The last thing you want to feel is bloated or sluggish on the morning of your big day. This 5-step plan for the day before will keep you feeling energetic and light on your feet.
Step 1: Eat on your usual schedule.
"It's important to stick to one's normal routine the day before the wedding," says Marjorie Cohn, MS, RDN, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. "So if you generally eat three meals and two snacks, keep with that schedule. Even if you're eating slightly different foods, keeping with your body's normal routine will help keep you regular and your stomach settled when nerves may get the best of you."
Step 2: Avoid bloat-causing foods and drinks.
"Many brides focus on calories but the day before the wedding it's more important to avoid foods that upset one's stomach or bloat you," says Cohn. The worst culprits for puffing you up:
Raw veggies (especially cruciferous ones like cauliflower and broccoli)
Sugar-free candy and gum
Drinking through straws
For some people: Wheat and/or dairy. Those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other digestive sensitivities may find that foods high in a type of natural sugars called FODMAPs— such as wheat and dairy— make them bloated, says registered dietitian Kate Scarlata, RDN, co-author of The 21-Day Tummy.
See More: Healthy Swaps for Junk Foods
Step 3: Choose lower-sodium foods.
"Too much salt can make you feel tired and look puffy, especially your face, since excessive sodium can cause your body to retain water," says Carlene Thomas, RDN, author of The Wedding Wellness Workbook: Your Nutrition How-To Before "I Do." "To counteract this, make sure you drink more water and watch your sodium sources. For most people that's restaurant food, take-out and also many packaged breads or snacks. You're allowed to be that customer that asks for the sauce on the side or no extra salt!"
Step 4: Eat water-rich foods.
Foods that have a high water content like cucumber, berries, watermelon, and of course, water itself, keep your cells hydrated so they can function properly, says Thomas. "That means faster cell turnover for radiant skin and plump cells so your skin doesn't look dry and dull," she says.
Step 5: Keep alcohol to a minimum.
It's tough not to indulge at your rehearsal dinner, but "the last thing you want is to wake up on your wedding day with a hangover!" says Cohn. What's more, alcohol can slow digestion and cause GI cramping and distress.