Every bride wants to look and feel her best on her wedding day. Today we kick off part two of our three part series focusing on things you should be doing now to make sure you are ready for the big day! Last time we touched on beauty….today we talk nutrition! We sat down with owner Ashley Krauss, who is also a health and wellness coach (we just love that entrepreneurial spirit), to find out her top nutrition tips for brides.

After working with thousands of brides over the years, the common theme I hear time and again is that brides want to look and feel amazing on their wedding days. While for many brides, this means losing some degree of weight and toning up, for others it’s simply that they want to move through the wedding process with more energy and less exhaustion. Nutrition plays such a critical role in all of his, yet I find many brides downplay its importance. I always advise my brides to pay close attention to what they are putting into their bodies daily, even if they aren’t trying to lose weight, but especially if they are! Below are some of my top tips!

Start Early
Changing your eating habits? I encourage you to start early. You should begin your wedding-day nutritional regimen 4-6 months prior to your first fitting. If you have a substantial weight loss goal, I would recommend even more time. Additionally, you are going to want to reach your weight loss goal by the time your first fitting begins (about 2 1/2 months before your wedding) and then plan to maintain from that point on. If you continue to lose weight after your first fitting, you could be looking at a higher-than-average alterations bill.

Focus on progress, not perfection
A wedding often turns even the most laid-back woman into a perfectionist. So much emphasis is placed on having the “perfect day”, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking at things in a very black-and-white way. Weight loss is not a linear path and there is no such thing as perfection. Focus on making progress and allow for some set-backs, and you will be much more successful.

Nutrition is 80%, Exercise is 20%
While exercise is amazing, improving your nutrition is correlated with much success in losing weight and gaining energy than simply exercising more. As an avid Peloton rider, I often hear fellow riders ask the instructors where they get their abs from…and their answer is always “my abs are made in the kitchen.” There is so much truth to that, and while I always encourage exercise, the biggest change you need to make is with what you put in your mouth.

Don’t Go It Alone!
Want to make sure you stick to our goals? Grab your fiancé, maid of honor, bridesmaid, even mom to lose weight with you! After all, you aren’t the ONLY one who wants to look good on your wedding day! When you pair up with someone else, you hold each other accountable. And accountability is proven to be a huge motivating factor for those trying to lose weight. It’s easy to cheat on ourselves, but it’s harder to cheat on someone you care about. Pick one or two people who you know are truly motivated and ask them to get healthy with you. And then after your wedding, think of how amazing you will feel knowing that you inspired someone else to get healthy! I would also advise working with an expert who can help you evaluate your goals, come up with a program to make those goals achievable, and hold you accountable.

Reduce Stress
You’re probably thinking, “I’m planning a wedding, is this tip a joke?” And I get it. I remember being so stressed out while planning my wedding, and I wish I could go back and have a do-over (same guy though!) Research shows that the more stressed we are, the more cortisol is released into our body. And a higher level of cortisol is linked to weight gain, especially in women. Additionally, when we’re stressed, we tend to engage in habits that aren’t waistline friendly, such as eating and drinking. So acknowledge that while you can’t get rid of stress completely, you can take some steps to reduce it. Add exercise, get a massage, get better sleep, and delegate some of your wedding prep tasks!

Get Sleep
Try to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep a night on most nights. I know this may sound unrealistic to do all the time, but try to achieve it as often as possible. Even if you aren’t getting the full 6 hours, stack the odds in your favor that the sleep you get is restful. Studies show that those who are chronically sleep deprived have a much harder time losing weight. In this day and age, we tend to tie our self-worth into how “busy” we are, and so many people wear sleep deprivation like a badge of honor. It’s not, and it’s not going to serve you well in your weight loss goals!

Listen To Your Gut
Gut health…say what?!?! It’s not the most fun topic but quite important if you’re trying to lose weight. Even the healthiest of foods, like fresh fruit and veggies, are much less nutritionally dense today than they were 30 years ago. Add in all of the processed, sugar-laden food present today and our bodies are not functioning optimally. Your gut may very well be lacking in the good bacteria that keeps it healthy, as they are not given an environment to grow and thrive. This can lead to bloating and other digestive issues. We recommend adding an excellent quality probiotic to your diet each day as well as eating clean, unprocessed foods as often as possible (do 80% of your shopping at the perimeter of your grocery store and you should be good!)

Stay Hydrated
Water, water, water!! Drink as much water as possible. A good rule of thumb is to aim for ½-1 ounce of water per pound of body weight. So a 150 pound person should be drinking 75-150 ounces per day. Water does so many things for our body – aids in digestion, helps our brain function optimally, and actually helps us feel less hungry. In fact, the next time you think you’re hungry, drink an 8 ounce glass of water first. Our brains often mistake thirst cues for hunger cues.

Thank you, Ashley, for taking the time to share your wisdom with us! If you have any questions or are looking to get a jump start on your nutrition, please contact Ashley at ashley.krauss@gmail.com. Ashley is generously offering complementary consultations to anyone referencing this blog post.

Stay tuned for “Part 3” – Exercise Tips!