With the New Year upon us and my nuptials just 10 months away, I’ve been feeling more inspired than ever to nail down a health and fitness plan to be feeling my best for the big day. I recently shared some of my bridal New Year’s Resolutions with you, but today I’m going to take a deeper dive into how I plan on get in shape, clean up my diet, regain my energy, and glow from the inside out on my wedding day. This regimen is one I’ve been thinking a lot about, and doing a lot of researching as I’ve been planning it out. So today, I am excited to bring to you my 9-month bridal boot camp plan!
All of you brides-to-be out there, I invite you to join in with me as I follow these guidelines. You can start anywhere in the plan, or do an accelerated version if you are shorter than 9 months out. Just remember that these are simply guidelines and not must-follow rules. The months leading up to your wedding should be as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, so if you’re the type who gets stressed having extra items on your to-do list, this routine may not be for you! If you do decide to join me, I’d love to hear your feedback along the way. Leave your two cents in the comments below! Now, here we go…
9 Months Out:
Eliminate Processed Foods
At 9 months out from the wedding, it’s a good idea to focus on whole foods, and foods that come in the most natural state. The best way to do this is to eliminate as many processed foods from your diet as possible. If the food you’re eating isn’t in its most natural form (i.e. chicken isn’t supposed to look like a nugget!), or you don’t know the process it went through to look like it does before you bite into it, it probably went through some sort of artificial process. So, focus on fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, and refined sugar-free sweets (like this no-bake, raw, vegan cheesecake), when a sweets craving comes along.
Solidify a Realistic Workout Plan
It might seem obvious that any bride who wants to feel great on her wedding should solidify a workout plan. But, I am often surprised to hear about brides trying to whip themselves into shape at the last minute, instead of focusing on their fitness goals as a long-term lifestyle plan. So, nine months out is a good time to solidify a realistic workout plan. I say realistic for a reason… It can be easy to feel super motivated (especially this time of year) to work out every day and have a six pack and fit into your skinny jeans. However, making unrealistic goals like these can often set you up for failure because they aren’t attainable. Instead, I recommend aiming to get a healthy dose of cardio or weight training in 2-3 times a week, and balance it out with yoga or Pilates 1-2 times a week. Going on walks or hikes is another great way to stay active, especially on the weekends. You can of course bump this workout plan up a notch as the big day gets closer, but start by setting goals that are realistic during this busy time of planning and events.
Nail Down a Beauty Regimen
Two great beauty goals to make at this point in the planning process are getting regular facials and switching out your products to more chemical-free options. Facials are of course a luxury and an added expense, but, if you can budget for the occasional treatment, it will do wonders in clearing out black heads and clogged pores. And, going chemical-free with your beauty products is a surefire way to know you are eliminating toxins and harmful chemicals from the products you put on your face. Nine months out is a great amount of time to test out these beauty experiments so that you have a solid skincare routine as your wedding gets closer. For a more detailed wedding beauty timeline, click here.
6 Months Out:
Ditch the Bread Basket
I truly believe that not all breads are created equally. Some are way worse for you than others (hello, chemical-laden Wonder Bread), and some are actually a good choice if you’re craving a sandwich (Ezekiel Bread is one of my favorite options). However, when it comes to a restaurant bread basket, you really have no idea what you’re getting when you put a bite in your mouth. Making an effort to ditch the restaurant bread basket six months before your wedding will help create the habit of focusing on a healthy entree and not filling up on empty-calorie carbs before the meal even starts. Not to mention that you will feel much better avoiding the butter that comes with it, too!
Kick Up the Cardio
Now it’s time to feel the burn! Kick up your favorite cardio workout a notch by adding in an extra day per week. You’ll build more endurance, get a great sweat (which will get your skin glowing), and shred calories. Plus, who doesn’t love those post-cardio endorphins? Consider them a bride’s best friend when the stresses of wedding planning seem a little overwhelming.
