Altaring Your Reality For Your Wedding-Day Diet

6 Mistakes Brides Make In Losing Weight For The Altar

Congratulations on your engagement!  Saying yes to the proposal now moves you into the planning details for your wedding day.  One of those details will be finding & fitting into your perfect dress and how you’ll look walking down the aisle. If you’re like most brides you’ll wish you could drop a few sizes before your special day. However be cautious with your methods, according to a Cornell study[1]. 70 percent of brides make harmful health mistakes that can cause long-term damage to the body.

Vanity is a double-edged sword. You can either use vanity as the motivating factor for a lifestyle that can increase your energy, deepen your sleep, and heal your body or you can use vanity for the sole purpose to lose as much weight as possible.

 This article is intended for those brides who want to use their wedding day as way to develop a healthier version of themselves, and to use this knowledge of mistake avoidance to adopt the right wellness mindset even after you say, “I do!”

 Mistake # 1: Starving yourself to lose weight.

 Simplifying weight loss to calories in vs. calories out is at the root of this mistake. Viewing your entire weight loss goal through the lens of caloric deficiency is wrong, harmful, and dangerous to your health.

 The reason this is wrong is because many people do not understand what a calorie is, why it’s used in nutrition, and the formula it takes to actually measure it in the human body.

 What is a calorie? A calorie is the heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 kg of water from 0 to 1°C. This heat energy measurement can only be accurately measured in a lab. Human beings do not burn food for energy we digest food for nutrients.

Why it was discovered? The calorie wasn’t actually discovered. The scientist Nicolas Clement was looking for alternative ways to define another unit of heat[2]. It never had a purpose to be measured inside our bodies.

 How you would accurately measure calories in the body:

a.     Measure your body lipid composition.

b.     Personally verify calorie count.

c.      Analyze the chemical change of calorie density in your cooked food.

d.     Weigh yourself before you go to the bathroom.

 New Strategy:

Instead of counting calories count colors.  Introduce more colors of the rainbow in your diet. Eating color variety helps our body gets the nutrients it needs.  It’s nature’s way of putting in all our multi-vitamins in one place.  One caveat on the color selection, you want to avoid white foods in the forms of white sugar, white flour, and white salt. Sugar and flour and will raise your insulin level which in turn stores the excess glucose as fat on our bodies.  White table salt is deprived of the 87 trace minerals natural salt has and only has 2 minerals, sodium and chlorine . 

Mistake # 2: Avoiding fat because it will make you fat.

The major factor in the cause to this mistake is the coincidences in language.

It’s unfortunate that the word fat is used both to describe the stored tissue in the body (adipose) and an essential macronutrient (lipid).

Adipose tissue is stored on the body due to the increase of insulin[3].

Natural occurring fats in nature (butter, olive oil, nuts) are a class of a macronutrients that go directly into the cell, do not spike insulin, and contain fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K.  Notably vitamin E is an antioxidant that repairs our cells.

New Strategy:

It’s the processed oils you want to avoid.  To turn an unnatural lipid (fat) into an oil you need to add hydrogen. The hydrogen changes the chemical compounds making the fats highly unstable. Unstable fats trick your body into thinking it’s an antioxidant when in fact it’s a free radical. A free radical in the body destroys cells. When our bodies work hard to repair damaged cells, it will deprioritize fat metabolism and weight loss.

List of oils to avoid:

●      Margarine

●      Vegetable oil

●      Packaged snacks

●      Baked goods (especially premade versions)

●      Ready-to-use dough

●      Fried foods

●      Coffee creamers (both dairy and non-dairy)

 Mistake # 3.  Over exercising. Thinking you can burn off the weight with cardio.

 Yes exercise is crucial in a weight-loss program. However, it doesn’t work in the way of more cardio you do the more you’ll burn off.  We don’t burn anything in our body. The way adipose tissue/body fat is released from our body is through sweat and our breath[4].

 Exercise does one thing in this process: it builds muscle.  Muscles use 10x the amount of energy than fat cells, which means the more muscle you have the easier it will be use up your glycogen storage to access your fat metabolism. You’ll know you are in at fat metabolizing mode when you have plenty of energy on hand, can skip a meal without feeling hungry, do not get weird food cravings, easily lose body fat, and can workout longer without hitting the “wall.”

 New Strategy:

 Find a way to sweat for a minimum of 20 minutes in an exercise you enjoy doing. If you think of the gym is a cardio machine followed by lifting weights is boredom, find a workout routine you enjoy.  There is yoga,  Zumba, Crossfit, Barre method, bootcamps, etc. The goal is to sweat which is how you know the exercise is working.

Mistake # 4. Not getting enough sleep

 Sleep becomes something we have learned to sacrifice to fit in other priorities in life. The “I’ll sleep when I'm dead” concept is how we falsely trained ourselves to believe that sleep is for the weak.  There are many things to know about sleep. 1. It’s the most active time for cell repair and 2.It’s when we most efficiently metabolize our nutrients. When we allow our bodies to get the appropriate amount of sleep (7-8 hours) to rest and recover.

