Pre Wedding Nutrition with Aimee
Aimée is our go to girl for everything nutrition and heath!
As a registered Dietician with 7 years experience, there have been more than one message to her while busy shopping, asking about calorie counts and if this hugeAF chocolate needs to be shared.
Aims got engaged last year to the man of her dreams and they are set to get married in August next year (all together now, ahhh!) So she is the ideal person to give all our brides out their nutrition and healthy eating tips as she is literally dealing with the same pre-wedding stress as all of our brides-to-be.
Today she is sharing her top 5 nutrition tips and her thoughts of #sheddingforthewedding.
Scroll down to read more, if you are wanting to look your best on the day you say “I do”
Hi Hooray, and thank you for having me!
My ultimate goal is to help brides FEEL their best on their big day, and not just look their best.
The lead up to your big day is an important time, a time when you can really work on self-love, self-care, and nourishing your body. Too many brides get caught up in the ‘wedding shedding’ concept, and I find it discouraging and quite honestly rather unhealthy. The lead up to your wedding should be an incredibly exciting time, filled with love and self-love; definitely not deprivation and negative emotions over body image. You have probably been dreaming of this day for as long as you remember, so, in a way, it’s perfectly normal to want to do everything possible to look your absolute best. However, it is so important to ensure that this is achieved in the right way. Far too often, brides go about this in completely the wrong way, and unfortunately it does come at a price. So instead of hopping onto the latest fat-diet bandwagon, why not view this time as an opportunity to reach your full health potential. After all, you will probably find yourself being more motivated than ever before; so put those high levels of motivation and determination to good use. My aim is to help brides-to-be see beyond just the number on the scale, and instead aim to achieve a long lasting healthy relationship with health and nutrition, that goes beyond the day you say “I do”.
For me, nutrition and healthy eating is so much more complex than just weight loss, and this is a good thing. When you delve into the endless benefits of what nutrition and healthy lifestyle can really offer, you begin to see why “diets” focused purely on weight loss, will never ever work. Our bodies need to be in a state of complete physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Most diets out there (I am talking about regular ‘commercial’ types, not personalised diets), don’t even take one of these components properly into account. These three components work harmoniously, and symbiotically. One feeds the other, and when we look after all three simultaneously, that’s when we are really able to achieve complete wellbeing, and a “diet” focused on this, has the formula to work. I put diet in inverted comma’s, as I really encourage my clients to not view this process as following a diet, but merely to view it as
“the way I eat, and choose to nourish my body, most of the time”.
Balance is key, and it is important to find that balance, and be okay with that it. This “way of eating” requires consistency, i.e. not 6 weeks or 6 months, or whatever it may be, but the rest of your life ideally. That is why balance is important; it is okay to at times, in moderation, deviate slightly from your usual plan; hence: “most of the time”.
Hooray asked me to share some of my key tips to encourage brides-to-be, so here they are.
- Start early
The earlier the better. I can’t stress this enough; this really is the key to achieving your health goals as well as reaching your full potential health wise. If your goals are weight loss specific, note that the healthy rate of weight loss is ½-1kg per week, totalling around 2-4kg’s per month. Weight loss achieved at a rate quicker than this is not healthy, and definitely not sustainable. On top of this, you will probably be losing muscle mass, which is never ideal (less muscle mass equals slower metabolism, more on this in point five). If you are battling to get started, or finding it all a bit daunting, then start slowly. After all, a slow start is better than no start at all.
- Set realistic goals
Pin point what exactly you want to achieve, and then set small realistic goals that span over the length of time you have until your big day. Goals are completely personal; they could range from weight loss, healthier skin, improved fitness, improved emotional well-being or even healthier sleeping patterns. It is important to make sure your goals are realistic in terms of what you want to achieve and how much you want to achieve, with the time you have available to you. Sit down with pen and paper; you will be surprised how important this simple task is. It’s one thing having your goals in your head, but it’s a whole other thing having it in ink on actual paper. Also give some time to thinking about what has inhibited you from achieving your goals in the past, and how you plan to overcome it this time.
- Habit tracker
I am a big fan of habit trackers, they go hand in hand with point number two, and will really help you stay on track with reaching your goals. There are many different variations of habit trackers, but ultimately their goals are the same; building healthy habits and motivating you to stay on track with reaching your goals. Habit trackers can be used two fold; things you want to achieve, as well as things you want to give up, both of which will help you get on track to reaching your goals. For example; if improving your sleep is one of your goals, two habits to give up might be drinking coffee after 3pm and blue light exposure close to bed time, and two habits to adopt would be reading a book (instead of browsing Instagram) and 15 minutes of deep breathing exercises before bed.
** I have given Hooray one of my monthly habit trackers for their readers to download, it is a monthly version, however you can make your own one with a different time frame to suit your goals. Fill out your habits you want to give up and habits you want to adopt, then either tick off, colour in, or place a cute sticker on the days you achieve the set out task. **
- Find what works for you
There really is no one size diet fits all, it’s crucial to find what works for you. The problem often isn’t that we don’t know what to do, if we were asked to write down 10 key points of what comprises healthy eating, we would probably be able to quite easily. The problem is more related to following the wrong type of diet for you, following a fad diet, or not being consistent with the dietary adjustments we set out to follow. Getting assistance from a registered dietitian really goes a long way; they will use their extensive knowledge and experience, along with your detailed diet and clinical history, to tailor a plan just for you. There really are so many approaches to diet and healthy eating out there, some work for some people while others work for other people. A fairly “new” approach to figuring out just what will work best for you is to look at your DNA, this is known as Nutrigenomics. This takes the guess work out diet planning; a dietitian specializing in Nutrigenomics can assist with this.
Exercise is a crucial element of a healthy lifestyle, not only in terms of weight loss, but also for emotional and physical well-being. There is truth in Elle Woods’ famous words, “exercise releases endorphins”. Endorphins for lack of better words, but in simple terms, are happy hormones. They lift out mood and relieve stress. Make sure you are getting in enough exercise during your wedding lead up, not only for weight benefits but also to ensure your stress levels remain in check. It is important to find exercise you enjoy doing. Anything that works up a sweat and gets your heart rate up counts, so whether that is running, dancing, kickboxing or speed walking, find what you enjoy, and I promise you will not only find it easier to commit to, but you will also find yourself enjoying it and looking forward to it.
Girls often get scared of the term “muscle building”, as they associate it with being big and bulky. However maintaining a good amount of muscle mass (not huge amounts), is important and beneficial in attaining weight loss goals. Muscle mass increases your metabolic rate (i.e. increases your metabolism, yes please!). So make sure to incorporate sufficient muscle strengthening exercises into your routine as well.
Pre-wedding stress is real; emotions can be at an all-time high; so it is important to adequately support all of this. See this as a time to give 100% to yourself and the journey towards a healthier you. I want to encourage all brides-to-be to go this extra mile, and really look after your physical, emotional and mental well-being through diet and lifestyle. I promise, you will go into your big day not only looking beautiful, but feeling beautiful too.
Aimée, these tips are amazing and we just love your overall outlook on food, health and well being! Thank you for sharing with us today.