3 Months Out:
Up Your Hydration
If you’re going to be upping your workout routine, you’re definitely going to be breaking more sweat. Which means, you’ll want to really focus on upping your water intake at this point. Dehydration not only wreaks havoc on a metabolism, but it also takes a toll on your skin, mental clarity, and a range of other factors. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Tip: If you get bored of drinking plain old water, spice things up with lemon or fruit (a few infused water recipes here!). Herbal tea is also hydrating and a lovely way to switch up your H20.
Say Sayonara to Refined Sugar
Just as we said goodbye to processed foods earlier, right about now is a good time to leave sweets, baked goods and all sources of refined sugar behind. You may think you’ve already done this by ditching processed foods, but you’d be surprised to find how many refined sugars are sneaking into your everyday diet staples. Ketchup, coffee creamer, granola, yogurt, white wine… all of these can have added hidden sugars in them. The goal in reducing your sugar intake is to achieve a stable energy level all day long. When the week of your wedding events is approaching, you will be so thankful that you’re not feeling groggy and drained due to consuming foods filled with hidden sugars. And, you’ll enjoy that slice of wedding cake more than ever!
Add in Beauty Supplements
Now is the time to add some powerhouse supplements to your daily vitamin line up. I love collagen, biotin, B12, and a multi-vitamin for keeping my hair shiny, my skin glowing, and my energy levels up. Here’s a list of vitamins I’ve recommended here on the site before. Note: Consult with a healthcare provider before taking any of these vitamins to make sure they are right for you and your lifestyle needs.
1 Month Out:
Add in Extra Greens
Leafy greens and colorful veggies are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. At one month out, be sure to up your intake of these nutritional powerhouses. I recommend doing this by adding greens to every meal of your day, if you aren’t already. I’ll be starting my day with a green smoothie, then having a colorful, veggie-heavy salad for lunch, and enjoying a dinner of sautéed or roasted veggies with a lean protein and a healthy fat like avocado in the evening.
There’s no doubt that wedding planning can be stressful. And just like any added stress in life, it can take a toll on your sleep schedule, your productivity at work, and even your social schedule—which, at this point, should be full of fun and fabulous events. So, one month out is a great time to make sure you’re prioritizing self-care. That can mean anything from weekly massages to yoga to a therapy session to regular mani-pedis to even taking 30 minutes before bed to read a great book that gets your mind off your to-do list. Practicing self-care will help keep the other aspects of your life in balance, and will therefore keep your spirits high.
2 Weeks Out:
Swap Coffee for Tea
Okay, this might be a tough one for my coffee lover out there. And trust me, I feel you. However, two weeks before my wedding, I’m going to make an effort to ditch my 2 cup-a-day habit and turn to tea instead. Tea provides a more stable “buzz” than coffee, since it is much lower in caffeine. And, whereas being overstimulated on coffee can create that afternoon sugar craving, tea has much less of an effect on cravings and will help me stick with my healthy eating goals.
Focus on Getting 8 Hours of Sleep a Night
This is good to focus on the entire nine months, but let’s be realistic: There will be times in the nine months leading up to your wedding where eight hours of sleep just isn’t going to happen. Instead, really put your energy into accomplishing this goal two weeks out. In the 14 days leading up to your wedding, set a bedtime and get those Zzzzs so that you look and feel rested on your special day.
1 Week Out:
Get a Massage
Loosen up, lighten up, and relax. Getting a massage one week out from your wedding will do all of the above, not to mention it will give you that precious hour of “me” time you deserve.
Squeeze in a Favorite Workout
Try to find time in the week before your wedding to squeeze in your favorite sweat. It let you blow off a little steam and nervous energy (excited nervous, of course!), and it will have you feeling strong and confident to walk down that aisle.
Eat Bloat-Reducing Foods
When you’re nibbling on snacks the week before you say “I do”, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t choosing foods that will have you feeling bloated and weighed down in your dress. Chewing gum and bubble water can cause extra bloat, along with caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, so try to limit those. Click here to see our favorite list of detox-approved snacks.
And there you have it! Let me know in the comments below if there are any tips you would add to this list. I’d love to see your suggestions.
Will you be following along on this 9-month bridal boot camp plan with me?