How to Avoid the After Wedding Weight Gain
After wedding weight gain plagues new brides across the country. After all the hard work they’ve put into looking as great as they can for the ceremony – and the pictures – it can be devastating to watch it all climb back on again.
After Wedding Weight Gain Research
Research has consistently shown that while women tend to try very hard to lose weight before their weddings – particularly with their wedding day in mind – they also have a tendency to gain weight throughout their married lives. Fortunately, there are many things that a married woman can do to remain fit and healthy and make sure that they do not find themselves mixed up in this common trend.
If you’re like most women, before getting married, you worked hard to look your best, possibly going to the gym. When you became engaged, you likely worked even harder, so that you’d look stunning in your wedding gown and gorgeous in your photos. However, according to recent studies, the “newlywed spread” isn’t just a nasty rhyme. It actually strikes the majority of couples. Though the impact reaches both men and women, it is more sizeable – so to speak – when it comes to brides.
According to associate professor of epidemiology, Maureen Murtaugh, PhD, RD, from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, “Transition in relationships influences weight.” She went on to point out that this time of a person’s life requires more attention than others when it comes to the amount of food that is being consumed and how much exercise you are completing every day.
The average married woman adds an extra nine pounds over a period of five years than a single woman, according to a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The study speculated that married women are likely eating more calories every day, but that the real issue is that they are exercising less than their single counterparts.
How Was the Research Conducted
In the study from 2010, which involved the participation of over 8,000 people, and which ran for more than three years, the cardiovascular fitness levels consistently dropped among married people. At the same time, divorced men and single women were more likely to improve their fitness levels.
According to the author of the study, Francisco Ortega, PhD., “It may have to do with the ‘marriage market’ theory.” This means that people who are married don’t work out as much because they aren’t feeling concerned about trying to look good so that they will be able to attract a new mate. They have already found one, so they feel that they have room to let themselves go a little.
Brain Chemistry Changes Leading to After Wedding Weight Gain
Another contributing factor can have to do with a change in brain chemistry that leads to an emotional shift, when commitment is reached. According to Rutgers University (New Brunswick, New Jersey) biological anthropologist, Helen Fisher, PhD., who has conducted brain scans on couples in love, the novelty of a relationship and a romance drives dopamine levels higher in the brain, providing energy and encouraging greater activity levels. As this eases, so does the drive to exercise.
Therefore, for married women, while eating properly is also key to avoiding after wedding weight gain, making time to ensure that you exercise every day is central to your ability to maintain (or re-achieve) your pre-wedding body.
What’s Your First Step?
Now that you understand why after wedding weight gain occurs, your next step is to take action. There are two main things that you can do:
- Prevent it if it hasn’t happened yet.
- Stop it if it’s already happening.
Prevention can be extremely difficult unless you plan for it from the start. This means that if you don’t want to gain weight after your wedding, your entire effort to lose the pounds needs to be a long-term strategy, not a goal that ends on your wedding day.
If you’re already affected by weight gain, it’s time to start looking at where your weight should be. From there, you can come up with a strategy to make sure you don’t gain too much, you maintain, or you re-lose the pounds that climbed back on.
In both cases, if you are unsure as to how you should proceed, your first stop should be your doctor’s office. From there, you can get help from a dietitian and/or personal trainer depending on the additional support you require.