination to successfully lose weight is to moderately reduce your calories at the same time that you increase your exercise each day. Yes, this method takes longer than using an extreme diet plan, but you are less likely to gain all the weight back and you are not putting your health at risk. With consistency, you can make substantial changes in a few months. Good luck!

Quick Tips:

  • Avoid processed foods
    They tend to have lower nutritional value than fresh foods
  • Drink more water
    Not having enough water can make you feel tired – which makes you reach for high-calorie convenience foods
  • Keep a food log
    Writing it all down can help you see "hidden" problems
  • Don't go to extremes
    Restrictive diets are unhealthy and difficult to maintain
  • Drop the alcohol
    An easy way to reduce calories is to avoid alcohol. You get rid of excess calories, and you are less likely to over eat

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