By Shelley Brown
We did some serious research to find the hottest prewedding diets out there. From Scandinavia to the UK, they run the global gamut, with tons of fresh and unexpected ingredients (moose, anyone?). The best part: Unlike most fad diets, these pound-melters won't make you go crazy.
1. THE noRDIC DIET
Developed in 2014, the new nordic Diet borrows inspiration from the Viking lifestyle (only not as gory as the television show). not sure what it means to eat like a modern day norse warrior? It's similar to the Mediterranean diet: lots of whole grains, fresh veggies, and high-quality meat and seafood. processed foods, mass-produced poultry and meat, and refined grains, like white bread and pasta, are off-limits, and a typical week of dinners might include three servings of meat, two servings of seafood and two vegetarian dishes. nuts, berries, legumes and orchard fruits make up the rest of your meals.
pRoS You shouldn't feel the pangs of hunger while eating like a Viking. Meals containing high-fiber whole grains leave you feeling fuller longer, says dietitian Willow jarosh of C&j nutrition, a nutrition expert for Bob Greene's Best Life program. plus, you're allowed some decadent indulgences on this diet, such as steak and lobster and a glass of wine with dinner.
ConS Eating the Scandinavian way sounds chic, but some of the suggested foods (like moss and moose) may not be easy to find. Be prepared to swap out obscure ingredients for more mainstream options, like leafy greens. Also, the amount of food options here can be deceptive. You still have to limit your portions to lose weight, even though this diet doesn't explicitly require that, says dietitian Stephanie Clarke of C&j nutrition, a health consultant for corporations like Bloomberg and Hess.2. THE 5:2 FAST DIET
If you're thinking of trying a crazy crash diet before your wedding, consider this less drastic option that recently took the UK by storm. The 5:2 Fast Diet revolves around a simple ratio: You eat 2,000 calories five days a week and only 500 calories for the other two. The gist is fasting two days a week speeds up your metabolism without sending your body into fat-storing pstarvation mode."
pRoS While it may sound a little intense, the 5:2 Fast Diet promises rapid weight loss (around one pound per week), which is pretty amazing if you're looking to slim down quickly. Another plus: Since you can eat normally on non-fast days, you can treat yourself to a slice of pie after dinner or a martini at happy hour without the guilt (this should make eating out easier too). And unlike most other diets, there are no limited food groups with this one, so you won't have to majorly change your lifestyle, as long as you count calories.
ConS The downside here is obvious: hunger. There's no guarantee you won't be at least a little bit uncomfortable on fast days. According to jarosh, obsessing over calories could lead to bigger problems, like binge eating on non-fast days. not to mention, fasting can negatively impact your mood and energy levels. To avoid becoming a ravenous bridezilla, we recommend spreading out fasting days (say, fasting Monday and Thursday), so you'll have time to recover during the week. It might also be a good idea to skip the gym on fasting days; 500 calories isn't enough for your muscles to bounce back from a strenuous workout, Clarke says.
3. THE WHoLE30
push the preset" button on your body and give up processed foods for 30 days with this ultra-wholesome approach. Meat, seafood, tons of veggies, some fruit and nuts are allowed on the Whole30, but everything else gets the nix. Basically, if you can't identify or pronounce all of the ingredients in something, you can't eat it. The promise is, if you cut out stomach-irritating troublemakers, like alcohol, dairy, grains and sugars, for a month straight, you won't just lose inches, you'll heal your insides too.
pRoS Weighing yourself or taking any body measurements is discouraged on this plan, which we find surprisingly refreshing. You should focus on how healthy food makes you feel, without worrying about how you look or playing the numbers game, Clarke advises. plus, it turns out just one short month is actually plenty of time to give yourself an internal makeover. Conditions like insulin resistance, chronic inflammation and lactose intolerance can definitely benefit from clean eating for 30 days, jarosh says.
ConS This is a drastic lifestyle change, which can make sticking to it a challenge (even table salt is a no-no, due to added sugar). A little bit of boredom is inevitable with super-strict diets, so we recommend doing your research ahead of time. There are lots of delicious work-arounds possible here (like subbing coconut flour and chopped cashews for wheat flour or replacing sandwich bread with roasted sweet potatoes or avocados) if you're willing to dive deep into recipe blogs and get creative. plan out varied weekly menus to keep your taste buds entertained.