If I asked you how you’d like to feel and look on your big day, you would probably answer like this:
“Bride” – I want to be glowing with effortless confidence and sparkling in a dress that compliments every curve of my body.
“Groom” – I want to feel relaxed and look my best, in a well fitted suit that makes me look like a superhero to my wife to be as she walks down the aisle.
After all, tying the knot is the most important day of your life, so why wouldn’t you want to feel that way. Standing there at the alter in front of all your family and friends, emotions flowing, lost in laughter and making memories for life.
Now you might be thinking “That’s only in fairytale movies, I’ll never be able to feel like that on my big day, there’s just to much going on for me to achieve that”.
Well, I’ve got some good news for you! Achieving your dream body for your big day may not be as far out of reach as you may think.
In fact, it’s quite the contrary.
Here’s the 12 most important things to focus on:
#1 Keep your diet simple
There are so many new fad diets and crazy eating plans out there that it can feel bewildering. So, the best thing you can do with your nutrition is to keep it as simple as possible. Most people try to hard by varying their diet too much which can lead to a multitude of things going wrong.
What really works is keeping it super simple. It makes it easy to stick to and it makes it easy to prepare. You can still have meals that you enjoy and find tasty, but simplicity and ease are key.
#2 Fill up on vegetables
When you’re on a body transformation diet or getting in shape for a wedding, vegetables are your best friend. They are low in calories but high in volume, so you can eat lots of them without taxing your daily allowance. They also help to keep you full throughout your day, making it easier to stay on track and avoid those pesky hunger cravings.
Vegetables also contain loads of fibre which has a number of health benefits. The main one being its effects on keeping your gut healthy and functioning optimally.
Fibre also has a high thermic effect, meaning the more you eat, the more calories your body burns to break it down and metabolise it. Both are key when it comes to transforming your body.
#3 Master your meal preparation
The trick is to not over complicate your meal preparation. You could prepare a different dish for every meal and every snack, if you wanted to, but it takes a lot of thought and work. So, you’re best off having a handful of go-to meals. Three breakfasts, three lunches and three dinners is all you really need.
Batch cooking your meals is also the quickest way to stay on top of your food prep, as you’ll be killing two birds with one stone.
For example, if you were having chicken, steamed vegetables and pesto pasta for dinner, simply make enough for lunch or dinner the next day. It really is that simple.
#4 Understand the amount of calories your body needs
People have been trying to calculate the right amount of calories and macros they need for a long time, but many fail in their attempts to get it right and never see the results they want. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t need to be that complicated.
Understanding macronutrients – what proteins, fats and carbs you need, and when – will be an integral part to your transformation.
I’d recommend keeping it simple. Avoid using online calculators and equations, they rarely get it right. Instead, you could track your calories using a free tracking App like MyfitnessPal for more accuracy. But if you don’t like numbers or have the time to weigh and log your food, then you could use something as simple as the “Hand portion” method.
Simply put, the hand portion method allows you to track your calories and macros using different parts of your hand. For protein, aim for a palm size. For fats, aim for a thumb size. For carbs, aim for a level cup size, and for your veggies aim for a first size.
For males, shoot for 3-4 meals a day with two servings of each portion with every meal. For females, shoot for 3-4 meals a day with only one serving of each portion with every meal.
The best thing about this method is that your hand is always with you, so no matter where you are, you can always monitor your food intake fairly accurately with ease.
#5 Don’t panic if your weight fluctuates
The scales can be a really useful tool to track your progress, and understand your body better. It can give you insight into how your body reacts to different things, like stress, carbs, training and alcohol, from day to day.
But don’t be fixated or panicked if that number changes. Your weight can fluctuate for a myriad of different reasons, with the main culprit being changes in water levels, especially if you’re a woman.
Water weight fluctuations and perfectly normal and all part of the process. Knowing that this will happen means you won’t have to panic or think you’ve ruined your good work, which will leave you feeling more in control.
As long as your weight is moving in the right direction over time, that’s all that matters.
#6 Choose lower calorie ‘cheats’
If you’re not one of these people who can live like a monk for 12 weeks and never let anything vaguely indulgent pass your lips, find healthier ‘cheats’ that give your taste buds a little bit of what you want. It will help make things more sustainable and it doesn’t have to knock your diet off track.
There are tonnes of lower calorie alternatives to everyday treats that can help you stay on track whilst dieting. Do a bit of shopping around, you’ll be surprised at what you find.
With time, you’ll learn that those things aren’t going to make a difference if you’re sticking to your diet over the week and you’re training hard.
#7 A calorie deficit is vital for fat loss
If you’re eating too many calories, you won’t lose body fat. You need to be in a calorie deficit.
There’s no other way.
Reducing your overall calorie intake and training hard is going to be the most effective way at achieving your body transformation in the shortest time frame possible.
But how will you know if you’re in a calorie deficit? Simple. By weighing yourself daily and keeping a log of how your body is responding. As long as your weight is going down week to week, then you can be sure that your calorie intake is low enough.
