5 Easy Tips for Pre-Wedding Health from a Registered Dietitian

Hi friends! I’m Amy, a registered dietitian, owner of Satisfy Nutrition, and former Manda Renee bride (click here to see my August wedding at Windows on Washington)! I’m so excited that Amanda asked me to come guest post today about pre-wedding health and nutrition, because I know it’s something that Pinterest plants in our minds just after engagement! ūüėČ Let’s dive into my tips for pre-wedding health! Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see how you can work with me and how you can get a discount on nutrition coaching services!

1 | DON’T DIET

Yep, you heard me. If you take one thing to heart from this post, I hope it’s this: you absolutely do not need to diet for your wedding day, or for any other reason. Getting engaged can be a trigger for us to think more about our health – and for the most part, I think that can be a positive thing! If wedding planning encourages you to try a new kind of movement, drink more water, or try new foods, that’s great! However, we know that 95% of people who diet regain the weight (or more) within five years – plus, yo-yo dieting can affect your health and metabolism. So, what can you do instead of dieting?

St. Louis wedding photographer wedding dinner at Windows on Washington

2 | SHOOT FOR GENTLE NUTRITION

I practice a philosophy called intuitive eating, a non-diet, non-restrictive way of eating that considers hunger, fullness, and the pleasure we get from food. Intuitive eating also employee a concept called “gentle nutrition,” meaning that physical benefits of food are considered, but they’re not the only factor in choosing food. Instead of focusing on calories, macros, or how “clean” a food is, here’s some alternatives:

  • Pay attention to when you’re hungry and full (and acknowledge that sometimes you’ll eat past your fullness and that’s okay!)
  • If you’re feeling the pressure to eat in a more healthful way, set small, flexible goals like: eat a new vegetable this week, or drinking a glass of water before getting out of bed.
  • Combining carbs + fat and/or protein to make a snack more satisfying
  • Bringing your lunch to work instead of buying it

St. Louis Wedding Photographer McArthur's Bakery wedding cake

3 | ENJOY YOUR PARTIES

…including the food at them! Chances are, your family/friends considered¬†you¬†when picking the food and desserts for your shower or party. I had a waffle bar at a brunch shower (my mama knows me well)! If you avoid certain foods at your bridal shower out of concern for your weight, you may end up obsessing over those food and not being able to enjoy other aspects of the day.

St. Louis Wedding Photographer bride dancing at Windows on Washington

4 | MOVE IN A WAY THAT FEELS GOOD

Exercise is always high on the list of “concerns” when we talk pre-wedding health! But the thing is, you don’t have to forece yourself to do things you don’t like! It’s really easy to find ourselves in a “keeping up with the Joneses” mindset when it comes to exercise. Everybody¬†is different, and enjoys and benefits from different kinds of movement. I encourage you to explore several kinds of movement and evaluate them based on how much you liked them – not how many calories they burned!

St. Louis wedding photographer wedding food at Windows on Washington

5 | PLAN WELL FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY

One of the best things you can do for your pre-wedding health is to plan for the day of as well! One thing I was sure of when wedding planning was that I wanted time to enjoy our food. We scheduled in plenty of time to settle in and eat our meal while our maid of honor, best man, and fathers gave toasts – and there was definitely plenty of time. The only problem was: I didn’t feel like eating! My dress was well-fitted and comfortable, but still pretty snug – so I had room to dance but not room in my stomach for more than about 3 bites of food. Even though we’d planned in 20 minutes dedicated to my husband and I getting to eat, I had no appetite and no room due to my dress.

Here’s how to plan around a similar situation:

  • Eat before getting dressed. Our timeline had me getting dressed about 1pm, so I did have time to eat both breakfast and lunch – but I was so stressed I forgot breakfast! Pick something easy, since the busy-ness and (good) stress of the day may upset your stomach, and make sure to take the time to eat it. Once my dress was on, we pretty much didn’t stop moving to take pictures, hug family, and actually get married – so eating beforehand is a GOOD idea.
  • Pack snacks. Remember, you may be too busy to feel hungry – so snacking throughout the day is a good idea. It helps you from getting too uncomfortable in your dress. You may not have time to eat your snacks exactly when you plan, so put them everywhere! My favorite places were: in an emergency kit, on the party bus, and with my bridesmaids!
  • Sip water. Hydrating can make you feel more alert for your wedding day, plus helps curb a post-wedding hangover. A few days before your wedding, focus on hydrating in preparation for your big day. Pack water bottles for the day of, and bring straws if you’re concerned about your lipstick!
  • Pack a toothbrush.¬†I was worried that my BBQ lunch on our wedding day would make me smell like brisket + coleslaw while I was hugging our guests (oh, and kissing my new husband), so being able to brush my teeth and chew some gum made it easier to genuinely enjoy my lunch and greet our guests without worries! So easy and useful!

Remember: at the end of the day, your wedding is about the beginning of a beautiful marriage! It’s not about your body, the food you eat, or how you exercise! Enjoy this season of life! And of course, congratulations on your engagement!

Worried about pre-wedding health or want to learn how to nourish your body well? Contact Amy to schedule a 1:1 appointment!

st. louis wedding photographer bridal portrait

ABOUT AMY

Amy Hanneke, RDN, LD, CLT is a registered dietitian and former Manda Renee Bride! She is passionate about teaching with a non-diet approach through her private practice. To read more about the services Amy provides, click here. When scheduling your nutrition coaching appointment, make sure to mention that you heard about Satisfy Nutrition via Manda Renee Photography! You’ll get a 15% discount on your initial sessions + up to 3 followup sessions!

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