When it came to starting a wedding diet, I procastinated. Hard. In fact, a month before the big day I went on a work trip to Morocco and Paris where I ate all of the bread, butter, and chocolate my appetite desired (as one does). Which is all part of the how I found myself muffin-topping over the sides of my strapless Reem Acra gown (pictured, top left) at my last fitting, just two weeks before I was supposed to walk down the aisle.
I’ll admit, I was bloated at the time from my period, so when it ended a few days before my wedding, my body tightened. But, I was also up a few pounds. Instead of accepting it, I took about four private workout sessions per week with celebrity trainer David Kirsch. The pro is responsible for sculpting the bodies of celebrities (like Jennifer Lopez and Heidi Klum) and has a wealth of fitness and health knowledge (to recap, he’s written five books, has his own line of shakes and supplements, and owns a top-notch NYC gym). He put me on a routine that was a mix of cardio, strength training, HIIT, and TRX. Every time we met up, the moves and sequences were different, which kept my body guessing and metabolism revved.
But anyone who has successfully lost weight knows diet is more than half of the battle. And pre-getting “Kirsched,” I had been working out almost every day anyways. So I do credit his eating plan for partly pushing those five extra pounds off of my body.
Here, I am going to share exactly what I ate — and most importantly, did not eat! — to shed the lbs, so my dress fit perfectly (top right). Note, the dress was not taken in or out between the two images, but my body actually transformed in two weeks!
“In my experience working with a bride-to-be, the last couple of weeks leading up to the wedding is uber stressful,” Kirsch told me. “As you can attest to personally (Lauren), slight tweaking of your diet will go a long way to keeping you optimally energised, fueled, and looking your very best on the big day!”
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lauren Levinson
Let’s start with the hard part, things to avoid according to Kirsch:
Say goodbye to pizza, because you will not be eating processed carbs (bread, pasta, crackers, etc.) or dairy. “I have found that dairy can cause bloating, and who wants to be bloated on their day?” Kirsch said. And no whole grains or potatoes either.
I have personally eliminated both gluten and dairy for weeks and added them back to reveal that I am not intolerant to either. I can have a slice of pizza and feel like a peach, but kicking them out of my diet definitely made my belly flatter. After three days of no carbs, I was craving them! So I texted Kirsch asking if I could have a sweet potato. He told me to crunch on celery instead. It took willpower to follow his advice, but it was worth it. I surely enjoyed sliding into my bathing suit when I arrived at my tropical honeymoon a few days after my wedding.
You’ll also need to revamp your drinking game. That means, no alcohol (NONE!). While this meant sitting through events, family dinners, and bar nights totally sober, I enjoyed the mental clarity and increased energy in the mornings. “Save the glass of champagne for after you walk down the aisle!” he said. And yes, I got to enjoy a few flutes of well-earned bubbly at my affair . . . and a margarita!
I also had to limit the amount of coffee I drank. Kirsch recommends having one espresso in the morning. While I stuck to brewed coffee beans, I drank it black. I didn’t even add almond milk, and I swear it makes a difference in better digestion.
Kirsch believes that “too much coffee can lead to belly bloat!” Think about it, coffee dehydrates you, so you retain water to hold on to it. Instead, switch over to green tea, which has both caffeine and antioxidants. Every morning, I also had one of his A.M. Detox Drinks (it’s yummy and fantastic for your skin!). You can see it in the mason jar above.
Finally, the hardest (for me, since I have a sweet tooth): no sugar. Even dark chocolate. OK, I may have had a handful of dark chocolate-covered almonds one rough night, but for the most part (like 95 percent) I kissed my beloved cookies, ice cream, and cupcakes goodbye. In fact, my husband hid the chocolate on a very high shelf so I could not reach or find it in our apartment. Do what you need to do to survive, brides!
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lauren Levinson
Now onto what you can eat. Disclaimer, this was not Kirsch’s exact plan but one loosely based off his advice and what I know works best for my body.
For breakfast I stuck to two options. The first, two eggs and sauteed spinach, all cooked in EVOO. Earlier in my wedding prep, I enjoyed that dish with a side of avocado, but the last two weeks I cut it based on Kirsch’s recommendation to limit my fat intake (even healthy ones!). Otherwise, I had an antioxidant-rich bowl of unsweetened coconut yogurt with a handful of raw almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, cacao nibs, and blueberries. While Kirsch recommended no fruit (remember, no sugar!), I know blueberries are good for eliminating belly fat and making skin glow, so I had some anyways. If you’re going to have sugar, eat it in the morning so you can burn it off throughout the day.
