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Lose weight for your wedding – real brides tell you how!

Six recent brides share the secrets of their wedding weight loss...

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VICKY EDGE FOLLOWED THE DIET CHEF PROGRAMME

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Vicky, a 31-year-old marketing manager from Clapham, London, started the programme in September 2008 in time for her November wedding the same year.

Start weight: 11 stone 11 pounds
Height:  5 feet 6 inches
How it works: Diet Chef delivers chef-prepared meals and snacks directly to your door in a hamper on a weekly or monthly basis. “Everything was planned and calorie controlled and whenever I felt peckish, I snacked on fruit,” says Vicky. “What really worked was the calorie controlled part of the diet – you knew actually how many calories you were eating and what size portion you were having. All you have to do is add semi-skimmed milk or low-fat yoghurt to cereal in the morning and vegetables to your evening meal. It was also convenient because it fitted into my working life.”

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Vicky’s verdict: “The program was great for teaching me proper portion control rather than just eating everything that’s put in front of me. It also offered a great choice of foods like casseroles and hotpots which I wouldn’t usually associate with dieting  and that made it easier to stick to. My favourites were lamb stew and tomato and vegetable pasta.”

Wedding weight: 9 stone 11 pounds. Vicky wore a dress by Ian Stuart
Time taken: eight weeks
Cost: £38.50 per week
Find out more: www.dietchef.co.uk

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LORRAINE MCKEE FOLLOWED WEIGHTWATCHERS/THE DISCOVER PLAN

Lorraine, a 28-year-old Systems Analyst from Broxburn, West Lothian, started  Weight Watchers/the Discover Plan in Sept 07 for her wedding last November

Start weight: 13 stone 2 pounds
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
How it works: “I ended up in tears one holiday because I was fed up hiding under a beach towel around the pool. I’d tried a lot of diets but The Discover Plan™ helps you make better-informed food choices. To start you calculate your daily POINTS® allowance, based on a your weight, height and activity levels, and I found the support of going to meetings kept me on track and enthusiastic for my next goal. The Discover Plan also helped me recognise when I was eating for boredom which encouraged me to make healthy choices, increase my activity levels and continue to still enjoy  the food I love!”

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Lorraine’s verdict: “My partner Richard proposed last year which spurred me on to fit into my size 12 wedding dress by Mori Lee. We got married in November and my confidence has shot up since I lost weight –especially because I’ve been able to maintain it for six months now!”
Wedding weight: 10 stone 11 pounds.

Time taken: “I reached my goal in May 2007, then lost a bit more approaching the wedding.”

Top diet tip: “Just have a go and do it for yourself. And set yourself realistic goals.”

Cost Weekly: £5.75

Find out more: www.weightwatchers.co.uk or 08457 123 000

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LEEONA KING FOLLOWED THE BODYTRIM WEIGHTLOSS PROGRAMME

Leeona is a 28-year-old stay-at-home mum who lost weight AFTER her wedding and wishes she’d done it earlier!

Start weight: 12st 12lb

Height: 5 feet 3 inches

How it works: Bodytrim starts with a 3-day carb detox to reduce sugar cravings. Bodytrimmers eat six times a day, every thee hours with protein snacks in between main meals as protein keeps you fuller for longer and sustains energy levels. Every week there is one protein only day and one free day where you can indulge your favourite foods. Bodytrimmers are also encouraged to take 10,000 steps a day helps reduce body fat.

The pack contains DVDs, reference guides, a food diary and pedometer to monitor those all important steps. It also contains a serial number which offers contact via email or telephone to a nutritionist.

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Leeona’s verdict: “After my first week on Bodytrim I’d lost 7lbs and I’ve been consistently losing weight (about 2lbs a week) ever since. It’s the perfect programme for me as I’m a really fussy eater but I found the Bodytrim recipes delicious. The weekly free day is great because it means I still get to eat my favourite treats once in a while. I can’t believe the weight came off so quickly. If only I’d known about it before the wedding!”

Current weight: 9st 8lbs

Time taken: 6 months

Cost: £69.95

Find out more: www.bodytrim.eu

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KATHRYN TINKER FOLLOWED THE ROSEMARY CONLEY DIET AND FITNESS CLUB

Kathryn chose the Rosemary Conley programme in order to lose weight for her wedding in May 2008

Start weight: 11 stone 4 pounds

Height: 5 feet 4 inches

How it works: “After years of the student lifestyle and no exercise I was horrified to find my weight had gone up to over 11 stone,” says Kathryn who had always been relatively slim before she started her Masters course at Uni. “I joined my local club in Plymouth and I lost six pounds in my first week and I was hooked. I also started extra walking and running to boost my metabolism.”

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Kathryn’s verdict: “Going to the club every week gave me the motivation I needed and because the meeting every week includes a 45-minute exercise class, it really kept me focused. The biggest difference I’ve noticed is since I lost the weight is I have tons more energy, I feel really fit and my asthma has virtually gone. When I look at our wedding photos and see how tiny my waist is in my Benjamin Roberts dress, I’m just so thrilled.”

Wedding weight: 8 stone 2 pounds
Time taken: just under a year

Cost  around: £5.50 weekly

Find out more: www.rosemaryconley.com

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CLAIRE BREAKER-FINCH FOLLOWED THE LIGHTERLIFE PROGRAMME

Claire is a 38-year-old personal assistant from Suffolk

Start weight: 12st 1lb

Height: 5 feet 3 inches

How it works: “LighterLife is a weight-loss and weight-management programme for men and women who have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or above. This usually means one stone or more overweight. I combined foodpacks with weekly counselling to help keep me on target.”

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Claire’s verdict: “Choosing this programme proved to be one of the best decisions I have ever made, our wedding was simply one of the best days of our lives. Five years on and I continue to manage my weight successfully.  The support from LighterLife is with you for as long as you need it.”

Wedding weight: 8st 5lb

Time taken: 3st 9lb lost in just over three months.

Cost: £66 per week

Find out more: lighterlife.com

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SARA HIPKINS FOLLOWED THE CELEBRITY SLIM MEAL REPLACEMENT PROGRAMME

Sara Hipkins is a 35-year-old back office correspondent for Scottish Power. Sara, from Liverpool, took part in the Celebrity Slim 8 Week Challenge in February 2009 in association with her local radio station, Juice FM. Her wedding to John took place on 5th June 2009.

Start weight:  16 stone 12 lb
Height:  5 feet 4 inches

How it works: Celebrity Slim is a meal replacement programme which replaces two meals each day with meal replacement shakes, soups or bars. It works by controlling the amount of carbohydrate foods such as breads, rice, pastas and other starchy and sugary foods, forcing the body to turn to its fat reserves into energy.

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Sara’s verdict: “The staff at the Rowlands Pharmacy which we visited have been very supportive,” says Sara. “They’ve been absolutely amazing and couldn’t do more for us. We find we choose the healthier food options now and our lifestyle has changed completely and it’s given us that little spark to help us discover what we need to do and what we should be doing. We’re just so happy to have found a programme that we both love the taste of and that’s easy to stick to.”

Wedding weight: 14 stone

Time taken: 8 weeks

Cost: £33 starter pack, then £25 weekly

Find out more: www.celebrityslim.co.uk

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Drink yourself slim

Victoria Beckham is a fan of this black camomile tea made by Birt & Tang, with its Chinese herbs that are thought to help boost metabolism, digest fatty foods and reduce cholesterol levels.

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Other Birt & Tang lovers include Jerry Hall, Claudia Schiiffer and Kate Schiffer, so get that kettle on and start getting into shape in good company!