Wedding Weight Loss: The Pressure to Look Good for Your Big Day  

Dr. Christopher McGowan
June 15, 2023

Weddings are usually a time of joy and celebration, but they can just as easily be a source of stress for both the bride-to-be and groom as well as bridesmaids and groomsmen. Even aside from the elaborate planning that goes into the special day, the pressure to look good and fit into a wedding dress or a tux is a familiar predicament. Some people look to last-minute crash diets to get them across the finish line, but this kind of approach is often unhealthy and usually doesn’t work very well anyway. Fortunately, though, there are a number of techniques that can help you lose weight in a sustainable way that works for the wedding day and beyond.  

The Pressure to Lose Weight for a Wedding  

Wedding planning is not for the faint of heart; between the venue, the decor, the wedding cake, and the invitations to friends and family members, there are countless details that go into a wedding. As the big day approaches, many brides and grooms also feel pressure to look their best in front of a room full of people and in wedding photos. This kind of pressure naturally includes perceptions about body weight and appearing thin and healthy. So in addition to everything else the new bride and groom are thinking about, they’re also often convincing themselves to go on a “wedding diet.” 

The problem with wedding diet plans, though, is that they tend to become lose-weight-fast schemes that are based on fad diets. These sorts of diets often revolve around extreme but temporary lifestyle changes that put additional pressure to be perfect in the lead-up to the wedding day. This pressure may manifest as a really restrictive meal plan or a blitz of regular exercise that you would never be able to maintain apart from the specific wedding day motivation. At the end of the day, it means adding unrealistic weight loss goals to an already pressure-filled time of life.   

Wedding Weight Loss Tips

A weight loss journey is hard under any circumstances, but it can be even harder when preparing for a wedding. Being able to achieve your goal weight is going to greatly depend on your starting weight, how much you want to lose, and how much time until the wedding day. If you’re trying to lose 30 pounds in two weeks, for instance, you’re not going to have much success. And even if you could lose a lot in a short time, there are some real health concerns that make it an unwise choice.  

In an ideal world, a weight loss plan would involve making a series of healthy lifestyle changes over time. Setting a goal based on a wedding date is possible, but there’s a high probability of losing some weight for the big day and then gaining it all back (and sometimes more) in the weeks and months that follow. Nevertheless, while a short-term weight management program wouldn’t be recommended by most doctors or registered dietitians, there are some known tips for how to get moving towards a healthy weight in relatively short order:  

  • Set realistic goals: The first step of any weight loss program is to establish your goals. What is your starting weight? How much do you want to lose? The general rule of thumb from most doctors is that you can safely lose up to one pound per week. So if you feel like you’re 10 pounds overweight and you have five weeks until the wedding, it’s best to adjust your expectations so that you can realistically achieve your goal. 
  • Identify the pitfalls: Another important step is to honestly evaluate the potential pitfalls that can derail your weight loss journey. For many people this is mostly about building new healthy eating habits, but it can also involve managing the particular challenges associated with preparing for a wedding. Because planning a wedding requires keeping track of so many details, it’s easy to not have the time to cook healthy meals or stay as active as you want. But by identifying these potential challenges at the start, you’ll be better able to adjust down the road. 
  • Diet changes: The basic truth about weight loss is that it comes down to eating fewer calories than your body uses to function. Calorie intake isn’t the only factor to consider, but it is crucial for losing weight efficiently. One strategy for making changes to your diet is to swap low-calorie healthy snacks for foods that are high in simple carbs; these kinds of processed foods are tasty and easy to eat, but they also tend to increase cravings for more. Rather than simply reducing calories, though, aim for a balanced diet that is high in fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. The fiber and protein content will help you feel full for longer while also being lower in calories.   
  • Physical activity: Finding time to follow an elaborate workout plan may be even more daunting for some people than making dietary changes. Since most people can’t afford a personal trainer to help them balance cardio and strength training, instead look for ways to move around more throughout the day. At first this might mean going for a short walk every other day; eventually, though, you can look for new ways to incorporate physical activity into the other activities you’re already doing.     
  • Manage stress: Recent research has shown that there is a connection between weight gain and stress. While stress may not be directly causing weight gain, it can have a significant impact on your emotional state and your ability to follow through on a weight loss plan. Prioritize finding ways to relax and reduce stress as you work your way through the events leading up to the wedding.  
  • Sleep: Another factor that has more recently been connected to overweight and obesity is sleep. Not getting enough sleep is believed to lead to higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that increases one’s appetite. By getting sufficient sleep, however, you can increase another hormone, leptin, that is associated with the feeling of satiety. Getting enough sleep can also help with managing stress. 
  • Get support: Trying to lose weight can feel like a lonely journey, which is why it’s additionally important to find support from those around you. This might mean joining a weight loss support group or connecting with people online who are going through a similar process. But another way to get support is by going through a weight loss program alongside your spouse-to-be; what better way to start the relationship than to strive for a common goal together? 

Weight Loss for the Wedding and Beyond

It is of course totally normal to want to lose weight for your wedding day; it’s a key moment in your personal history, and everyone wants to look their best. The tricky part is finding a way to lose weight so it stays off long after the last slice of wedding cake is eaten. At True You Weight Loss, we are dedicated to helping people from all walks of life find the freedom they’ve been looking for. Whether you have a wedding coming up or not, we are here to help you find lasting success on your weight loss journey. To learn more about our cutting edge, non-surgical weight loss solutions, please contact us today to request a consultation. Freedom is waiting!

Dr. Christopher McGowan
Dr. Christopher McGowan

Dr. Christopher McGowan, MD, a leader in endobariatrics, specializes in non-surgical obesity treatments and is triple-board-certified in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, and Obesity Medicine. Renowned for pioneering endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) with over 2,000 procedures, his global influence and research contributions define him as a top expert.

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