Shredding For My Wedding

How to lose weight for my wedding dress

If you’ve just got engaged, first of all, congratulations!..It’s really awesome that you’ve found love and are getting married.

Secondly, if you’ve just realised that you’ll have to be the centre of attention for a whole day in what’s potentially a tight and revealing wedding dress, and that scares you, then my aim here is to help you.

“How do I lose weight for my wedding dress” is something I that get asked all the time and it’s the main focus of my program Shredding For My Wedding.

…and I get it – A lot of your confidence is centred around how you look, and you really wanna rock your wedding dress on what’s probably the most important day of your life.

So let’s get started…

Motivation for wedding weight loss

So as soon as you realise you wanna lose weight for your wedding dress, you’re gonna get a drive to take action. We commonly call this MOTIVATION.

It’s important to understand though that motivation isn’t constant.

As motivation is based on emotions, and emotions are fleeting, it will come and go.

Some days it will be there, and some days it won’t.

That’s why you shouldn’t necessarily rely on your motivation to take you through to your end goal (however much weight loss that may be).

It’s also one of the reasons a lot of brides fail.

Understanding that, what you can do though is USE that motivation to get you started and make a plan.

Your wedding dress diet plan

When most brides imagine a plan for their wedding dress diet, they think of food and exercise.

However, on the Shredding For My Wedding program, those fall into phase 2 of the plan.

The most important step of planning comes before the food and exercise bits.

Phase 1 is super important to get your wedding diet off to a good start, and missing this out is one of the reasons most brides fail to reach their goal weight.

Phase 1 includes:

  • Deciding what you want to achieve.
  • Breaking it down into manageable mini targets.
  • Creating a vision of how your perfect wedding will be.
  • Working out potential things that may affect your progress and creating solutions for them before they arise.

Now having those things ticked off, you don’t need to rely solely on your motivation anymore.

  1. You have your goal set in stone.
  2. You have mini-targets to make you feel good along the way (helping to spike your motivation levels).
  3. You have a clear vision of how you want your wedding day to be and how you want to look.
  4. You’ve removed anything that’s gonna sabotage your weight loss results.

Have you ever heard the quote from Abraham Lincoln: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”…

This relates to phase 1. Get this right and the rest will go a lot quicker and smoother.

 

The action steps to losing weight for your wedding dress

So now the phase 1 plan is sorted, you can move on to actually doing the things that shred your body fat and get your body wedding dress ready.

Bear with me on this one, but weight loss is simple

You just have to follow one rule…consume fewer calories than your body needs – there’s nothing more to it.

HOWEVER, this isn’t easy.

It’s not easy because how to do you apply that to your life?

That’s where you need to consider everything you do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Consuming fewer calories than your body needs is simple in principle, but when you apply it to:

  • Keeping full
  • Enjoying your food
  • Managing cravings
  • Dealing with stress
  • Time for preparing food
  • Being tempted by others
  • Going out for meals
  • Being invited to parties
  • Etc…

…then it can become mind-boggling, stressful and make you consider whether it’s worth it or not!

Is the plan sustainable?

So considering the above, you need to ask yourself, “Is the plan I’ve chosen to lose weight for my wedding dress sustainable?”…and “Can I be consistent with it”?

That involves ticking all the boxes of the above factors…

If your diet doesn’t keep you full, doesn’t allow for meals out and you don’t enjoy it etc…then it’s NOT sustainable, you’re NOT going to be consistent with it, and you’re NOT going to get good results.

That’s why most diets don’t work…

They follow the principle by helping you get in a calorie deficit (consuming less than you need), HOWEVER, the method is unsustainable for most brides.

Many brides I get on the Shredding For My Wedding program have tried things in the past…things like Keto, low carb, Weight Watchers, Slimming World, Juice Plus and Herbalife.

HOWEVER, they are still overweight…

WHY?

Because the plan was unsustainable.

They may get some short-term results, but as soon as one of the barriers gets in the way, then you “fall off the wagon” and end up back at square one.

Does that make sense?

That’s why it’s so important to follow the right plan for your wedding dress diet.

