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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 www.sparkpeople.com 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
suggestions?

--Frustrated Bride-To-Be

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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.

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