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How To Lose Weight For A Wedding: 7 Healthy Steps To Follow In 2024

how to lose weight for wedding
One of the most common concerns for young brides is how to lose weight for a wedding. Photo: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

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As the excitement of planning your dream wedding builds, there’s no denying that looking and feeling your absolute best on the big day is a top priority. For many brides and grooms-to-be, the journey toward the altar involves more than just choosing the perfect dress, wedding cake, or the right venue — it also includes a desire to be a healthier and more confident version of themselves. 

One of the most common concerns for young brides is how to lose weight for a wedding. This article will explore seven practical steps to achieve weight loss for a wedding while prioritizing your health. With these steps, you can embark on a healthy weight loss journey that enhances your overall well-being and helps you feel confident and radiant on your special day.

How To Lose Weight For Wedding

The time is almost here: your perfect wedding day. But you need to feel and look your best. One of those ways is to lose weight and be healthy. Here are seven steps to lose weight for your wedding:

  • Step 1: Set your goals.
  • Step 2: Calculate your calorie needs.
  • Step 3: Plan your diet.
  • Step 4: Start getting active. 
  • Step 5: Manage stress.
  • Step 6: Stay hydrated.
  • Step 7: Check in with a professional.

7 Steps To Lose Weight Before A Wedding

Is your wedding in six months? Three months? Or even closer, and you are wondering when to start losing weight for a wedding, the right time is now.  Here are seven step-by-step ways to reach your desired weight goal: 

Set Your Goal

how to lose weight for wedding
Your dream wedding dress can be a reality. Photo: Rob Marmion/Shutterstock

Even if you want to know how to lose weight fast for a wedding, the first step is to take a breather and set goals. Setting a clear and realistic weight loss goal is the crucial first step in preparing for your wedding.

Before starting any weight loss journey, assessing your current body composition and health status is advised. This process ensures that you set reasonable expectations based on evidence-based guidelines.[1]

Calculate Your Calorie Needs

how to lose weight for wedding
Calculate what you need to eat daily to lose weight. Photo: Okrasiuk/Shutterstock

If you want to lose weight for your wedding successfully, the next step is to calculate your calorie needs. Having the appropriate daily calorie intake can create a tailored plan for healthy weight loss. To lose weight, you need to consume far fewer calories[2] than usual.

Calculating your calorie needs will help you create a clear plan and understand how many calories you should consume to reach your weight loss goal before the big day. You can use the following general formula to calculate your daily caloric needs for weight loss based on an ideal body weight of 30-35 kcal per kilogram.

The Formula For IBW:

  • 100 pounds + 5 pounds for each inch above 5 feet (women).
  • 106 pounds + 6 pounds for each inch over 5 feet (men).

Example for a woman who is 5 feet 4 inches tall:

  • Calculate the height in inches: 64 inches
  • Calculate the IBW for women using the formula: IBW = 100 + (5 x 4) [since 64 inches – 60 inches = 4 inches over 5 feet]
  • IBW: 100 + 20 = 120 pounds/2.2 kg per lb= (54.43 kg)

Calculate the daily caloric intake using 30-35 kcal/kg of IBW: If IBW = 120 pounds (54.43 kg)
Calculate the calorie range:

  • Caloric intake = 30-35 kcal/kg of IBW
  • Caloric intake = 30-35 kcal/kg x 54.43 kg
  • Caloric intake = 1,632.9 kcal – 1,905.05 kcal (approximately)

So, based on this formula and assuming a woman who is 5 feet 4 inches tall has an ideal body weight of 120 pounds, her daily caloric intake would be estimated to be approximately 1,632.9 kcal to 1,905.05 kcal, considering the range of 30-35 kcal per kilogram of ideal body weight.

Plan Your Diet

Now that we’ve got step 1 and step 2 of the weight loss plan integrated into your wedding planning, it’s time to tackle step 3. Step 3 in your journey for wedding weight loss is all about planning your diet. 

At this point, you know how many calories you should cut back to reach a weight loss goal. This doesn’t mean you have to survive on lettuce and water alone. A balanced meal plan includes a variety of nourishing foods, portion control, and a mindful approach to eating. 

To supercharge your weight loss efforts, focus on incorporating nutrient-dense foods into your meal plan. Eat more whole foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. At the same time, cut back on processed and sugary foods. 

Aim for a healthy diet with each meal. But why these meals?  When you’re losing weight, there’s a risk of losing muscle mass along with body fat.

Adequate protein intake[3] helps preserve lean muscle mass. And you need fiber to keep you feeling full. While monounsaturated fats fuel your metabolism and essential fatty acids, meet your nutritional needs.