 We have picked up some pretty damaging sleep habits: looking at your phone before bed will negatively influence your melatonin (natural sleep hormone) and will affect your circadian rhythm.  On the AM side we are jolted out of bed by an alarm to get ready for our day not feeling fully rested. We then tend to ‘fix’ the problem by overly caffeinating ourselves only to repeat the problem.

 New Strategy:

 Create a relaxing bedtime ritual. Start small. For a couple of nights experience what it feels like to go to bed without looking at your phone. If you find yourself bored while in bed, use that time to mediate and contemplate the emotion of boredom. Retrain yourself to go to bed without the dependence of looking at a screen.   Work up to going to bed without a screen an hour before your bedtime.

 Whenever you can, avoid using an alarm to wake up, instead allowing yourself to wake up naturally.

 Pro-tip: Ask a question of your sub-conscious before bed and keep a pad & pen to write down any brilliant ideas in the AM.

 Mistake # 5. Being guided by food manufactures for nutritional advice.

 Food manufactures have one job, sell you food. Virtually every food product they sell, they can add at least a little bit of sugar to a product to make it tastier. The “Bliss Point” is a term used for the point at which the product is the perfect desired sweetness, and therefore tastiest it can be before adding any more sugar would make it too sweet. This is why sugar is in 80% of foods on the market, and it’s mostly in foods you wouldn’t expect to have any sweetness to them.

 When we think about, see, or smell foods our brains trigger what is called the Cephalic Phase Insulin Release to prepare you for digesting that food. The sweeter the brain thinks the food will be, the more insulin it stimulates the pancreas to release. This extra insulin can make you feel even hungrier as it will block your leptin signal (natural feeling full hormone). The sight of sweet food on TV commercials, advertisements, store aisles, etc. can make you hungry even though the contents of your stomach have not changed at all.

 New Strategy:

 The good news is that you can deconstruct this programmed response the brain has created. If your normal programming is: see picture of food, buy food, take food out of the package, eat food; then advertisements or food labels in the store can have a real strong effect on you. However if you change your programming to: see real food, check if food is fresh or ripe, cook food, and then eat food, your brain will stop associating colorful packages with eating and it will become much easier to resist well marketed foods.

Mistake # 6. Stressing out over weight loss by setting false expectation. 

 Stress in general will naturally cause us to gain and keep on weight.

It’s the cortisol, which is our body’s stress hormone.  An increase of cortisol has a similar effect as an increase of insulin.  Our bodies shut down non-critical systems in order to handle the extra stress. Do you find yourself waking up at 3 or 4 am every night?  That’s a sign of adrenal fatigue, which means your cortisol levels are off balance.  Carrying around too much cortisol in our bodies will lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, mood swings, anxiety, and depression

 Planning a wedding will be stressful enough.  Adding unrealistic expectations of ‘what you should look like’ is a recipe for disaster.  If you find yourself comparing your body to a bride’s body in the magazine, remember that picture was created by stylists, editors, and professional models, and the photo was likely touched up by Photoshop.  They are not there to give you health tips.

 New Strategy:

Find ways to manage your self-care. The wedding planning process will no doubt be stressful, which makes having a stress management program in place will be important to mitigate any upcoming stressful situation.

According to Self-care expert Gracy Obuchowicz[5]., the first step of self-care is learning to recognize when you are acting from a stress response.  She defines the stress response as those moments when your nervous system is overloading.  You can tell you are stressed when you can’t stop snapping at others, are having catastrophic thoughts or can’t fall asleep at night. After you recognize you are stressed, the first thing to do is stop and relax.  She recommends doing something that feels decadent for 10-60 minutes.  “You can read a trashy magazine, watch a funny youtube video or lay down on the couch with a cool, lavender-scented washcloth over your eyes,” she said.  “It doesn’t matter what it is, just that it feels like self-care to you. Once you start to relax your nervous system, your problems won’t feel so big anymore.”

 Using these self-care methods will naturally lower your cortisol levels and give your body the time to release some excess weight. 

 In my work I discovered that being healthy means 2 things.  First you are actively removing the harm that causes our bodies to hold on to weight, and second you are providing the body with all the essential nutrients it needs to thrive and give us the energy we need to live life.

 I wish you all the joy and happiness on your wedding day and the days that continue into the health of your marriage.

 Sources:

[1] http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2008/01/wedding-day-weight-wishes-lose-more-20-pounds

[2] http://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/insulin-and-glucagon#Glucosedisorders4

[3] http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/12/2957.full

 [4] http://www.livescience.com/49157-how-fat-is-lost-body.html

 [5] http://www.selfcarewithgracy.com