Let's just put it out there: Dieting can make you hangry, and a hungry bride doesn't make for the most fun fiancé for anyone involved. Thankfully, there are ways to find balance and still look #flawless for the big day without letting the process of getting there completely take over your life. Here are seven expert-approved ways to ensure that your bridal boot camp isn't getting in the way of your relationship.
1. Look Toward the Future
Getting ready for a wedding can be so much work that it's easy to forget what you're really preparing for—a life together. Keri Glassman, founder of NutritiousLife, suggests using your wedding health regimen as a way to pave the way, not just for one big day in a pretty white dress, but for your future. "Be realistic so you're setting yourself up for life, not just for the wedding," says Glassman. "Think about this as something you want to do to get in shape for your new life, setting the tone for building a life together and having a healthy home." After all, a healthy home is a happy one.
Working a cheat day into your wedding-induced boot camp is a necessary way to keep your tactics on track, and what better way to do it than on a date night with your fiancé? "By feeling a little less restricted, you feel motivated to continue on your diet and fitness regimens," says Beth Warren, founder and CEO of Beth Warren Nutrition. "As long as the majority of your days are filled with healthy options and you maintain your exercise schedule, then you can afford to have a mindful treat from time to time." I'll have a glass of wine and the triple-chocolate cake, please.
3. Do it Together
Those couples who attend every spin/yoga/HIIT class together may seem annoying, but they actually may be onto something. "It is great to undergo diet and fitness changes together as a couple," says Warren. "It can be an opportune way to get closer to each other because you are both responsible for uplifting the other with positivity and encouragement." Try finding activities that you both enjoy—hiking, running, and tennis are all great options—or try a workout app at home that you can both do at your own pace. That said, it's OK to keep things totally separate, as long as you're getting the support you need.
4. Communicate Your Needs
Your engagement is a time to learn how to communicate across all aspects of your relationship, and this is no exception. You don't need to be on the same diet and fitness plan, but it's important to discuss your goals and how you intend to achieve them. "Understanding each other's strategy will help clear up potential conflicts and provide opportunity for both of you to keep the other on track," says Warren.
5. Find Compromise
If your partner hasn't decided to start their own healthy regimen, it may be a little jarring for them to have to change their lifestyle to accommodate yours, so finding middle ground is key. "The same way you would communicate anything, be really clear with your needs," says Glassman. For example, suggest ordering from places with healthy menu options (not just your usual wings-and-pizza joints) and try to find ways to balance between eating out and at home.
6. Don't Play Diet Police
Being healthy is supposed to be a positive change, not a negative one, especially in relation to the person you love. "When you feel like [you are] your partner's policeman and notice you are constantly saying negative things such as, 'you can't eat that,' you may have taken it too far," says Warren. If at any point it starts to feel bad and discouraging, reevaluate the situation (preferably together!) and find a way to make the necessary changes in your routine and the way you're communicating it.
7. Be Honest With Yourself
Real talk: Nobody wants to spend their entire engagement feeling cranky and hungry. "Be aware of your moods and your behavior," says Glassman. "And be truthful when you ask yourself: Is this affecting you in a positive or negative way?" Check in with yourself, and with your fiancé, to make sure you're both OK with how things are working.