A Wedding Weight Loss Plan That Works


By Shaun Chavis
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I recently read a friend's blog about bride-fattening farms―where young girls in Africa are tortuously forced to overeat in order to gain weight to please their future husbands. (There are 12-year-olds weighing 175 pounds!) In the U.S., we have obsessions about bridal body image, too. But we work to lose weight—not gain it—for that big day. And our sad extreme, instead of obesity, is called brideorexia.

More than 70% of engaged women want to lose weight, according to a Cornell University study. And 40% of them tried unhealthy strategies like skipping meals, making themselves throw up, or smoking. On average, engaged women who want to lose weight set a goal of 23 pounds. But, on average, they lose eight. And, most brides in the Cornell study were within a healthy BMI range to begin with.

Is that a failure? I don't think any bride should walk down the aisle feeling anything less than fabulous, no matter what the scale says.

wedding-dress-diet-150.jpg wedding-dress-diet-150.jpg plan, check out our Diet Guide, or use this Wedding-Ready Work Out. I put out some informal calls to experts in the wedding business—people who've seen the best and worst—for their stories and advice.

Though they all had different stories, the experts were unanimous about one thing—it's not a good idea to order a dress smaller than your current size. Taking in a dress is much easier than to letting it out.

Elaine Parker of Weddings With Elan in Nashville, Tennessee, told me about a size 14 bride who insisted on ordering a size 12 wedding dress. By the week of her wedding the bride was between sizes 16–18. The bride and Parker ended up scouring the city for lace and dye to match her gown so a seamstress could put panels in both sides of the dress.

There were some great success stories, too. One bride lost 70 pounds before her wedding and worked closely with her seamstress throughout her weight loss to get the dress of her dreams.

Here are five no-fail tips for brides-to-be (and anyone who wants to lose weight for a big event):