The major do's and don'ts of saying "I do"

If you’re looking to slim down before your “big day,” know that you aren’t the only one. More than 70% of brides-to-be in a Cornell survey said they planned to lose weight before their wedding.

Google “wedding diet” and you’ll find ample resources. But, ladies, proceed with caution! Not all of those diets are worthwhile—and many could be unhealthy. In fact, about a third of those surveyed women use diet pills, fast or skip meals to trim down and get into their wedding dress (some of whom purposely buy a wedding dress size smaller than their current dress size).

If you’re looking to lose a few pounds for your wedding—or, bridesmaids, maybe a friend’s—there are some do’s and don’ts.

DON’T: Go for a quickie weight loss plan. Unfortunately, you just can’t lose 10 pounds in 2 days. Plus, slower and steadier is the way to make that weight loss stick.

DON’T: Cut out entire food groups. We’re looking at you fat and carbs. OK, if you want to cut out added sugar, be my guest. But both fat and carbs are key elements of a healthy diet—fat helps your body absorb essential vitamins and carbs get broken down into glucose, which fuels your brain (among other things). Preferably you’ll lean mostly on healthy fats, such as oils, nuts, avocados, etc. and healthy carbs, such as whole wheat breads and pastas and whole grains.

DO: Make healthy changes—eat a healthier diet (think: more fruits and veggies, smaller portions, less sweets, salt and alcohol). In fact, the Cooking Light Diet could help you get started!

DO: Up your hydration game with water (or seltzer). Staying hydrated is key for your body and your brain, but also sometimes we confuse hunger and thirst. It’s easier to know if you truly are hungry and need to eat when you’re adequately hydrated.

DO: Get moving! Yes, it burns calories, but it also alleviates stress and, depending on your exercise of choice, builds muscle and muscle burns more calories than fat.    

And, lastly, on the day of the wedding, don’t forget to eat. No one likes a hangry bride or bridesmaid. This healthy, protein-packed spread would also be an excellent choice for pre-wedding snacking and for the day of. 

Try to include protein in your meals (in the form of meat, poultry, seafood, or plant-based choices like beans, tofu, etc.). Protein will help you stay fuller longer than carbohydrates or fat. Here's a list of quick healthy snacks to munch on while getting your hair and makeup done! Have your amazing maid of honor whip up a snack lunch platter in a matter of minutes, and don't forget the Pesto Yogurt Dip.