This is also where using the hand portion method comes into play. If you find that your weight isn’t dropping as fast as you’d like, then you can simply reduce the sizes of your portions, i.e. taking away one thumbs worth of fat with one meal, or having one less cup size of carbs.
#8 Your steps count
The daily activity you do outside the gym is an important part of any body transformation. The easiest way to achieve this is to get outside for plenty of walks.
People think if they’ve been to the gym they can just go home and sit down. But you still need to keep active and keep moving as much as you can throughout the day to keep burning calories.
A smart watch of any kind is a great investment here as it will allow you to track your steps more accurately. Knowing this data can show you if you’re falling short of your daily activity levels It’s also a nice challenge to set yourself a daily goal. I’d recommend trying to hit 10,000 steps a day to start with, and you can build that up to 15,000 and even more as you start to build momentum. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can just go to the gym for an hour and then do nothing else for the day. What’s actually important is the other 23 hours in that day and what you do with that time and how much you’re moving. Never underestimate the power of walking when it comes to fat loss.
#9 Get yourself to the gym
This one goes without saying. When it comes to transforming your body, you must be doing some form of weight training. Without it, you’re not going to be able to achieve the desired look you want.
When it comes to getting in shape for your big day, you want to be able to reveal a more muscular and toned physique as your body fat levels start to drop lower. The best way to achieve this is to resistance train 2-4 times a week, making sure to hit each major muscle group at least twice by using the big basic movement patterns.
This could look like the following in each session:
Squat, Push, Hinge, Pull – 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps. You can also add some extra work to focus on your desired body parts. 2-3 sets of 8-12 here.
Don’t feel that you need to go all out and train with 100% intensity for 3 hours at a time. Sessions lasting anywhere between 45-60 minutes with moderate intensity is more than enough to make progress.
On top of that, I’d highly recommend keeping a training log to track your weight sessions. The key to building muscle is to use something known as “progressive overload”. All that simply means is you’re constantly pushing yourself in the gym to progress on what you did previously.
This could be lifting more weight, doing more sets, doing more reps or even resting for shorter periods, and the best way to track all of this is to write things down in a training log.
#10 Don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights
Lifting heavy weights is one of the most effective ways to build muscle and achieve that dream body for your big day. Men don’t really have an issue with this, it’s mostly women, as they are scared it’s going to make them big and bulky.
The reality is, it’s not going to do that at all. In fact, it’s actually going to give you that more toned and curvy look that you want, and in the right areas.
Not to mention it’s a great feeling to challenge yourself in the gym and feel yourself getting stronger session to session. There’s something so satisfying about being be able to stack some heavy weights on a bar knowing that you can lift it! You feel mentally strong as well as physically.
You shouldn’t be scared of weight training. Over the years of training hundreds of female clients, I can vouch that it doesn’t make you look big and manly.
#11 Track your progress as many ways as possible
If you don’t measure and track your progress, you won’t know whether you’re going in the right direction. I’d recommend starting with bodyweight, as it will give you the confidence to know that the program is working from the get go, which can help you stay disciplined and focused over time.
There are lots of other simple things you can track to, like your daily step count, which I mentioned earlier. Even little things like how your clothes are fitting all count.
You can also track your heart rate on a fitness watch, which can show you how hard you’re pushing yourself, especially if you’re doing cardio. Take notes of this and see how it improves overtime.
Another great way of measuring progress is taking weekly pictures. Pictures don’t lie. You can see your progress. Take one at the beginning of the week. Then take another one in another couple of weeks and you will be able to see the physical changes. There is nothing more motivating then seeing your body change week to week, and photos are the best way to do this.
#12 Be consistent
Out of all the tips I’ve shared above, this has to be the most important one. As cliché as it sounds, consistency really is the key to achieving a successful body transformation for your big day. Without consistency, you’ll end up spinning your wheels in the mud and giving up before you’ve had the chance to see any real change.
One thing to keep in mind, is not to put too much pressure on yourself, and try to go from one to a hundred right from the get go. Adopting an all or nothing mentality will set you up for failure.
The trick is to build yourself up gradually and create small daily habits that give you a sense of achievement. They don’t need to be life changing. Something as simple as drinking more water everyday, going for a 30 minute walk each day, adding some extra protein and vegetables to your dinner.
Don’t try to change everything all at once. Start small, finish big!
So there we go. That’s my top 12 body transformation tips, to help you get in the best shape possible for your wedding.
I’m a big advocate of keeping things simple. There’s really no need to overcomplicate things. Getting in shape doesn’t need to be as scary as people make you to believe. With the right plan and structure in place, you’ll be amazed at how much your body can change with a few simple lifestyle changes.
If you stick to the basics and do them consistently, you will get the results you want for your Big Day!
I hope you found this helpful, and can go away and start applying some of these tips to your own body transformation journey.
Got any questions?
Great, I’m always happy to answer any queries.
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Owner of AG Coaching