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How to Lose Weight for Your Wedding?

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It’s your wedding day soon and you want to look and feel at your best.

With the most important day of your life approaching, you’ll soon be taking the first steps. You don’t want to take anything to chance so you need a program that will give you results.

But according to a 2008 research paper [1], the average bride-to-be is overweight and idealizes small but significant weight loss to make her day even better.

We’ve pulled together all of the research from our previous articles into one fail-safe program. You want to lose fat? Here’s what you need to know.

Here’s our gimmick-free guide to wedding weight loss…


Slow, Steady and Safe – The Key to Wedding Weight Loss

So many brides-to-be feel the pressure of their wedding day. With so many photographs there’s no escape. It’s no wonder that many women feel and the pressure and resort to quick fixes or extreme measures to drop pounds before the big day.

According to statistical research, over 50% of brides-to-be plan to lose weight before the wedding, 40% intend to go on a diet, and around 67% indicate that they plan to exercise more [2]. Over 10% of women had been given a gentle nudge by their partners and family to lose weight too. 

The problem with that of course is that you’re taking a massive gamble. Firstly for your health, and secondly that it’ll even work. The only real sure-fire way to optimize your body composition is by doing it properly. And that means eating well, focusing on nutrients, and adding lots of physical activity to your lifestyle.

In this guide we’ll give you all of the tools you need to look your absolute best for your dream day. Not only that, because it’s not a quick fix, you’ll continue to look your best all the way through your honeymoon and in your anniversary photos too.

Various studies show that once you’re settled into marriage you’ll likely put the pounds back on. Not you though, you’ll be trim, athletic and fit for a long time to come.



#1. What Are Your Goals?

The first and most obvious point to start is to think clearly about exactly what you want to achieve. Is it just a few pounds, or are you talking stones?

Go to any weight loss club, visit any online support group, or read any book on weight loss tactics and they’ll all mention one key component of success – goal setting.

You need to make sure that what you’re wanting to tick off is achievable. Weight loss success can vary based on starting weight, personal approach and a multitude of other factors, but all in all you’re looking at 1-2 pounds of fat a week to help you stay healthy and keep it off after the wedding.

On top of that, a number of health initiatives, behavioural specialists and government policies suggest that a weight loss goal of 5-10% of total body weight over a 12-week period is both achievable and realistic.

Make sure you record your targets

Just remember, weight loss on the scales doesn’t always show progress. Take measurements of all of your major body parts such as your hips, thighs, upper arms and bust. If you have access to one, consider a body fat analysis machine too. All of thee together will paint a more detailed picture of where you’re going.

Make a note of all of your data and then record where you want to be next month, half way through your plan etc. Setting interim goals helps to keep you on track and allows you to tweak your approach if things aren’t going to plan.

Once you’ve recorded the weight, fat mass or measurements you’re after, the next part is to think about the long-term plan – the end goal. You’ll want to set ambitious targets as these will push you to work harder for your wedding day. Set goals that are too easy and you’re more likely to play it safe.

In fact, a study published the Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics [3] found that when a group of 35,000 overweight volunteers were tracked over a 12-month period, those with ambitious goals lost on average 19% of their body weight. Those with easier goals only lost 10%.

Don’t go too safe with your goal setting, but be realistic.



#2. Calorie Balance

The next thing you’ll want to look at is energy intake. This is the make or break point of your transformation.

No matter how hard you train in the gym, if the number of calories going in your body is higher than the amount you burn off you’ll not lose weight. In fact you’ll gain it.

It is important to know how many calories you’ll need throughout your plan to optimize results. To make things easier for you we’ve attached for you our Instant Knockout Calorie Counter. By inputting your current weight and activity levels, the calculator will tell you exactly how many calories you should eat to lose a healthy amount of weight each week.

Just make sure that when you complete the calculator you tick weight loss. This will automatically reduce your daily calorie needs by 20% – around 500 calories. This is the perfect amount to get the weight loss roll rolling without being too low.

Of course the quickest way to lose weight for your wedding day is to not eat as much. 500 calories of food is pretty easier to demolish, but exercising away that amount of energy can take a long time. Your diet is one of the easiest-to-manipulate parts of your transformation so use it to your advantage.

