It’s early March as I’m writing this, and if you’re a June bride, that means you have about 90 days left to get ready for your big day!
I know you want to make the most of the time you have left, so in this post I’ll strip it down to the 6 essential areas to focus on over the next 90 days to look and feel your best on your wedding day.
This post is also packed with a ton of resources (mostly free) to help you get started.
Your 90-Day Wedding Weight Loss & Wellness Plan
90-Day Wedding Weight Loss & Wellness Plan
Click below for weekly checklists to keep you on track
1. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is probably the most overlooked component of feeling and looking your best on your wedding day.
Here are just a few ways not getting enough sleep can affect you:
- It can cause you to gain weight, and makes it much harder to lose weight or maintain what you’ve lost. Just 4 days of not getting enough sleep can make your body store fat instead of burning it for energy.
- Your skin repairs and restores itself when you sleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body isn’t able to make needed repairs to your skin, resulting in puffy dull skin and more visible wrinkles.
- Lack of sleep can make your hair weak and slow its growth.
Signs you’re not getting enough sleep
- You feel tired or overwhelmingly sleepy during the day
- You feel groggy when you wake up and have a hard time getting up
- You have “brain fog” or have a hard time making even small decisions
- You can’t read or sit still for too long without dozing off (like that time I nodded off at a stoplight! #truestory)
How much sleep do you need?
It varies for everyone, so you’ll have to experiment to see what works best for you. But a good rule of thumb to start with is 7 hours a night.
How to get more sleep
If you’re getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night, let’s start with that as a goal. There are really only 2 things you can do — go to bed earlier or sleep later.
It can be hard to shift from going to bed at say, midnight to going to bed at 10pm every night, so an easier way to make this transition is to do it in increments.
For the first week, just go to bed 15-30 minutes earlier than normal each night. If you normally go to bed at midnight, set an alarm so that you’re ready and in the bed by 11:45 pm. The next week, decrease it by 15 more minutes.
Having a nighttime ritual can help too. Set an alarm for 30 minutes before your bedtime, and use that 30 minutes to get ready for bed and relax. Take off your makeup and get in your PJs, and then pick some relaxing rituals like having a cup of herbal tea (chamomile is a good bedtime choice), turning off all electronics (exposure to the noise and lights from electronics before going to bed disrupts your sleep), read a book. Pick things that relax you and that you’ll look forward to doing.
Sleeping later might seem impossible during the workweek, but maybe not . . . are there things you can do the night before or ahead of time to save you time in the morning?
A few ideas for saving time in the morning:
- Decide on your outfit and get your clothes ironed and your accessories laid out the night before
- If you exercise in the morning, make sure you know ahead of time what workout you’ll be doing so you don’t waste time in the morning deciding what to do (this free workout planner will help with that) — and have your workout clothes ready to go. I’ve even had brides sleep in their workout clothes to save time! My workout clothes just aren’t that comfortable (maybe I need new workout clothes?), but it might work for you.
- Do shorter (but more intense) workouts to save time — my workouts never go over 30 minutes, and usually, they’re more like 15-20.
- Have a healthy breakfast prepped and ready to go. You’ll save even more time if it’s something you can eat on your commute (like a green smoothie) or take with you to eat at the office.
- Shower or wash your hair the night before.
For more info about how getting enough sleep can help you be a glowing bride, go here.
For the next 90 days: Focus on getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
2. Eat Whole Foods
I don’t believe in “dieting,” but what I DO believe in is eating a healthy diet, and this means a diet made up mostly of whole foods. As a rule of thumb, when you’re trying to lose weight, you want 90% of your diet to be clean whole foods. (If you just want to maintain your weight, you can probably do 85/15 or even 80/20).
What are whole foods?
Another way of saying this is “Eat real food.” Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes (beans and peas), pastured and grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, and whole grains are real food.
So what would you be eating that would NOT be considered “real food?” Processed “foods,” which are really just food-like substances. These are things you find packaged in boxes and bags, like chips, crackers, baking mixes, pasta . . . to name just a few. (More on that here.)
How to eat a healthy whole foods diet when you’re crazy busy
I know it’s hard to make sure that 90% of your meals are whole foods-based when you’re working a demanding job, planning a wedding, and trying to have a social life.
