Getting ready for the big day, and need to lose a few pounds to look perfect in your dress or tux? This section provides you the resources you need to lose weight before a wedding.

The 12-Week Pre-Wedding Diet Plan

With claims and promises to drop weight quickly, getting sucked into fad and crash diets is all too common leading up to the big wedding day... But after snapping back into reality, such accusations are not only implausible, but even dangerous.


At bistroMD, we do not promote unrealistic ideas about weight loss, but rather recognize the desire of brides and grooms to find an appropriate pre-wedding diet and provide an effective and safe plan to match. The most important thing to keep in mind before endeavoring on your path to lose weight is that you can be successful, particularly when embarking on the journey in a safe and time sufficient manner. Approach this 12-week pre-wedding diet plan with confidence and determination and you will find there truly are no goals you cannot achieve!

12-Week Pre-Wedding Diet Plan

Three Months Out: Bring Awareness to Your Diet

Rather than completely overhauling your diet and overwhelming your task list, use this time to dip your toes to a more nutritious diet. Start eating breakfast, learning to meal prep, and reducing packaged products. Skipping the grocer's aisles and mostly sticking to the store's perimeter can lessen the temptation of highly processed products and encourages focusing on more nutritious and wholesome food items, including fresh produce, dairy products, and lean proteins. Also begin increasing physical activity, including by walking the dog each morning or trying out a new workout class with your fiancé, and swapping sugary drinks with water.

Meal Ideas:

• Breakfast
Whether you skipped out on breakfast or simply need an alternative to that sugary bowl of cereal, these overnight oats are quick and nutritious to get your morning (and healthy journey) started on the right foot.

• Lunch
Rather than resorting to convenient drive thru runs during your lunch break, start packing healthier lunches to take to the office, including waldorf chicken salad and cucumber sushi.

• Dinner
From chicken fajitas to turkey meatballs, cooking nutritious meals has never been so easy (or delicious) with these five crockpot recipes.

Two Months Out: Think Proteins and Omega-3s

Protein is your secret weapon for weight loss as it regulates appetite, combats against pesky cravings, and increases metabolism. And after kicking your workouts up a notch, protein is imperative for proper muscle recovery. Omega-3s are likewise valuable in a pre-wedding diet, as they can moisturize and soften skin and boost mental health whenever wedding stress may arise. Omega-3s are mostly found in anchovy, tuna, herring, rainbow trout, and halibut, along with flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and olive oil. And speaking of skin health (and to beat belly bloat) aim for at least 64-ounces of water daily and rev up your exercise intensity.

Meal Ideas:

• Breakfast
With workouts starting to become more elite, these breakfast options will fuel the body for your morning exercise class, while this high-protein, chocolate and banana smoothie is a great way to recover after a workout and to start the day.

• Lunch
For an omega-3 and protein-packed tuna salad, mix a 5-ounce can of wild albacore tuna with a small avocado, diced carrots and celery, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Fill into a whole grain tortilla, top onto sprouted crackers, or dip with sliced bell peppers and cucumbers or carrot sticks.

• Dinner
Made with lean ground turkey and paired with low-carb condiments, these easy jalapeno burgers are packed with protein and flavor without feeling an ounce of guilt. Also swap ground turkey with grassfed beef for added omega-3 fatty acids as desired.

One Month Out: Go for All the Color

Think of this month as a blank coloring book and you're given the crayons... Fill the diet with all the colorful fruits and veggies you can (or at least five servings daily)! Not only does vibrant produce keep calories naturally in check, but offers the body the nutrients it needs for optimal functioning. Also experiment more plant-based proteins, including beans, lentils, quinoa, nuts and seeds.

Meal Ideas:

• Breakfast
From quinoa pancakes to a farmer's market quiche, give these meatless breakfast recipes a try.

• Lunch
Boost your veggie intake with these 11 vegan dishes (insert - "BAL - Boost Veggies Intake with These Cozy Vegan Dishes"), including a hearty winter vegetable soup, Mexican couscous, and wild rice-stuffed butternut squash.

• Dinner
Colorful Greek stuffed peppers, chickpea curry, and eggplant pizzas are just a few meatless dinner ideas that grant both protein and veggie intake.

One to Two Weeks Out: Tighten Up

One to two weeks before the wedding, the stress may be at an all-time high. Use this final homestretch to tighten up the diet and try to keep processed products limited and whole foods ample. Meal prepping and creating simple recipes can also reduce the risk of drive thru runs during this busy time. Oh, and make sure you are still drinking the recommended 64-ounces of water daily, too!

Meal Ideas:

• Breakfast
Breakfast burritos are a convenient breakfast option, and this recipe is packed with protein and nutrients. Feel free to tweak ingredients as preferred and make a batch before the week begins. Simply wrap individually in a paper towel, freeze in a large Ziploc bag, and when ready to use, take one out, warm in the microwave for approximately 60 to 90 seconds (or until warm), and enjoy on-the-go!

• Lunch
Simple and nutritious, these 15 mason jar salad recipes are boasting with nutrients and flavor to keep both taste buds and waistlines satisfied leading up to the big day!

• Dinner
During this hectic time, take advantage of these 16 simple one-pot meals, including poached cod in tomato broth, spring Tuscan quinoa bake, and a plethora of nutritious pastas.

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on April 25, 2019.


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