Want to get yourself in shape both mentally and physically for your own big day? One weight loss expert believes anyone planning to get married can learn from Meghan Markle’s regime.
Dr Aria Campbell-Danesh, a behaviour change psychologist who specialises in weight management, says that those planning to tie the knot will often embark on a health and fitness campaign to get in shape for the big day.
But Dr Aria – who is the creator of the FIT (Focused Integrative Training) programme – believes that with a few changes, brides can be in wedding fitness mode all year round.
“There is obviously a lot of focus around the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry,” said Dr Aria. “And the bride-to-be clearly knows how a mix of eating, exercise and a positive mindset is the key to success, not just on the big day itself but in keeping motivated all year round.”
Want to know more? Here’s Dr Aria’s tips on getting the Markle Effect…
Meghan on…A Balanced Mindset
“It’s all about balance… I don’t ever want to feel deprived. I feel that the second you do that is when you start to binge on things. It’s not a diet, it’s lifestyle eating.”
Dr. Aria says: “Meghan is spot on. A balanced mindset is the key to sustainable weight loss. There is little scientific evidence that restrictive diets lead to lasting weight loss. Studies show that deprivation strategies like banning foods actually backfire. This results in the forbidden food becoming more tempting and out-of-control eating. The restriction-binging cycle is often seen in yo-yo dieting.”
Meghan on…Planning Ahead
“Hummus, carrots – because I love them and so does my dog, Bogart, strangely – a green juice, almond milk, for sure, and a chia seed pudding I make every single week.”
Dr. Aria says: “Keeping your fridge stocked full of your favourite healthy foods will make a huge difference when your willpower is low at the end of the day and you’re looking for something to snack on. The easier foods are to access, the more likely you are to eat them. Keep your kitchen surfaces clear, except for a big bowl of fruit. Place less healthy snacks like crisps and chocolate at the back of kitchen cupboards.”
Meghan on…A Plant-based Diet
“I try to eat vegan during the week and then have a little bit more flexibility with what I dig into on the weekends.”
Dr. Aria says: “A healthy pattern of eating is so much easier to maintain when you’re left feeling pleasantly full and satisfied. Two meals with the same number of calories can have different effects on how full we feel. The amount or volume of food that we eat plays an integral role. Water-rich and low energy density foods such as vegetables, fruits, lentils, beans, natural yoghurt and fish will fill you up and do so with fewer calories. Tasty soups, salads, and stir-fries that you like are excellent options.”
“My health, my state of mind, the feeling you have after a workout; all of these things drive me to step onto my mat or go to the gym. Sometimes the idea of working out sounds absolutely dreadful, but I always remind myself of how good it will feel afterward.”
Dr. Aria says: “Meghan knows why exercise is personally important to her. That’s crucial. The secret to motivation is understanding why your goal is meaningful to you, beyond the wedding. Is it to feel better, look better, have more energy or invest in your health? Research shows that people who do things that are important to them personally rather than to impress others are more productive and happier
“I’m meditating every day twice a day, it’s wonderful. Once in the morning for 20 minutes, once in the afternoon.”
Dr. Aria says: “Scientific studies have found that mindfulness and similar meditation practices are associated with a reduction in stress and anxiety and an increase in happiness and quality of life.”