In the life of every man comes some truly big moments; defining events that shape who you are, pave the way for your future and create your strongest memories: rites of passage. It’s natural, when a man encounters such an event, that you take stock, think of serious matters and none are more serious than your own health. Losing weight in time for… is a series that will look at some of those key moments in a man’s life when he might be inspired to get himself in shape.

Ring donut

This is the wrong sort of ring to be thinking of right now.

If you are approaching one of these milestones we want to give you all the encouragement you may need and some specific advice about the extra challenges you may face losing weight at this point in your life. So get out a notepad and pen and start taking notes, we’re about to get advice-y. 

Say Cheese, Don’t Eat It. 

There are fewer events in the life of a man more memorable than his wedding day and yes, the irony of forgetting anniversaries is not lost on us. Not only will this day be indelibly etched on your soul, but it’s likely to be the most pictorially-documented day of your life. O, vanity, thy name is man! Of course it’s natural to be conscious of your own body image when faced with the prospect of being photographed incessantly and without due care for good Instagram angles and filters. Not only will the number of photos increase but wedding photos have serious shelf-life. You’ll be looking at these images for the rest of your life. Do you want to be the guy who cringes at every photo of his wedding day, or the guy who peacocks around in his old wedding suit, proudly boasting that he can still fit into it all these years later?

Looking Good, Feeling Sharp

The allure of your expensive, well-fitting, tailored suit is another reason you might be thinking about getting in, or staying in shape ahead of the big day. Worse still if you’re hiring, since getting one of those things to fit nicely is difficult enough for a coat hanger. Still, to paraphrase Justin Timberlake, you’re only going to leave your suit and tie on the floor on the big night. Needless to say, making your wedding night memorable can also be a huge motivator for getting yourself in peak physical condition during your engagement. All told, there are plenty of reasons your looming wedding day might have you gazing at your navel and thinking about engaging your core.

QUESTION: HOW MUCH WEIGHT CAN I LOSE?

Depending on the length of your engagement, there’s going to be a limited amount of weight that you can safely lose between now and the big day. With the average length of engagement (according to Conde Nast BRIDES readers) being 20 months and a safe weight loss running at between 1 and 2 pounds per week that means you could safely lose up to around 160lbs, or 11 stone, if you stick to your guns.

Making A Commitment To Lose Weight

Just like a successful weight loss journey, every marriage begins with a serious, grown-up commitment – little wonder this is one of the rites of passage that sorts the men from the boys. Those vows you take are serious business – “In sickness and in health” isn’t just a promise to stick by and take care of a spouse with flu, but to be responsible for your own good health. When you enter into a marriage you have a responsibility to said spouse to not be reckless with your health. “Till death us do part” isn’t a race.

Thinking purely in terms of the big day itself, you’re going to do more public speaking than the average man is used to, with all eyes on you throughout the day (alright, they’ll be on the bride, but peripherally, you’ll get a few glances) and being self-conscious about your appearance isn’t going to do your confidence any favours. If your weight bothers you, you owe it to yourself to get it shifted before your wedding. Not only that but you owe it to your future wife.

What extra challenges does a groom-to-be face with his weight loss?

If you follow the traditional route to the altar there’s a fair chance you’ll get immersed in stag culture, i.e. boozing. As you’re hopefully aware, alcohol is the enemy of weight loss and this is one of those times in life when you’re going to come across a lot of well-meaning friends and family shoving congratulatory plonk into your hand, from the stag do to wine tastings and toasts. Unless you’re planning a dry wedding or stag party, you’ll just have to roll with this and cut back elsewhere as much as you can.

As well as wine tastings you’ll likely also be sampling options for the wedding breakfast menu. Just remember that you don’t have to polish all the plates to get your value for money.

This man is not thinking of how many calories he has eaten today.

This man is not thinking of how many calories he has eaten today.

Finally, if you’re a nervous eater, well frankly there will be moments in the lead up to your wedding where nerves will get the better of you. Like any weight loss journey, the key is to accept these lapses for what they are and move on, not sweep them under the carpet, or treat them as failures and give in. Remember, these big rites of passage are all about stepping up and being a responsible man.

So how do I lose weight?

We’ve got a number of ways that we can help you to lose weight and you might want to ask your wife-to-be to treat you to an engagement present of the MAN v FAT Weight Loss Manual. One great resource is to say hello over at the MAN v FAT Forum and consider joining a MVFIA programme. This is all about making grown-up vows and sticking to them, with a little help from us. Alright, so obviously we’re going to recommend our own thing, but that’s not all you can do – there’s a load of advice on this very site, take a good look around and start here.

There’s a really good chance that your fiancée is trying to get in shape before the wedding day too, so why not start as you mean to go on and form a fitness partnership – eat right together, workout together, it’s all great bonding, good for the libido and it’s an in-built support system.

Have we missed anything? Let us know over on the forum.