You’ve planned the perfect wedding and now you want to shed some pounds.  Here are some tips for healthy slimming that will help you look and feel your best come the big day:

Lose gradually:

Be realistic about how much weight you want to lose and give yourself enough time to reach your goal, figuring on a healthy rate of weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week.

Don’t skip meals:

You may think you are saving calories by skipping meals, but that strategy is bound to backfire because it sets you up to overeat. To keep hunger in check and avoid sweet cravings, stick to a regular schedule of eating something healthy every 3-4 hours.

Fill up on fiber:

Dietary fiber has zero calories, which makes foods high in fiber naturally low in calories. Also, fiber adds volume to food and it digests slowly, so fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber fill you up and keep you feeling full longer than packaged processed foods containing little to no fiber.

Combine fiber and protein:

You don’t have to walk around hungry just because you are dieting. The secret is to pair some fiber and lean protein at meals and at snack time. Lean protein such as fish, chicken, and lean cuts of beef, lamb, veal and pork, has only 35-55 calories per ounce, so enjoy some with a generous side of fiber-rich vegetables, like steamed spinach or broccoli.

Stay well-hydrated:

It’s easy to misread dehydration for hunger, so aim to drink 8 8-oz glasses of water every day. Not only will you feel comfortably full, water promotes healthy clear skin by flushing toxins out of your system.

Lift weights:

Running and spinning are good for your heart health and for relieving stress, but for weight loss make strength-training the focus of your workouts. Lifting weights and resistance exercise build lean, toned muscle that not only looks great, its boosts metabolism, too.

For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!

Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books:  The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber and The F-Factor Diet. Subscribe to Tanya’s free weekly newsletter and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn