Ever planned to lose weight for a big event? How did you get on? And, probably more importantly, what happened after? Well, let’s start by seeing what Lori has to say on the topic. In her post the Graduation Diet , Lori describes a woman named Amy determined to lose 15 pounds in the 6 weeks leading up to her son’s graduation. But despite Lori’s warning/prediction:
“Dramatic changes in eating and activity are rarely sustainable. And they never occur without a cost”
We never did find out how Amy fared. What do you think?
At the recent conference for the Australian and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders , a researcher named Ivanka Pritchard from Flinders University, gave us the answer. Pritchard recruited 343 brides-to-be from a bridal expo and asked them a series of questions; including whether or not they planned to lose weight before the wedding and whether or not they had been told to lose weight (this pressure came from a variety of sources such as family, friends and even the wedding dress saleswoman!). Pritchard reported that over 50% of brides-to-be wanted to lose weight before the wedding (approx 8kg) and around 13% had been told to lose weight.
Pritchard also collected data on starting weights and then followed up at 1-month pre-wedding and 6-months post-wedding.
Of the first group (those that wanted to lose weight), what do you think the average weight loss was? Nothing. That’s right, at 1-month pre-wedding there had been no change in the weight of this group. However at the 6-month post-wedding follow-up there most certainly had been a change. This group had gained an average of about 2kg. Pritchard called this the ‘oh-thank-god-that’s-over-now-I-can-eat-what-ever-I-want’ effect.
The second group (those that were told to lose weight) did show some slight weight loss pre-wedding but gained significantly more post-wedding than the first group.
Pritchard concluded her presentation by highlighting the need for awareness campaigns to reduce the pressure on these woman to fit some societal ideal for the perfect bride – especially in the face of the competition they are up against: both Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, as well as a selection of health clubs all had stalls at this expo.
So there’s your answer. And although in the scientific world we don’t call it proof, merely evidence, you’d have to agree it’s pretty compelling evidence to say the least.
The Wedding Diet will NOT result in weight loss. But it will result in weight GAIN. Darn. Oh well, at least we still have Drop it and Eat.