For those of you out there who are trying to lose weight for your wedding, or to fit into a bridesmaid dress, or to just look dang fine in your cocktail dress at a glam event this summer, I’ve compiled a bunch of tips, products and information – tried and true by yours truly – that will, in some combination, work for you.
The caveat is that first – none of these weight loss tips will work in a day, or even a week. You’ll start to see results in your body and on the scale starting at the two week mark. Secondly, you must be religious about any of these you choose to do. Create your own schedule so whatever you do fits, so you can actually stick to it. It won’t work if you go about this haphazardly. And I know you guys can make time for weight loss. I can, and I’ve got a 3 yr old, a 1 yr old, a business and a social life. Not to mention a marriage too! So if I can, you can!
Tip #1 Strength Training
It’s now been proven that women who lift bigger weights don’t “bulk up.” Trust me, as a former high school wrestler and someone who is in the weightroom several times a week, lifting big weights will NOT make you look like a dude. There’s no such thing as “tone” without actually working muscles. So get a weight lifting scheme going – something that doesn’t get redundant quickly, that usually takes 15 – 25 minutes, you do it 3 times a week, and actually use those 20 or 30 pound dumbells. You don’t get fit by swinging around those little 10lbers. I personally like the plan outlined in The New Rules of Weightlifting for Women. I’ve used it in the past and it is awesome, and fine for both beginners and more seasoned lifters alike.
Tip #2 Yoga
I always find yoga hard – life moves so fast and so furious and it’s so busy, that taking 60 – 90 minutes 1-2 times a week to just meditate and stretch and bend seems a luxury I can’t afford. But it’s huge for injury prevention, flexibility, and long leaner lines in the long run. I’ve been practicing yoga for 7 years and going into the physical therapist yesterday, just by how I could rotate my hips while standing, she could tell I am a yogi. The flexibility is great, and honestly, yoga can be a decent workout if it’s an intermediate class or harder, and done in a hot studio. I love the classes offered at Strive in Mequon.
Tip #3 Shakeology
I know this can come off like a plug for a product, but I have been doing these shakes for 3 months and the change in energy I have (which believe me, I NEED) plus the weight that has slowly melted off (I’d hit a plateau on weight loss in my training) has been awesome. What I like about this particular shake is that it’s cheap ($4/day) instead of pricey (my husband does dude muscle building shakes, and it amounts to $100 of extra groceries a week…you do the math), easy to throw in a blender as my breakfast every day, and has a ton of great stuff for you in it. My mom is hooked on it. My dad too. I am, and so are some of my friends. You use the shake as your breakfast. While I miss pancakes on Saturday, it actually makes me crave healthy food more often. Only bite is that you have to go directly through Shakeology to buy it. And it’s one of those things that you won’t see the benefits unless you’re seriously doing it EVERY day (I travel with it. Everywhere I will spend the night, I bring it in a bag.)
Tip #4 Get in a Pool
If you’re not up for running 6 miles 3-4 times a week, a good exchange for your cardio is to swim. It’s less tough on your legs and body, but a huge calorie burner. Give yourself a solid hour in the pool to get a decent work out in, and time yourself to make your workout harder. I have been spending a lot of time in the water now that I’m nursing a sports injury, and honestly it’s made my shoulders and arms stronger (I can tell when I go to yoga!) and more defined, and it’s helped with the weight loss.
Tip #5 Eat Responsibly
I say responsibly because there’s no way healthy people should cut out carbs. For instance, there’s been new studies out showing that serious athletes actually have worse times, workouts and long term health when they cut their carbs. You need to eat balanced, healthy, and still allow for some fun, some living, some bad days (but those bad eating days maybe need to happen 1 time a month, not every weekend). This has amounted to eating high vegetable, lean protein diet, cutting out fruit to eating it 1x a day, cutting most other carbs (I eat carbs only at lunch, a small portion only), snacking on very healthy, portion controlled items, such as half an apple with PB or celery and almonds, drinking a ton of water and cutting soda, sports drinks, fancy coffees completely out of my life. I don’t miss those things. I don’t miss much except chips…so I indulge every once in a bit. I’ll still drink alcohol socially. I don’t even like wasting my calories now on foods that are bad for me. Some great diet plans and information are here and here.
Anyway, this has worked for me over the years. Some combination will work for you. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to create this healthy environment for yourself, your significant other, and your family. It’s a great way to live and feel, and regardless if you keep it up or just do it until your wedding day and honeymoon are over…it’s worth the work for the real results. I know – I’ve lived it (see below – that was me 3 months after my fourth pregnancy, and 12 months since I’d given birth).
Photo by Front Room