Whether you are going on a hot date, have an important exam, or are worried about an upcoming beach vacation, there are specific foods that can help you look and perform your best on the big day. We spoke with New York City-based nutritionist Melissa Paris, who suggested three meal plans with foods that will help you look sexier in that little black dress (or bikini) and boost your brainpower.
Finally going out with that cute guy from the gym? You want to look sexy in your LBD and radiate confidence. "You're going to feel your best when you're not bloated or gassy, so it’s best to avoid carbohydrates," says Melissa. And when you're at a restaurant ordering your meal? "Stick with something light such as fish or chicken, and stay away from heavy foods such as pasta or pizza," says Melissa. Carbohydrates will make you feel full and tired—which is the last thing you want!
Breakfast: Warm lemon water (to get the metabolism going) and an egg white omelet with vegetables
Snack: Handful of carrots with hummus
Lunch: Mixed greens with 4 oz chicken
Dinner: Zucchini and 4 oz chicken or fish of choice
Got a big exam or important meeting? Making sure you eat the right foods during the day—especially breakfast!—is essential so you can perform at your best. "You need carbohydrates in order for your brain to function properly, so cottage cheese, oatmeal, and eggs—which also contain protein—are the perfect foods," says Melissa. “They’re also going to help you stay full. You don't want a rumbling stomach to distract you from your task at hand!"
Breakfast: Oatmeal with almonds
Snack: Cottage cheese with blueberries
Lunch: Mixed greens with a few hard-boiled eggs and a whole-wheat cracker with almond butter
Snack: Greek yogurt with flaxseed
Dinner: Mixed greens with 4 oz fish and 1/2 cup brown rice
If you’re lucky, you’ll be heading somewhere warm to spend the holidays this year. But regardless of your travel plans, before you know it, the sun will be shining and beach season will be upon you. It pays off to start prepping early if you’re going to show some skin, as a quick diet is not only unhealthy but dramatic weight loss can create stretch marks and loose skin! "This is more of a long-term meal plan that has lots of carbohydrates spread throughout the day," says Melissa. "Make sure you don't eat any bread or pasta at least two hours before you go to bed, as your body won't have enough time to process it. You want to stick with foods that fill you up and give you energy, but also get burned off as you go about your daily routine."
Breakfast: High-fiber cereal (Melissa recommends Health Valley for its high-fiber value and organic ingredients) or flaxseed with blueberries
Snack: Cottage cheese
Lunch: Broccoli with 4 oz fresh fish or grilled chicken
Snack: Apple or pear with almond butter
Dinner: Kale with 4 oz fish or chicken