Bridal bootcamps are big business for women desperate to drop pounds before their wedding. But according to new research, the more pressure a bride-to-be is under to lose weight, the more she will gain after her big day.
A study from Flinders University in South Australia, published in the journal Body Image, found that 85 per cent of women wanted to lose weight before their weddings, with an average goal of 9kg (20lb).
Researchers monitored the weight of nearly 350 brides from one month before their weddings and six months after. They found that almost half of the participants actually lost weight, with most losing between one and two kilos. But those under most pressure to drop pounds gained the most in the months after their marriage, with an average weight gain of 2.14kg.
Dr Ivanka Prichard, who lead the study, told the Sydney Morning Herald: 'My understanding of the situation is that they are restricting their eating and also exercising before the wedding, then afterwards it was as though it didn't matter any more.
She added that the impetus to lose weight before one's wedding comes not from the bride, but from the media and those around them. She said: 'If you go to a bridal store it is common for them to ask brides if they want to order a dress in a size smaller than they currently are. There is huge pressure to lose weight from family members, wedding magazines and even dressmakers and a third of participants in her study had actually been told to lose weight before their weddings.
'You have to remember your partner is marrying you because he loves you, not how you fit into the dress.'