Added to this, if you’ve fallen off the wagon a few times, you lose the belief that you can “do it” and get the results you want. If you’ve failed before it installs the belief that maybe you’re different and “diets don’t work for you”.

This is also where the myths about slow metabolism come from.

What result do you want and how are you going to measure it?

“I want to lose weight for my wedding” is the most common thing I hear.

Sometimes I get things like, “how do I get rid of my bingo wings”…or “how do I get rid of my back fat”. Sometimes there’s comments about belly, stomach fat, or muffin tops too.

When I talk to my Shredding For My Wedding ladies, I usually ask them WHY.

I ask them what they want to achieve, they tell me, and I ask them, WHY?

You see there’s the surface level want, and then there’s a deeper level.

So usually if you want to lose weight, it’s because you want to feel more confident right?

…and you’ve decided that weight loss will help with that.

It’s an important one to explore as if there are other things you can do to boost your confidence, then it’s worth working on those as well, right? This can be mindset work and focusing on negative self-talk.

Also, importantly it’s essential to understand the difference between fat loss and weight loss.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but when you say “I want to lose weight“, you mean, “I want to look smaller“, right?

Let’s back up quickly…

When you step on the scales, what are you measuring?

Not just fat, right?

It’s your whole body.

Your body is made up of lots of things…

  • Bones
  • Muscle
  • Blood
  • Organs
  • Food in your digestive system (could be from the day before).
  • Water
  • and FAT etc…

While not all these change quickly, some do more than others.

A quick bit of logical thinking and if you drink a pound of water (0.45kg) and you step on the scales, then you are going to weigh a pound heavier…

That’s not FAT. And it doesn’t have calories. You don’t need to burn it off. It comes off just as quickly as it went on.

And even more importantly, it doesn’t make you look “bigger” like fat would.

I won’t go into it now, but that’s how some diets promise “massive” weight loss in say, a week.

E.g. “This woman lost 10lbs in 10 days…buy our amazing product”.

I bet she didn’t look any smaller…and I bet she went back to her original weight a few days later.

Anyway, my point here is that it’s your SIZE you want to change and not just your weight, so be aware of that when measuring your progress.

That’s why on the Shredding For My Wedding program we take this into account…

We measure:

  1. Weight
  2. Body part girth sizes
  3. Take progress photos

And remember before when I said it’s confidence you want to gain as well? We measure that too.

How?

Simply periodically ask yourself and write it down…”how confident am I today“? 1-10?

Then over time, just like your weight, you can see the changes.

Just one more as well…if it’s dress sizes you are thinking about, then use that too.

Have a dress, try it on every 2 weeks and see how it looks and feels.

Tips for wedding weight loss

So now we’ve worked out what you want and how you’re going to measure it, we can move onto what you’re actually going to do about it…

So the actual weight loss bit (phase 2).

Now, there’s way too much to go over here (that’s why I coach brides over my 12-week program), and needs differ from person to person, so what I can do is give you some easy things to do which will give you a big impact.

Remember the list of things you have to solve to get your diet right?…

  • Keeping full
  • Enjoying your food
  • Managing cravings
  • Dealing with stress
  • Time for preparing food
  • Being tempted by others
  • Going out for meals
  • Being invited to parties

…Let’s address some of those.

1. Keeping full

This is the first and biggest issue I see people have with their wedding dress diet…

They reduce the amount of food they are eating and get hungry, so it’s difficult to sustain their diet -> problem right away.

Being hungry is the last thing you want on your diet.

So how do we solve that?…

Don’t reduce your food.

What?

Yeah, don’t reduce the amount of food your eating.

To lose weight, you need to reduce the number of calories you’re eating – NOT the amount of food.

Let me explain what I mean by this…

Imagine a slice of cake which is about the size of your hand. It probably has around 300-400 calories.

Now imagine that same hand but with mushrooms instead of the cake. Those mushrooms will have around 30 calories.

So for the same food “size” (volume), one has 10% of the calories that the other has.

That’s what I mean by reducing calories and not the amount of food.

