Over five million British women lose weight in time for their wedding day – but one in 10 go to extreme measures and shed a whopping four stone or more in a bid to look picture perfect.
According to a poll of 2,000 women by XLS-Medical Fat Binder, 25% of brides-to-be lose at least a stone in weight before their big day, while 6% lose seven stone or more, a further 2% drop five stone and 3% shed four stone.
This news follows shocking reports of drastic (and potentially dangerous) diet trends emerging for soon-to-be brides looking to slim down – like the ‘nose drip’ diet.
However, despite their efforts, 57% of women regain the weight they lost prior to their wedding, either during the honeymoon or just after their nuptials.
This yo-yo dieting mantra could lead to problems in future weight management, Dr Matt Capehorn from the National Obesity Forum, said in a statement.
“Drastic and rapid weight loss for a particular event or occasion, such as a wedding, is not advisable for a number of reasons. You should be aiming for steady weight loss, as a result of sensible dietary and lifestyle change, that promotes sustainable weight loss and health benefits.
“Any variation from this should only be on the advice of a clinician. Rapid weight loss, especially if done without support, is likely to result in weight regain. Undertaking a healthy eating and exercise plan with a realistic goal in mind will ensure dieters are not only looking good but feeling great for their wedding day and beyond.”
“It’s not surprising that for many brides to be, losing weight will be an important part of their wedding day preparation,” said dietitian Helen Bond in a statement.
“However, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight should be considered a lifelong challenge rather than a short-term fix. You don't need to make big changes, just a few small steps can make a real difference, such as meal planning, ensuring you’re hydrated and removing temptation — out of sight really can be out of mind.”
If you’re getting married and want to shift a few stubborn pounds before your big day, take a look at Helen Bond’s diet tips on how to lose weight - the healthy way...
A weight-loss goal should be challenging and require you to make an effort, but not be an impossible mission. Over ambitious targets can be easily broken! But by setting smaller goals, you have a real chance of reaching your wedding weight loss goal and boosting your confidence in your abilities to keep on track until you arrive at your destination. Aim to lose about five to ten per cent of your initial body weight over a 3-6 month period. Once you've reached your goal, treat yourself and your bridesmaids to celebrate your success and set another weight loss target.
Be prepared for the inevitable good and bad days. Don't get discouraged by the occasional set back. When days don't go according to plan, don't give up. As long as you are eating well most of the time, you can be less strict with yourself some of the time. Think positively, focus on your overall goals and get back on track -- tomorrow is a new (healthier) day. If you feel you are lacking motivation or hitting a slump, call on your bridesmaids or husband to be to help keep you on track.
Keep a food and mood diary. Most of us literally don't know what we are eating, or how all the things we unconsciously eat are adding up - finishing of your child's fish fingers, testing wedding cake or nibbling on canapés during engagement celebrations! For long term weight loss you need to identify problem foods and 'areas of weaknesses' in your day. By keeping a food diary, you will become more aware of your eating patterns and the changes you need to make. Carry a small notebook with you and write down all the things you eat and drink on a typical day, along with any associated feelings. You can also keep your wedding to do list in here so everything is in one place. According to research in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine 'dieters' who jot down everything they eat and drink lose twice as much weight as those that don't.
There are lots of simple things you can do to kick start your wedding weight loss diet. You don't need to make big changes, just a few small steps can make a real difference to reaching your goal, whether it's looking at food labels to taking dance classes in preparation for your first dance, making sure you always start off the day with a healthy breakfast or signing yourself and your bridesmaids up to take part in a 5km charity race. As the Old Chinese Proverb said, it is better to take many small steps in the right direction than one great leap forward only to stumble backward.
Focus on all the wonderful delicious, nutritious and seasonal foods that you can enjoy as part of your meals and for snacks, rather than all of the ones you need to cut back on. Eating is meant to be enjoyed and all foods have a place in a balanced diet. There is no such thing as good or bad foods, only good or bad eating habits -- save 'comfort foods' for an occasional treat with your fiancé or bridesmaids, not an everyday snack.