Healthy Weight Loss: 5 tips to end the stress and fit into the Dress

Healthy Weight Loss: 5 tips to end the stress and fit into the Dress

Preparing for an upcoming wedding can bring many different feelings. Many brides-to-be may also be feeling motivated to reach their weight loss goals as they approach the big day. Those pre-wedding jitters may also include looking and feeling your best, fitting into your wedding dress, and feeling photo-ready for the wedding photos.

As the big day draws near, it is important to implement a lifestyle change, rather than prepping to achieve a number on the scale. Making modifications to your lifestyle through balanced meals, regular movement and recovery will not only get ready to look and feel your best on your wedding day, but for the foreseeable future. Here are five, healthy tips to help you get wedding ready in a healthy way:

Strategic Planning:

Set a reasonable timeline to achieve your goal. Sustainable weight loss occurs over months of consistent healthy habits. Rapid weight loss attained by restricting calories or overtraining or excessive cardio should be avoided. This not only poses health risks, but it is also not sustainable. If you are feeling like you need some accountability and support, consider hiring a registered dietician or certified nutrition coach to assist you in reaching your goals.

Determining your individual Caloric Needs:

The recommended calorie intake for adult women ranges from 1,600 calories per day to 2,400 calories per day, according to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The number of calories that you should consume varies for everyone. Factors such as gender, age, weight, height, and activity level play a role in determining your individual needs. BMR stands for basal metabolic rate, and it’s the number of calories your body needs to simply stay alive. This is the number of calories that your body would require for you, neither to gain or lose weight if you stayed at rest all day long. This is important because it’s the first step in determining how many calories you should be consuming daily for your goals. You can use this equation to find your own BMR for women. ⁠⠀
We will use the Harris Benedict method BMR equals 665 + (4.35 x weight in lbs) +( 4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age)⁠⠀

You can also use an online BMR calculator. After determining your BMR, you will need to consider what your activity level is to determine your total calorie intake. Dependent on your category, multiply your BMR by the number below.

Sedentary: BMR x 1.2
Lightly Active: BMR x 1.375
Moderately Active: BMR x1.55
Very Active: BMR x 1.725
Extra Active: BMR x 1.9

This total would be your maintenance calories. The energy intake needed to maintain your current weight. If you are wanting to lose weight you would decrease your maintenance calories by 200-300 calories a day. If you are wanting to gain weight or muscle, you would increase your maintenance calories by 200-400 calories a day.

Develop a Nutrition Plan

The diet industry has managed to evoke many feelings about women feeling that they must restrict calories or avoid specific food groups such as carbohydrates to reach their goals. Ensuring that you are eating enough as well as eating well balanced meals from all food groups and macronutrients is essential to success. All calories derive from macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat). The most important macronutrient when aiming for fat loss is protein.

Protein is a powerhouse for assisting in your physique goals. Protein tends to keep you satiated longer and aides in protecting lean body mass. I recommend between .7-1.2 grams of weight in pounds. For example, a person weighing 160 pounds may eat 112 grams of protein daily on the low end.

Carbohydrates are an important energy source to fueling our bodies. They play an important role to assist us in daily activities and assist our bodies in recovery. Try focusing on complex carbohydrates such as grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Fats also play an important role of preventing blood sugar spikes, helping your body absorb fat soluble vitamins as well as supporting hormone health. Stick to healthy fats in foods such as salmon, olives, avocado, seeds, and veggie oils.

In addition, aim for 25-30 grams of fiber daily and ensure that you are staying hydrated!


Incorporating movement into your routine is one of the most effective ways to support a healthy metabolism. Start small by increasing your daily activities. Things such as (taking the stairs, parking farther away, taking a walk after dinner, etc.)  If you already exercise, consider incorporating HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) and strength training to your programming. You may also want to work closely with a certified personal trainer for guidance and to help keep you accountable.

Stress Management:

Wedding planning can add some additional stressors that typically are not there. To help combat this be sure you are getting a good night’s rest of at least 7-8 hours per night. Lean on the support of friends and family to help with your wedding details. Try breathing exercises or yoga to help you relax.

Healthy weight loss is an average of 1-2 pounds a week, so keep that in mind when planning for your special day. Making a lifestyle change will come with some challenges, but remaining consistent and giving yourself grace will result in a healthy lifestyle that will last beyond your special wedding day for years to come!

About the Author:

Sharifa Knowles is a certified nutrition coach and certified personal trainer. She is the owner and founder of Sharifa Knowles Wellness. Her mission is to educate women on how to nourish their bodies without restriction or fad diets. She takes a holistic approach to nutrition by using bio feedback markers (energy, sleep, athletic performance, hunger, mood) to assist her clients in reaching their goals. Sharifa guides her clients by using a behavior change approach by practicing evidenced-based nutrition science individualized to each person.

When she’s not educating and serving her coaching clients, she enjoys traveling with her family, beach trips, and fitness.

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