That was an extreme example, but I hope it illustrates my point…

You can still feel full and vastly reduce the number of calories that you’re consuming.

Let’s take a real-life example now…

Let’s say you were having curry and rice. You’ve got the meat part and the rice part.

Rice is a starchy carb and contains a lot of calories for its volume (not as much as cake though).

To reduce the calories in the meal, but maintain or increase how much you are eating, you could cut the rice portion in half and add the same amount in broccoli to replace it on your plate…

Boom!…Same amount of food, but you’ve reduced the calories.

The hunger problem is solved 🙂

2. Enjoying your food

It’s obvious that if you aren’t enjoying what you’re doing, then you’re not going to do it for long! If you want results, again, what you are doing has to be sustainable.

The biggest mistake brides make on their wedding dress diet is being black and white about it. What I mean by that is going from eating X to eating Y…going from what you’re eating now, to a totally different diet.

Not only is that overwhelming, but it probably means that you’re cutting out things you usually enjoy. You’re eating them for a reason, right?

There’s a myth that you need to eat 100% healthy to lose weight…

But in truth, there is no good or bad food…

Only foods that support your goal or don’t support your goal.

When you think of it like that, including foods that you enjoy supports your goal because they keep you sane and help you stick to what you’re doing.

Whether those foods be chocolate, cake, wine or pizza, AS LONG as you remain in a calorie deficit, they aren’t going to hurt your progress, but probably help it.

Plus, calling food forbidden often causes you to binge. It’s just like a small child, as soon as you tell them not to do something they not only do it but do it much much more!

So the moral here is, don’t cut everything you like out, and make a small transition from what you’re current diet is rather than making a big jump to a new eating plan. The bigger the jump, the further you have to fall back!

3. Managing cravings

CRAVINGS are obviously a big issue when you’re trying to lose weight for your wedding…

It may seem like one part of your brain is telling you to be “good” ‘cos you’re working towards looking amazing in your wedding dress, but at the same time, another part of your brain is telling you, “No, it will be fine just this once“…

…and that’s because it’s true…

You have two parts of your brain…

  1. The logical thinking part which makes decisions.
  2. The emotional survival part which only cares about what you feel like now.

So while the logical thinking part tells you to not eat the cake because you’re not hungry, the emotional survival part (which is stronger btw) tells you to ignore that thought.

But why do you get these really annoying cravings?

The simple answer is that you unintentionally created a habit.

You see, food makes us feel good…

At some point when you were either stressed, tired, unhappy, depressed etc…you ate something and it made you feel better.

The next time you felt those emotions, you remembered that cake, ice cream, cookies etc…made you feel better, so ate them again.

After a while, your emotional survival part of the brain started to make this a connection…

Negative feeling –>Nice food—>Good feelings…

…and so the habit was formed.

It’s not really the food you want, but the way it makes you feel.

It’s a quick solution to your problem (negative feelings).

So basically a craving is a habit you’ve formed (often without realising) to make you feel better.

Take note of how you’re feeling next time you get a craving…sad? tired? stressed? bored?

The problem is that eating food only lasts a few minutes and so too does the relief – then you have to eat more.

The solution is 2 step:

  1. Stop the urge.
  2. Replace it with a new habit.

[…and possibly #3: Work out why you’re actually feeling that way and change the situation – if you can.]

Stopping the urge can be done with a simple mind exercise…called a swish pattern

It’s best explained with a video…

So I hope that made sense. The more you do the swish pattern, the more you automatically think of the food you hate instead.

The next thing you wanna do is build a new habit.

It’s not just food that makes you feel better, right?

  • It could be a 5-minute walk to get some fresh air.
  • It could be a chat with a friend.
  • It could be listening to your favourite song.
  • It could be doing a meditation on the Headspace App.

So now, after getting rid of the craving, take some time to make yourself feel better in a different way.

Now every time you do feel stressed, tired, sad etc…you can use that new method to help you feel better.

4. Time for preparing food

So time is another big one when it comes to wedding weight loss.

I hear all the time “I don’t have time to make healthy meals”.

In reality, everyone has the same 24 hours in the day.

