Healthy Eating Advice For Wedding Guests: Weight Watchers Weighs In

So did you think Weight Watchers only had an article with ideas for the bride? Oh no. They’ve got guests’ backs too. Here’s the skinny on staying skinny AND enjoying yourself at all those summer weddings.  And remember – the Chicken Dance burns LOTS of calories, especially when danced with your Uncle Lou.
reposted from Weight Watchers.com
Article By: Vicki Salemi
Wedding Guest Survival Guide

It’s that time of year again. Brides and grooms are in full bloom — and so are the buffets, Viennese tables and wedding cake pieces with a PointsPlus® value of 10. But weddings are also ripe with opportunities for socializing, dancing the night away, and having a fabulous time.

When it comes to the cocktail hour, Weight Watchers member Lauri Carbone, North Wales, PA, has it down to a science. She should know — as a wedding photographer, she is surrounded by reception food temptations every weekend.

“I always keep a healthy snack in my camera bag like carrots so I can munch during down time and try to fill up as much as possible before the crab cakes and mashed potatoes come out,” she says. “I also try to keep my hands busy with my camera around the food, so instead of grabbing for some cheese, I take a photo of it. And then I look at it later, longingly, but proud that I didn’t succumb to the deliciousness that is cheese.”

Another strategy, according to Weight Watchers member Janice Litvin of Walnut Creek, CA, is not so much what she does at the wedding, but rather what she does beforehand.

“I don’t go to an event hungry,” she says. “I always eat a snack like a big piece of fruit before I go and make sure to save PointsPlus values from that day by eating a lighter lunch so I can consume extra PointsPlus values at the wedding.”

Size up the skewers
For Lifetime Member Ellen Pulda from Needham, MA, her survival toolkit is all about scoping out the situation. “Don’t go for the first stuffed mushroom you see,” she advises. “Watch the hors d’ouevres parade pass by, then make your decision. Stick to the sushi, skewered chicken and avoid the wrapped (i.e., egg rolls, pigs in a blanket) items.”

When it’s time for the sit-down meal, Pulda relies on her husband to help her through the meal. She suggests, “Sit next to a dinner companion who’s happy to take half your meal. My husband typically gets my starches and half my entrée. Pass up the bread basket. At functions — unless it’s a fancy French restaurant — it’s usually not worth it.”

Dinner, drinks and dancing, oh my!
“Seltzer is your friend,” says Rita Smircich (Westport, CT), Lifetime Member, wedding planner, and author of To Do Before “I Do” (Lulu, 2007). “Although this might sound drab, it’s amazing what you can do with seltzer! Even if a bit of liquor was added, it won’t make for many calories. A variety of juices, such as cranberry or pineapple, can be added for a refreshing drink.”

Judith Lederman from Scarsdale, NY, editor of Westchester Weddings Magazine and author of Joining the Thin Club: Tips for Toning Your Mind AFTER You’ve Trimmed Your Body (Three Rivers Press, 2007), reminds us that weddings are not about the food. “Remember, you can get food anywhere, anytime, but the opportunity to mix and mingle and see people you haven’t seen in ages — that only comes about on rare occasions!”

She adds, “Dancing burns calories — stay on the dance floor and get aerobic. I danced at my son’s wedding last night and didn’t even stop to eat the wedding food. I had a protein shake tucked away in the bridal room and drank it between dances.”

DIY desserts
Some guests prefer the do-it-yourself treat. Ranae Whitmore lost weight over the past two years by making healthy food choices, implementing moderate exercise and changing her thought processes. The Des Moines, IA native explains, “Rather than being tempted by the lovely wedding cake, I bring my own 100-calorie pack of Hostess cupcakes or a frozen Weight Watchers dessert and ask the servers if they will kindly plate it for me on the same fancy plates the wedding cake is being served on. It makes me feel special to be ‘good to me’ and at the same time feel like everyone else being served on fine china!”

Linda Lockett Brown, RD, from Orange Park, FL, says it’s important to be kind to yourself if you indulge. “Don’t become riddled with guilt because you chose to eat a piece of cake,” she says.

Treat yourself well
As you’re enjoying the celebration, it’s important to remember it’s just one night, one meal and one piece of rich cake. Author Smircich adds, “When people are going to a wedding, they know that there is going to be good food and plenty of it. If they want to eat buttercream wedding cake, then they may need to save their PointsPlusvalues during the week. [Then] at the wedding, eat the salad without dressing, avoid the heavy cream sauce, [don’t] eat the bread on the table and [don’t] ask for a second piece of cake.”

Above all, Litvin notes, “If you want to eat something, eat it. If you say no to yourself for too long, you are more likely to [break down]. So try that piece of cake or piece of candy — just remember to write it down. As my Leader always says, ‘Just get right up the next morning, wipe off the crumbs, and begin your day anew.'”

About the Writer
Vicki Salemi is a freelance writer based in New York.

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Some advice for Brides from the Wise Folks at Weight Watchers (Seriously – Jennifer Hudson still looks phenomenal).

I’ve written before about how Weight Watchers is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  So imagine how awesome it is when sliced bread writes an article about Brides surviving the to-be-wed parties without needing last minute dress alterations for the big day! Super awesome, right? Of course I have to share. Oh – and Jessica Simpson just signed on as a new spokesgal.  Bye bye baby weight, hello gorgeous bride! She didn’t do it in the traditional order, bless her heart.  Do we care? Nah. You go Jess.

Rules of Engagement

(reposted from WeightWatchers.com)

Want to enjoy all the you-centric parties leading up to your wedding while also sticking to your weight-loss goals? We’ll show you how.
Article By: Hillary Quinn
Rules of Engagement

It’s a cruel irony: The months leading up to your wedding are filled with food- and beverage-centric celebrations, just as you are trying to get in your best bridal shape for the big day. The moment that rock hits your finger, the food fest begins… champagne toasts, engagement parties, bridal showers, food and cake tastings, brunches, bachelorette bashes, rehearsal dinners and even the honeymoon. These pre-wedding rituals that escort you right down the aisle don’t often marry well with weight-loss goals.

