Every bride-to-be wants to look and feel her best on the big day and, thanks to Slimming World, you can achieve your perfect bridal body without giving up the foods you love. We’ve teamed up with the slimming experts this month to produce this handy guide, packed with tasty recipes and top tips for getting – and staying – in shape.

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How do you lose weight and keep it off for life? Research by Slimming World shows that the most successful slimmers discover new habits, habits that become so natural that they don’t even notice them. Two of the top habits are eating a low fat/low energy diet, like Slimming World’s Food Optimising healthy eating plan and doing lots of physical activity. Slimming World members make changes from eating a lot of unhealthy snacks to eating regular meals, cooking from scratch, ditching ready meals and being able to eat plenty of satiating (or filling), every day foods including complex carbohydrates, lean protein and fruit and vegetables.

Slimming World’s Body Magic programme helps its members, some of whom might not have done any exercise before, to take steps towards a more active lifestyle. And the most successful slimmers are those who have introduced some form of exercise into their lives as well as adopting healthier eating habits. Brisk walking scores top – above going to the gym or other forms of activity. This month, some gorgeous real brides share top tips on how they stay in shape, as well as some of their favourite recipes…

Turkey meatballs & herbed tagliatelle

slimming world meatballs

Serves 4, ready in an hour and a half

For the meatballs

  • 510g lean minced turkey
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce…

  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g of chopped tomatoes

For the herbed tagliatelle…

  • 340g dried tagliatelle
  • 6-8 tbsp finely chopped mixed herbs (parsley and tarragon)
  • Steamed sugar snap peas, to serve

Preparation

Place the minced turkey, garlic, cumin and cinnamon in a bowl and, using your hands, mix until well combined. Season well. Cover and chill in the fridge for 1 hour to allow the flavours to develop.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing a large, non-stick frying pan over a high heat.

Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery, stir and cook over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season well.

For the meatballs, make small walnut-shaped balls from the mince mixture. Add the meatballs to the sauce mixture. Stir to coat evenly and simmer gently for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through.

While the meatballs are cooking make the herbed tagliatelle by cooking the pasta according to the packet instructions, drain well, stir in the chopped herbs and season well.

Divide the herbed tagliatelle between four warmed plates and top with the meatballs. Serve immediately with sugar snap peas.

Slimming World Fish shop chips

slimming world chips

Serves 4, ready in  45 minuets

  • 6 large potatoes (Maris Piper)
  • Low calorie cooking spray

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Peel the potatoes and cut into thick finger-like chunks. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the potatoes. Boil for 4-5 minutes. Drain and leave to dry for 10 minutes.

Return the chips to the dry saucepan, cover with a lid and shake to ‘rough-up’ the edges – doing this will help make the chips really crispy.

Place the chips in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Spray with low calorie cooking spray and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden, turning occasionally. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Serve with grilled steak and salad; gammon, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms; fish and mushy peas; or an egg or two fried in low calorie cooking spray and baked beans.

Smoked haddock & pea risotto

Smoked-Haddock-Risotto

Serves 4, ready in 55 – 60 minutes

  • 4 x 140g smoked  haddock fillets
  • 1.2 litres fish stock
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large leek, washed  and finely chopped
  • 255g dried risotto rice
  • 400g fresh or frozen peas
  • 100g fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 4 large eggs

Preparation

Place the haddock in a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and allow the fish to sit in the water, covered, for 12-15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Bring the stock to the boil in a large pan over a medium heat, then turn the heat down as low as it will go to keep the stock hot but without letting it reduce.

Place 200ml of the warmed stock in another large pan, add the onion and leek and cook for 3-4 minutes until they have softened. Add the rice and stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the peas and spinach.

Pour in the rest of the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, and keep stirring until each ladleful is absorbed. Keep adding the stock, stirring as often as possible until the rice is al dente (tender but still retaining a bite) – this should take about 20 minutes.

Skin and flake the haddock into large bite-sized pieces and gently stir it into the rice.

Keep the risotto warm while you poach the eggs.

Divide the risotto between four plates, top each serving with a poached egg and serve immediately.

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