So you’re getting married? Congratulations are in order when two people have committed to spend the rest of their lives together. The engagement ceremony, the wedding ceremony, the ring ceremony…the list goes on and on. One thing to keep in mind during the events is the one thing they will all have in common – you.
For most of us, a wedding is the largest official ceremony where we will be the focus of everyone’s attention for hours on end. You will be in the spotlight from morning to night on the wedding day and be filmed, photographed and recorded. The photos and video will stick with you (and your in-laws) for years to come and be the topic of scrutiny for months and months.
The key to remember is that on your wedding day, you will be the center of attention and you need to be at your absolute best. Hundreds if not thousands of dollars will be spent on your photographs and video so showing up out-of-shape to your own wedding is simply unacceptable and I think most of you would agree. The following is a list of my greatest tips to make sure you are looking and feeling your best for your wedding.
Tip #1 – Get a Personal Trainer and a Nutritionist/Registered Dietician (RD) on your side
I cannot over emphasize booking regular sessions with a personal trainer. This will ensure you are committed to regular exercise on a strict schedule that you will have no choice but to follow since you are paying for it. Commit to getting a personal trainer for 12 weeks before the wedding events and he/she will be able to assist you in making significant changes to your body. Commit to 2 days per week with the trainer and make sure you are doing cardiovascular training on your own time.
Get a nutritionist or an RD on your side. When getting in shape, your diet is 80% of the equation so getting sound nutritional advice that is customized to you is extremely important. Ensure the specialist knows you are exercising in addition to modifying your diet in hopes to look your best for the wedding.
A good nutritionist and/or RD can put together a plan that is right for you and customized specifically to your goals. When you get a customized plan it is laser focused on you and what you are trying to achieve over the next 12 weeks. Remember clarity is power and a nutritionist/RD will help you get just that. Never underestimate your need for dietary clarity, it will set you up for success in the long run, not only the 12 weeks before the wedding.
Tip #2 Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Get Started
Often in my practice, I have had clients come to me 30 days before their special day and I have the unfortunate news of telling them that in 4 weeks we can only do so much. The time to begin exercising and improving your diet is a minimum of 12 weeks out from the event, as 12 weeks is a good enough time frame in which you can make significant changes to you physique and well-being.
If you put your mind to it for 12 weeks and give it your all, you will come to the ceremony looking and feeling like a better man or woman and isn’t that the person your significant other deserves? Commit yourself 12 weeks out from the wedding and there will be time for you to stumble and get back up, as most people do when they begin to exercise and clean up their diet.
Tip #3 Where to Exercise
Quite frankly, the best place to exercise is the gym. Whether it’s a large chain gym or a local one is irrelevant, the right gym to exercise in is the one that you are comfortable with. Almost all gyms will give you a free tour of their facility so feel free to inspect any or all facilities in your area.
Often gyms will even give you a week long pass so you can try it out over a few days. If you can get your hands on a free week pass, I encourage you to try it out and see if the particular location is right for you. Never be intimidated when entering a gym: you are the customer. Remember the gym is there to cater to you, not the other way around. You are the customer you hold all the power since it’s you who will be paying fees so never allow staff or others to be rude to you or pretend like you are not important or do not fit in.
Once you find a gym you are comfortable with, make it your second home for the next 12 weeks since you should be spending a minimum of 4 days a week in there. Find a gym close to work and/or home if possible and make it part of the day that needs to happen just like going to work.
Tip #4 What to Eat
As your wedding approaches, it’s important to know that what you consume is going to significantly impact your health and well-being. The key for the final 12 weeks before the wedding is to stick with the following foods and to completely stay away from processed or fake foods as I call it.
Here’s a quick list of what you want to eat broken down by the key macronutrients:
Protein- chicken breast, low fat cottage cheese, egg whites, salmon, shrimp, steak (flank), tuna, turkey (lean ground), turkey breast, Greek yogurt.
Starchy carbohydrates- black beans, chick peas, corn, lentils, plain oatmeal, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice.
Fibrous carbohydrates- asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, green beans, green peppers, mushrooms, onion, tomato.
Fats- almonds, canola oil, cashews, flax seed oil, olive oil, natural peanut butter, safflower oil, sunflower kernels, sunflower seeds, walnuts.
If you stick to eating the above list, you will enhance fat loss and virtually eliminate any probability of bloating which can ruin photographs. Your nutritionist or RD can assist in advising you of your portion sizes and remember that for 12 weeks, you should maintain a clean diet and avoid all synthetic foods such as chips, burgers, prepackaged items like crackers and cookies and alcohol should be eliminated from your diet to get you to your best.
Tips #5 Enjoy the Process
Many times in life when we prepare for large events, the journey can be perilous, involve huge challenges and force us to raise the bar in certain areas of our life. As you raise your standards in the area of your well-being do so knowing that all the hard work you put in will be well documented! Your results will be archived in HD video and wide lens photographs that will stay with you, your family and friends for years to come. Raise your standards and your significant other will appreciate the respect you show them as you arrive in shape, and in style, to commit your lives to each other. Enjoy the process and remember you will come out a better person in the end.
If you want to get in shape for your wedding here is a weekly schedule that is ‘tested and true’ and above all else, easy to follow. Whether you are new to exercise or a seasoned veteran of the gym, a simple 2-day split (upperbody one day and lowerbody another day) is easy to maintain, remember and follow week after week category and you’ve created a well-balanced meal provided you follow your portion sizes!
When it comes to your diet, remember to eat every 3 hours and make sure you never allow yourself to get too hungry. I highly recommend 5 small meals a day (3 meals and 2 snacks) to ensure your blood sugar levels are stable throughout the day, which will ensure your energy level is also stable throughout the day. Cut out all your unhealthy habits such as ice cream, chips, soda and pizza. Focus on unprocessed sources of food to ensure healthy eating.
If you can commit to exercising and clean eating for 12 weeks before the wedding, I can assure you your health will reach new heights. In addition, making sacrifices over the next 12 weeks will set you up for good habits around exercise and eating for a lifetime. Take the plunge and get started as soon as possible. The more time you have before your big day, the easier it will be to show up looking like dynamite. Make it happen and congratulations on opening the next chapter of your life and bringing the best of you to your ceremony.
By Paul Gill
With over 20 years of weight training and conditioning experience, Paul Gill is a top personal trainer in Toronto, ON. A certified nutritionist and successful bodybuilder, Paul’s professional and personal goal is to help you improve your well-being through optimum health and fitness. Paul can be contacted by email at
email@example.com or visit www.gilltraining.com for more information.