Valentine’s Day is coming. If you don’t have a card, gift, or restaurant reservations now, your options for treating your partner on this special day may be getting smaller by the minute. If you don’t act soon, your only option may be to stand in line and buy one of the 36 million boxes of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates sold every year and sift through the picked-over Valentine’s Day cards to find one with a message that speaks to your special someone. Kind of like an anniversary, Valentine’s Day can creep up on you, and if you’re not prepared it’s possible that it could put a damper on your relationship.
However, with about a week to go, you’ve still got time to make some important changes to improve the way you look and feel before the big day arrives. Valentine’s Day is often considered a day couples celebrate or renew their love for each other. In fact, jewelry stores in the U.S. sell an estimated $2.27 billion in engagement rings, wedding rings, and other jewelry in February. And an estimated 4 million couples will get engaged on Feb. 14, according to a recent American Express survey. If you’re going to pop the question, or you think your partner will get down on bended knee, you want to look your best.
It’s a big day, and one of the things you can do to make the day one to remember is to work on improving the way you look. With just a week to go, you’re not going to lose 100 pounds even if you wanted to. But you can shed a few pounds before the big day. Your partner will notice and appreciate your efforts to lose weight and take better care of yourself. When you feel better and look better, you’re more confident, more willing to dish out compliments and praise, and more willing to let your partner in. And that can have a very positive impact on your relationship.
Make it a goal to lose a few pounds before Valentine’s Day to look your best and establish healthy habits that will really help you tip the scale in the right direction. Here’s how:
1. Start Exercising
You don’t have to try and run a marathon this week. But you can start exercising. An estimated 80 percent of all Americans don’t get the recommended minimum amount of exercise. It’s one of the reasons an estimated 70 percent of all adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You should get at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity a day, based on standards set by the American College of Sports Medicine.
Brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, or dancing will help boost your metabolism, burn more calories, and help you reduce body fat. Make it a habit, and you’ll be on your way to shedding some serious pounds. Your partner will notice your hard work and the positive changes in your body.
2. Drink More Water
One of the biggest barriers to weight loss for people is the amount of soda they consume. In fact, in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers found that the average American drinks 53 gallons of soda a year. In case you were wondering, that’s a ton of calories, a ton of sugar, and a contributing factor to gaining weight from year to year. So give up soda. Forget about refilling your 64-ounce mug. And drink more water. It contains zero calories and helps improve digestion, regulate metabolism, improve brain function, and hydrates your skin and body. Cutting out soda will eliminate a ton of empty calories in your diet, and help you lose weight. It’s another simple thing you can do to get you headed in the right direction, look your best, and rekindle the romance with your partner.
3. Get More Sleep
Most people don’t get enough sleep. Late-night TV, household chores, family responsibilities, stress, and the urge to keep playing video games can hinder your sleep habits. But if you don’t get the 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night recommended by the National Sleep Foundation, you’re at risk for high blood pressure, weight gain and early death. Studies show that lack of sleep increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol. High levels of this hormone promote fat storage, and that’s not what you want if you’re trying to look your best for your partner. Start going to bed earlier, or take afternoon naps and establish a standard routine for getting to sleep.
4. Eat Healthy Foods
Forget about the case of heart-shaped chocolates or decadent desserts that a lot of people eat for Valentine’s Day. Candy, desserts, pastries, and soft drinks are loaded with empty calories and other ingredients that cause weight gain and other health problems. If you can cut just 500 calories a day out of your diet by eating healthier, you’ll lose about a pound of fat in a week. So take a closer look at your diet and make a plan to eat more fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Adjusting your diet will help you lose weight, and you and your partner can even do it together by preparing healthy meals at home.
Put these habits in to place now, and you’ll make some progress before Valentine’s Day arrives that your partner will notice and appreciate. You’ll look better, feel better, and be more attractive to your partner.