Everyone wants 'the perfect wedding photo.' You agonize over which image to hang in your new home together. The one that your parents, his parents and your grandparents place on the mantle. Long story short, everyone sees it. That's a lot of pressure, but it's pressure brides can either use to dangerously crash diet out of fear...or learn healthy habits for the rest of their lives.
So much of the wedding beauty world actually involves topical, and let's face it, sometimes uncomfortable fixes like body shaping undergarments or super duty foundation for a creamy complexion. And while I sometimes love these assistants....why not attack the underlying cause? The 5 most surprising beauty and health secrets for your wedding aren't band-aid fixes. They are legit solutions that for some reason, are never shared with brides. From day one, my goal has been to make a confident, sexy bride who loves the way she looks and is crazy excited for her wedding. Who knew it started with breakfast?
5 Surprising Wedding Beauty Secrets That Last
1. Fat makes you beautiful: Back in the 90's we were completely fat phobic. Every food had to be fat-free to be considered healthy. Newsflash: as a dietitian I can tell you that actually doesn't work out so well. My clients who come to me with brittle hair or dry skin make me pause. I look at what the bride has been eating: enough calories, adequate protein, but especially enough healthy fat. Fat is one of the major things that keeps your hair shiny and strong and your skin soft. Be choosy with your fats and make them work for you. Replace mayo with avocado and pick nuts to snack on over oily snack crackers. Skip butter in baked goods and use Greek yogurt instead. Need to sauté something? Definitely go for the olive oil over the butter or (yikes!) lard. Your skin, hair and arteries will thank you, you Mediterranean goddess.
2. Have a slow luxurious dinner: It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell you that you're full. Funny thing...most meals don't even last 15 minutes, so you're over eating before you even know it! A slow, relaxing dinner lets you connect with your body to stop when you're satisfied. A relaxing eating atmosphere will also reduce your 'emotional eating' tendencies with practice. Since we know stress can actually increase cortisol levels and may store fat around your middle, light the candles, turn on the jazz and unwind while chopping veggies.
3. Eat more, not less: My brides always have jaw dropping moments when I share this. You may need to eat more, not less! If you're someone who has cut way back on calories, you may be actually causing your body to plateau in weight loss. Our 'lizard brain' tells us that without adequate daily energy, we need to store every calorie in case of famine. But it's not just eating more calories. For those brides who feel like they're never full, it's all about eating more perceived volume (and in turn, fiber). For the same calories, you could have 1 whole cup of grapes instead of 1/4 cup of raisins. Or for breakfast, would you rather have one lousy bagel or eggs with chopped spinach, mushrooms, onion and tomatoes with a slice of whole wheat bread and a skim latte?
4. Pre-game for parties: Okay, let's back up. I don't mean pre-game in the college sense with cheap alcohol and sticky sweet margarita mix. Always pre-game with a filling and healthy meal. It's all about strategy when I help my brides plan how to survive parties and catering sessions. Eating your fruits, veggies and lean protein before going out won't leave you stranded, ravenous, with potato chips later. Before heading out, make a balanced plate of fruit, veggies and lean protein like fish, beans, tofu or chicken. Since most appetizers and party foods are grain centered, you'll get your fill there.
5. It's all about the green: If I had to pick one ultimate wedding beauty food, it would be leafy green vegetables. They have serious fiber to keep you full on less and a ton of important antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for your body. If you're a green beginner, add spinach to a smoothie or finely chop and add to eggs in the morning. More advanced in the green department? Replace sandwich rolls with a collard green wrap. Craving something crispy? Kale chips are your best bet.
Take these five tips and invest in a healthfully ever after. Share the secrets, mother in law included for a wedding photo you'll brag about for years to come.
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more