When it came to snacks, I sipped on dark green pressed juice (the kind without fruit) and crunchy veggies (Kirsch likes celery, red peppers, and jicama sticks). I also ate GoMacro bars, which were referred to me by another trainer I’d been working out with, Steve Pasterino. I bent the rules a little since these are made with brown rice syrup, but it ensured that I had an option when I was on-the-go.
Dinner and lunch were pretty similar. I’d either have what I dubbed a “Sad Salad” of spinach, crunchy water veggies (cucumber and snow peas), and lean protein (homemade chicken or salmon with no sauces) — all drizzled with EVOO and a lemon squeeze. Snooze. Otherwise, I would cook veggies (such as steamed green beans or asparagus) and have it with the aforementioned lean meat or fish. Sometimes, I would even have the eggs (see: breakfast!) for dinner, which I found very easy to digest. Occasionally, I’d enjoy a green smoothie (kale, spinach, blueberries, almond milk) with pea protein powder.
Image Source: Bruce Plotkin Photography
And for our grand finale, what to eat during your actual wedding weekend:
By then being a bride had taken over my identity (it happens to the best and most chill of us ladies in white). So I brought my own food to the weekend destination, including unsweetened coconut yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, green juice, nuts, seeds, bars, etc. I made sure my hotel room had a fridge to store it in.
“The day before is a day that you want to make sure to put the finishing touches,” said Kirsch. “You have planned hard, sweated hard, and stayed away from the obvious no-nos. What else can you do? I suggest a relaxing massage, sauna, and steam. Eating foods like asparagus and celery will help keep you full and debloat you.”
So I couldn’t resist a taste of homemade pasta during our rehearsal dinner at a delicious Italian restaurant, but by 7 a.m. the next day, I was back on it.
“The day of, I would have a couple of eggs in the morning and oatmeal as you will need the energy and fuel for the rest of the day,” Kirsch recommended. “A protein shake for lunch and water for the rest of the day. Save the drinking and eating for after the ceremony, or better yet, for the honeymoon!”
Here’s what I consumed for breakfast on my wedding day: I had the antioxidant yogurt and seed bowl as well as black coffee; for lunch I ate a simple salad with grilled chicken provided by my venue; and for snack, I went with a GoMacro bar. After the ceremony, my husband and I sat in a separate room and ate every single appetizer (including pork buns, pulled BBQ chicken, mini grilled cheese sandwiches, and more!) and drank champagne. Diet. Over. As the evening went on, I enjoyed the goat cheese salad (CHEESE!), the short rib and sweet potato entree, wedding cake, homemade cookies, and apple cider donuts. There was pizza at our afterparty. I ate that, too.
Was dieting fun? No. Was it satisfying? Absolutely not. Was it worth it? Hell yes! For two weeks, you can do this! And you likely will lose inches, but you have to stick to it almost perfectly. We all have our handful of dark chocolate almonds here and there, but make sure you get right back on track. The best part in addition to your tight bod? You can pig out on your honeymoon! (On mine, I sure did my job consuming all of the noodles and dumplings Southeast Asia had to offer . . . and that is another story. Next up: How to get back your hot wedding bod of yesteryear.)
Workout sessions for the author were provided by David Kirsch for the purpose of writing this story.
- Bride’s staggering 55kg wedding shred
- How One Woman Lost 110 Pounds Before Her Wedding
- (Closed) Weight Loss Success Stories Before Wedding?
- Weight Loss Success Stories: Kelly Lost 71 Pounds To Fit Into Her Dream Wedding Dress
Bride’s staggering 55kg wedding shred
The 30-year-old from Wollongong, south of Sydney, had always dreaded the thought of picking her wedding dress because of her weight.
In January 2017, Kylie weighed 120kg and was a size 18 to 20, however by the time she was being zipped into her wedding dress she weighed just 65kg.
“I remember thinking if I would ever get married the thought of walking into a wedding dress shop would scare me because I would never fit into anything, the people would judge me,” she said.
“Then (I ended up) going into a shop and then being squeezed into a size eight wedding dress, I was like how’s this happening.”
Kylie shed an incredible 55kg in less than 12 months following the breakdown of a long-term relationship and feeling unhappy with her weight.
Kylie Mulcahy never thought she would be able to fit into a wedding dress.Source:Supplied
“I had gotten out of a 10-year relationship and was trying to find my happy place and make myself feel better, just focusing on me and my health, and I was really, really struggling with my weight,” she said.
‘I went to the doctors for help because I’d tried at home, gone on all different diets, nothing was working … they did a lot of tests and it ended up coming back that I have polycystic ovaries (PCOS).”
After being diagnosed with PCOS as well as being told she was prediabetic, Kylie sought the help of a nutritionist.
