Words by Emma Langman
Our pick of the best, and healthiest, treatments and retreats to burn those calories before the big day.
1. Yoga retreat
THE LOWDOWN Getting fit before your big day isn’t just about losing weight – it’s just as important to become mentally and emotionally ready too. At the sustainably run ecoYoga Centre in Argyll, you can spend a few days relaxing before your wedding with yoga classes in the purpose-built studio overlooking the River Liever. Then enjoy an outside bath in the hideaway wooden hot tubs or bathing spots in the beautiful surroundings of the nearby forest. It’s an ideal place to spend some time unwinding and gathering your thoughts before your wedding.
HOW MUCH? Bespoke packages are available.
2. Gym sessions
THE LOWDOWN Whether you’re a regular at the local gym or not, the lead-up to your big day is the best time to start exercising regularly to help you lose a few extra pounds. At Fitness First, there’s a weight-loss programme tailored specifically to brides, where you’ll train four times a week for six weeks. Giving yourself plenty of time to work out is the heathiest way to achieve your target weight, as Fitness First trainer Tom Eastham explains: “This is enough time to see results but also a short enough time to make it manageable and to encourage people to stick to it.” You’ll need to change your nutritional and lifestyle choices too if you want to see real results in the healthiest way possible.
HOW MUCH? From £30 per month; personal training sessions at extra cost.
3. Meal replacements
THE LOWDOWN If you’re looking to change your diet, Boot Camp in a Bottle is a great way to kick-start a long-term healthy lifestyle. An all-natural weight-loss product, it can either be taken as a seven-day detox, taking five portions a day, or to replace one meal each day over a longer period of time. Unlike many alternatives, the product is sugar-free and fortified with all the daily vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. On average, you can lose 7lbs a week using it as part of the seven-day detox, so it’s ideal for that extra boost in the weeks leading up to your celebration.
HOW MUCH? £39.99 per bottle (one bottle contains 50 ‘meals’).
4. Personal trainer
THE LOWDOWN If you’re not used to exercise, it can be hard to know where to start. A personal trainer will guide you with a bespoke plan to target any problem areas, while ensuring you get the most of your workout sessions. Libby Edmonstone is a mobile personal trainer based in Edinburgh who’s an expert at helping brides to look their best on their wedding day. She’ll work with you to devise the best plan of exercise and diet for your needs – and she can bring all the equipment needed to your door so you can work out in the privacy of your own living room or garden. Libby recommends starting sooner rather than later (a minimum of three months before the wedding, if possible), but if you haven’t got the luxury of time she does offer an intense six-week programme with two sessions per week that can produce great results. Group sessions are available too, so you can get your bridesmaids or even your mum involved as well!
HOW MUCH? Get 20% off by quoting ‘The Best Scottish Weddings’.
5. Military fitness
THE LOWDOWN The original UK military-style fitness camp, The Camp is run by a team with top military training and nutritional expertise to help you achieve your weight-loss goal. There’s a variety of women-only courses on offer at their luxurious headquarters in Galloway, with activities such as abseiling, boxing, circuits, self-defence and orienteering to help you drop a dress size in a week.
HOW MUCH? Special 2013 exclusive offer: get £150 off each booking for a week-long all-inclusive stay at The Camp. Quote SWBC003 to claim.
6. Natural detox
THE LOWDOWN Loved by celebrities and brides alike, the Lemon Detox aims to help you lose weight, get glowing skin and reduce stress. It can either be followed at home for up to ten days or as an intensive two to three-day retreat at Glasgow’s Blythswood Square Hotel. You’ll consume only the Lemon Detox in this time, so it can cleanse the body of toxins and increase vitality.
HOW MUCH? From £444 per person for the retreat.
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7. Rejuvenate and relax
THE LOWDOWN Renowned as one of the country’s leading spas, Stobo Castle in the Borders is the perfect place to unwind before your big day and get thoroughly de-stressed and pampered. You can use the gym, take a fitness class and book sessions with a personal trainer, and enjoy toning treatments for an extra boost. The Ionithermie Cheek Lift and Super Detox treatments will help to firm up the skin, smooth cellulite and make you feel like a queen.
HOW MUCH? A package of two nights including all meals, use of the spa facilities and a toning treatment costs from £320 per person based on two sharing.
8. Dance the night away
THE LOWDOWN A professional dancer for over 12 years, personal trainer Jo Richards can help you to get into shape through a combination of dance classes and training sessions. Based in Edinburgh, Jo offers one-on-one training, as well as couple or group classes that can be undertaken in only six weeks to help get you looking, and feeling, great.
HOW MUCH? Bespoke packages are available.
Jenny Ryrie, Scottish Slimmers Slimmer of the Year 2012, lost over six stone for her big day. She explains how it changed her life…
When Jenny’s sister Lisa asked her to be a bridesmaid, she realised it was time she did something about her weight. “The wedding was in Tobago in July 2010 – it was a beautiful day, but I was roasting hot and so uncomfortable. When we got the photographs back and I saw what I looked like, I felt really terrible,” she explains.
Having used Scottish Slimmers in the past to lose a few pounds, she turned to them again for help. Following the easy-to-use Positive Eating Plan, where you get a check allowance for your food, she soon started to see the pounds disappear.
“I could see the impact very quickly, as the weight just began to fall off. Weekly meetings helped me to stay motivated, as you can get support from fellow members, and get some great tips and recipes from the class manager,” she enthuses.
With her own wedding drawing near, Jenny reached her target weight – she had gone down four dress sizes. It made her celebration even more special. “Scottish Slimmers helped me to lose weight and walk down the aisle a confident, slim and happy woman.” Plus, she couldn’t have done it without the help of her husband Alan. “His support was fundamental. He loved me before (which I found hard to understand!) and is so proud to see how much happier I am now. “
Call Scottish Slimmers free on 0800 362 636,