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Closer Gets Married!

Ask the Expert: Bridal Body Q&A

By Amy Swales, Closer Magazine

Right, I haven’t gone all brideorexic or anything and I’m not looking to shed a load of weight before the wedding, but I would like to tone up. And considering I don’t do ANY exercise at all, and I smoke, eat chocolate and binge drink, it’s probably not a bad idea to get some kind of fit.

I went to a couple of Sexy In The City bootcamp fitness classes, and I’ll be starting them again proper next week. I’ll do a write up of the experience next month, but for now, one of their trainers, James Staring, kindly answered some fitness questions for the blog – including a slightly desperate ‘Bread – is it really that bad?!’ There were some questions that can only really be answered by showing you pictures of someone doing the exercises, so I’ll include those in the later post too.

This man has an unhealthy appetite for planks, burpees and press ups

Q: What kind of time frame should a bride give herself before the day to tone up/lose weight?

A: In order to see change in your physique, allow for six weeks before you see significant change. A reasonable and safe amount of weight to lose would be 2lbs per week, but also make sure that you keep track of your measurements and how your clothing fits to get a better picture of how your training is affecting you.

Q: If someone has a lot of weight to lose, say three or four stone, how much is healthy to aim to lose per week?

A: 2lbs per week maximum. Remember that losing weight is not the only objective! By focusing on decreasing your body fat percentage through effective nutrition and weight training

(which will increase your lean muscle mass, thereby helping you to burn fat more efficiently), you will feel healthier and have more energy. Q: What are the benefits of the SITC bootcamp classes, as opposed to spending the same amount of money on a gym? A: The Secret, Sexy, Slim

Method gives you a complete approach to fitness, not just work in the gym or classes. Over and above the bootcamp style classes you attend, your measurements are tracked and you receive expert advice on nutrition, an important variable in any exercise program.

Q: What is the average amount of exercise per week that will actually make a difference – for toning or to lose weight? (For instance, is it pointless to assume that you can get away with the gym once a week…)

A: To see a change, at least 30 intense minutes per day, three to four days per week. Try to budget your time so that you are doing weight training 60-70% of the time, and the balance of the time spent doing cardio.

Q: Would simply running three times a week help, or do you need to do other focused exercise

A: If you want to lose weight and more importantly change your body composition, look at running in combination with weight training. Running is great as part of a training program, but including weight training is important to prevent injury and to increase lean muscle mass.

Q: Bread – is it really all that bad?! Can’t organic bread be part of a balanced diet?

A: Yes, I’m afraid it is [Amy sticks fingers in ears and hums]. Bread along with other refined grain products don’t have a place in a healthy diet, but

hey, you can eat all the butter and cheese that you wish!

Q: Are there any diet/health myths you can shed some light on – for instance, are carbs totally evil?

A: Carbohydrate is a necessary part of any diet, as it is an important energy source. Its refined carbohydrates (i.e. bread) that should be avoided. Including natural carbohydrates (i.e. root vegetables) is an important part of a balanced diet, and also remember that you can get carbohydrates from things like fruits.

Q: In your experience, what do brides worry about the most in terms of their figures? And are they things that can easily be fixed?

A: Problem areas include backsides, arms and abdominals. These areas can most definitely be fixed through a

combination of weight training and proper nutrition.

Q: What’s a pre-wedding no-no? For instance, losing so much weight that you can’t possibly keep it up afterwards?

A: Starving yourself is an absolute no-no that causes more damage than positive effects! Over- training – your body needs rest in order to allow the work you have done to take effect. Don’t overdo it with endless cardio! Fad diets and

cleanses – you will get a lot more mileage out of eating a healthy natural diet and regular exercise then through any quick fix!

Q: Is there a realistic quick fix for brides who are panicking?

A: A big contributor to weight gain is stress, so make sure that you are getting enough sleep and eating properly. Don’t over train, don’t starve, and just remember that it will be your day so enjoy it! You can be a fabulous bride just by making sure that you are eating properly, sleeping properly, and are not training to the point of exhaustion!

Q: What are the key points to remember so you don’t just pile weight on again after the wedding?

A: Don’t see the pre wedding period as some sort of ‘diet’, it is just your normal healthy lifestyle that you will continue afterwards. Set yourself new goals, often after reaching a big milestone such as your wedding day motivation can wane, so make sure you have something to work towards. Do exercise that is social and that you enjoy, this keeps you coming back for the enjoyment factor rather than just ‘to lose weight’.

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