The nutritionist gave her a low carb and sugar meal plan as well as advising her to avoid dairy and gluten, which would aggravate her PCOS.
But Kylie hit a roadblock when the nutritionist told her she should also be implementing low impact exercise into her routine.
Kylie was diagnosed with PCOS in 2016. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied
Feeling “so heavy and unfit” and unable to do a sit-up, Kylie was terrified of the thought of exercising in public.
“That’s what I was the most afraid of – I didn’t want to go to a gym because I was just so self-conscious,” she recalled.
“I did get a gym membership but I never went because every time I went in I went, ‘I don’t belong here, I don’t fit in’.
“I just felt like everyone was looking at me, and I just didn’t enjoy my time there. It ended up being a waste of money.”
Kylie decided to give exercising at home a go but found little inspiration from the chiselled fitness influencer types that populated YouTube with their fitness videos.
“There’s so many fitness influencers and fitness channels and weight-loss videos on YouTube, there’s thousands of them,” Kylie said.
She began exercising using YouTube videos and was amazed to see she was losing weight. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied
“I did try a lot of them, but nothing felt right. You look at the trainers and they’re in their crop tops and short shorts and they all look ripped, toned.
“You just sort of look and them and go, ‘I can’t do that’ … I just didn’t feel that I could relate to them.”
It was only after she searched for low impact workouts and found a cardio starter video by Team Body Project that things changed.
The online fitness program run by Daniel and Alex Bartlett uses real-life people (with real-life bodies to match) and had instant appeal for Kylie.
“There was just something about them that attracted me to keep on going back and keep pressing their videos instead of others,” she said. “That’s when I started seeing the results.”
After following their free videos on YouTube for three months, Kylie signed up to their online program for more content in April 2017.
In less than 12 months Kylie lost a staggering 55kg. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied
“For those three months that I was pressing play on their videos at home, (I was thinking) this is crazy, how am I losing weight at home, in my lounge room, I’ve been struggling for so long,” Kylie said.
“It just made me have confidence again because I was doing it at home with no one looking at me. I could wear what I wanted.”
At first Kylie exercised every second day, but as her fitness levels increased, she began pressing play on Team Body Project’s video as often as she could.
By December 2017, after religiously following her meal plan and the videos, Kylie had lost a staggering 55kg – something she admits some people still have a hard time believing.
“They don’t believe me that you can get results from home,” she said.
Kylie married the love of her life in March this year. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied
“It always amazes people and it does seem strange that you’re not using all these machines and stuff to get your results, but honestly it works, they know what they’re doing.”
Since losing the weight and keeping it off, Kylie says her life has been transformed.
Kylie previously suffered from severe anxiety that was once so bad she went to hospital because she thought she was having a heart attack, only for it to be an anxiety attack instead.
She married the love of her life in March this year and hopes to one day work with other women with PCOS that are struggling with their weight.
“Now I’m just happy, I love life, I’m just so much more confident,” Kylie said. “Before I would never do things I used to love, like I always loved the beach and swimming but I would never go and do those things because I felt ashamed and embarrassed of my body.
“But now it’s the complete opposite.”
A BRIDE has revealed her incredible weight loss after she managed to slim down to fit into her dream dress – without doing any exercise.
Emma Roberts managed to drop an impressive three dress sizes in just four months ahead of her big day in May this year.
12 Emma Roberts, from Stoke-on-Trent, dropped three dress sizes in four monthsCredit: Mercury Press 12 She was able to fit into her dream dress in a size 10 for her big day in May this yearCredit: Mercury Press
The 34-year-old, from Stoke, Staffs, used to be a bit of a gym fanatic and would train up to six times a week.
But she had to give up exercise seven years ago when she developed a cyst under her kneecap and suffered inflammation in her hips.
Without being able to work out Emma, who hates vegetables, salad, pasta and rice, began piling on the pounds until she was 12 stone 8lbs and a size 16.
She was determined to drop the weight before her big day with partner Ashley Roberts, 36, in May this year.
Incredibly, in just four months the hairdresser shed more than two stone to drop down to 10 stone 4lbs.
Her waist was 10 inches smaller meaning she could fit into a stunning fit and flare dress in a size 10.
It got to a point where I made excuses to not go out with my friends because I felt so bad about myself
Emma said: “When I gained weight, I didn’t feel very good about myself.
“I would only want pictures taken from my waist and above and on nights out I was no longer the fitter one wearing tight clothes, I’d switched to wearing dark loose clothes.
“It got to a point where I made excuses to not go out with my friends because I felt so bad about myself.
