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You Asked: How Can I Lose Weight Before My Wedding?

Dear Sugar--

I recently was given the opportunity to explore other career options and have had lots of free time to focus on my fitness and nutrition. I've gotten really into it and set a goal of losing 15 pounds before my wedding date in November. I am 5'4" and when I started my routine/eating change I was 136. I'm down to 131, I work out six days a week...hiking, spinning, running, weight lifting, Pilates and yoga. Plus I'm keeping track of what I am eating. I eat six times a day small meals, lots of fruit, protein and veggies.

I use the website to track my eating and my workouts. The site gives me a caloric breakdown. According to the BMR I burn 1380 calories without doing any physical activity, so I've been burning an additional 500-800 calories a day plus only eating between 800-1200 calories. Why am I not losing weight??? I'm starting to get frustrated especially since I feel like I'm working really hard. Any

--Frustrated Bride-To-Be

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Frustrated Bride-To-Be--

This is a question I'm sure many women can relate to - how to lose weight in a healthy way. First of all let me say that you should be proud of yourself for starting this plan and sticking to it. You've lost 5 lbs already, and that's awesome.

I'm sorry to say that losing weight is hard work, and it's a long journey. Since you are at a pretty healthy weight already, losing those extra 10 lbs is going to be a slow process. In order to lose 1 lb a week (which is a healthy goal), you need to either burn or omit 500 calories from your diet per day. A good way to do that is to burn 250 calories through exercise, and ditch 250 calories from your diet. You don't want to shock your body and drop your caloric intake dramatically though, because your body won't burn fat, it'll hold onto it. You must consume at least 1200 calories a day so your body doesn't think there's a food famine.

Another great tip is to stop eating 2 hours before you go to bed. It'll give your body a chance to digest, and then when morning comes, you'll be hungry for breakfast. Don't skip this important meal since it can help jump start your metabolism.

I see that you are doing a wide range of exercise, but you may want to stick to focusing on heart-pumping cardio. Jog, ride a bike or do the elliptical at the gym for 20-30 every day, and you'll tone up and burn calories. Another thing you should remember is that if you are building muscle with exercising, you'll be losing inches and not necessarily losing weight. Muscle doesn't weigh more than fat, but it is denser so it takes up less room. That means when you step on the scale, it may not reflect all your hard work. Look in the mirror though, I'm sure you're bound to notice a difference.

Getting married can be both an exciting and stressful time. Just keep taking good care of yourself, get enough sleep each night, continue eating healthy and exercising, and by November I'm sure you'll look toned and feel strong, confident, and beautiful on your special day.


