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Lose Weight Sensibly For Wedding Beauty
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Quick weight loss programs capture the attention of many soon-to-be-married couples, but health experts warn the weight loss is often temporary and can even do physical harm.
With enough time, most people can safely lose the weight they want and even keep it off after the big day. Crash and fad diets often help people shed pounds rapidly, but are not recommended for health or long-term results.
Kevin Kuczynski is a dietetic intern with the School of Human Sciences at Mississippi State University. He said healthy weight loss takes time, but it can last.
"You can't expect any miracles. If you put it off to the last minute, there's not a lot you can do to lose weight before the wedding," Kuczynski said.
Consult a doctor and dietitian before starting a weight loss program. These professionals can determine the body's caloric needs and set safe weight loss goals. Follow their advice on cutting calories and establishing an exercise plan.
Toymeka Quaites, also a dietetic intern, said nothing should replace good diet and exercise for healthy weight loss and maintenance.
"Eat right and exercise," Quaites said. "A healthy weight loss is one to two pounds a week."
A bride wanting to lose 20 pounds before facing the cameras, friends, family and her groom on her wedding day should allow more than 10 weeks to reach this weight goal. For a reasonable, gradual weight loss of about one pound a week, subtract 500 calories per day from the total calories needed to sustain present weight.
While weight loss can be achieved through diet alone, diet and exercise work best.
"Strength training with weights keeps your metabolism up for several hours after the activity is completed," Kuczynski said. "Cardiovascular activity keeps the metabolism up for less time, but it is good for the heart."
Kuczynski said a prospective bride or groom's best weight loss option is a combination of strength training with aerobic activity and calorie reduction based on activity levels.
"Daily routines consisting of a 20 minute walk and strength training will increase your chances of losing the undesired weight and keeping it off," Kuczynski said.
Both cautioned against fad diets and popular products that promise quick weight loss.
Low carbohydrate diets that are so popular today also are not entirely good for the body. They're not nutritionally balanced, they don't teach good eating habits and for some individuals who have other health conditions, known or unknown, they can be dangerous.
"If people go on a fad diet that eliminates a food group or requires a very strict menu, they aren't learning healthy eating behaviors," Mixon said. "When they stop the diet and return to the way they were eating, they have not changed the eating behavior that led to the weight gain."
"Many of these quick-fix diet plans offer a false hope. You do lose the weight, but it just returns," Quaites said. "Sometimes the weight gain is even more than the initial loss."
To stay trim after the successful weight loss, keep exercising and eating right. Maintain variety in the diet, drink plenty of water and exercise regularly.