“I even had a meltdown on New Year’s Eve in 2018 because I couldn’t find something to wear that I felt comfortable in.
“There’s no way I wanted to stay that way for my wedding.”
12 Emma looking incredible after losing more than two stone in just a few monthsCredit: Mercury Press 12 Her hard work meant she was able to wear her dream dress on her wedding dayCredit: Mercury Press 12 At her wedding dress fitting, the seamstress told her she had shed 10inches from her waistCredit: Mercury Press
After electrician Ashley proposed in October 2017, Emma set herself the challenge to lose weight for her January 2019 new year’s resolution.
She took herself out of her comfort zone by recording videos of herself and taking pictures to show her body transformation journey.
One of the contributing factors to her weight gain was the ibuprofen prescribed to help with her knee cyst, which made her stomach sensitive to foods containing aspartame such as low calorie fizzy drinks.
And the fussy eater – who had previously binged on bread, chocolate and takeaways – had another obstacle, she refused to eat any salad or vegetables whatsoever.
Instead, the mum-of-one shed the weight by following a 600 calorie a day meal replacement plan – the 1:1 Diet from the Cambridge Weight Plan.
12 Emma before her weight loss was unable to exercise due to a cyst under her kneeCredit: Mercury Press 12 Emma is also a fussy eater and wasn’t sure how to shift the poundsCredit: Mercury Press 12 Before losing weight she was self-conscious of her stomach and knew she needed to shift some pounds for her big dayCredit: Mercury Press
Emma said: “I was in a constant battle with my stomach and would have to sleep the pain off most days, but I’m the best I’ve ever been since following the Cambridge Weight Plan Diet.
“Bread and chocolate were my vices – I’d use bread to bulk out my meals instead of veg, and after my meals I would always crave sugar.
“I’d either skip breakfast or have tea with two sugars and biscuits.
“For lunch, I’d have some chips from the chippy, a breakfast sandwich or just take a packet of crisps and a bar of chocolate – anything that would let me stay an extra half an hour in bed so I didn’t have to plan lunch.
“With dinner, I’d just eat processed ‘kid food’ that was quick and simple, and I’d have takeaways about twice a week.”
Emma’s daily diet before vs now
BREAKFAST: Skipped or tea with two sugars and biscuits
LUNCH: Chip shop chips, a breakfast sandwich or a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar
DINNER: Processed children’s food like oven chips or tinned foods or a takeaway
SNACKS: Chocolate and biscuits
DRINKS: Tea or coffee with two sugars
BREAKFAST: Peanut bar
LUNCH: Peanut bar
DINNER: Flavoured shake
DRINKS: Tea with no sugar and 2.25 litres of water
Emma believes drinking more water and being in a calorie deficit made her fuller quicker and was key to weight loss.
If she ever had cravings or urges, she would go on clothes websites and add clothes she wanted to fit in to her basket as a distraction.
And within four short months, she had shed the pounds, leaving her proud to show off her svelte new figure when she walked down the aisle.
Emma, who has now trained as a Cambridge Weight Plan consultant, said: “My family were so supportive with my weight loss journey – Ashley says it’s like he’s having an affair because I’ve now got the body of a different woman.
“He told me he’d never realised how much weight I’d put on during the seven years we’ve been together, and he’s really happy that he’s seen my confidence grow.
“I’m now able to wear the clothes I used to wear when we first met.
“My friends also understood that I had to cut back on nights out and put a hold on my social life. My murder mystery hen do in Gloucester was the first time I’d been off my diet.
12 Emma stands in a pair of old trousers she used to wear when she was overweightCredit: Mercury Press 12 Emma piled on weight after an cyst under her kneecap prevented her from working outCredit: Mercury Press
ULTIMATE REVENGE BODY
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HAVE A BREAK
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“When I went for my final dress fitting, it was amazing to hear that they’d taken 10 inches off my dress.
“But I feel so much better now – I’ve just been on my honeymoon to Turkey and there’s no way I’d have felt comfortable on it if I was bigger.
“It was amazing being able to wear clothes that I used to be able to wear – and my legs didn’t chafe either.”
12 She was proud to be able to wear her dream fit and flare dress on her big dayCredit: Mercury Press 12 Emma holds out a measuring tape showing how big her stomach used to be before she shed the weightCredit: Mercury Press
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How One Woman Lost 110 Pounds Before Her Wedding
So many women are ecstatic to post engagement photos on Instagram the second their SO pops the question-but not 24-year-old Haley Smith. When her now-husband Matt Smith proposed in July 2015, she was so shocked by what she saw in the photos-a person she said she didn’t even recognize-that she didn’t even want to post them.
