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Ok I know it's that lull between Christmas and New Year when you live on party food, but this is the perfect time to get your plan in place ready to start fresh next Monday (you can eat pork pie whilst you read it if you like, we won't judge.)
Cabbage diets, white food diet, Atkins, soup diet - you name it, at some point in the last 15 years I've tried it. I actually fainted at high school trying to live on carrots for 2 days, and I won't go into detail on how the diet tea worked out!!
Since high school I've yoyo'd as I'm such a foodie, but after creeping up to 14st 5 after having a baby racking up a sky-high BMI, I knew it was time to solve a problem that had stopped me doing the things I enjoyed for so long (and just climb the stairs without counting it as my daily exercise!). If you're looking to trim down for your big day, here are some tips from a girl who would marry cheese if it was legal....
Step 1: Eating Plan
I based my eating plan on Slimming World - a foodies dream! My husband did it with me and had no clue we were following a diet as the amount you can eat is amazing. One thing I've always struggled with in the past is getting bored with living on lettuce, and those mid-afternoon diet hunger pangs forcing me head first into the fridge (which always ended with crying on the kitchen floor, usually with chocolate all over my face). If you love food, never go hungry with this plan - once you get the hang of it over the first few days, it comes naturally.
Step 2: Exercise
Big problem - I hate exercise. I'll do anything to avoid it...I'll do anything to avoid stairs to be honest, so this was a hard one to tackle. I had to think of something I really enjoyed and for me that was dancing when I was younger, so I found local dance classes and plucked up the courage to go on my own. We also did 'sneaky exercise' as a family, such as going on longer dog walks and parking further away from the shops, it all adds up! There are more options than the gym - cycling, swimming, trampolining - make exercise fun not a chore and you'll stick to it long term.
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Step 3: Social Support
Although I followed Slimming World, I just did it online as I'm not a fan of classes, but this can make it harder on those down days where you've worked your butt off and gained 1lb! I'd never used Instagram before but I set up an anonymous account and found so many women my age on there following the same plan, it was an amazing support network there 24/7. I posted a picture of EVERY MEAL I ate for 6mths! I rapidly gained followers, and had some amazing messages of support. People were asking for my recipes, tips, and thanking me for helping THEM! It was a big buzz that spurred me on. Check out our forums, where you can chat with other brides-to-be looking to slim down for their wedding.
Step 4: Gadgets
I bought a FitBit pedometer which was a great way to push myself, setting a target of 10,000 steps a day. So many nights I'd be pacing the kitchen to hit target before bed - do it whilst waiting for the kettle to boil it becomes habit! The scales proved that every little helped, and the more you push yourself, the more it becomes routine.
Step 5: Daily Treats
People asked if I missed cheese and chocolate, well no because I had treats like that every. single. day. The beauty of the plan was you never ever deprive yourself. Everything in moderation including moderation. If I went dancing, I rewarded myself with chocolate and tea when I got home. I actually got to the point where I didn't even crave it and cut my treat intake. You only want what you can't have after all!
Dieting is hard, I've tried them all and failed miserably at them all until this time, and you can do it too! Whether you have a few pounds to lose or want to decrease your BMI and get healthy, you CAN do it, but plan it carefully. You wouldn't get on a plane without organising the hotel, spending money and packing your case, so make sure you have a game plan. Just do it for yourself and stay focused! Find your dream dress here which will give you a goal to focus on....good luck!