Exercise should be included to help improve your fitness and improve lean body weight, not to address energy balance.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train in the gym though. In fact, below we’ve added some hints and tips to make your workouts as effective as possible to help you on your way.



#3. Get Stronger

The thing about dieting is that dropping your calories lower and lower doesn’t always mean you’ll get better results. And the reason for that is down to muscle tissue.

Your metabolism is controlled by how much fat free mass you have. Essentially, the more lean muscle you have , the quicker your metabolic rate fires. This doesn’t mean you have to turn up in your wedding dress with bulging arms and masculine shoulders but toning up and adding some definition will make a dramatic difference to your body composition.

Adding weight training to your exercise program is a must. Studies show that as little as 15 weeks of strength training can lead to an extra kilogram of fat loss when compared to those who just do cardio [4].

As well as becoming more efficient at burning fat, you can also use weight training to ignite the calorie burning furnace when you’re away from the gym.

The EPOC effect

The process of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) refers to the calories you continue to expend after your workout has stopped. And the more your workout disturbs your oxygen uptake, the harder it has to work to restore the body’s systems. And this means more calories burned.

Research shows that strength training elevates your metabolic rate between 4.2 and 13% [5]. Whilst this is only a modest amount, it stays elevated for up to 24 hours. That’s a lot of extra calories for doing very little.

Weight training ignites the energy burning furnace by switching on additional calorie burn, even after your workout has finished. 

Muscle gives you shape. Weight training gives you curves and athleticism – the perfect finishing touch to the elegance of your wedding dress.



#4. Drink More Water

This is the simplest trick you can employ in preparation of your big day. But it’s one of the most effective too.

Water is an essential nutrient that regulates your metabolism, boosts physical performance and optimizes your mental well-being.

If you don’t drink enough water you’ll feel tired, lethargic and fatigued. You’ll feel weak in the gym and your heart rate and breathing rate can become erratic. All of this means you just won’t burn fat as effectively.

Studies show that those who drink water consistently throughout the day eat fewer calories. In one research paper, 500 ml of water prior to each meal was found to increase weight loss by 2 kg – a staggering 44%. Additional studies have found that a medium glass of water before a meal can reduce food intake by 13% [6] but boost metabolic rate by 30% [7]. A great combination for losing weight and fat.



#5. HIIT it Hard

Not only have you got strength training in your arsenal for your war against body fat – you’ve got interval training too.

This short, sharp, productive way of training suits those who aren’t afraid to work for their physique. High intensity interval training or HIIT is a method of cardio characterized by repeated bouts of short but all-out work followed by intermittent recovery periods.

HIIT increases your ability to burn fat by changing the structure of your muscle fibers. As little as 2 weeks of interval training can positively affect your hormones and metabolic response. It also increases the number of specialize parts of cells called mitochondria [8]. These powerhouses have the ability to burn fat for fuel – more mitochondria equals more fat burn.

Probably the best research to draw upon here was by Trapp et al [9]. In the study, a group of young women were asked to take part in either 40 minutes of regular low-intensity cardio or a 20-minute HIIT program of exercise. After 15 weeks , the HIIT group had lost 2.5 kg more weight than the cardio group. That’s nearly 4 pounds extra a week.

Because of the intensity of HIIT, during recovery, oxygen consumption is elevated to help restore metabolic processes to baseline conditions. This means you’ll get an EPOC effect, just like with weight training.



#6. Eat More Protein

So you’ll be really hitting the workouts going forwards. You’ll be strength training on a regular basis and you’ll be throwing in some high intensity cardio for extra measure too.

In order to optimize recovery, promote fat free mass and generally optimize energy use then getting enough protein in your diet is paramount.

Protein is the most hunger-satisfying of the three macronutrients. Research shows that 20-30% of the calories you eat from protein are burned off just digesting it. This is really high in comparison to the 5-10% for carbs and even lower 0-3% for fats [10]. This is what’s referred to as the thermic effect of food (TEF).

Satiety is inversely related to the thermic effect meaning protein is definitely your best friend when you’re on a calorie deficit.

And studies back this up too. For example, a paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [11] found that in a group of overweight volunteers, a high-protein diet decreased daily energy intake by 441 kcal. Not only that, it also reduced fat mass by 3.7 kg over a 12-week period too. 



