7 Tricks to Look Your Best on Valentine's Day (clothed or, um, not)

Oh… don’t we all just love Valentine’s Day? Yes, once a year- coupled or not, we all get to commemorate (or commiserate- for those not entangled in another) this “day of romance” dedicated to those in love and the celebration of their coupledom. We buy dozens of red roses, dress up in our favorite going-out attire, gorge on heart-shaped red hots and chocolate truffles, and finally slip into something “more comfortable” back at home. It’s right then, after the entire evening of hoopla, that your heart starts racing; but not necessarily because you’re raring for the romp that will likely ensue, but because you’re nervous about it…

Look, we all want to look our best on the all-important V-day regardless of your clothing choice: scantily clad or, um, not at all.

So if you want to look red hot, here are 7 Tricks that will allow your heart to race for reasons other than insecurity:

Do These Tips NOW:

1. Stay Away From Salt! Ease up on the popcorn at the movies. Most people can’t eat the recommended serving (1 cup) and end up ingesting a mound that makes the belly bloat up faster than you can say “constipation.” Popcorn also tends to be covered in salt which is a big-time bloater. So, if you can, cut (or at least curb) your salt intake. For a bloat-free flavor-enhancer, try herbs instead like garlic, flat leaf parsley, basil, and thyme in either fresh or dried form. If you do accidentally indulge in a salt-laden meal, drink lots and lots of water to flush the stuff out of your system. Studies show that 75% of Americans are typically dehydrated… which slows down your metabolism, makes you tired, and fogs your thinking. Try to drink half your body weight in ounces DAILY. So for example, if you are 200 pounds, you want to drink about 100 ounces of water every day. Here are more salty, puffing foods to stay away from, plus how to de-puff if you do overdo it in the salt department.

2. Watch the Alcohol. Drinking alcohol not only makes you ingest a lot of empty calories, but it often makes you forget to keep your diet under control. Not to mention that the alcohol itself can be a calorie/carb party in your belly. Sure, a margarita, beer, or dessert wine may seem appealing, but ask yourself this: is just one measly drink really worth your entire workout? Yes, the frustrating but true fact is that you could be downing more calories in one drink than in your meal. Just keep in mind that one Martini can be equal to 274 calories and 2 carbs, one Whiskey Sour stacks up at 193 calories and 19 carbs, but that’s nothing compared to one Daiquiri that’s loaded with as many as 449 calories and 17 carbs! Still thirsty?
WATCH: Skinny Cocktails: Muddle, Shake, & Spank It

3. Get Your Beauty Sleep. More than just a pretty-making mechanism, sleep is an essential component to staying slim. During those coveted 8hrs of shut-eye, your digestive system is pumping hard to process your food, metabolizing carbohydrates and breaking down fats.
In fact, some studies have shown that sleep deprivation may be linked to weight problems due to changes in hormone levels, namely cortisol- the “belly fat hormone.” Cortisol is responsible for regulating the metabolism of sugar, protein, fat, minerals and water. Because physical or emotional stress raises cortisol levels, a lack of sleep may lead to elevated cortisol levels at certain times of the day. The second culprit is insulin. Insulin controls blood sugar and promotes fat storage. Because sleep deprivation has been associated with increased levels of insulin, weight loss can be more challenging when you’re not sleeping enough.

4. Quickie Workout in Bed. To look and feel sexy, focus on the spots that are most focused on both when standing up and (ahem) laying down: tummy, booty, thighs and chest. Check out my Quickie Workout in Bed to Look Sexy Naked video for moves to make you look and feel, well… sexy naked.

Do These Quickie Tips to FAKE IT on the Big V-Day:

5. Walk Tall and Carry a Big… Attitude. Sometimes even more than having a “perfect” body, confidence can be your most beautiful asset. Good posture and confidence go a long way. If you simply embrace your body for what it is you will not only feel sexy, but look sexy too. Want to look sexy in front of someone else? Own that room! Make eye contact in order to draw your partner’s eyes up to your most entrancing and attractive feature- your soul. Sounds cheesy, sure, but if you ooze sexy from your insides, you can’t help but be sexy on the outside too- believe me. Here’s the thing: Even the most “perfect” bodies are a turn-off when they are topped off with hunched insecure shoulders and shut down eyes. Come on now, chin up, shoulders out, belly in, little devilish smile on your face, and eyes connected!

6. Push-up! No, not the bra, the exercise (though the bra works too). Push-ups are the perfect last minute exercise to pumps up the arms and give you that healthy glow in just a few moments. Do them daily before the big night, plus during your V-day evening prep for immediate beautiful-arms gratification. Another favorite? Plank! It’s the ultimate total body toner that does a serious number on the abs. Amp it up with a Daily100 Knee to Nose.

7. Deep Breathing. Borrow this Pilates move and engage those deep ab muscles. Breathe in deep and suck IN your belly. Now breathe out while sucking it in AGAIN. Do that 3 times. Be careful NOT to release the abs at all and blow out as much as you can on the last one. That quick little move will help flatten the belly a bit.

I know, I know… on Valentine’s Day it’s tradition to put your significant other first, buying gifts, getting all gussied up, and doing all you can to make him feel loved! But this Valentine’s Day, put YOURSELF first. Believe me, the better you feel about you, the better you will be able to show how you feel about him. Start your day focused on you, before you get distracted by email or the kids; get in your “me” time first thing in the am. “Me time” can mean anything, as long as it feels good to you- it could be a quick workout, meditation, or writing in a journal. You’ll have more to give others if you start your day strong and centered… and less frazzled is always more sexy.

Now go on and get ‘em gorgeous!

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