The last thing you want to deal with on your wedding day is bloating. Not only will it make you feel uncomfortable, you’ll be self-conscious in the dress you worked so hard to find and fit into.
To help ensure you look your best on the big day, follow our guide to beating wedding-day bloat.
We asked Snap Fitness director of personal training Jodi Sussner how to ensure a flat tummy on your wedding day.
Even though you might think that if you drink too much water, you’ll retain water, the opposite is true, says Sussner. “When we drink more water, our body flushes excess fluid from our cells and maintains an ideal water balance in the cells,” she explains. “The result: Less bloat where you don’t want it.”
Dress up your water: Let’s face it, plain water can get boring. Sussner shares two ways to make plain old H20 more interesting.
- Slice a vanilla bean down the middle.
- Wash and slice one large orange.
- Add both to a 2-liter container and fill with water and ice.
- Refrigerate for two hours and enjoy.
- Wash and slice one lime.
- Wash and rough chop one handful of mint.
- Add to a two-liter container and fill with water and ice.
- Refrigerate for two hours and enjoy.
Reduce sodium from food
One of the biggest factors when it comes to bloating is excess sodium, and it’s easy to take in too much sodium — even if you don’t use the salt shaker. Sussner points out that hidden sodium and bloat- inducing foods include soda (even diet), “healthy” cereals, salad dressings and all processed foods. “Stick to whole foods and recipes with fresh ingredients,” she says.
Change your cocktail
With all the wedding festivities, cocktails are typically part of the celebration but instead of restricting yourself, make better choices. “Diet sodas are high in sodium, wine is high in sugar,” says Sussner. So what’s a girl to do? She suggests sticking with club soda. “I love vodka and club soda with a splash of cranberry or lemon. Or go a little crazy with club soda, tequila, fresh lime juice and fresh mint.”
Sweat it out with exercise
The more you move, the better you’ll feel overall, so you know a good workout has to be on the bloat-beating list. “Though we can’t spot reduce those stubborn areas, we can burn calories, fat, and bloat with interval-based high-intensity cardio,” says Sussner. “It’s quicker than logging miles and miles on the treadmill and more effective. Throw in some metabolism-boosting strength training for your total body and you are good to go,” she advises.
Go for variety with fiber
Even though fiber-rich foods are a common go-to for dieters, don’t let the fiber backfire on you, warns Sussner. “Going with high-fiber vegetables can actually leave you feeling bloated, especially if you are not used to it,” she says. “It’s best to start slow, and contrary to the high-protein diet surge, complex carbohydrates from brown rice and oatmeal, combined with green vegetables like broccoli and asparagus, are tried and true bloat-busters.”
Though an upcoming wedding is sure to be one of the best days of your life, the days leading up to it can also be the most stressful. Unfortunately, Sussner says this stress increases the hormone cortisol in your body, which can cause bloating. “Cortisol peaks and valleys tend to put weight right where you least want it — your belly. Keep cortisol balanced by including daily (but, short) meditations, breathing, easy walks, yoga or light stretching.”
Beat-the-bloat diet tips
In the weeks and months leading up to your wedding day, it’s important to eat in a way that’s healthy and that will ensure that you maintain your weight. To start with, focus on real, fresh food. “By avoiding processed foods overall, you avoid high-sodium, high-fat, chemical-laden and generally bloat-inducing foods,” explains Sussner. “Choose lean meats, dark and colorful vegetables, whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal, and fruits. If you stick with these foods, you can’t go wrong,” she says.
Sussner also warns that not all salads are created equal, so make sure the ones you’re eating aren’t doing more harm than good. “Salads are a common bloat-beating choice, but watch your ingredients,” she affirms. “Extras like cheese, olives, and croutons add unnecessary calories and sodium. Stick to fresh herbs, leafy greens, veggies and lean meats instead,” she says. To dress your greens, try balsamic vinegar and oil with fresh herbs rather than salt, or Sussner’s personal favorite: lime juice.