You don’t FIND time…you MAKE time…

But only if something is important enough to you.

Let’s use an example.

If someone kidnapped your family and told you that you had to lose half a stone by the end of the week, you’d make time and find a way right?

Or, if someone told you that they’d pay you £1 million if you lost 2 stone this month, then you’d make time and it would become your priority right?

My point here is that you’re probably not having success because you’re not making your meals your priority…

…and I get that…life has other important priorities…

But also things that you waste time on.

How many hours of Netflix do you watch a week?

If none, install a screen-time counter on your phone. How much time do you spend on your phone?

Also, sometimes you have to relax one “important” priority to let another more important one take its place (at least for a while).

The great thing with diet and food is that they often become habits, so you don’t need to spend forever putting energy into thinking about them.

You also don’t have to spend time preparing food for your wedding diet if you don’t want to.

There are loads of things we can do though to make eating in a calorie deficit much easier:

  1.  Make swaps within your meals to lower your calories. A quick example of this would be swapping normal coke or diet coke. Other examples would be swapping out starchy carbs in one of your meals for more veg. You could also go for lower calorie filling meals like soups or smoothies.
  2. Research your favourite 5. These are 5 enjoyable meals that you can make quickly and easily, with ingredients that you always have at home and a recipe that you can remember. These become your go-to meals when you’re tired and are susceptible to falling into the trap of “I can’t be bothered to cook”. One of my favourite options here is stir-frys.
  3. Research low-calorie ready-to-eat foods in your local supermarket. I shop at TESCO and they have loads of great options these days. If you just have a microwave, then that’s a good enough start. There’s lots of pre-made soups and even healthy ready meals available. You can also combine non-cook items. There’s a range of quick and easy products that you can just pick up and eat…From pre-cooked meats, to cold salads and foil sealed tuna or fish meals.
  4. Use a slow cooker to throw ingredients in and forget about until you come home from work. This way, you only have to think about a bit of chopping beforehand.
  5. Prepare a load of meals in one go. Bulk cooking may be annoying to start with, but it only takes about 10% longer while you’re doing it, then it saves you however much time it would have taken you to make the meal and wash up every day. It can also be done to different degrees…You may just cook up part of a meal which makes it easier when you do come to make food during the busy part of your week.

Again, it’s important to realise that you’re changing your habits here. Habit changes take energy to begin with, but then become natural and easy once you’ve been doing them for a while. So it’s a short-term energy and time engagement to learn the new habit, then it saves you much more time in the long-run and gets you the results you want when aiming to fit into your dream wedding dress.

So…This article is becoming quite long. Because of that, I’m not going to go over all the possible things that you need to solve to have success with your wedding diet.

I’ll discuss the other 3 I mentioned in a future article…

  • Being tempted by others
  • Going out for meals
  • Being invited to parties

The Shredding For My Wedding Program covers all this though, so if you’d like to ask me about it, click here.

I’d like to give you some wedding diet action steps that you can take away and implement today:

  1. Be clear with what you want your goal to be and create a clear picture by writing it down.
  2. Don’t follow a stupid diet plan that you’re going to give up on after a couple of weeks.
  3. Remember that it’s your size that you want to change, rather than just your weight, so again beware of fad diets.
  4. Start by making some simple changes to reduce calories – make sure you have a portion of protein on your plate at each meal and replace some starchy carbs with vegetables.
  5. Measure your progress in 3 or more ways – weight, measurements, progress photos.

Your wedding dress diet workout plan

So, as you know from the beginning of the article, to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body needs.

You can do that in 3 ways:

  1. Consume fewer calories.
  2. Increase the number of calories your body needs.
  3. Or a combination of both.

So we covered “consuming fewer calories” – that’s done with diet.

Now, the increasing the number of calories your body needs part is obviously done with movement and exercise.

I’ll cover that in part 2, here.

Harry Snell
I’m a bride body tranformation specialist & creator of the Shredding For My Wedding program. In a world driven by perfectionism and social pressure, building confidence for your wedding day is essential. Read more about my story and why this means so much to me here...