Healthily Ever After

Kelly Mercer, Jeff Howard and Catherine Ireland.

Achieving your best body for your big day

By Jeff Howard
Photos by
Erin Trimble
Catherine Ireland and Kelly Mercer
The George

Your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life – a day you have dreamed about since you were a child. With this wonderful experience there comes a lot of joy and a lot of stress. There is a great deal of pressure when it comes to what you should eat and how you can present the best version of yourself. Throughout my career, I’ve trained hundreds of brides, each one obsessed with one detail or another. So, I’d like to give you my top tips on what to eat prior to and on the big day and share a workout you can do on the most memorable day of your life.

Leading up to your wedding, you want to feel your absolute sexiest and most confident. The best way to do that is to focus on what you’re adding to your diet and not what you’re eliminating. Here are some of the main things you should eat and do the month before your wedding in order to lose weight:

• Protein-rich foods will help you stay full and energized and help with healthy skin. Avoid processed food.

• Vegetables will help you stay full and provide you with essential nutrients.

• Whole grains will keep you energized and focused.

Eating three meals a day and drinking water will keep you from overeating.

Limit the amount of alcohol you drink leading up to the big day.

• Pre-plan your meals.

Limit or try to eliminate foods with added sugar (corn syrup).

Brides always ask what to eat the night before their wedding to prevent bloating. The last thing you want is a big dinner sitting on your stomach the night before, so I suggest opting for a light meal of fresh veggies or salad with some chicken or fish. This will help you sleep easily and have a nice flat stomach in the morning.

The day of, definitely eat breakfast. It will start your day off right. Some great options include an egg scramble, loaded toast (with peanut butter or avocado), an omelet or loaded oatmeal. Be careful with the coffee, however. Try to keep it to a minimum so you don’t get too jittery or crash. Also, we all like a mimosa, but remember that alcohol is a natural dietetic and this will dehydrate you, making your skin seem dull. If your nuptials are later in the day, stick with a light lunch of fish or chicken.

A workout leading up to the day or on the big day itself will help make you feel your very best. For this, you will need a set of hand weights. Do each exercise three times with 16 reps. This workout is designed to tone, whether your gown is strapless (upper body), mermaid (glutes and waist) or ball gown (waist, arms and back).

Most importantly, remember that this day is all about you and the person you are marrying. Everyone will be coming to celebrate this moment in your life, and they don’t care what you look like. Take a deep breath, try to be in the moment and enjoy this day like no other.

Warm-up with jumping jacks or running for two to three minutes.

1. Squats

2. Lunge single leg

16 x 3 reps on the left and 16 x 3 reps on the right.

3. Bicep curl with palms up

For a progression, alternate arms with a twist to a hammer, creating the bicep into a little ball for more toned arms.

4. Tricep dips

For a progression, lift one leg.

5. Pushups

For a regression, keep your knees on the floor.

6. Reverse fly with hands facing forward.

This helps tighten the skin by your armpits and chest.

7. Chest fly with pinkies facing in

This helps with fat around the bra area.

8. Butt dips with your heels down and toes up

9. Crunch with your legs bent to one side

16 x 3 reps on the left and
16 x 3 reps on the right.

10. Russian twists