It’s the season of ceremonies! Ready for the fun? Just don’t forget it comes with a “crazy mix of emotional challenges, rich foods, and alcohol,” says Jessica Cording, MS, RD, a New York City–based dietitian. Here’s how to enjoy the matrimonial merriment— and still feel great about it the next morning.
1. Craft your own prenup.
A busy wedding season could have you attending multiple showers, bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners, receptions, and even destination adventures. But you’ll know in advance what you’ll face, says Cording, so map out the food and drink you’ll enjoy as well as the ways you’ll stay in control. A little troubleshooting now can help you stay on track during all the festivities.
2. Ride the roller coaster.
Anticipate a flurry of emotions: A celebratory mood may foster overeating and extra imbibing—as can stress, lack of sleep, and the occasional pang of sadness. Preparing for these feelings diminishes their power, says Susan Albers, PsyD, a psychologist at Cleveland Clinic and author of Eat Q. One helpful hint: Prioritize self-care in the days beforehand—eat and sleep well, and stay hydrated, especially if you’re traveling.
3. Take your vows seriously.
As the loving couple says “I do,” renew your own commitments— to yourself. Then pledge to have a marvelous time socializing, laughing, and dancing. Use conversation as an excuse to pause between bites and sips, Cording advises. Building in those breaks will help you tune in to your fullness cues.
4. Don’t cut the cake.
You can have your cake and eat it, too. In fact, because we ogle that tower of wedding pastry for hours and imbue it with such deep meaning, wedding cake represents an ideal mindful dessert, Albers says. Just be sure to savor it: A study in the journal Appetite showed dieters who associated cake with celebration lost more weight over three months than those who tied it to guilt.
5. Live happily ever after.
If you slip up, wipe the slate clean and start over. “Be kind to yourself—we’re not perfect,” Cording says. “If you have one day where things don’t go according to plan, move on. Get right back on the horse.”