As disheartening as it was, seeing the photos kick started Smith’s motivation to lose weight. By the time of her wedding on October 8, 2016, she dropped about 110 pounds. Her relatable wedding weight loss transformation and inspiring story garnered her a following of almost 38k on Instagram, where she shares her healthy meals, workouts, and other fitspo. (Getting ready for a wedding? Try this Kayla Itsines workout perfect for prepping for a big event.)
“My whole adult life, I have struggled with my weight, but this was my highest. I had let myself go and didn’t even realize how far I had gotten. On that day, I made up my mind to make a change,” she wrote in an Instagram #TransformationTuesday post about her wedding weight loss. “I was tired of hiding in pictures, getting winded walking across a parking lot, skipping out on activities, feeling lazy, and most of all being embarrassed of myself.”
She dropped the weight by tackling P90x, lifting weights, running, doing yoga, tracking her food and water consumption, making healthy meal swaps, and-in true spirit of the wedding-working out with her fiance. She also used a reward system for every 10 lbs she lost, treating herself to things like a haircut, yoga mat, bike, and mani/pedi.
While any weight loss transformation is something to be proud of, it’s important to note that Smith reached her goals by making small, healthy lifestyle changes, rather than crash dieting or expecting a quick fix. (And, no, cutting calories like crazy will not help you lose weight.)
“No ONE thing made me how I am today,” she wrote on Instagram. “It was a combination of about every health and fitness option I could find. So don’t think there’s some magic pill, wrap, gym membership, meal, vitamin, app, surgery, diet, workout, waist trainer, book, hypnosis, shake, powder or anything else that will just do it for you. It’s finding your own way and using the tools that work for you. It’s making the right healthy choices for your body.” (For more fitspo, check out these other incredible weight loss transformations.)
A photo posted by Haley Smith (@haley_j_smith) on Oct 6, 2016 at 6:46am PDT
- By Lauren Mazzo @lauren_mazzo
(Closed) Weight Loss Success Stories Before Wedding?
- 8 years ago
- Wedding: August 2012
I started after I bought my dress, was upset at how big I was and ordered a size smaller than I was at then. Bought it in January, started in mid-March. So far I’m down 42.5 lbs, I have somewhere between 15-20 more I’d like to drop before my wedding in 75 days. I don’t have a fitting for another month so I am hoping to be down 10lbs or so by the fitting but even if I don’t make that goal I’m over a size smaller than the size I ordered, they will have to take it in about 2+ sizes by August but I went in and they measured me again and said it’s not a problem.
I use My Fitness Pal religiously, (today was the beginning of week 12) there are a lot of Bees on there (that’s how I found out about it), lots of protein, lots of water, veggies, fruits…cardio, strength training every day and pilates worked in. I’m the same username on there, it works great and the people there are amazing for motivation–there’s even a Wedding Bee group. Join us! You can do this!!! MFP helps you set goals in a healthy way and micro-manage if you want, so you track sugar, sodium, etc. It is a great tool, and free!
Weight Loss Success Stories: Kelly Lost 71 Pounds To Fit Into Her Dream Wedding Dress
Getting engaged motivated Kelly to shape up her eating and exercising habits and lose 70 pounds
I started gaining most of my weight after college. I started a full time desk job and rarely spent time walking around. The only time I would get up from my desk was to go to the bathroom or go to lunch. Every day I told myself that I would start my diet tomorrow and before I knew it was 240 pounds at the age of 23.
I got engaged in February of 2008 and I knew that there was no way in heck that I was walking down the aisle looking the way I was. Well, once again I put it off every day and kept eating unhealthy and not exercising. On December 7, 2008, I went wedding dress shopping … it was supposed to be one of the best parts of wedding planning and I felt miserable. The next day was the first day to a new me.
I joined a gym that was walking distance to my work. Every day at lunch time I got my butt to the gym and worked out for 30 minutes. I started counting calories and kept track of the foods I was eating every day. I mixed in weight lifting with my cardio and started attending fitness classes two times a week. Before I knew it the weight started coming off and the differences every day gave me more and more motivation to keep going.
The Key to Success
Support: I have an incredible support system with my family, friends and coworkers. I feel that without them I would have not been able to come as far as I have.
Derailers and Strategies
Weekends are tough as there are tons of challenges I come across. I always make sure to keep the mindset that this is lifestyle change and if I don’t allow myself to have a doughnut or a slice of a pizza then I will ultimately fail … it’s all about moderation.
When I Slip…
I remind myself that I am human and I will not be perfect.
When I Soar…
June 13, 2009: Walking down the aisle, seeing my husband’s face and listening to people gasp in shock.
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