Wedding season is approaching, so if it’s your turn this year, now is the time to start getting yourself ready for your big day. Or perhaps you are a bridesmaid or have a friend or relative getting married – either way, we all want to look our best for a wedding and the photographs. For this week’s post, I have therefore designed a 4-week plan to get your skin glowing and your body and mind ready.
Each week will focus on a different area; weight & energy, skin, sleep & stress and reducing bloating adding these one at a time. Each week I also recommend certain foods or food categories to remove from your diet. Making these changes gradually means they are more likely to be achievable and to form long-term habits that you can maintain up to the big day and beyond.
Week 1: Weight & Energy
The first thing most of us think about when it comes to ‘the big day’ is getting in shape. Depriving yourself of vital nutrients at this busy and important time of your life however, is not advisable. More than ever, you will need good energy levels now along with a healthy body and mind. This week, will therefore focus on losing weight slowly and sustainably, while maintaining great energy levels.
Top tips for permanent weight-loss and balanced energy:-
Eat regularly – regular meal times regulate your appetite, balance your blood sugar, energy and mood and reduce the chances of over-eating.
Change your meal pattern. Food is for energy, which we need mostly during the day. Eat a little more at breakfast and lunch and a little less at dinner – you will find your appetite adjusts.
Eat 7-10 daily servings of fruit and vegetables to fill you up with nutrients and reduce the amount of more calorific foods you eat.
Don’t avoid carbs! But choose the right ones – quinoa, rye bread, sweet potatoes, new potatoes, oats, brown rice, pulses and buckwheat are the very best. Avoid white bread, white pasta, white flour, white rice, rice cakes, corn flakes, mashed or fried potatoes and
Protein keeps you full so include some with every meal. This is especially important for breakfast, which tends to be carb-based. Try eggs (proven to make you eat less over the day), yoghurt, and nuts and seeds on your porridge.
Cut Out: gradually wean yourself off caffeine. This will improve your energy levels and help balance blood sugar. Reduce gradually, by one drink per day to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Also cut out energy drinks and colas.
Week 2: Glowing Skin
REMOVE SUGAR AND SUGARY FOODS
We all want glowing radiant skin on the day, and the food you eat between now and then can have a visible effect on your skin.
Top tips for clear and glowing skin:
Include essential fats every day, which act as a natural moisturiser from within. Good sources are oily fish, nuts, seeds especially flax, pumpkin and chia.
Antioxidants are your best weapon against free radical damage that causes ageing. Include high antioxidant foods such as berries, pomegranate, grapes, plums, tomatoes, kale, broccoli, beetroot, spinach, cocoa and turmeric every day.
Beauty & Go contain MACRO-antioxidants, which provide more powerful and longer-lasting antioxidant protection than you can get from normal foods, along with collagen and hyaluronic acid, so include 1 bottle daily.
Stay hydrated – this helps reduce wrinkles and also flushes toxins from the body, which can show up on the skin as breakouts. Drink plenty of water and herbal teas.
Cut Out: sugar is one of the most damaging foods for your skin. When it reacts with collagen and elastin, it causes skin cells to become stiff, losing their elasticity and becoming more prone to damage and premature ageing. Avoid refined sugar and foods containing them.
Week 3: Sleep & Stress
When we don’t get enough sleep, skin looks dull, we feel more stressed and the body releases a hormone, which increases appetite. Stress also plays havoc with our health, including exacerbating skin conditions such as acne. Feeling happy, relaxed and well rested on the other hand, is the best way to a radiant, healthy glow and a more beautiful you.
My top tips for getting a good night’s sleep and feeling calmer:
Include foods high in tryptophan (an amino acid that increases sleep and happy hormones) – nuts, seeds, turkey, chicken, bananas, tofu, oats, eggs, fish, prawns, beans and lentils.
Avoid heavy evening meals and difficult to digest foods such as red meat, fried foods, refined carbohydrates and spicy foods. Choose something light such as fish/chicken with plenty of vegetables.
Eat at least 3 hours before bed – to allow enough time to digest the meal before you go to sleep – this improves sleep quality and energy the next day.
Yoga and meditation are proven to improve sleep and reduce stress levels. Did you know that regular meditation also helps weight loss and even slows down the ageing process! Try 20 minutes per day and feel the benefits for yourself.
Avoid all screens (TV, computer, phone, tablet) for 1 hour before bed, this will help you get to sleep and improve the quality of your sleep.
Cut out: alcohol is a depressant and reduces sleep quality, so while many of us turn to it to relieve stress and help us sleep, it is actually doing the opposite! It also contains ‘empty calories’ and unbalances blood sugar, so cut it out from this week.
Week 4: Reduce Bloating
CUT OUT WHEAT AND DAIRY
For this final week, we will focus on getting a flat stomach for the big day, by banishing any bloating. By supporting your gut health, you will also be doing your skin and overall health a huge favour. The friendly bacteria in your gut have a host of health benefits, including improving the health of your skin, helping weight management and even balancing mood.
Cut out wheat and dairy, which can both cause bloating