Everyone wants to look and feel their best on their wedding day. You're seeing friends and family you haven't seen in years, wearing the prettiest—and most expensive!—dress you'll probably ever wear, and you're marrying the one person you love more than anything in the world. Some brides try dangerous crash diets before their weddings, but those never go as planned. Maybe you'll lose a few pounds, but you'll be feeling worse than ever. Luckily, there is a solution that is sure to make you feel like a million bucks, and it's really as simple as cutting out a few food groups. Enter: The plant-based diet.
First and foremost, what is a plant-based diet, exactly? It's essentially a diet that consists primarily of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and legumes with little or no animal products. Those who eat plant-based typically eliminate all types of meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs, as well as any processed foods, refined sugar, and oil, and it doesn't take long to see a huge different in your wellbeing. Whether you're looking to lose weight, tone up, or simply become a healthier person in general, a plant-based diet is the easiest, research-backed ways to help you reach your goals. (And don't worry: There are much healthier vegan replacements for ice cream!)
Here, five of the many benefits you'll see if you choose to switch to a plant-based diet before the big day.
Your dress will fit better than ever.
While losing weight for the wedding should never be your primary goal, a plant-based diet will help you look and feel your best in your beautiful wedding dress. "Plant foods are packed with fiber, and the fact that these foods are bulkier helps makes people less hungry," says Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, co-author of Vegan for Life. "Eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is a great tactic for weight loss, maintaining your weight, and feeling good overall."
You'll be healthier overall.
Why is a plant-based diet so beneficial? By cutting out animal products and eating a diet rich in plants, people lower their chances of all sorts of health issues. Aside from reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes, one August 2016 study in particular reviewed 30 years' worth of data and found that the simple act of cutting out animal protein lowers the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other ailments.
You'll see skin-clearning benefits.
"People who eat a diet that has a lower glycemic index—one that contains more whole plant foods, like fruit, vegetables, and beans—digest their food slower, and that keeps blood sugar levels more even. It's possible that this will help keep your skin clear," Messina says. "There's also evidence that dairy foods can increase acne in some people, so ditching dairy before your wedding may be helpful. Just use plant-based milks and vegan cheeses instead."
You'll look extra glowy.
"Vegetables rich in beta-carotene like leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and carrots affect the tone of your skin and gives it a glow," Messina says. "A few weeks before their wedding, brides should pile their plates with steamed kale, cooked carrots, and baked sweet potatoes—they can really help make your skin look especially beautiful on your big day."
You'll see an improvement in your mental state.
A plant-based diet doesn't just benefit your body—it also makes a huge difference in your wellbeing. While eating a diet that has a lower glycemic index helps your skin, it will also help your mental state: "When your blood pressure levels are staying even, you have more energy and you're less tired and stressed out," Messina says. And who doesn't need a little help in that department when there's a wedding to be planned?