Pre-wedding diets too good to be true?

Lindsey Schwarck

Preparing for the big day can seem like an episode of “Survivor”: Brides starve and endure intense workouts to look picture-perfect for their weddings. 

Celebrity-inspired crash diets and detox cleanses may have rapid results but require extreme willpower. For some brides, that is not enough.

A recent New York Times article featured a growing trend: Some people who want to lose weight get a feeding tube inserted to restrict calories and help shed pounds in just 10 days. 

The tube “nourishes” women with a mere 800 calories and comes at a price tag of approximately $1500. 

The diet contains no carbohydrates and forces the body to enter ketosis, a process that burns fat for fuel. Some reports said women lost an average of 20 to 25 pounds in less than two weeks.

“No matter what diet you try, the formula is simple: calories in less than calories out equals weight loss,” said Laura Kimm, dietian at the West Ames Hy-Vee. “If a diet claims to be ‘fast, easy weight loss’ or a ‘breakthrough miracle,’ it is most likely too good to be true.”

What is lost in weight, however, may be gained in other side effects, such as kidney stones, headaches and dehydration. Patients must be monitored by doctors to avoid these symptoms.

“If you don’t attempt this in a healthy way, you may be setting yourself up for some significant health problems including osteoporosis, increased symptoms of fatigue and decreased body energy supplies,” Kimm said.

To maintain — and sustain — healthy weight loss, brides should start the process early with nutrient-dense foods and sensible choices. 

Experts at recommend avoiding carbonated soft drinks and caffeine in the week before the wedding, as they can cause extra bloating and dehydration. 

Foods high in starch, like pasta and potatoes, also cause bloating and gas. Rather, brides should select high-protein, low-fat options for lasting energy.

“Ultimately, all foods can fit into a healthy diet,” Kimm said. “The key is variety, balance and moderation.”