Pre-Wedding Weight Management Plan for the Bride-to-Be

Self-Care, Mental Wellbeing for Bride

Getty Images / Iryna Khabliuk / EyeEm

Of course you want to look and feel your best on your wedding day. It’s a momentous occasion celebrating the union between you and your partner. A day you’ll remember forever. 

Many brides-to-be feel the need to lose weight before the big day. And, like so many others, you may feel the need to drop a few pounds and start looking for weight loss ideas for brides. You may find a lot of diets that make big weight-loss promises but require a total overhaul of how you normally eat. 

There’s no need to add one more thing to your to-do list, especially a diet for the bride-to-be with strict rules that are impossible to follow.

Instead of focusing on your weight as the end-all-be-all to your perfect day, focus on eating nutritious foods that fuel your body and boost your energy so you naturally feel and look great all the time. 

Read on to learn why you don’t have to lose weight to feel great and how a more balanced approach can help you achieve your wedding day goals to feel and look your best. 

Why You Don’t Have to Lose Weight to Feel Great

As a bride, you may experience stress (and excitement) with all the planning and preparation. This isn't the time to go on a crash diet. These types of fad diets for bride-to-be usually require a severe restriction in calorie intake. You might lose weight, but not without a cost. Plus, the weight loss is likely temporary.

Following a very low-calorie diet (VLCD), even for a short period, may cause unpleasant side effects like constipation, fatigue, headaches, irritability, and bad breath. These side effects can damper your wedding day preparations, mood, and energy levels. Plus, severely restricting your intake may cause hair loss, which is not something you'll want to deal with while picking out your bridal hairstyle.

You don’t have to lose weight to feel great on your wedding day. Eating food that properly fuels and nourishes your body may help you to achieve your goals without the unwelcome side effects. 

Benefits of a Balanced Approach to Diet

Many people associate the word diet with restriction. But diet also means the types of food and drinks you regularly consume. For the bride-to-be, taking a more balanced, moderate approach to your diet may help you achieve all of your goals, including healthy changes to your weight, if desired. Here are a few ways that a balanced approach may benefit brides.

Improves Energy

Your food choices supply your body with energy and nutrients. Adding more nutritious choices means your body is getting more of what it needs to thrive. Taking a more balanced approach to diet, instead of extreme restrictions, means you have more energy to keep up with your daily routine and the additional demands from your wedding to-do list.

Decreases Stress Levels

Eating better also makes it easier to handle stress. Plus, it can improve your mood and overall sense of wellbeing. Following a very regimented, extreme diet can increase stress mentally and physically.

Boosts Skin and Hair Health

Focusing on nutrition instead of weight loss may also benefit your skin and hair. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants that protect your skin from oxidative damage, helping you maintain your youthful complexion. Getting an adequate amount of calories and protein from your balanced approach also helps prevent the hair loss that occurs when following a very low-calorie diet. Choosing water-rich fruits and vegetables, as well as good fats and proteins, can help support glowy, luminous skin.

Nutrition Tips for Brides

Your life is busy and making the best food choices for your individual needs isn’t always easy. If you're looking to lose weight, gain muscle, maintain your weight, improve your fitness, or simply boost your energy, having a solid nutrition plan in place can be helpful. Here are some dietitian-recommended tips for brides to get started:

  • Know your basic nutrition needs: When taking a more balanced approach to your diet you need to know what that means. In general, try to fill your plate with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean sources of protein, and plenty of healthy fats. You may want to work with a registered dietitian for an individualized bridal diet plan.
  • Practice mindful eating: Mindfulness is a type of meditation that focuses on keeping you in the present moment. When you’re busy, you may combine meals with other activities to save time. Mindful eating is a practice that helps you separate meals from everything else. Practicing mindful eating helps you become more aware of your food and how it makes you feel, which may ultimately lead to better food choices.
  • Plan ahead: When you’re short on time, planning can help you stay on track. Create a one or two-week menu that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Keep your meals in tune with your usual food preferences and cooking abilities. Use your menu to create your grocery list. Then, when you have time, assemble some of your meals so you can grab and go when needed. 
  • Try a healthy meal delivery service: Having someone else prepare your menu and meals certainly takes out the stress of planning and cooking. Consider trying a meal delivery service. These services offer many food options that fit a wide range of dietary needs and budgets.
  • Use a diet app: If you’re having difficulty figuring out what to eat, consider using a diet app. These apps help you track your food and fluid intake, offer recipes and meal plans, and provide tools that keep you motivated. 