Here are a few strategies to make it happen:
1. Plan your meals.
This is honestly one of the best strategies you can use to make sure you stay on track, and it’s one that a lot of brides (or anyone trying to lose weight or improve their health) overlook.
Planning your meals in advance saves you time and takes away the stress of having to figure out what to eat. You’re much more likely to eat something healthy if you already have it planned and all the ingredients you need for it (or even better, have it prepped ahead of time!).
If planning your meals is something new for you or it just seems like too much trouble, I have a step-by-step guide to show you how to do it, plus free worksheets to make the process easier and faster.
2. Keep healthy foods on hand at your office.
We’ve all been guilty of hitting up the office vending machine when we forget our lunch or we’re starving and need a quick snack, right?
Make your own “vending machine” by stocking your office with healthy foods like raw nuts and seeds, hummus and sliced veggies, and fresh fruit.
3. Use a meal planning or meal delivery service.
If spending time every week looking for recipes and planning out your meals for every day just seems like too much work, I feel you.
Here are some other options: use a meal planning service like The Fresh 20 or Prep Dish. These services send you weekly healthy meal plans complete with recipes and a pre-made shopping list. I’ve used and like them both.
PrepDish offers Paleo and gluten-free plans. It tends to be pretty meat-heavy, so if you’re a vegetarian or not big on meat, this one won’t be a good choice for you.
The Fresh20 has about 6 different plans to choose from that will satisfy pretty much any style of eating or dietary restrictions. They also offer a lunch plan. Their premise is to simplify your life (and save you money) by centering the entire week’s meals around 20 different seasonal ingredients each week. The only downside I’ve found to this is that you end up eating lots of the same foods for the week. That said, it’s an excellent service and very affordable, so definitely worth checking out.
Now if even that sounds like too much work, here’s another option — try a meal delivery service that sends you weekly meal plans, recipes, AND all the ingredients to make the meals.
This option is more expensive, but well worth it if you’re short on time (or just don’t like grocery shopping). There are several to choose from and I’ve tried most of them (Blue Apron, Plated, Hello Fresh, Field to Meal, Sun Basket), and my favorite by far is Sun Basket.
Sun Basket is very conscientious about how they source their foods, using organic produce to the greatest extent possible; pastured, grass-fed, and humanely raised meats from small farms; and wild sustainably-caught fish and seafood.
To me, their meals are the most delicious and healthiest of all the services I’ve tried, and they’re simple and easy to prepare. Plus their packaging is almost completely recyclable or compostable, even the ice packs!
And if cooking just isn’t your jam . . . there are meal delivery services that will provide you with weekly pre-cooked meals that you simply heat up.
There are a lot of them out there, but the only one I’ve actually tried is Pete’s Paleo. Stating the obvious here, but this is a strictly Paleo meal plan. We were really impressed by the taste and quality of the meals, and the portion sizes were good.
I also love that they’re very conscientious about where they source their meats, using only humanely-raised pastured and grass-fed meats.
If you’re down with a Paleo diet and don’t like to cook, I think this is an excellent option. For me personally, the only drawbacks to this service are that it is very meat-heavy, and you can’t choose which meats you receive (other than they allow you to say no pork or no duck). Since I don’t eat beef or lamb, this was kind of a problem for me.
That said, the way I’ve used Pete’s Paleo is to place an order, freeze the meals, and use them as a quick dinner option when I don’t have time to cook (and I just make my husband eat the meats I don’t want ;).
For the next 90 days: Focus on eating a mostly whole foods-based diet. Experiment with the strategies above to find the ones that work best for you.
Michael Pollan’s book, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (one of the simplest and easiest-to-follow guides I’ve found for clean eating)
3. Cut Back on Sugar
Boo. This one is just no fun. But it’s one of the few “absolute rules” that applies to everyone when it comes to weight loss and healthy eating.
Not to be dramatic, but sugar, especially refined sugar, is basically evil. The naturally occurring sugars found in whole foods like fruits are beneficial when eaten in moderation, but refined sugar is addictive and toxic, has no benefits to your body at all, and will just sabotage your wedding weight-loss efforts.
Foods to cut back on to reduce your sugar intake:
Some of the obvious culprits to cut back on are:
- sweets like cakes, cookies, and pies
- sweetened coffee drinks like lattes
- soft drinks/sodas (don’t switch to diet soda — they’re just as bad for you!)