Also, lean protein contributes to fullness and satisfaction after a meal. Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants while being relatively low in calories. They’ll keep you feeling fuller for longer and boost your health.

Start Getting Active

Now that you’ve got your nutrition and diet figured out, it’s time to get moving. Exercise[4] is a crucial component when it comes to losing weight for your wedding.

When it comes to exercising for weight loss, a combination of cardiovascular and strength training exercises is key. It also helps with reducing your risk factors for cardiovascular[5] and metabolic diseases. 

Cardio workouts get your heart pumping and calories burning, while strength training builds muscle. It’s a win-win situation for losing body fat and toning up. And your workout routine does not have to be complicated. 

Start by incorporating physical activity into your daily routine — take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or bike to work if possible, or get a personal trainer with your partner for some extra fun.  

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week and gradually increase your intensity as you build stamina. Also, creating a workout schedule is essential to ensure consistency and maximize your weight loss efforts. Find a time that works best for you and stick to this schedule till your wedding day.

Manage Stress

Planning a wedding is no small feat, and stress can easily creep up on you. Stress is a major cause of weight gain. It directly affects weight gain in various ways. For one, stress causes emotional eating, and there is a direct pipeline from there to weight gain. 

Also, stress causes elevated cortisol levels.[6] Over the long term, this leads to the storage of excess calories as fat, particularly belly fat. High cortisol levels can also lead to water weight.

For your wedding weight loss, you need adequate stress management techniques. First things first, prioritize self-care. Incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily routine — try meditation, yoga, or even a warm bath with soothing music.

Delegate tasks and ask for help when needed to lighten the load. And most importantly, stay connected with your loved ones and vent your frustrations when necessary — there’s no shame in seeking support during this emotional rollercoaster. 

Stay Hydrated

While it may sound simple, staying adequately hydrated[7] is vital for a steady weight loss journey. Not only does drinking enough water help flush out toxins from your body, but it also assists in curbing unnecessary cravings. 

Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water daily and toss in some natural flavor by infusing slices of fruits like lemon or cucumber into your bottle — this makes for a good detox drink.

Check In With A Professional 

At this point, you’ve made significant progress in your weight loss journey for your upcoming wedding by following the previous steps. Now, it’s time to take a step back and reassess things with the help of a professional. 

Checking in with a registered dietitian can provide invaluable guidance tailored to your needs — especially if you want to know how long it will take to lose weight. They will analyze your current eating habits, suggest necessary adjustments, and even help design a healthy weight loss plan along with an exercise routine to lose weight on fewer calories without compromising important nutrients. 

Moreover, they can educate you about portion control and recommend fitting exercise into your busy pre-wedding schedule. This personalized touch can make all the difference in your weight loss journey.

Other Tips To Lose Weight For Your Big Day

In addition to the fundamental steps we have mentioned earlier, there are also more tips that can help you lose weight for your big day. Here are some tips on how to lose weight before the wedding:

Cut Out Alcohol

One of the lifestyle changes you should adopt before your big day is to cut out alcohol.[8] Alcohol is packed with empty calories and offers no real nutritional value. If you cut it out for the period, you can significantly reduce your calorie intake and improve your chances of achieving your weight loss goals. 

Join Pre-Wedding Fitness Classes

As a bride-to-be, many fitness programs cater to all your needs. Weight loss is not excluded. Join a fitness class with workouts to help you lose weight before your wedding. You can also meet a workout buddy and lose weight together.

Always Have Breakfast

In between shopping or wedding magazine talks, you might want to skip breakfast to stay ahead of your daily activities. But this might be doing more harm than good for weight loss. Many people tend to skip this meal to reduce caloric intake, but this approach can hinder progress. Breakfast plays a vital role[9] in weight loss alongside other lifestyle modifications.

Reduce Junk Food

When seeking effective ways to lose weight for a wedding, one crucial strategy is to limit junk food consumption. While it may seem tempting to indulge in tasty but unhealthy treats, the consequences can be detrimental if you want to lose a few pounds before your big day. Junk food is typically high in calories, unhealthy fats, excessive sodium, and added sugars, contributing to weight gain and hindering progress toward weight loss goals.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is widely overlooked when losing weight for a wedding. Quality sleep is crucial in regulating hunger hormones and controlling cravings, enabling individuals to make healthier food choices throughout the day. Prioritizing quality sleep aids in managing wedding day stress. Aim for at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night leading up to your big day.

