For us women, we want to look ideal on the big day. But let’s talk about how we’d like our men to talk about nutrition & weight with us - since it’s often a touchy subject.
Here are some common questions I get!
What are some conflicts that can arise between couples when a bride is on a pre-wedding weight loss plan?
Generally, men lose weight much faster than women. Brides can sometimes feel judged and unsupported by their partners who may not understand the struggles many women go through for long-term, sustained weight loss, especially under the stress of a wedding, and having all eyes on her in her dress.
How do you usually advise brides to incorporate their partners into their weight loss plan?
Making a healthy lifestyle change is often a lot more fun and better when you do it with someone else. Having the bride-to-be involve her fiance in the food shopping, planning and cooking of meals together can be a great shared activity as well as a good break from the stress of wedding planning. We even like to remind couples how romantic a night in of cooking and sharing a candle-lit healthy meal that they prepared together can be!
What are common mistakes men might make or misconceptions they may have about their fiancée’s weight loss plan?
Everyone believes they are an expert in nutrition, because everyone knows their bodies best and everyone eats! Projecting what works for you regarding food and exercise onto your partner isn’t typically helpful, and more importantly, isn’t what will actually work best for the other person. For example, in many cases we’ve seen, men can pick up an exercise regimen and easily drop a few pounds. For women, however, it’s generally not that easy, and requires more focus on the food part of the energy balance equation.
What are some ways men can be supportive of their fiancée’s pre-wedding weight-loss goals without treading into “mansplaining” territory?
Self-knowledge is one of life’s greatest achievements, but with true self-knowledge also comes the understanding that every person is different, and requires a different food and exercise plan. This understanding is incredibly helpful, especially during pre-wedding season. Try to not project your personal food and exercise beliefs onto your significant other, and be accepting of what methods she wants to try (within reason of course, let’s all be healthy!).
If a bride seems discouraged or frustrated or isn’t on track to meet her goal, how should her fiancé approach the situation? Is there a good way to offer encouragement without seeming critical or making her upset? Or is it better to not bring it up?
This can be a tricky subject, but it really depends on the bride-to-be. Some women like to be openly encouraged, questioned, and prompted regarding their weight goals, but many women prefer to have a shoulder to lean on and to hear an encouraging word when needed. Having a conversation beforehand about what type of encouragement the bride-to-be prefers when she begins her weight loss journey would be the safest bet.
Alternately, how much should a fiancé comment on his bride’s success? Is it appropriate to tell her how good she looks as you notice her losing weight? How can a groom compliment his fiancée’s progress without being insensitive or making her self-conscious about her pre-weight loss body?
Generally, we say, yes absolutely! Regardless if your bride-to-be is trying to lose weight or not, telling her how beautiful she is on a regular basis is always encouraged. In addition, make sure the compliments are consistent and given early on so she isn’t waiting for you to say something, and also doesn’t seem like you are only encouraging her after a significant amount of weight is lost.
However, as always, everyone is different. If you know your soon to be wife may be extra sensitive, try talking with her about the type of encouragement she wants from the very beginning, to avoid any unnecessary arguments.
What are some things men should avoid saying to their fiancée when she is trying to lose weight for their wedding?
“Can’t you lose weight for free?” - This question may make her feel inadequate for not thinking she is able to do lose the weight without extra accountability. It could also inherently undermine her decision to invest in herself and receive extra help from a coach.
“Keep at it, you’ll look great in X months” - It’s important that your bride-to-be knows that you already think she’s beautiful with or without weight loss.
“At this rate, you’ll definitely fit into your dress” - While this may not be meant as as an encouraging comment it can make the bride to be feel badly about her current shape and imply that if the wedding were tomorrow she wouldn’t be ready.
How does a pre-wedding weight loss plan typically differ between brides and grooms?
Men generally lose weight more easily than women, and men can often see some results by solely increasing time in the gym. Further, from a caloric perspective, men generally need more food than women do, which remains true during weight loss.
Is there anything else grooms should keep in mind when their fiancée is trying to lose weight for their wedding?
Weight loss isn’t always a fun process, and you NEED someone in your corner. Similarly, with so much stress of wedding planning, weight loss can seem like more than one can handle. Being supportive throughout this time is key.
Ultimately, though, discussions of weight loss and health should be two-way. The bride and groom to be should be able to openly communicate how they want to be supported throughout the process, so that no one’s feelings are hurt. It’s also of course completely fine for this discussion - how each wants to hear support and encouragement - to be a learning process. The bride may think she wants daily encouraging remarks, but midway through decide that isn’t the best supportive method. As with any part of the wedding, clear communication is key!
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