#7. Maintain an Active Lifestyle

Just because you’re going to the gym and eating well doesn’t mean you can put the brakes on other physical activities.

Research shows that in times of calorie restriction, you might involuntarily reduce how often you move. It’s your body’s way of clinging onto its energy stores. But guess what? Do all you can to keep moving and you’ll soon ramp up the fat loss.

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT refers to the energy you use whilst completing non-structured tasks. These include general movement, changing posture, tapping or fidgeting. Reduced NEAT has been shown to suppress and in some cases even increase body weight [12] so it’s important to do all you can to get on your feet and get moving.

On top of that you’ve got physical activities like walking, dancing or household work. When you’re dieting your body doesn’t actually want you to be active so you’ll have to make an almost special effort to move as much as you can to increase both your structured and unstructured energy expenditure.

Light physical activities such as walking provide you with the perfect opportunity to go out as a couple, explore the great outdoors, and finalise some of those wedding plans. 



 #8. Start the Day Properly

Kicking the day off with a short workout will ramp up your metabolism, improve your energy levels and help with discipline too.

This short workout video by our own Alexia and Jason will help you to torch fat. It works your whole body with big compound exercises and the continuous flow from one exercise to the next will elevate your heart rate giving you all of the benefits of cardio.

The big difference though? You’re adding resistance training too, so you’re hitting the body with a two-pronged attack.

After a short warm up of jogging on the spot, here’s your program:

ExerciseDuration
Mountain Climbers30 seconds
Wide Squat Jumps30 seconds
Push-ups30 seconds
High Knees30 seconds
Plank Walk-outs30 seconds
Lunge Jumps30 seconds
Push-ups30 seconds
Alternate High Knee Twists30 seconds
Bicycle Crunch30 seconds
High Knee Sprint30 seconds

 #9. Follow This 4-Week Wedding Fit Workout

We’ve pulled our knowledge of fat loss workouts together to provide you with this fat melting, fitness building program. Put this together with our 5 minute morning fat burner workouts and you’ll be well on your way to your best physique ever.

This workout does require you to have access to a gym and understand basic lifts. This is the best, most efficient way for you to lose weight and keep it off. If you are unsure about any of the exercises then just grab a trainer, who we are sure will be happy to walk you through the basics!

Download

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Summary

With the countdown to your wedding on you want to look your best. You’re motivated and willing to try anything.

This plan provides a step-by-step guide for healthy weight loss. It doesn’t leave anything to chance – follow it and you’ll look your absolute best on your wedding day.


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References

  1. Neighbors, LA et al. Weight and weddings: Women’s weight ideals and weight management behaviors for their wedding day. Appetite. 2008; 50(2-3): 550-554
  2. Prichard, I et al. An examination of pre-wedding body image concerns in brides and bridesmaids. Body Image. 2008; 5(4): 395-398
  3. Avery, A et al. Setting targets leads to greater long-term weight losses and ‘unrealistic’ targets increase the effect in a large community-based commercial weight management group. J Human Nutr Diet. 2016; 29(6): 687–696
  4. Walberg, JL et al. Aerobic exercise and resistance weight-training during weight-reduction: implications for obese persons and athletes. Sports Med. 1989; 7(6): 343-56
  5. Osterberg, KL et al. Effect of acute resistance exercise on postexercise oxygen consumption and resting metabolic rate in young women. Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2000; 10 (1): 71-81
  6. Davy, BM et al. Water consumption reduces energy intake at a breakfast meal in obese older adults. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008; 108(7): 1236-9
  7. Boschmann, M et al. Water-induced thermogenesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Dec; 88(12): 6015-9
  8. Talanian, JL et al. Two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training increases the capacity for fat oxidation during exercise in women. J App Physiol. 2007; 102(4): 1439-1447
  9. Trapp, EG et al. The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. Int J Obes (Lond). 2008; 32(4):684-91
  10. van Baak, MA. Meal-induced activation of the sympathetic nervous system and its cardiovascular and thermogenic effects in man. Physiol Behav 2008; 94: 178-86
  11. Weigle, DS et al. A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations Am J Clin Nutr. 200582(1): 41-48
  12. Levine, JA et al. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002; 16(4): 679-702