It’s wedding season. Wedding planners, florists, venue managers and registry-wielding department stores are rolling out all sorts of indulgences for the bride and groom. Which bit of wedding-day wealth will this year’s newlyweds still appreciate on their golden (50th) anniversary? Not the Aroma 8-cup rice cooker. Even Cards Against Humanity, the Bluetooth-enabled pressure cooker and the Spiralizer Pro will probably be forgotten by then. What will they appreciate most, then? That man-cave essential, the kegerator? Nope. They’ll appreciate being healthy! Getting off on the right foot for years of healthy, enriched life is the best gift they can give each other now.

On the big day, the bride is packaged like a present, concealed, and sometimes revealed, in shiny wrapping and bows, even veiling facial features as if some blemish overlooked during courtship could trigger the groom’s change of heart and prompt the firing the of retrorockets. Much attention is given to preserving the day as an instance of perfection; for many, it’s the only life event for which a professional photographer is paid to embalm the occasion. To get the best possible wedding-day look, it’s common for a bride to crash-diet to lose a few pounds. When the wedding day ends, the guests travel home, the band gets paid and the diet is discarded.

The big day and a mountain of money fade to black, yet no matter how fabulous or well-preserved the day is, by the next sunrise, it is all gone. The real value is in what is yet to be. It’s the beginning of a new partnership with a goal of long-lived happiness, companionship and mutual enrichment. There’s something healthy about marriage—married couples tend to live longer than singles. Both bride and groom expect life to be richer together than apart, and when it comes to “in sickness and in health,” would much rather live the latter, so why not let the wedding be a time to set a course for the future with a new, healthier lifestyle together? The fresh start offers a wonderful chance to build new habits. And if the wedding is a starting point, why not adopt and adapt to a healthier, sustainable lifestyle in the months and weeks leading up to the big day instead of implementing a crash diet? Taking the long-term approach means a lifestyle started today can keep going indefinitely—for the next fifty years or more! AC: The Power of Appetite Correction is that kind of flexible, dependable, long-term plan.

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Brides and grooms have 18 weeks between now and mid-June to work toward their best for each other and for themselves. That’s enough time to adapt to an appetite-correcting eating schedule and lose 15 pounds at a comfortable, sustainable pound-per-week rate that doesn’t have to stop on the wedding day. Because no foods are off limits and because of the lifestyle’s simplicity and sustainability, many people who adopt AC continue it even after they’ve lost their surplus fat.

When traveling on a honeymoon, a couple can save a lot of money and time by eating fewer meals. Splendid evenings out may be even more enjoyable knowing they won’t have to be paid for by dieting or exercise later. The money saved can add to the travel fun or start the nest egg after returning home. As for what to do with the time saved, I leave that to the imagination.

Some starter hints for lovers, fiancés and fiancées:

  • Make activity dates, not dining dates: walks, hikes, skating—move and play!
  • Split restaurant meals, then order more if you’re hungry.
  • Agree that no one is obliged to finish what’s on their plate, even at the in-laws’ home.
  • Consider saving restaurant food (doggy bag/box) as a more reasonable alternative than overeating just to get your money’s worth.
  • Think “best value for life,” not “best value for the dollar” when you’re ordering popcorn or other treats at the theater. The smallest size is usually the worst value for the dollar, but it’s often the best value for your life because it’s the healthier choice.
  • Respect and support whatever your lover’s doing to lose weight or maintain a lean weight. Don’t push food on him/her as if it’s a healthy thing to eat when not hungry. It’s the opposite.
  • Team up to keep yourselves from falling into a sedentary lifestyle. Budget at most a few hours per week for Netflix and spend the rest on the chill or other activities.
  • Don’t let your relationship stifle each others’ previous activities. You both must stay active to stay healthy, so insist on it.
  • Kids make everything more complicated, so keeping activity a high priority and building strong activity-oriented habits can help keep your family going strong if and when kids come along.

For more tools a couple can share to build a lifestyle of healthy living, please see AC: The Power of Appetite Correction.