*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.
Day 3: Add More Volume to Your Meals
Yes, it is possible to lose weight without having to sit down to a tiny, sad plate of food. They key? Amp up the amount of low-cal fruits and veggies. "I always tell clients to start by putting at least 2 cups of [vegetables] on their plates at lunch and dinner. That's what you build your meal around. It naturally keeps overall calories down, ensures you get lots of antioxidants and fills you up," says Rachel Beller, R.D., of Beller Nutritional Institute in Beverly Hills and author of Power Souping.
From there, add three to four ounces of lean protein, ⅓ to ½ cup of whole grain carbs (like brown rice), and a little healthy fat (a bit of olive oil, avocado, nuts), and you've got the recipe for a satisfying — and skinnifying! — meal.
If you're sick of salads or can't bear the idea of sitting down to a big mound of broccoli, a broth-based soup is a great alternative. It can help you get those two cups of veggies in one comforting, extra low-calorie bowl.
"Soups are a much better alternative to juicing because you get the satiating fiber that green drinks lack — and you get to actually eat real food, which makes it feel less diet-y," adds Beller. Just watch the sodium content (bloat alert!).
Upping your water intake is also a key element of getting wedding-ready. Yes, that means cutting out soda and high sugar juices, but it doesn't have to mean cutting out flavor. Investing in a SodaStream can be a bridal life saver — you still get your soda fix, plus you can play around with adding different fruits and even veggies like cucumbers for delicious spa water that will get you nutrients while you sip. The benefits? Feeling fuller longer, hydrating your body, and did we mention glowing skin?
Try making a big batch of Beller's scale friendly, detoxifying soup below. And click here for more recipes to try for the rest of the month.
Greens, Beans, and Things
Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
Bunch of asparagus (15 to 20 stalks), tough ends removed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups frozen green peas
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 ½ cups cannellini beans, no salt added
Himalayan or sea salt
2 cups baby spinach
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until tender, about fives minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another two minutes. Stir in the asparagus, peas, and parsley, then pour in the broth and beans and sprinkle with salt. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the veggies are just tender, three to four minutes. Stir in the spinach leaves, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve. (This soup also tastes great pureed.)
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 280 cal, 8 g fat, 340 mg sodium, 41 g carbs, 12 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 14 g protein
__Just getting started on our 30 Day Wedding Shape-Up? Kick off your journey from Day One, here. __