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23 Easy Ways to Jump Start Your Diet

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WWD/Steve Eichner

By now you've probably seen pictures of a svelte Hilary Duff in her custom strapless Vera Wang dress as she wed hockey player Mike Comrie. Hilary worked with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak to eat right (lots of veggies) and get in shape (step up that cardio!) for the big day. The fast-food junkie did include some guilty pleasures at the wedding—like ice cream sandwiches—as a reward for all of her dedication!

For the rest of us who don't have the budget for a personal trainer, getting in shape isn't as hard as it looks. Follow these healthy habits from BRIDES magazine and you have 23 great ways to jump-start any diet.

1. Ask a friend to join a gym with you; it's harder to slack off when a pal is on board.

2. Stuff your sandwiches with extra veggies—fiber equals full.

3. Trade your daily caramel macchiato for a skim-milk latte.

4. Make it a rule to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

5. Limit alcohol to one glass of wine at dinner.

6. Have an apple a day—it's portable, fat-free, and filling.

7. Zap a bag of air-popped popcorn in place of greasy chips.

8. Increase your workouts by five-minute increments.

9. Steer clear of the vending machine by keeping a zipper bag of "safe" snacks (almonds, fruit) on hand.

10. Buy workout clothes you love—even if you don't love your shape—to motivate you to get to the gym.

11. Peruse restaurant menus online so you can plan your meal ahead of time.

12. Park in the far end of the lot or a few blocks from your destination, so you're forced to walk.

13. Include lean protein with every meal—it'll rev up your metabolism and help build muscle mass.

14. Hop on the scale each morning; studies have shown that daily weigh-ins help to keep us in check.

15. Keep a photo of your wedding gown in your wallet for inspiration.

16. Eat low-fat, vegetable-based soups; they'll fill you up with minimal calories.

17. Swap that candy bar for baby carrots and salsa when you need a 3 p.m. energy boost.

18. Start the day with high-fiber, low-sugar cereal with fat-free milk and a banana.

19. Reach for hard candies or gum when you need a sugar fix.

20. Ask for dressing on the side; restaurants tend to saturate salads.

21. Trade white foods (pasta, rice, bread) for their brown, high-fiber counterparts.

22. Bring your lunch to work to avoid fast-food purchases.

23. Switch the TV channel from cooking shows to Access Hollywood.


—Hillary Quinn, BRIDES magazine

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