Safety Precautions

With a short deadline for your wedding planning, you might want to rush your weight loss.  Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind:

  1. Avoid extreme diets: Steer clear of trying crash diets[10] or “fad diets,” as they are called. However, some of these diets might have serious health consequences. They can lead to nutrient deficiencies, muscle loss, and other health issues. Aim to lose weight sustainably. 
  2. Listen to your body: Listen to your body’s signals. If you feel fatigued, dizzy, or unwell, it’s essential to reassess your approach and potentially seek professional guidance.
  3. Be wary of supplements: Be cautious with weight loss supplements. Many are unregulated, contain stimulants, and some can have adverse effects on your health. Consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements.

The Bottom Line

You can definitely shed a few pounds before your wedding with the seven steps we have outlined above. However, remember, your wedding is a special day, but your long-term health is even more important. 

Focus on creating sustainable habits that will benefit you well beyond the wedding festivities. If you have health concerns or specific goals, seeking professional guidance is always a good idea.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I start to lose weight for my wedding?

Start early for sustainable results. Ideally, begin at least 6-12 months before the wedding. This allows for gradual, healthy weight loss and helps create habits beyond the big day.

What is the fastest way to lose weight for a wedding?

Focus on a balanced hypocaloric diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. While crash diets promise quick results, they’re often unhealthy and unsustainable. Opt for gradual, lasting changes instead.

Is 3 months enough time to lose weight for a wedding?

While significant changes can occur in 3 months, it’s better to start earlier for a healthier pace. Aim for 1-2 pounds per week, making six months a more realistic goal for sustainable weight loss.

How to lose belly fat for a wedding?

Targeting belly fat involves a combination of cardio, strength training, and a balanced hypocaloric diet. Incorporate exercises like planks and focus on overall fat loss for a trimmer waistline before the wedding day.

+ 10 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Bray, G.A. and Ryan, D.H. (2020). Evidence‐based weight loss interventions: Individualized treatment options to maximize patient outcomes. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, [online] 23(S1), pp.50–62. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/dom.14200.
  2. Liu, D., Huang, Y., Huang, C., Yang, S., Wei, X., Zhang, P., Guo, D., Lin, J., Xu, B., Li, C., He, H., He, J., Liu, S., Shi, L., Xue, Y. and Zhang, H. (2022). Calorie Restriction with or without Time-Restricted Eating in Weight Loss. The New England Journal of Medicine, [online] 386(16), pp.1495–1504. doi:https://doi.org/10.1056/nejmoa2114833.
  3. Hansen, T., Astrup, A. and Anders Sjödin (2021). Are Dietary Proteins the Key to Successful Body Weight Management? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Studies Assessing Body Weight Outcomes after Interventions with Increased Dietary Protein. Nutrients, [online] 13(9), pp.3193–3193. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093193.
  4. Swift, D.L., McGee, J.E., Earnest, C.P., Carlisle, E.M., Nygard, M. and Johannsen, N.M. (2018). The Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Weight Loss and Maintenance. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, [online] 61(2), pp.206–213. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pcad.2018.07.014.
  5. Schroeder, E., Franke, W.D., Sharp, R.L. and Lee, D. (2019). Comparative effectiveness of aerobic, resistance, and combined training on cardiovascular disease risk factors: A randomized controlled trial. PLOS ONE, [online] 14(1), pp.e0210292–e0210292. doi:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0210292.
  6. Chao, A.M., Jastreboff, A.M., White, M.A., Grilo, C.M. and Sinha, R. (2017). Stress, cortisol, and other appetite-related hormones: Prospective prediction of 6-month changes in food cravings and weight. Obesity, [online] 25(4), pp.713–720. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.21790.
  7. Bracamontes-Castelo, G., Montserrat Bacardı́-Gascón and A. Jiménez Cruz (2019). Effect of water consumption on weight loss: a systematic review. Nutricion Hospitalaria. [online] doi:https://doi.org/10.20960/nh.02746.
  8. Kase, C.A., Piers, A.D., Schaumberg, K., Forman, E.M. and Butryn, M.L. (2016). The relationship of alcohol use to weight loss in the context of behavioral weight loss treatment. Appetite, [online] 99, pp.105–111. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.01.014.
  9. Duan, D., Pilla, S.J., Michalski, K., Blandine Laferrère, Clark, J.M. and Maruthur, N.M. (2022). Eating breakfast is associated with weight loss during an intensive lifestyle intervention for overweight/obesity. Obesity, [online] 30(2), pp.378–388. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.23340.
  10. Joshi, S. and Mohan, V. (2018). Pros & cons of some popular extreme weight-loss diets. Indian Journal of Medical Research, [online] 148(5), pp.642–642. doi:https://doi.org/10.4103/ijmr.ijmr_1793_18.


Dr. Susan Adeosun (MPH, MD) is a medical doctor and public health enthusiast. She has over five years’ worth of experience in public health and preventive medicine and is a firm believer in the famous phrase… See More