A few not-so-obvious high-sugar foods to cut back on or eliminate are:
- fruit juice (even unsweetened)
- protein and granola bars
- smoothie-shop smoothies
- many salad dressings (especially ones that are “low-fat”)
- sports drinks
- condiments like ketchup, barbeque sauce, and marinades.
If you’re buying something packaged, be sure to read the label!
How much sugar can you have?
The less the better, but to give you a general guideline, the American Heart Association recommends that women have no more than 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of sugar a day.
That may sound like a lot, but trust me — it’s not!
For example, 1 tablespoon of Heinz ketchup (according to their website) has 4 grams of sugar (and let’s be real, who only eats 1 tablespoon of ketchup?).
A “fruit & nut delight” Kind Bar has 9 grams of sugar (and 5 of those are added sugar, according to their website).
For the next 90 days: Cut back on sugar as much as possible, and pay close attention to labels so you can look for hidden sugars. Try to keep your daily intake under 25 grams.
- Free recipe booklet — 8 low-sugar sweets to satisfy your sweet tooth using whole food ingredients and no refined sugar.
- SELF Nutrition Data website — use their nutrition data tool to determine the amount of sugar in the foods you eat
90-Day Wedding Weight Loss & Wellness Plan
Click below for weekly checklists to keep you on track
4. Manage Your Portions
I’m not a fan of calorie counting, but it is a good idea to keep an eye on how much you’re eating — especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
But this doesn’t have to mean counting calories or measuring your food out in measuring cups (because nobody wants to do that).
Here are some easier ways to practice good portion control:
- Put less on your plate than you think you’ll actually need. You can always have more, but make yourself take that extra step of having to go back for it. Plus, you’ve probably heard the expression “my eyes were bigger than my stomach” (#guilty), and there’s a good chance that a smaller amount will actually fill you up.
- Buy smaller plates. I’ve had the same set of white William Sonoma everyday plates for years, and my mom STILL makes fun of them because they’re so small. She says they look like “doll plates.” Whatevs…I seriously think those small plates keep me from eating too much, because I simply can’t put as much on my plate (plus it seems like I’m eating more because the plate is full). Try it!
- Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly. Getting back to basics here, but this really helps you to eat less AND it’s good for your digestion (think less bloating) — a win-win!
- Stop eating BEFORE you feel full. Once you start getting close to that point of feeling satisfied, take a little break . . . even if there’s still food on your plate. Eating slowly helps with this. Wait 5 minutes. If you still truly feel hungry, then have some more. But I bet you won’t.
For the next 90 days: Be mindful of how much you’re eating and make a concerted effort to stop eating before you’re full.
5. Reduce and Manage Your Stress
If you’re a bride, you’re feeling the wedding planning stress. There’s no way to eliminate it completely (short of eloping ;), but you definitely want to try to manage and reduce your stress as much as possible.
Stress is SO bad for your body, mind, and spirit. It can keep you from looking and feeling your best on your wedding day by:
- slowing down your weight loss or actually causing you to gain weight (no matter how hard you’re trying, thanks to its effects on your hormones)
- keeping you from getting enough quality sleep
- messing up your digestive system
- and wreaking havoc on your skin.
And if you’re a stress eater, all the more reason to keep your stress level down. (More on how stress affects you here.)
For starters, do a quick check of what things are causing stress in your life right now. Are there any you can do way with altogether, or delegate and let someone else deal with? If so, make doing this your top priority!
Don’t just focus on the big things . . . make a list of all the little things too, because those seemingly insignificant things add up. Little frustrations (like your favorite coat missing a button to not being able to find your keys every morning) can accumulate and really add to your stress level.
Once you have your list, are there any things on it that you could take care of quickly, easily, and/or inexpensively? If so, do it. Set aside a couple of hours this weekend and knock those things out. You’ll be surprised what a difference little things like this can make.
And last, no matter how stressful things get with wedding planning and everything else, pleeeease be sure you take time to slow down, breathe, and do something nice for yourself that will calm and relax you, or lift your spirits.
Everyone’s different, but here are a few ideas:
- Get a massage or facial
- Take a bubble bath
- Make time to read (something for fun–not for work!)