But this buffet of festivities doesn’t have to be your undoing. With the help of Weight Watchers fitness pro Jennifer Cohen, who is also the trainer on TV’s Shedding for the Wedding, we’ve come up with some stay-on-Plan strategies for every celebratory pit stop on your way to happily ever after.

The Engagement Party

  • Go easy on the bubbly. When it’s time for the champagne toast, smile, clink, sip…and then place your flute on the table and reach for a glass of sparkling water.
  • Make yourself a (small) plate. As the trays of appetizers float by, avoid mindlessly grabbing and gobbling every offer from the tray; instead, make a conscious choice to choose the nibbles that most appeal to you. Take it a step further: Assemble your chosen nibbles on a plate before you eat them, so you can really visualize how much you’re eating.
  • Work the room. Focus on friends and family, and make sure you greet each and every guest. With all of your favorite people in one place, you won’t have time to over-indulge!
  • Make some music. Whether you hire a DJ or just hook up your IPod to a portable sound system, dial up the fitness quotient of even a small-ish bash by playing music that gets everyone moving.

The Bridal Shower

  • Open your gifts yourself. Ever go to a shower where the bridesmaids form a well-meaning assembly line to unwrap your gifts before they hit your lap? Skip it! The task of unwrapping keeps both hands busy with a (fun) non-edible activity. Plus it’s just more fun!
  • Mingle during courses, not between. If your shower is in a restaurant, eat what you want, then leave your seat and visit friends at each and every table. And if you come back to a cleared plate, so much the better!

Food and Cake Tastings

  • Make it a meal. Schedule a tasting at lunch or dinnertime so that you don’t end up eating twice.
  • Think like a restaurant critic. Professional food tasters take a small bite of each dish, rather than finishing what’s in front of them. As you sample multiple appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and cake fillings, remember that just one bite will give you all the information you need to make your decision. If the sample is bad, you won’t want to keep eating it; if it’s good, you’ll know you’ve settled on the right choice and can move on.
  • Stay hydrated. Ask the staff to bring a pitcher of water to the table, and drink plenty during your tasting—it will help fill you up, as well as cleanse your palate for the next course.

The Bachelorette Bash

  • Get moving. Ask your bridesmaids to consider a high-energy party: one that involves taking over a pool or roller rink. Hitting the town or clubbing in Vegas? Do plenty of walking from venue to venue, and make sure you’re the last one to leave the dance floor.
  • Show it off! Wear something sequined and snug. It’s your night to show off all your hard work… plus a figure-hugging outfit will remind you of your goals, even as a friend hands you another fruity margarita. (Psst: check out our Cocktail Cheat Sheet for smarter cocktail choices.)

Your Wedding Reception

  • Get a morning glow. (No… not that kind!) Setting aside 30-60 minutes of exercise on the morning of your big day can do wonders for your mind and your body. Whether you take a brisk walk with friends, go for a quick solo run, or pop in your favorite yoga DVD, a workout will help ease the inevitable pre-wedding jitters, plus leave you feeling fit and energized.
  • Plan ahead. With all the reception hoopla, you’ll probably be starving by the time you get to your hotel suite, so arrange in advance to have a healthy meal or snack delivered to your door. You’ll be less tempted to attack the fattening mini-bar or order midnight onion rings off the room-service menu.

The Honeymoon

  • Build exercise into your itinerary. If you’re beach-bound, you’ll likely be languishing on a chaise for most of the day (and losing workout motivation after those irresistible frozen coco-rum drinks). Scheduling a 30-minute morning workout—preferably with your partner—can help balance things out. Some ideas: Visit the hotel gym; take a brisk walk or run on the beach; hit some tennis balls; or make a daily boogie-boarding date.
  • Leave the rental car at the hotel. Heading to a big city? Make like a local and walk wherever you can. You’ll see the sights and burn calories in one fell swoop. (Plus, think of the photo opps!)

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Friends Don’t Let Friends go Into Debt To Be A Bridesmaid

It’s your day, Bride, no question about it.  But take time to think about your friends and their circumstances.  Chances are you know all too well how expensive it can get being a bridesmaid, or even just being a friend-of-the-bride, what with showers, bachelorettes, wedding gifts…it adds up.  Here are some “dos and don’ts” for keeping your friends feelings and finances in mind.

DON’T

  • Keep Up With The Jolies.  Yes, we all read the magazines of celebrity excesses and glamorous getaways, but celebrate in a way all your gals can afford.  Does your entire gaggle of girls need to go to Puerto Rico for a long bachelorette weekend? Does your shower need to be at the Ritz? Keep your expectations within everyone’s budget.
  • Have a Surprise Party.  No one likes expensive surprises.  When your maids find out on wedding day that they owe $150 plus tip for hair and make-up (that is “optional,” but everyone else is doing it), you can’t expect they’ll be feeling celebratory.

Nora and Julie - the world's greatest bridesmaids

DO

  • Be choosy (in a good way). Pay attention when choosing your wedding party.  Did your cousin just get laid off? Does your best friend have college loans up the wazoo? If you think someone might feel less than honored – ask her in a neutral way that allows a graceful “out.”
  • Adopt an attitude of gratitude! Thank everyone.  This seems like a no-brainer, but tell everyone how much you appreciate the love and support.  The more your friends hear this during the lead up to your wedding, the better the experience will be for everyone!

 There you have it.  Keep your friendships together, and everyone’s wallet (relatively) intact.

 Be well, and love well!

 -Dinah

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