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Weddings > Six Month Wedding Weight Loss Plan

SIX MONTH WEDDING WEIGHT LOSS PLAN
By Rachael Popow (28 Mar 2006)

Married couples gain more weight over the years than singles or people who are widowed or divorced.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 all important part of wedding planning. But could they just be setting themselves up for failure? Not only do last-ditch dieting efforts usually fail, new research suggests 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 in the right way can mean the difference between living healthier, or heavier, ever after.

LOSING WEIGHT BEFORE THE WEDDING

"I wanted to look slimmer for the wedding, mostly for the pictures," said one newlywed who was married on April 6, 2004. She tried watching what she ate and avoiding the cafeteria at work for months prior to the big day. But she finally resorted to drinking a dieter's tea containing laxatives a few weeks prior to the wedding, to speed up her weight-loss efforts. Eventually she lost five to eight pounds before the ceremony - but gained most of it back during the week long honeymoon cruise.

Resorting to drastic measures like fad diets or pills for quick weight loss before a wedding may not only be dangerous, it 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 what is 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 dietition to set up not only a well-balanced diet, but a total lifestyle change."

Personal trainer Sue Fleming says the majority of women see their wedding day as the most important day of their lives and simply want to look their best. "It's the one time when a lot of women finally decide to incorporate a fitness program into their daily lives because of that goal," says Fleming, author of the book Buff Brides.

Wedding dresses today are sleeker and more revealing than in years past, says Fleming, which means that shoulders, backs and arms are usually top areas of concern for her clients. Fleming recommends brides begin a bridal "boot camp" at least sic months prior to the wedding that includes a balance of cardiovascular and strength training for about an hour a day, three or four days per week. Procrastinating brides and grooms who have less than six months to work with should plan on spending more time in the gym.

"The less time you have, the more time you have to dedicate to working out," says Fleming. Fleming says it's normal for brides-to-be to experience a slight weight gain after starting an exercise programme, as they build lean muscle mass. But that's what will give them the kind of muscle tone they will want to show off in a strapless wedding dress.

Experts say a weight loss goal of about a pound a week is reasonable. For those with weddings months away, mercer recommends setting short-term goals - like a couple of pounds per month, rather than 20 pounds prior to the wedding itself. This will allow them to enjoy short-term success and not become discouraged. For brides - and grooms - to be who want to achieve sensible and long lasting weight loss prior to their weddings, Mercer has this dietary advice.

EAT SMALLER PORTIONS

  • Identify sources of empty calories in your diet, such as high-fat and high-sugar snacks, and limit them
  • Incorporate more fruit and vegetables into your daily diet. They are the powerhouses of nutrition and can fill you up on fewer calories
  • Choose leaner, lower-fat meat and dairy products
  • Eat your calories, don't drink them. Engagement is a time for celebrations and parties, so choose your beverages wisely. Alcoholic beverages generally contain at least 100 calories or more.

Once future brides and grooms set their mind to a weight-loss regime and fitness plan, Fleming says, they are usually successful. Many pick up healthy habits that will last them a lifetime. "It is amazing to me how focused and motivated they became during this frantic, crazy panicked period in their lives, and it is the one thing that they will stick to," says Fleming.

"If you need to use the wedding day to get you started, that's OK, but most people continue to work out, feel great, and look back at the pictures and say: "Wow, I'm so glad I did that."

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