Noosa Triathlon, Busselton Ironman, City to Surf and Melbourne Marathon, all big events on the TNN calendar, but lately we’ve been helping our clients in preparation for other big events, like their wedding day.
Not to undervalue the work that our endurance athletes do (we love you guys!), the reality is that most brides (and grooms) are thinking about body composition come their wedding day just as much as our athletes. Just like our athletes, all too often we see brides leaving it to the last minute, leading to crash diets and strict calorie counting regimes, putting their bodies under undue stress and in the meantime doing some potentially serious damage to their hormones. If you’re reading this and relating, then listen up.
Calorie counting is not the answer, we repeat, calorie counting is not the answer. If you want to trim body fat then you need to teach your body to become the ultimate ‘fat burner’ and there are two factors to get a handle of to make this happen:
1. Manage your carbohydrate intake.
When we go into calorie counting mode we tend to cut the fat and focus on carbohydrate laden foods because per gram they’re lower in energy then fat. At 4 calories (per gram) versus 9, it makes sense, doesn’t it? No. The truth is that eating carbohydrate in excess will leave your body rendered unable to burn fat, because it doesn’t need to look elsewhere for energy. When your body doesn’t know how to burn fat for fuel, cravings, energy, mood and hormone fluctuations can all set in. Determining the right amount of carbohydrate for your body will depend on your training, genetics and weight loss goals, but typically somewhere within the range of 50-150g a day is where we see results.
2. Manage your stress levels.
We covered this topic in detail in Stress 101, but the thing to remember is that when our bodies go into stress mode, otherwise known as ‘fight or flight’, it’s essentially a primal adaptation which causes the following:
- Cortisol levels rise, along with blood sugar;
- Fat storage is promoted and fat burning is inhibited.
When we’re in this state for a prolonged period of time (chronically), like in the months leading to a wedding, it’s unhealthy for hormone, weight or mood balance. That’s why it’s so important to find an eating plan that doesn’t promote starvation or calorie counting, and to have a stress management plan in place. Practices like meditation, yoga, gentle exercise and getting at least 7.5 hours of sleep each night will all help.
To make things simple we’ve teamed up with the very talented designers at One Day Bridal in Melbourne to create the perfect pre-wedding nutrition guide. Packed with 19 recipes and an easy to follow meal plan you can get a copy here. For more tailored advice or support, please contact us here. We’d love to guide you to your healthiest wedding day possible.
Grossman P et al., 2004. Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 57, 1, 35-43.