As impressionable adolescents, young girls seem to be the ones most enthralled by older female relatives preparing for an upcoming wedding. Same for me and my barely elder-than-me cousin sister, who were the zealously devoted and starry-eyed spectators of bridal rituals in the extended family. We would park ourselves in the bride-to-be’s house for weeks preceding the wedding, carefully taking down mental notes on the do-s and don’t-s. Food generally, and feeding the bride, were always an important part of these customs and being much younger we were always part of the feasts. Apart from being fun, our eagerness was the only way to learn these secret mantras – by observing and imbibing.
When it was the turn of my partner sister to get married, we both felt dizzy at the prospect of putting to practice all the information that we had gleaned over the years. My sister had always been plump, and everyone found her incredibly adorable because of her chubby and happy disposition. She however suddenly went into reverse gear after the wedding date was fixed, and wanted to shed all the puppy fat before her big day. So she refused to eat anything that she doubted as being remotely fattening. After 14 weeks of painful abstinence, she had lost oodles of weight, along with the natural glow on her face that once used to be her calling card. People complimented her on how slim she had become, but also added: “you look tired, must be the stress of getting married.” In her bid to be thinner, she had not bargained for the fact that crash dieting can also make her appear less radiant and more stressed.
Two years later, she is now leaner and prettier than she has ever been before, thanks to more prudent and healthy dietary choices, though the regret of not having looked her best on her wedding day continues to bother her.
My sister is not alone in her quest for perfection on her wedding day. All women, and men, want to look their best on their wedding day. It is not necessarily societal pressure; the wedding day also marks the beginning of a new journey in an individual’s life. It being a planned event in one’s life, nobody would want to appear as being unprepared or careless about it. So, what are the elements that constitute a healthy and successful pre-wedding diet? Let us find out.
Identify the goals – Before planning the diet, the first question you should ask yourself is “what is my goal?” Do you want to target specific bulges that may be unflattering? Or do you want to lose weight just because that is what everybody does? Whatever be your reason, you have to remember that by subjecting your body to drastic dietary changes, you may end up looking unlike what you had planned. To lose weight overall and to target hard-to-get-rid-of bulges, the importance of exercise cannot be emphasised enough. While toning muscles by exercising regularly will make you look healthier, losing weight only by crash-dieting will make you lose muscle mass, your skin will sag and your metabolic rate will slow down. None of it sounds helpful, isn’t it?