Skip to content

How to lose weight before the big day -- and avoid 'heavier ever after'

The wedding cake, the flowers, the rings ... the personal trainer? For some brides- and grooms-to-be, getting in shape for the big day is an important part of wedding planning.

But could they be setting themselves up for failure? Not only do last-ditch dieting efforts usually fail, but new research shows that married people tend to gain more weight over the years than singles or people who are widowed or divorced.

Still, saying "I do" doesn't have to lead to a lifetime of excess poundage.

Just as getting married is a major lifestyle change, so is successful weight loss, experts say. It's natural for brides and grooms to want to look their best for their wedding day, and going about it the right way can make the difference between living healthier, or heavier, ever after.

Losing Weight Before the Wedding

"I wanted to look nicer for the wedding, mostly for the pictures," says newlywed Donna Eck-David, who was married on April 3, 2004. She tried watching what she ate and avoiding the cafeteria at work for months before the big day. But she finally resorted to drinking a dieter's tea containing laxatives a few weeks before the wedding, to speed up her weight-loss efforts.

Eventually, Eck-David says, she lost about 5-8 pounds before the ceremony -- then gained most of it back during the weeklong honeymoon cruise.

Resorting to drastic measures like fad diets or pills for quick weight loss before a wedding may not only be dangerous, but can also set you up for a future of yo-yo dieting rather than permanent weight loss.

Planning a wedding can be a big job for future brides (and grooms), says Nelda Mercer, RD. If they're not getting proper nutrition, they may feel faint or suffer other health consequences.

"It's not a good thing to stress the body at an already stressful time," says Mercer. "It's best to plan ahead, join a health club, exercise, get a personal trainer if needed, and see a nutritionist or registered dietitian to set up not only a well-balanced diet, but a lifestyle change."

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...

-
Beats
PER
Seconds