When I first moved into my neighborhood, more than twenty-five years ago, a local newspaper contacted me and asked if I was interested in putting an ad in their June bridal issue. Although that became the first and last ad I placed, I remember attempting to have some fun with the opportunity to shine a light on the extreme eating habits many brides, grooms, and their families partake in before they walk down the aisle. I don’t recall every line, but it sort of went like this:
“Will the gown of your dreams burst at the seams?
Is the groom too rotund for his cummerbund?
For the best wedding weight create a well-balanced plate.
Your clothes will fit like a glove on a body you’ll love.”
Although that didn’t bring much business, people called to say they loved the poem! Let’s face it, countless men and women opt to spend the weeks before that special day, focusing more on walking down chapel aisles than on walking around supermarket aisles. Starvation diets, meal skipping, cleansing plans and fads seem to be sought with as much vigor as items on a bridal registry.
My wedding motto to you is this: Forget the dowry — keep a diary. Of all the tips and tricks I could give to help you lose weight, this is the quickest, safest, and least expensive method. Here’s how to keep a careful count of what you’re really eating:
- Write down every bite you put in your mouth (even if it’s a bite of someone else’s food.)
- Include the time of day that you eat. You may find that you’re eating more often than you realized. Many patients tell me that snacking is not their thing — but their diaries show otherwise, displaying mini-meals throughout their entries.
- Accurately include portion sizes. As an example, don’t just write, “pretzels” — be sure to write how many pretzels. Too much of anything, including healthy food, is too much.
- Make note of what you were doing while you were eating. Simultaneous activities, like watching TV or texting a friend while eating, can lead to mindless munchies and unwanted pounds.
So if you’re planning a wedding and not planning to eat healthfully, let me ask you with a question: Where would you prefer to look better… in a photo in a frame on your wall or in your clothes in real life? By the time most couples (and their families) get the proofs back from the photographer, they no longer look like the people in the pictures.