“How much weight can I lose before the wedding?” It’s a thought that runs across the minds of many couples once the wedding planning starts. Some approach it with lofty goals, while others are just looking to start a health routine to feel their best (and de-stress with exercise!).

Is there a right or wrong way to approach pre-wedding weight loss? Though everyone is different, boosting your health and fitness before your big day is a great motivator to develop a sustainable health routine that will carry you and your new spouse well beyond the wedding. Below, we’ve provided seven tips to consider when adopting a healthier lifestyle for this exciting new chapter in your life!

1. Start with self-love

Your wedding day is a big deal — all eyes (and cameras) will be on you! That’s certainly enough to make you feel as though you have to strive for perfection before you stand at the altar. But before you start a pre-wedding fitness and diet plan, begin by putting an emphasis on your mental health and consciously adjust your motivations accordingly.

Though we all have a desire to look our best, starting a health and fitness journey should come from a place of self-love and acceptance, not shame and punishment for how you view your current self. The more love and gratitude you find for your current body, your partner, and the people in your life, the happier you will be on your wedding day — no matter what the scale says.

2. Set a realistic goal

It’s easy to want to set a big weight loss or fitness goal in a short amount of time, especially if your wedding is just months away. Setting unrealistic goals may be attainable for a small few, but for most, it’s unsustainable and an inevitable set-up for additional stress.

Instead of becoming obsessed with the numbers on the scale, make more obtainable goals that will build up to noticeable changes over time. Don’t be afraid to start small! Setting smaller goals at first has been proven to create longer-lasting success. Instead of striving to work out every day, for example, commit to three days a week and increase from there if you want to.

3. Eat for your physical and mental health

Eating clean is important because it helps reduce feelings of bloat, Clean Eatingsluggishness, and mental fog. However, depriving yourself completely is like trying to hold a beach ball underwater – it might work for a little bit, but the pressure and resistance will inevitably become too powerful to control, becoming unsustainable for a long period of time.

Consider starting a sustainable weight loss program that allows room for flexibility while keeping you accountable. Approaching weight loss this way will set you up for success before and long after your big day.

4. Keep each other accountable

The best part about being married is having a life long partner to lift you up and keep you motivated during the times you find it difficult to motivate yourself. Start this new, healthy lifestyle together and keep each other accountable — and have some fun while you’re at it! Grocery shopping, meal prepping, and working out together is a great way to bond and spend quality time together outside of wedding planning.

Consider doing something outside of the box for your workouts, like taking dance lessons together. That way, you both will get in a great workout and can show off your new moves on the dance floor at your reception!

 5. Plan for after the wedding

Adopting a healthy lifestyle for your wedding is a great motivator, but it’s important to plan for after the wedding so you can bring this healthy lifestyle into your marriage. Make exercise a regular part of your new life together by learning a new sport, joining a fitness class, or going on walks around the neighborhood in the morning or after dinner. Continue eating well together by planning ahead for your meals for the week. Try new recipes or even find a cooking class you both can learn from while spending quality time together!

6. Don’t stress about the dress

Many brides put off dress shopping until they’ve hit or come close to their goal dress size. While that’s understandable, don’t put off dress shopping for too long. Many do not realize that once they order their dress, it takes at least 5 months for it to actually arrive in most cases. Don’t be afraid to go dress shopping now for the body that you currently have. If you do happen to lose a significant amount of weight by the time your dress comes in, it can always be altered. Plus, brides rarely ever walk out of a boutique with a wedding-ready dress that doesn’t need to be altered in some fashion. Since your dress will most likely need altering anyway, it’s best to play it safe and shop early.

Don’t be afraid to be open and honest about your dress size and weight loss concerns with your stylist when trying on dresses. They can help ease your mind by laying out all of your options while leading you in the right direction.

7. Keep your eyes on the prize

At the end of the day, what truly matters is that you are marrying the love of your life. You are marrying the person who has accepted you, for you, exactly as you are right now. It is so easy to get caught up in the extravagance of it all that we forget what the day is truly about — celebrating the love that you’ve found, reflecting on the journey that has gotten you to this point, and looking ahead to a happy future.