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.
So how do you go about losing weight before your wedding, while making sure you look and feel great, too? It’s a no-brainer: Find a sensible, healthy diet you can follow. Try our Feel Great Weight 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.