Every year we make resolutions to lose weight, go to the gym, and eat right. People put so much pressure on themselves that by the end of the first month all their good intentions have gone out the door. Don’t let this happen to you! If you are planning on getting in shape before your wedding, here are some simple steps to incorporate into your daily routine:

1)  Move your body! Go for a walk, a bike ride, dance, jump rope or swim if you live near the beach or pool. Do anything that gets your heart rate up for 30 minutes a day.  Just make sure it’s something you enjoy. If you are not having fun you’ll find a million excuses not to exercise. Trust me, I’ve been there! I have given up the gym route and now take salsa lessons 2 times a week and walk 3 miles when I’m not dancing.  Find a friend who’s also trying to get in shape and do it together. You’ll be motivated to keep up with it if someone else is holding you accountable.

2) Drink more water! Besides keeping your skin looking younger, water helps make you feel fuller so you don’t eat as much. It’s also a great substitute for sodas which can have 90-150 calories per serving. Water has zero calories!

3) If you want to lose weight, one of the fastest ways to do that, in addition to exercise,  is to eliminate or reduce your intake of sugar.  Americans consume on average 150-170 pounds of sugar per year! Instead of hitting the office vending machine for prepackaged snacks try eating a piece of fruit or even some dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains less sugar than other sweets.

4) Sleeping at least 8 hours every night will help you maintain a healthy weight.” Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well-rested lost more fat—56% of their weight loss—than those who were sleep-deprived, who lost more muscle mass. Dieters in the study also felt more hungry when they got less sleep.” (Health Magazine).

5) De-stress. Step away from your computer, phone, or TV for 10 minutes or more to just chill. You can meditate, listen to music, color, or lay on a patch of grass and watch the world go by. Getting in shape does not just involve your body it also involves your mind. Like most people, I find when I’m stressed I will eat junk food. So it pays to take a little time just to relax.

Edie ZuckewarEdie Zuckerwar is a Destination Wedding Planner based in St. Thomas, USVI. Her company Edie Zuckerwar Events provides wedding planning services in St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Barths, FWI.