This plan keeps to the 80:20 ratio rule that requires you to stick to the diet and exercise guidelines for 80% of the time, with a 20% buffer zone as a safety net for those reach-for-the-chocolate pre-wedding jitter moments.
The basic rules
• Always eat breakfast. Eat within 60 minutes of getting up for maximum energy-boosting benefits.
• On average, aim for 1700 calories a day. This is the ideal amount but avoid eating empty calories with no nutritional value like alcohol.
• Eat a small amount of protein with every meal as it leaves you feeling fuller for longer. Try fish; lean chicken; skimmed milk; eggs; nuts and seeds.
• Eat at least five portions of fruit and veg every day. Choose dark-green, leafy veg – high in fibre, it’s a natural source of iodine, which helps to boost your metabolism. When it comes to fruit choose grapefruit, plums and pears.
• Don’t add sugar or salt to your food. Sugar is high in empty calories and salt encourages bloating and water retention.
• Introduce plenty of fibre into your diet. This is good for digestive health. Whole grains and high-fibre foods also take longer to digest, burning more calories in the process. Go for brown bread, pasta and rice.
• Timing is everything. Aim to eat every three to four hours to keep your metabolism stoked up throughout the day. Eat no later than 8pm or at least three hours before bed and 30-45 minutes after your workout.
Stock up on the following beauty boosters…
Avocados High in healthy monounsaturated fats, they help you get plump, youthful-looking skin. Aim to eat a couple per week – delicious with vinaigrette.
Brazil nuts Work wonders for hair, skin and nails. Have two or three daily.
Pomegranates High in vitamin C and rich in antioxidants, these help improve skin tone, texture and clarity. Drink a glass of juice a day.
Carrots High in vitamin C and beta-carotene, carrots naturally help protect against the sun’s harmful rays.
Grapes Containing 20 antioxidants, black and red grapes help prevent wrinkles and protect against thread veins and skin sagging. Have a small bunch each day.
LET’S GET PHYSICAL
Taking time out to exercise will help lower your stress levels, give you a little “me” time and help get your metabolism in gear. Don’t feel you have to go it alone, though. Why not try working out with your fiancé or girlfriends to fit in social time.
STEP 1 Mini moves
Altering your routine to up your daily activity is a simple and effective way of burning more calories without having to hit the gym.
• Tone your hips and lift your bottom by performing pliés morning and night while you brush your teeth. Two minutes twice a day will make all the difference to your derrière.
• If you take public transport to work, get off one stop earlier and walk the remaining distance. As you get fitter, get off sooner, increasing your morning walk.
• Use half your lunch-break for a brisk walk – just 10 to 15 minutes will make a big difference to your fitness levels and improve your circulation, helping to get rid of cellulite.
STEP 2 Timing
When, as well as how, you choose to work out can make all the difference to your calorie consumption. Here’s how to maximise your metabolic output with a little time management:
• Exercising three hours before or after 6pm is best for both endurance and building muscle mass.
• Exercising at the end of the day can also help regulate how this time of day can help aid weight loss.
• Post-work workouts can also help lower high stress levels, a common factor in weight gain.
• If you don’t work out regularly, you won’t get the maximum health benefits from exercising. As a rough guideline, aim for at least 20 continuous minutes of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week.
Don’t forget to share tips and advice with other brides to be in the Weightloss for your Wedding Forum in the chat room