Losing Weight Without Dieting -- My Bridal Story

Written with love, by Jennifer Dene

Shortly after I got engaged I gained 30 pounds. Pretty bad timing!

I had recently moved to the United States from Sydney, Australia, and had a lot going on in my life that led to this sudden weight gain. While this impacted my self-esteem as a Pilates and fitness trainer, I also felt totally anxious about how I would look and feel on my wedding day (and in my wedding photos).

As the date approached I was desperate to lose weight, so, against my better judgement, I turned to extreme diets and exercise routines. 

Not only did these methods not work, they made me feel miserable and totally detracted from my engagement experience — I mean, you should be able to have a glass of champagne and a chocolate cupcake at your bridal shower without feeling guilty!

Fortunately, after creating my own fitness and nutrition program, I was able to get the bombshell bride results that I desired, without diets and deprivation. 

This week on Mind Body Bride I share three of the techniques I use to live with ease at my ideal weight, as well as a roundup of some of MBB's favorite workouts, recipes and relaxation tips. 

I can't wait to see you there!

With love,
     Jennifer Dene

Sunday's Most Loved // Losing Weight Before the Wedding

So many brides start to get into the best shape of their life before the wedding. You want to look as great as possible in those wedding photos that will last a lifetime, correct? While it makes me very happy when brides change their lifestyle and habits leading up to the wedding, it typically goes downhill starting with the honeymoon.

So my advice? Don't try to lose weight before your wedding in order to look great in photos. Click the image below to find out why!

Why Diets Are Ruining Your Engagement (and what to do about it)

Written with love, by Jennifer Dene


Brides often ask me the first thing they should do to live at their ideal weight and they’re always surprised at my answer. I tell them that they need to stop dieting. Today I want to share with you exactly why restrictive diets will move you further away from your dream bridal body (and what to do instead).

Why Diets Are Ruining Your Engagement (and what to do about it)

I’ve helped women around the world lose or maintain weight, get fit, healthy and feel happy. Whilst these women are different ages, have different backgrounds and live different lifestyles, they all have something three things in common:

1.    They want to stop dieting

2.    But they are afraid of gaining weight if they let go of nutritional control

3.    They often don’t understand the impact those diets are having on their long term health and happiness

If you are considering going on a crash diet to lose weight before your wedding this article is for you. Read on to learn the three reasons why you need to ditch your wedding diet today.

You will always need to restrict your calories, even after the diet is over.

When you deprive yourself of adequate calories (through extreme diets or detoxes) the body goes into “starvation” mode and is forced to break down the proteins in your muscle to use as energy. Since muscle mass is your primary calorie-burning furnace, depleting this resource decreases your ability to consume calories without weight gain.

For every pound of muscle you lose during a crash diet you lower your basal metabolic rate or BMR (the amount of energy that you expend during rest) by 57 calories a day. This means that after dieting you must now consume fewer calories to simply maintain your pre-diet weight, which is why many women actually gain more weight than they lose when they stop dieting and return to a regular eating pattern.

For example:

●     Pre diet: you maintain a weight of 150 pounds by eating 2000 calories/day

●     During diet: you lose seven pounds of muscle mass, lowering your BMR by 400 calories/day

●     Post diet: to maintain your pre-diet weight of 150 pounds you can only eat 1600 calories/day

In A Nutshell

Brides who crash diet will usually regain weight post-wedding because quick weight loss contributes to loss of muscle mass, which decreases the number of calories that you can consume to stay at your existing (pre-diet) weight.

What To Do About It

Rather than focusing on calorie depletion, start choosing better quality ingredients that nourish your body. Swap refined, artificial foods for whole foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. See some easy ingredient-swap suggestions here.

You can’t rely on willpower after 3pm.

On any given day you only have a finite supply of willpower to resist short-term temptations. The problem is that every decision you make uses up that reserve. It’s unrealistic to commit to an ultra-restrictive eating pattern while also functioning at work or in your personal life.

For example:

●     It’s 8am and you are proud of yourself for only eating half a grapefruit even though you wanted that bagel. This diet is easy! Wedding dress here you come!

●     It’s 12pm and you have spent the morning focused on an important workshop without updating your Pinterest boards once — a willpower record! You struggle to eat a salad without dressing as your lunch date enjoys their burger.

●     It’s 4pm and you’re answering work calls, wedding planning emails and meeting your fiancé for his tux fitting. At some point you need to pick up the dog from the vet. You eat your no-fat, no-sugar, no-fun snack and wish everyone would leave you alone.

●     It’s 9pm and you are still hungry after a meager portion of dinner. Your hubby-to-be interrupts your seating arrangement session to ask what you want to watch on TV. You lose it — can’t he even make one decision?

●     It’s 9:30pm and you find yourself zoned out with a bag of chips and a tub of ice cream. Stuff it, you’ll start the diet again tomorrow.

In A Nutshell

Dieting empties your physical and mental reserves and can make life a lot less enjoyable.

What To Do About It

Developing a health and fitness strategy that focuses on achieving small goals is the best way to create your dream bridal body and keep it after the honeymoon. Give yourself enough time to implement small, sustainable change and feel confident in knowing that your results will last.

Yo-Yo Dieting Is A Path of Self Destruction

The nature of dieting is to constantly be thinking about food and denying yourself things that your body wants and needs. This obsession is mentally exhausting and puts the body under constant and prolonged stress, which releases the hormone cortisol. Excess levels of cortisol can lead to enhanced lipogenesis (fat creation), visceral obesity (the dangerous kind of fat within the abdominal wall), breakdown of tissues and suppression of the immune system. (source A).

With every “failed” diet you become less confident, less consistent in your genuinely healthy habits and more prone to emotional eating, chronic stress, body image disorders, compromised self-worth and disease.

In A Nutshell

Crash diets are designed to fail so that the dieting industry continues to make money — don’t let them keep you from feeling like the perfect bride and leading a healthy and happy life after “I Do”.

Source A:

Cortisol Connection: Tips on Managing Stress and Weight; Christine A. Maglione-Garves, Len Kravitz, Ph.D., and Suzanne Schneider, Ph.D.;