Join The Conversation
swtsunkisses88 swtsunkisses88 9 years
I say youre in starvation mode as well. Im a nutrition major and I know that it is EXTREMELY dangerous to consume less than 1200 calories a day. Not to mention with you burning all of those. Your body must be vary hungry and could very well be storing everything you eat in your body as not to starve. Also, you gain muscle first before you lose the fat, so the fat and muscle layer over each other and you may actually gain weight at first until your body burns the fat away. What I would do is go to a weight clinic, or dietitian and make a plan right for you.
books-and-shoes books-and-shoes 9 years
Great job so far! Check out The Business Plan for the Body by Jim Karas. Congratulations on your impending nuptials! :)
marthalilian126 marthalilian126 9 years
First off, I understand your desire to lose weight, though you are in a healthy weight range. Unfortunately, you are going about it the wrong way. Eating below 1200 calories a day will send your body into starvation mode and it will not burn calories efficiently and will hinder your weight loss. I LOVE (And should actually start using it again!) Follow their plans and use the message boards. I think you will see improvement if you start eating healthy instead of starving.
Lynne-Fredericks Lynne-Fredericks 9 years
It is wonderful to say embrace your body or love your body but if you have a belief system in place that does not allow that no matter what you say, you are not going to love it. Only by first finding the belief system and then eliminating it can you love it.
Lynne-Fredericks Lynne-Fredericks 9 years
As an EFT Practicioner, I would ask the question what limiting beliefs do you have about beliving you can reach your goal weight? What happens when you imagine your goal weight? Do any emotions come up? Stress is a great contributor to being overweight using food as a way of comforting yourself. Finding the answers to those questions may help you to find the impasse to your losing more weight.
PopCultureJunkie PopCultureJunkie 9 years
The reason is because you have a set point and your body will fight you to the death to maintain it. Embrace your curves - they're lovely.
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 9 years
I hear great things about Green Tea and Hoodia speeds up your metabolism and helps when you've plataud
sweetrenee sweetrenee 9 years
I'm getting married next September so I tried a plan called WeddingShape (my girlfriend, who's a NYC personal trainer, sent me the link at or you can search weddingshape on youtube). I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I was getting on the bathroom scale every single morning. If my weight was more than or the same as the day before I really got frustrated. As I started reading the WeddingShape books and following the WeddingShape Diet for Brides... I learned to stop obsessing over my body weight. Basically the book says that tracking changes in your body weight using the bathroom scale is not be the best way to evaluate progress. This is because your bathroom scale cannot distinguish fat from muscle. Measuring body fat percentage is a better assessment of health and fitness. Several companies make body fat monitors that are as easy to use as your traditional bathroom scale. Another powerful message that the book revealed was the power of resistance training. Along with a smart eating plan, it's the best way to lose pounds and inches before the big day. But the thing that really surprised me was the part of the book that revealed secret tips to burn fat and firm up while you sleep at night! Congratulations and I hope this helps.
sosweetnsingle sosweetnsingle 9 years
i wish i was at 136.
foxy21 foxy21 9 years
I am also getting married soon and trying to loose weight and I must recommend Dr Ian Smith's Extreme Fat Smash Diet. I had lost 20 lbs and hit a plateau and couldn't loose any more weight no matter what I tried... i was stuck for like 2 months...a friend recommended this diet because she had lost 35 lbs in 55 days and her sister had also lost a huge amount of weight. So I tried it...and it has been working for me. I am never hungry... I actually cant finish some of my meals sometimes. It maps out exactly what to eat each day and is structured into 3, 1 week cycles. LOVE THIS DIET!
mmrob mmrob 9 years
I would forget about losing a pound. You should eat all you want to and not feel guilty about it. It's a little late to be worrying aboutyour weight. If this guy is so great he'll love your big butt. Let's be honest a year from now you won't be giving a thought to what you look like. Just be happy for the good life you already have.
sw2190 sw2190 9 years
dear did mention the calorie thing, didnt you guys read it!? but anyhows dears all right im also currently trying to tone up and lose a few more pounds to boost my confidence and its a slow process but i find by reminding myself that im doing it the best way for my body and keeping healthy it keeps me motivated to continue good luck congratulations!
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
Weigh yourself once a week-- don't fall into the everyday scale trap. It can be very self-destructive and counterproductive. Alternate your calorie intake to keep your metabolism burning-- it sounds like you aren't eating enough for the amount of exercise you do. EVERYONE hits plateaus, also! I recently lost 8 pounds in a few weeks, but then, no matter what I did, I could not lose anything. Eventually after a long plateau, I did lose, but I am a huge believer in the fact that our bodies have to GET USED to the small amounts of weight loss before continuing to drop the weight. It's healthy for your body to "sit" at a certain weight for a while... means you will not gain it back right away! trust me! slow down, breathe, and everything will be fine!
