Spring has officially sprung. We love filling our vases up with seasonal daffodils and filling our refrigerator door up with wedding invitations.
While we love nothing more than celebrating love while sipping on a signature wedding cocktail, we’d be lying if we didn’t get nervous about maintaining our health goals while navigating an open bar or dessert station (we’re suckers for a gooey lemon bar) at a wedding. Plus, after a glass or two of champagne, it’s much harder to say no to the post-party grilled cheeses and warm donuts. The day after a wedding, we often find ourselves feeling tired, heavy, anxious, or guilty. Um...and aren’t weddings supposed to be about love?
To keep the feelings of love (which includes self-love, too) flowing, we decided to put together this healthy wedding season guide. Based on our own experience and advice from experts, here are some tips that will help you fully enjoy yourself and stay on track with wellness.
We’re a proponent of tasting and enjoying in moderation, but try not to go overboard on fried hors d'oeuvres (we’re looking at you, pigs in a blanket), flatbreads, BBQ chicken skewers, and cake frosting. Turns out, a little can easily lead to a lot. As celebrity nutritionist Kelly LeVeque explains, eating too much of these carbohydrate-rich foods can cause low blood sugar, which makes us feel tired, hungry, weak, shaky, light-headed, or anxious. Meaning, we’re more likely to reach for more of the food that got us feeling this way to begin with.
Instead, LeVeque suggests keeping blood sugar levels stable which leads to more informed, healthy decision making. Before arriving at the wedding, try eating a fat, protein, and fiber-rich snack, like celery sticks and peanut butter or a hard-boiled egg with half an avocado. When you’re at the wedding, reach for protein-rich appetizers like ceviche. Fill half your plate with veggies and the other half with a piece of seared salmon. After enjoying, you’ll be in a more stable biological state to assess if you want to go back for the mac ‘n cheese or potato salad. If you decide to go for it, you’ll be more likely to indulge in moderation.
Attending weddings with judgmental relatives or friends you haven’t seen since high school can bring on distressing situations and difficult emotions, which can lead to unhealthy decisions like drinking too much or emotional eating. But just because you’re in a different environment and not hanging with your usual crew doesn’t mean you can’t rely on the tools that keep you grounded. In fact, they become even more important when our everyday flow is disrupted by new places, people, and situations. Do you practice yoga during the week to manage stress? Does your daily gratitude journal or meditation practice keep you positive and steady?
Try taking five minutes to do a few sun salutations in your hotel room before getting ready for the wedding. Toss your journal into your bag before catching your flight. During the wedding, take a minute for yourself to meditate or breathe deeply in a bathroom stall or go on an outdoor stroll for some fresh air. Tuning in with yourself can help you focus on the positive and remind you of the big picture, instead of spiraling into negative emotions and behaviors.
It can be hard to squeeze in a workout when you’re traveling or have dedicated most of the day to celebrating. Fortunately, one of the most fun parts of a wedding can be getting to enjoy a live band or DJ. Harvard Health reports that a person who weighs 125 pounds will burn 180 calories dancing at a fast pace for just 30 minutes. (Fun fact: That’s roughly the equivalent to dancing to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”—our favorite wedding staple—six times in a row.) Even if your dance moves are more “mom” than modern, moving your body is a proven way to release feel-good endorphins that will keep you feeling the love—not the guilt from that second piece of cake—all night long.