Dana Monsees, a nutritionist and body-image coach, gives expert advice on how brides and grooms can look and feel their best on the big day—without the diet! This article was also featured in our latest issue, which you can purchase here.
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Do: Know You’re Enough
“A positive head space helps brides and grooms glow from the inside out, so it’s important to know your worth. “Remember that you’re beautiful, exactly as you are, right now. And you don’t need to do anything before the wedding to change that,” says Monsees.
Do: De-Stress With Movement
Wedding planning is demanding, and stress can leave you not feeling your best. Monsees suggest setting aside time for some kind of movement to help relieve stress or negativity: “Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, and we’d all do better to avoid using exercise as a punishment for what we ate, or to earn our food.”
Do: Detox From Social Media Accounts
Social media can be a trap for comparing yourself to others. “Unfollow any accounts that make you feel less-than,” says Monsees, “or that suggest you ‘should’ be doing something you’re not in order to look a certain way at your wedding.”
Do: Treat Yo’ Self
“The more beautiful you feel, the more beautiful you’ll look,” Monsees says, recommending that in the weeks leading up to the wedding you give yourself a big dose of self-love.
Don’t: Play Into The “Sweating For The Wedding” Vibe
No matter what the next fad diet or workout regime says, don’t add stress to your body by putting it through intense two-a-days or a deprivation diet. Brides and grooms can feel like their best selves by “focusing on foods that make them feel great,” Monsees says. “Include fiber from vegetables and fruits for optimal digestion, protein and fat to help you stay satiated and nourished, and carbohydrates for fuel and more nutrients.”
Don’t: Restrict Yourself
“Restriction in all cases leads to compensation by the body, and in a lot of cases, overcompensation in the form of bingeing on all the foods you gave up pre-wedding,” Monsees says. “So give it those nutrients and energy up front by practicing a mindset of abundance rather than restriction.”
Don’t: Focus On A Number On The Scale
“No one will remember if you lost those five pounds before the wedding,” Monsees says. “What they (and you!) will remember is if you’re having the time of your life and dancing your butt off at the reception.”
Dana Monsees, CNS, LDN, (realfoodwith-dana.com) is a Bethesda-based nutritionist and body-image coach. She hosts the Real Talk With Dana podcast, where she and her guest discuss nutrition science, body image, and health inclusivity.