Jennifer777 Jennifer777 9 years
STOP LOOKING AT THE SCALE!!!! I kinow that idea is very hard to comprehend but it is the first thing my husband, a personal trainer, tells his clients. "Losing weight" is not always about losing pounds according to a scale. Get a tape measure and measure around you waist, hip, thighs and upper arms. Then as you work out measure again and compare. That said, give yourself a hair's worth of extra room in your dress because you really do want to be able to enjoy your reception and not worry about what you are putting in your mouth. I mean heck if you can't enjoy all the yummy food (not to mention your cake) at you OWN reception what is the point?????
Dating-Coach-1 Dating-Coach-1 9 years
Congratulations on your upcoming marriage and desire to look beautiful! Allow me to pass along the best advice I received before my wedding: "Get the best photographer and seamstress you can afford as they will make the biggest difference in how you look at your wedding. Then concentrate on LOVE and HAPPINESS -- no one will remember the details such as your weight, the flowers, the food, etc. but they WILL remember if your wedding was full of love and fun or everyone was tense due to a stressed out bride." Since my husband and I were both in our forties when we married, we wanted to look good at our wedding AND long after, so we took up a sport we could play together and stay in shape. We take tennis lessons and joined a tennis league. We love it! Wishing you both much happiness --
blingbling blingbling 9 years
I'm surprised Dear Sugar didn't mention that you are not eating nearly enough calories for the amt. of exercise you're doing. Your body needs fuel for all this exertion - even if you ARE trying to lose weight. Marisa and Popgoestheworld are exactly right - you're probably in starvation mode, your body is holding on to every fat cell it has because it thinks it's going to need it. I suggest going back to the site you're using and find their calorie calculator to see where you should target. Without checking I'm guessing It'd be in the 1500-1750 range. Generally you only need to take in 250-500 calories less for a safe weight loss of 1-2 lbs. per week. and you should NOT expect to lose it any quicker than that. That would be unhealthy. So, now that you know, you'll up your calories a bit, right? Because I'm actually kind of worried you've let them drop so low - I hope it's a rookie mistake and not a warning about possible ED (anorexia, exercise bulimia.)
frizzybeargirl frizzybeargirl 9 years
I think you are doing great, 6 months before my sisters wedding she was where you are, but with tasting all the food and cakes and because she has very little will power and loves the chocolate everything she only ended up losing 7 lbs, I thought she still looke fabulous and on her wedding day she did and it had nothing to do with what she weighed if you get what I am saying..... but good luck to you and congrats on your upcoming wedding
ash_marisa ash_marisa 9 years
It is obvious you are not following Sparkpeople too closely, because they never recommend eating less than 1200 calories a day, and in fact strongly caution against it. I am not sure why this wasn't mentioned by Dear, but from a medical perspective, at less than 1200 calories a day, your body will lose weight at first, but then go into starvation mode because you are well below you BMR, and are, well, starving yourself. BMR is your basal metabolic rate, which you referred to in your post, and essentially, that is the amount of calories your body requires to sustain normal living functions (which you seem to understand as what your body burns by doing nothing, which is somewhat correct, but misses the point). I know it may seem counterintuitive, but if you add more calories into your diet, you will probably start to lose weight once your body gets to a healthy point again and regains the energy it has lost by constantly fighting against depleted reserves caused by the starvation. Fit has posted many articles about issues like this, as I am sure you can find a lot on Sparkpeople. Good luck hun, I know in wedding stress we do crazy things, but not treating your body right is not something you want to neglect.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
There are a couple things that might be going on here... First off, weight only tells you so much. If you have been doing strength training you will be building muscle, which weights more than fat. So maybe you have lost 10 pounds of fat but gained 5 back in muscle. Secondly, 800-1200 calories a day isn't enough with your workouts the way they are. Honestly, your body could very well be in starvation mode, trying to store fat. This would especially be true if you went from a normal 2,000 calorie diet down to 800 calories. Yikes! I would drop some of your fruit intake and replace it with more protein or veggies, eat about 2-300 more calories per day, and stop lifting. The yoga is good enough strength training and won't build muscle the way weight training does. Good luck.
tyra tyra 9 years
how about saying you love yourself and you accept your body. i am pretty sure your husband thinks you are the most beautiful girl in the world anyway.i really don't think he cares if you lose weight or not and your friends shouldn't care either.they might compliment you if you do but they are not thinking about it. i know you want to lose weight because you want to feel good and look hot but you are at a healthy weight maybe its just that you only sees the imperfections on your body. if you really want to lose weight go to the doctor and check your body percent fat if that high then get on the treadmill but if not that don't stress over it. :) wish you luck on your weeding day
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