Other Ways to Look and Feel Great

Optimal nutrition can undoubtedly help you look and feel great on your wedding day. But there are other lifestyle habits you can include in your weight management diet for the bride-to-be that can help you have the best day ever.

Reduce Stress

Planning a wedding is stressful, just ask any couple in the midst of trying to manage their daily life while organizing a party with their nearest and dearest. Chronic stress affects your physical and emotional well-being.

Reducing your stress can make you feel better now and on the day of your wedding. Make daily or weekly realistic to-do lists to help you stay on track and ask for help when you need it. 

And don’t forget to take care of yourself. Try relaxation activities like meditation or breathing exercises. Regular exercise and good sleep habits also help you handle stress.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Are you getting enough sleep? Adults need at least seven hours of sleep a night. Practicing good sleep hygiene offers many benefits that help you look and feel great all the time, not just on your wedding day.

Getting seven solid hours of quality sleep helps you stay at your goal weight, reduces stress, boosts energy, and lifts your mood. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and comfortable. Removing all electronics — TV, computer, tablet, and smartphone — may also improve your nighttime slumber.

Stay Hydrated

You may forget to drink water when you’re busy. Dehydration affects your energy, mood, and thinking. Carry a reusable water bottle everywhere you go and sip and refill regularly. When you feel thirsty, your body is letting you know you need to drink. Don’t ignore these signals. 

Drinking more water is also a simple lifestyle habit that will benefit the bride-to-be long after the "I do's" are stated. Staying hydrated has many benefits, including maintaining skin health and aiding in weight management.

Get Active

Finding time to work out can be a challenge, but regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your physical and emotional well-being. Getting active can help improve your thinking and judgment, boost your mood, and reduce anxiety levels. It also may reduce stress and help you sleep better.

Eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise are essential parts of the weight management plans for the bride-to-be. Aim for 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week plus two days of strength training.

A Word From Verywell 

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel your best on your special day. After all, your wedding day marks the start of a new chapter in your life. Instead of looking for a quick fix, use your pre-wedding weight management plan to create healthy habits you can follow for life. 

Don’t let your weight and body shape take center stage in the weeks and months leading up to your wedding day. Instead, focus on making small, manageable changes that ensure you feel and look great on the big day.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much weight is it safe to lose per week?

    You’re more likely to keep the weight off if you lose it gradually over time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends losing 1-2 pounds a week. Slow, steady weight loss gives you an opportunity to create the lifestyle changes that lead to long-term weight maintenance. Avoid any weight loss ideas for brides that promise they can help you drop several pounds in a short period of time. You may lose some weight, but the weight loss won’t last.

  • Which diet plan is the best for pre-wedding weight loss?

    The best diet plan for pre-wedding weight loss is the plan you can follow for life. Instead of restricting calories and cutting out food groups, focus on creating a diet filled with nutrient-rich foods. Eating a balanced diet ensures your body gets all the nutrients it needs so it can function at its best.

  • What should you be eating two weeks before your wedding?

    What you "should" be eating is very individual, and based on your preferences, dietary needs, and medical history. In general, you may want to eat the same balanced diet you’ve been eating all along during those last few weeks leading up to your wedding.

12 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Jill Corleone, RD
Jill is a registered dietitian who's been learning and writing about nutrition for more than 20 years.