- Schedule a coffee break for yourself and take your fave magazine to read at the coffee shop
- Spend time in nature
- Practice deep-breathing exercises
- Get pampered with a mani-pedi
Here’s a tip — schedule these things in your calendar to make sure you have the time set aside for them, and then honor your commitment to yourself!
For the next 90 days: Do what you can to reduce and manage the stress in your life. Take an “inventory” of the things that are creating stress for you. Eliminate what you can, delegate to someone else when possible, and fix the easy ones for a quick win. Schedule at least one relaxing/fun/pampering activity for yourself every week to help bring your stress level down.
6. Exercise Efficiently and Consistently
While exercise isn’t the most important thing when it comes to weight loss, it’s still an essential part of losing weight and being healthy. Plus, it’s how you tone your muscles and shape your body — especially when it comes to getting your arms toned and ready for your big day.
When it comes to exercise, the most important thing is CONSISTENCY. You have to exercise consistently to get the results you want in time for your wedding day. The more of a habit you can make exercise, the better results you’ll see (and the easier it’ll be to stick with it).
But as a busy bride, how do you find time to do this on top of everything else you have to do?
Well here’s some good news . . . you DON’T have to spend hours in the gym to get in shape for your wedding. You don’t even have to go to the gym! Seriously, I do almost all of my workouts right in my living room.
The trick to getting in shape in less time is exercising efficiently — think quality over quantity. Short but intense workouts can get you in just as good shape (or often even better) than long drawn-out workouts.
Ideally, do full-body workouts that use some form of resistance (like weights or your own body weight), and combine the resistance moves with fast-paced moves that get your heart rate up. That way you’re toning your muscles and burning fat at the same time.
A couple of tips for making time for exercise and doing it consistently are:
- plan your workouts for the week so you know exactly what to do each day
- schedule and block off your workout time in your calendar.
For the next 90 days: Focus on exercising consistently 4 times a week, and do short but high-intensity workouts like this 8-minute full-body fat-burning workout to tone your muscles, burn fat, and boost your metabolism all in one workout.
- 3 free workout videos — this is a great way to start if you don’t have a consistent workout plan in place
- My 28-day clean eating + exercise program gives you 28 days of full-body workouts that tone your muscles, burn fat, and are all under 10 minutes! (Plus a clean eating plan and easy recipes!)
- Exercise basics for brides: How to plan the most effective workout regimen to get fit for your wedding
Okay, that was a lot, so let’s recap!
Here’s your 6-point plan to lose weight and get healthy for your wedding in the next 90 days:
1. Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. If you come up short one day, make up for it with a nap or extra sleep as soon as possible.
2. Make 90% of your diet whole foods. (I know that’s hard to quantify, but here’s what it might look like . . . 19 of your 21 meals for the week consist of whole foods, and two meals can be “treat meals” — just don’t get too crazy with it! Or another way to do it is 90% of everything on your plate is a whole food.)
3. Cut back on sugar as much as possible, and pay close attention to labels so you can look for hidden sugars. Try to keep your daily intake under 25 grams.
4. Be mindful of how much you’re eating and make a concerted effort to stop eating before you’re full.
5. Do what you can to reduce and manage the stress in your life. Take an “inventory” of the things that are creating stress for you. Eliminate what you can, delegate to someone else when possible, and fix the easy ones for a quick win. Schedule at least one relaxing/fun/pampering activity for yourself every week to help bring your stress level down.
6. Exercise 4-5 times a week doing short but high-intensity workouts to tone your muscles, burn fat, and boost your metabolism all in one workout. (Here’s one to get you started).
Follow this plan, and you’ll be feeling & looking your best and walking down the aisle with confidence!
90-Day Wedding Weight Loss & Wellness Plan
Click below for weekly checklists to keep you on track
90 days to June and counting — you’ve got this! But if you want a little extra help, have you considered working with a wellness coach? I have openings for my 90-day one-on-one wedding wellness coaching programs and I’d love to work with you!
In private coaching, we dive A LOT deeper into these strategies, customize them to your unique life, and break down exactly what you need to do week by week. Plus you’ll have ongoing encouragement and accountability from me every step of the way.
Contact me here to learn more about it.
Wishing you all the best!
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