Your body can’t discriminate between intentional calorie deprivation (as in a diet), and starvation. When you dramatically reduce your caloric intake (more than 400cals per day), your body shifts into a protective mode by slowing your metabolism down, holding onto fat (an important energy source) and burning muscle instead.
In the beginning of a diet you WILL lose weight by dramatically cutting calories. But it won’t be fat loss, it will be water weight and lean muscle tissue – the exact OPPOSITE of what you want to get rid of.
Not only will harsh diets slow your metabolism down to a crawl, causing your initial weight loss to come to a gradual halt, they will also inevitably bring about a “rebound” effect. This rebound will make you even fatter than you were before starting the diet. When you rebound, not only do you generally put on more weight than you actually lost with the diet, your percentage of body fat generally increases because your body cannibalised muscle tissue as an energy source during the dieting process. Hence the “weight loss rollercoaster” effect that almost all dieters experience. Believe me so many brides experience this weight loss rollercoaster, after losing weight before the wedding and gaining it all back on, often plus some after the honeymoon – depressing!
To permanently lose the fat stores in your body, you’ve got to burn more calories and increase your metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns fuel throughout the day – even when you’re NOT exercising) with a precise exercise routine and proper nutrient ratio adaptations (that means eating the right stuff at regular intervals). Even if you don’t exercise (but I recommend you do), just eating 5-6 small, high quality meals each day will substantially increase your metabolism – and you’ll burn more calories! Gaining muscle (rather than losing it) also will help with your wedding weight loss as it increases the energy demand of your body and hence burns more fat…even when you’re sitting around doing nothing. Winner!
ACTION STEP: As tempting as it sounds, do NOT commit to fad dieting. If a diet sounds too good to be true (or conversely, entirely torturous) it probably is. Embrace a lifestyle approach and aim for 5 smaller meals daily and consult a personal trainer about the best exercise program to complement your eating program and wedding weight loss goals. Consider Bridalicious Bootcamp which offers the complete bridal makeover with skincare, tailored wedding workouts, wedding dress diet advice and more…