Women put on nearly five pounds in weight in the first six months of marriage, according to a new study.
And brides who endure months of strict dieting to shed pounds before their wedding day put on the most weight in the first half year of wedded bliss.
Health experts in Australia examined wedding-related weight change among brides-to-be recruited at wedding fairs.
The study of nearly 350 brides revealed that despite half of women wanting to lose weight before their wedding, the average bride’s weight did not change.
However, six months after the weddings, participants had gained on average of 4.7lbs (2.1kgs) and those who dieted to lose weight before their big day gained ‘significantly’ more weight after it.
The researchers at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, said the findings demonstrate that wedding-related weight change may be an important factor in the body image of newlyweds.
They believe doctors should be mindful of potential body dissatisfaction associated with post-wedding weight gain.
The study found that one in three brides reported being advised to lose weight by their fiancé or a family member before their wedding.
Those who aimed to lose weight before their wedding set out to shed up to 20lbs (9kgs).
However, those who managed to lose weight before their wedding put on an average of 7.1lbs (3.2kgs) within the first six months of wedded bliss.
Brides who felt more pressure to lose weight to squeeze into their white dress gained up to 9.9lbs (4.5kgs) afterwards – almost three times more than brides who were not pressured to lose weight.
The researchers said their study provides the ‘first explicit examination of weight both pre and post wedding to determine whether one’s wedding day can be a driver for weight change.
‘In general, post-wedding weight gain is not surprising and is perhaps a result of more relaxed dietary and physical activity habits now that the newlyweds no longer have a special event – and wedding photographs – for which to motivate themselves.
‘It is equally possible that this weakened motivation for maintaining body weight is due to participants feeling like they have already “snagged” their man and therefore no longer need to work on their appearance,’ according to the study which was published in the journal Body Image.