Weddings are widely considered one of the most important, and hopefully happiest, days in a person’s life. As such, many couples aim to look their best on their wedding day. Brides and grooms alike get manicures, new haircuts, and more to look pretty and polished. And, with 290,467 breast augmentations occurring in 2016, even cosmetic surgery is a popular way individuals aim to look better for the big day.
Probably the most common way couples aim to look better for their nuptials is weight loss. It’s understandable why a bride-to-be or a future groom might want to slim down– feeling good in your dress or suit makes the day a little more fun, and looking back on the wedding through photos should be a happy experience, not an embarrassing one.
However, weight loss might not be the best choice for every couple. Despite the health and appearance benefits of getting fit, dieting might actually do more harm than good during an engagement.
Before embarking on a pre-wedding fitness journey, make sure you’ve thought carefully about the possible downsides. Here are five compelling reasons to skip weight loss efforts in the months leading to your marriage:
1. You Love Each Other Already
First and foremost, you and your partner have already made the happy decision to get married. Clearly, you love each other as you are. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to lose weight for any reason. It’s entirely optional. If it won’t strengthen your relationship during this time, is weight loss worth it?
2. You’re Busy As it Is
Many brides (30%) spend seven to twelve months planning their wedding. Though that’s plenty of time to establish a new habit, that time will also be spent choosing your vendors, making a guest list, sending invitations and more. You might simply not have the time to lose weight. Consider avoiding the disappointment of diet that “fails” during this busy period of your life. Focus on one thing (i.e., your wedding,) at a time, and save the lifestyle transformation for your first months as a married couple.
3. Without Careful Budgeting, Losing Weight Is Expensive
Losing weight can be surprisingly costly. Between gym memberships and buying better groceries, you’ll be shelling out cash for your diet and making big payments towards your venue, photographer, and other wedding expenses.
Wedding dress alterations also cost a pretty penny, especially if you drop several sizes. Some alterations might not even be possible, potentially leaving you dressless only a few short weeks before the wedding. Skip the diet to save a few extra bucks during your engagement.
4. Your Focus Might Shift
While losing weight can be beneficial for your health and your happiness, the process of changing your appearance is also extremely personal. Weight loss can even become thought-consuming. You might find yourself thinking more about how your arms look in your dress or how your chest looks in your suit than on the reason you’re wearing those items in the first place. Unfortunately, the focus of your wedding might shift towards appearances and away from your love if you prioritize weight loss. Consider skipping the weight loss process and just enjoy your special day.
5. Other Parts of Your Health Might Be Impacted
While weight loss might be great for your physical health, it could have a negative impact on your mental and emotional health. About one in four (26%) American adults live with a diagnosable mental disorder each year, and if you’re part of that community, the stress of engagement might worsen your symptoms. Don’t add the stress of weight changes to protect your mental and emotional health during this important time.
Finding Healthy Alternatives
Instead of aiming for weight loss, look for ways to get active that also support your physical and mental well-being. For example, sports like recreational tennis burns can burn between 169 calories and 208 calories in 30 minutes, and also get your endorphins pumping for an all-day mood boost. Playing low-stress sports or joining dance clubs can be a great way to get in better shape while also protecting your mental health before the wedding.
You could also try setting other, more achievable health-related goals. Consider aiming to drink more water, or pledge to get eight hours of sleep every night. Goals like these will protect your health (and appearance!) without adding the burden of diet changes.
Getting married is a lot of work. Losing weight is also a lot of work. Luckily, you don’t have to do both at the same time. If you’re planning on tying the knot soon, consider refocusing priorities. Skip losing weight for looks, and instead focus on having a happier engagement and wedding. Loving yourself now might even help you love your partner better throughout your engagement, wedding, honeymoon, and beyond.