BRIDES' 30 Day Wedding Shape-Up Challenge: Day 22, Steer Clear of Processed Foods

Wedding Workout Plan Processed Food

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This is it... The final countdown to your big day. And along with settling those last few details — figuring out where to seat your eccentric Uncle Carl, firming up the flowers — you're likely also making one last push to make sure the body that will be wearing that gorgeous white gown looks as good as it possibly can. You and nearly every other woman with an engagement ring on her finger. In fact, research shows that an overwhelming 91 percent of brides-to-be are anxious about their weight. But from here on out, you won't have to be!

Whether you want to drop those last few pounds or look more toned — or both — we've got a month's worth of daily tips (none of which require starving yourself or working out nonstop!) that will help you feel stunning and confident when you walk down that aisle. You know where to send the thank-you card. Let's get started!

Day 22: Steer Clear of Processed Foods

A growing body of evidence suggests that highly processed foods contain chemicals that cause inflammation in the body and, in turn, promote obesity by fooling our taste buds in a way that blunts our internal satiety cues causing us to overeat.

Processed foods are also deliberately engineered to make you crave them, lighting up the same "reward" area of the brain that drugs like cocaine do, says Rachel Beller, R.D., of Beller Nutritional Institute in Beverly Hills and author of Power Souping. Yikes!

See More: Cook Your Way to a Perfect Bridal Body with These 3 Recipes

Odds are you've already cut out a bunch of these foods as part of your wedding diet (Sigh... Potato chips), but there are lots of seemingly healthy options — like whole grain crackers, or low-cal frozen dinners — that are still über-processed.

Read food labels and steer clear of anything with long ingredients lists or unpronounceable Frankengredients. Generally, if it comes in a bag or box and has a long shelf life, you don't want to know from it.

Instead, shop the perimeter of the store, where the whole foods like fruits, veggies, lean meat and dairy live, and make sure the majority of your cart is filled with those good guys.

Just getting started on our 30 Day Wedding Shape-Up? Kick off your journey from Day One, here.

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