Getting in Shape for your Wedding Gown

So you found the perfect wedding dress, but the only problem is that your stomach, thighs, or love handles are bulging out.  So it’s that time again, diet time!  There are some general guidelines to follow when anyone is trying to lose weight, no matter what size or shape they are.  However, you should also lose weight and work out according to your body shape.  Should you do cardio?  Stomach crunches?  Diet?  To find out, first identify your body shape, then follow the general guidelines below, and finally scroll down to find the right work-out for your body shape.

The Wrong Ways to Lose Weight

  1. Crash Dieting – Crash dieting is meant to achieve rapid weight-loss and is border-line starving yourself.  This leads to nutritional deprivation and no calorie intake.  When you crash diet, your body lose carbohydrates and and water weight, while your fat is still hanging around.  This, with the combination of reduced calorie intake, leads your body to feel starved and reduce it’s metabolic rate.  Your body does this as a coping mechanism to make it harder to burn each calorie so that your energy can be conserved.  This slow-down of calorie usage causes a problem for when you slip back into your normal eating routine because your body will just start storing more food in your fat cells.
  2. Overeating – Overeating is to continue to finish your meal when your stomach is saying that it’s already full.  Don’t stuff your stomach.  This advice is a little obvious, but you may be overeating without even knowing it.  Overeating can cause nausea and even vomiting, which can lead to digestive problems.
  3. Rejecting Foods – “I’m not eating any desserts”, “I quit cheese”, “Absolutely no ice cream in my diet”.  Committing yourself to NEVER eating something  again is psychologically damaging to our diet. You are making that rejected food like forbidden fruit and your mind will be thinking about indulging in its fatty, sugary goodness over and over again.  Remember that your body needs fats and sugars to function, so just eat those rejected foods in moderation instead of never.  Maybe you can have one cookie after a week after you eat your broccoli.  This can also work as motivation to stay healthy until the end of the week when you can bite into that chocolate goodness.

 The Right Ways to Lose Weight

  1. Gradually Dieting – Taking time to ease into your diet helps your body adjust to changes.  It’s far easier to take several small steps than one large step.  This will help you stick to your diet for the long run because you are encouraging behavioral changes in your diet and appetite.  Your body will be happier to stick to your diet for months and years instead of just weeks.
  2. Eating Slowly – When you’re eating, it takes time for nutrients to enter your blood.  Then the blood has to circulate into your nerve centers where your appetite is regulated.  Eating slowly can help prevent overeating because it will give your metabolism, blood stream, and brain time to realize that your body has had enough to eat.
  3. Substituting Foods – Substituting your beloved ice cream and snacks for healthier foods can help reduce cravings.  Think about replacing your favorite chips and cookies with the fat-free or reduced fat versions.  Some of them don’t taste as good as the original, but search around through different brands and flavors to find something that satisfies your taste buds and cravings.  Replace soda with fresh fruit juice or flavored water and whole milk with soy milk.

The Right Work-Out for Your Body Shape

  • Bell-Shaped Figure – Exercise to balance out the bottom and top of your body.  To slim down your lower body, try different aerobic exercises like jogging, elliptical training, jumping rope, and leg lifts.  To tone your upper body, try resistance exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups, and chest presses.
  • Curvy Figure – Your figure is sexy, so regulate your weight and stay in shape by doing aerobic and resistance exercises.  The best things for you are jumping jacks, swimming, shoulder presses, squats, stationary biking, and bicep curls.
  • Rectangular Figure – You already have a balanced body, so keep your nutrition up and regulate your weight through effective dieting and aerobic exercises.  Many rectangular figures like to build up their muscles to help accentuate their small curves.  If you decide you like this idea, keep in mind to do any type of resistance training for your upper and lower body.  Don’t lose your natural balance.
  • Athletic Figure – Exercise to lose weight, mainly on your upper body.  Try incline walking, stair climbing, and running with low resistance.  Perform exercises with many repetitions, this will help you get a tone look and avoid appearing too muscular