Healthy Wedding Tips

Studies show nearly three out of four of brides want to lose weight for the wedding. Here are 11 tips and tactics to get healthier as a food-loving bride, without the extreme diet.
By: Carlene Thomas R.D.N., L.D.

Photo By: Olga Saliy ©OlgaSaliy

Photo By: Ozgur Coskun

Photo By: Silvia Jansen ©2012, Silvia Jansen

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Charlotte Lake ©Charlotte Lake

Photo By: Uwe Krejci ©Uwe Krejci

Eating Healthy During Catering Tastings

One of the greatest things about getting engaged is the caterer tastings you'll attend while choosing the amazing food to serve at the wedding. Balance indulgent meals by planning ahead. Don't show up ravenous to a tasting, which could begin with the dessert table options. Have a sensible snack before you head out so you can cover your nutrition needs and show up just hungry enough to make an informed decision about which cake you really like best — not which one was closest when you sat down. 

Beauty Booster Foods

Did you know that what you're eating affects your hair, skin and nails? Make your food work for you to give you strong and shiny hair, quick-growing and strong nails, and radiant skin. Foods like berries, sweet potato, broccoli, greens, green tea and dark chocolate all contain antioxidants. They fight against free radicals that come from the sun, air pollutants and stress (so keep your cool when wedding planning!). Foods that have a high water content like cucumber and berries keep your cells hydrated so they can function properly. That means faster cell turnover for radiant skin and plump cells so your skin doesn't look flat and dull. There’s a wide variety of beauty booster foods, so take your pick.

"Treat Foods" Done Right

Many people feel that eating healthy is an all or nothing decision. But as people who love food, we appreciate everything from the raw celery stick to the buttery steak with mashed potatoes. You can have it both ways in moderation. Try to find the best, most-delicious version of the treat food and skip the imposters.

Don't Skip the Fat

Healthy fats like nuts, avocado, salmon and olive oil help keep your hair, skin and even your heart healthy. Eating healthy fats is a major part of luxurious locks and a top layer of protection. In fact, skipping fats altogether is detrimental to your health. Make smart swaps like adding olive oil to your salad, mashing avocado as a sandwich spread or eating nuts as a snack.

Eating Healthy at Parties

Don't depend on someone else to offer healthy options to suit your needs. Instead, plan ahead. To make a smart party plate, make half your plate produce and half your plate lean protein. The truth is that the majority of party appetizers are mostly grains or fatty meats, which is why there's no need to add it to your served plate. Be realistic about how you balance. Before you head to a cocktail and appetizer party, make yourself a small meal of protein and veggies to eat at home before you go. You know there will be lots of starchy options being passed around when you arrive. Try tuna and lemon with chopped veggies or Greek yogurt with berries and almonds. Think about the best way to balance for wherever you're headed.

It's All About the Green

The ultimate beauty food is leafy green vegetables. They have serious fiber to keep you full on less calories, plus a ton of important antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for your body. If you're a green beginner, add spinach to a fruit smoothie, or finely chop spinach and add it to eggs in the morning. More advanced in the green department? Replace sandwich rolls with a collard green wrap. Craving something crispy? Kale chips are your best bet.

Eat More, Not Less

Volume, that is! For brides and grooms who feel like they're never full, look to foods with lots of volume. Go for grapes instead of raisins or a big roasted veggie salad instead of chips. Think of ways to trick your brain while being in touch with your stomach. Think about how satisfying it would be to see that big bowl of veggies instead of a tiny chip bowl for the same calories.

Don't Demonize One Food Group

Instead of doing an extreme diet that eliminates multiple food groups, do some research to see the science behind the claims. Don't do something because your friend tells you to. Connect with a health professional to find the best choices for your health.

Stock Your Kitchen

You can't make healthy things at home if your fridge and cupboards are bare. Create a list of healthy staples you can use to build healthy meals. Store them on a list-making app or have recurring grocery deliveries set for these items.

Healthy Snacks

A snack still counts as calories, so make it count with healthy options. Try to keep snacks between 100 and 200 calories. For a balanced snack, pair produce with whole grains, a healthy fat or lean proteins to keep your blood sugar balanced and keep you full and happy. Try nuts with dried fruit or cucumber slices with hummus. Looking for a sweeter option? Blend a frozen banana with vanilla almond milk and a dash of cocoa powder to make "ice cream."

Slow Down Your Dinner

Have you ever sat down for a meal only to realize that you had finished the entire plate before you knew what was happening? Eating while distracted (checking email, watching TV) puts us out of touch with how satisfied we feel or how hungry we are. Make an effort to have a slow, relaxing dinner to savor each bite. Put down the phone or turn off the TV and you may just find you're full long before the plate is clean.