Beat the 7 Common Causes of Post-Wedding Weight Gain

When it comes to getting married, Brides and Grooms everywhere are gung-ho about “sweating for the wedding”. Sadly, it is commonplace for these same couples to pack on the pounds together after saying I do.

In 2018, “a poll of 2,000 Americans found that men put on nearly twice as much weight as women during the first year of marriage, with an average of 22 pounds gained by men and 13 pounds gained by women, respectively.”

Let’s look at the 7 common causes of post-wedding weight gain below, and how you and your significant other can combat them.

Cause 1: Focus is on starting a family, and no longer on attracting a mate
Remember this, you may have secured your mate; however, effort to show up as the best version of yourself still matters. Do not use “starting a family together” as an excuse. This family you are starting needs the best, healthiest, and most vibrant version of you that exists.

Cause 2: Know your nutrition labels
I was guilty of this during our first year of marriage. I added every salad dressing I could find and parmesan cheese to my dishes in an effort to “impress” my husband.  You see, I was worried that I was going to embarrass myself with a bland meal if I chose not to add these rich flavors on my food. Let me tell you, I quickly packed on 25 lbs within 10 months of getting married because I did not take the time to read the nutrient breakdown of what I was feeding us. It is important to pay close attention to the calories from fat in the foods you are consuming.  Opting for fat-free/low/zero calorie dressings is a great way to prevent weight gain, while still adding flavor. Also, avoid added sugars as much as possible. Be cognizant of this when buying healthy foods, as some are sugar traps in disguise.

Cause 3: One or both of you are picky eaters
As a picky eater who refused to eat eggs/egg whites until last year, I understand why you refuse to eat certain foods.  It is up to you to find other alternatives to consume your appropriate macronutrients (fat, protein, carbs) if you cannot stomach the healthy option. Make it your mission to disguise a healthy food you don’t like when you mix it with something you do like. If this doesn’t work, find a completely other food with a similar nutrient profile.

Cause 4: Neither of you meal prep, preferring to dine out instead
Doing this frequently is a recipe for disaster if you are trying to maintain, and even worse if you are trying to lose bodyfat and increase your muscle mass. The best way to order while out is to request minimal oil to be used (reduce the fat load), and to pick a complex carb, vegetable, and lean protein (if you eat meat). Doing this a few times a month will not break your progress; however, doing this daily could prove challenging to maintaining your physique, as you do not know the entire ingredient list used to create your dish.

Cause 5: You opt for cheat meal days, instead of a cheat meal
It is important to keep your body on its rhythm as much as possible when it comes to meal consumption. It is easier for your body to bounce back from one cheat meal at a time, as opposed to an entire day of eating cheat foods. Just think of how enjoyable your cheat meal date will be, as you eat for the results you desire.

Cause 6: You don’t know how to make the right food choice
Cravings… we all get them! This is your call to action to make a better bad choice. I learned this from Keith Klein with the Institute of Eating Management and and a better bad choice is one we enjoy, but one that isn’t the worst in that certain category of food. For Example: If I want ice cream, I will choose a small pint of ice cream with less calories from fat, and have 1 serving.

Cause 7: One or both of you fail to exercise regularly
One prominent side-effect of exercising is a major boost in self-esteem. The more fit you feel, the happier you are, and the more pleasant you are to live with! Take a fitness class together or start a home gym workout regimen together. If you are the spouse who exercises regularly, encourage your spouse to get active with you as frequently as possible. A quick walk around the neighborhood, your local park, or track can work wonders for your mind, body, and soul. And don’t stop asking; your significant other is worth it!

Though it is commonplace to gain weight after getting married, you have the opportunity to beat the odds; maintain/improve your physique, and to stave off chronic illness. The key to success in this is education, implementation, as well as support from your significant other.

Wishing you the happiest of Ever Afters!!!

Works Cited

Lucia, Carole A. “Is Love Making You Gain Weight? Perhaps So, New Research Shows. But It Can Also Help You Lose It.” Weight Loss Forums & Community | Jenny Craig, 3 Oct. 2018,

About the Author: Courtney Alcala-Herrera MS

Courtney lives in Texas with her husband and their two dogs. Courtney is a clinical research and health education expert whose life mission is to spread health and lifestyle modifications to the public. When she’s not traveling across the country monitoring research studies, you can catch Courtney counseling her fitness clients, prepping for her next bikini competition, or racing off to explore with her husband.


Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.