You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “sweating for the wedding” that some people use to explain why they’re exercising so much prior to their big day. Other people choose to go on extreme diets or even cut out certain food groups for a few weeks before their wedding to shed some pounds.
Everyone wants to look their best on their wedding day, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, losing a lot of weight before your special day can actually do more harm than good. It can lead to patterns of restrictive eating, binging, purging, obsessive food tracking, and excessive exercise.
It’s healthy to make positive changes in your diet. However, those changes shouldn’t be made solely with the goal to lose weight by a certain date.
If you’re starting to feel the pressure that comes with “shedding for the wedding,” let’s talk about how you can overcome those unrealistic expectations and focus on the joy and excitement of your big day.
Avoid Crash Diets
It seems like a new diet trend becomes popular every year, convincing thousands of people to completely change their eating habits. These diets either cut out entire food groups or only “allow” followers to eat one or two types of food. Some of the most talked-about diet trends over the last few years include:
These diets can help you lose weight quickly, and you might even experience other benefits at first. However, it’s never a good idea to completely eliminate food groups from your diet or restrict your calories in such an extreme way that your body isn’t able to function properly. Not only can that lead to physical health issues, but it can cause diet anxiety. You’ll be anxious about what you can and can’t eat, stressed over wedding planning, and, let’s face it — you’ll be hungry!
Making healthy dietary changes is never a bad idea, but don’t fall into fads or trends for the sake of losing weight quickly before your wedding. These diets are typically not sustainable, and you don’t want to feel “hangry” on your wedding day.
The one exception to this rule? If you have certain health conditions, it can be helpful to eliminate certain foods from your diet. For example, people living with GERD may want to cut down on foods that cause acid reflux. However, the nutrients from those foods should always be replaced with things like green vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Develop a Healthy Relationship With Food
If you want to look and feel your best on your big day, the greatest thing you can do is to adopt a healthy relationship with food and physical activity. An unhealthy relationship with food can lead to disordered eating which can look like:
- Preoccupation with counting calories;
- Obsession with your weight;
- Feeling like you have to “earn” food;
- Overcompensating with exercise;
- Prioritizing calorie count over the value of your food.
Dieting for your wedding can trigger a lot of these issues. You might see weight loss results when you go to extremes with your dieting efforts, encouraging you to take things further even after your wedding day has passed.
Instead of letting yourself fall into these negative habits, you can improve your relationship with food by:
- Giving yourself unconditional permission to eat;
- Welcoming all types of food into your diet;
- Eating when you’re hungry;
- Practicing mindful eating.
Restricting yourself — or becoming obsessive over the food you do eat — can harm your physical and mental well-being. Your wedding might be the happiest day of your life, but the weeks leading up to it should be exciting and fun, too. Don’t let yourself get distracted by diets. Your partner wants to marry you just the way you are, and chances are you’re still going to feel as beautiful or handsome as ever when that big day arrives — no matter what.