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Healthy Weight Center

What Can I Do to Lose Weight for My Wedding?

03/11/2009

Question:

I just got a wedding dress 2 months ago. I picked it up today and tried it on. It is really tight. My wedding is in 3 months. I don`t eat a very good diet because I`m on the go so much. But I need to fit into my wedding dress and I`m freaking out. And my soon to be husband won`t let me get diet pills or anything like that. Please help me.

Answer:

You don't give me a lot of information but you appear to be a young adult female who has added weight in the two months since you first got the dress. If you go to ChooseMyPlate.gov you can click on a link in the right hand box that will then ask you to put in your age, height, weight, physical activity level and gender. The site will then determine how many calories you should be eating to maintain your current weight, and how those calories should be broken down into food groups to maintain good nutrition. Since you want to lose weight you need to subtract 500 calories from this number and use that as the target number of calories you should eat each day. These calories will be spread out over all the food groups, the discretionary ('as you wish') calories and oils that will be suggested you eat at your weight maintenance calorie level.

By decreasing your calorie intake by 500 calories per day, you will have a deficit of 3500 calories at the end of the week. You have to reduce your intake 3500 calories to lose one pound. So in the course of 8-10 weeks you will have lost 8-10 pounds, which sounds like the amount of calories you may have gained to make your wedding dress tight.

This process probably means changing your eating habits, and maybe your exercise habits. One thing you do not want to do is skip meals. When you skip meals you unknowingly tell your body that food is in short supply and it better conserve. It responds by slowing your metabolism, which means you don't burn as many calories. Don't go longer than about 5 hours without eating (except when you are sleeping). So . . . get up in the morning and eat breakfast. A high protein, high fiber breakfast cereal with nonfat milk, plus fruit on the cereal will provide you with a good start to the day. The protein in the cereal and milk, and fiber in the cereal and fruit provide you a breakfast with 'staying' power that will keep you going from a 7:00 breakfast until noon. Kashi and Nature's Path are two cereal brands that make a high protein, high fiber cereal. Eat lunch. Look at your meal plan and decide what you can eat for your lunch. You can use frozen dinners heated up in the microwave at work or a sandwich, plus fruit you bring from home. Or purchase your sandwich ( plain hamburger or grilled chicken), add extra lettuce and tomato, and order a salad to go with it. Go easy on the dressing on the salad or just salt and pepper it. Bring fruit to eat with your purchased food.

If you won't be able to eat your evening meal until late you may be better off having a small snack at 5:00 or so - maybe lowfat cheese and lowfat, 100% whole grain crackers, or 1/4 cup dried fruit and nuts or lowfat yogurt. Then you won't be ravenous when you eat dinner. Watch your portions at dinner so you don't go over your calorie limit. For good nutrition you should look back at what you have eaten earlier in the day and make your evening meal from the remaining foods in your food plan. Good luck to you.

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Response by:

Sharron   Coplin, MS, RD, LD Sharron Coplin, MS, RD, LD
Former Lecturer
Food & Nutrition
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University