You want to look as fabulous as possible for every date, even if it’s with your husband and especially on a first date. And all that time you focus on putting together the right outfit, doing your hair and makeup, and calling your friends for a second (or third…or fourth) opinion could leave you with little time to think about what you’re eating.
Instead of reaching for anything—or worse, nothing—snack on foods that will help you shine tonight by flattening your stomach, boosting your energy, and eliminating every bit of anxiety. Go get him, girl.
While regular consumption of dark chocolate can reduce levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) and catecholamines (amino acids that trigger the “fight-or-flight” reaction), having a treat also immediately slashes anxiety, according to a study in the journal Nutrients. Chocolate may increase serotonin, the feel-happy neurotransmitter in the brain, says Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D., wellness manager at the Cleveland Clinic, which is probably why you experience that calm, satisfied feeling. Choose a bar that’s at least 70 percent cacao, and since just 1 ounce is 170 calories, be mindful of your portion size.
If you’re slightly dehydrated from a long day of work or your pre-date workout, your energy levels might be sinking. Reach for coconut water, which hydrates in a way plain H2O can’t thanks to its electrolytes. This combined with the simple, naturally occurring sugars will help revive your moxie, says Erin Palinski-Wade, R.D., author of the Belly Fat Diet For Dummies.
Celery is a natural diuretic (hello, flat belly) that’s low in calories with lots of fiber that will help keep you full going into a date, Palinski-Wade says. Pair three large sticks with 2 tablespoons of hummus, which contains good-for-you monounsaturated fats that can help stabilize blood sugar to prevent unstable emotions.
This low-carb, high-protein snack may help you with pre-date jitters. Turkey is rich in L-tryptophan, an amino acid that triggers the release of serotonin, resulting in a relaxing effect. Palinski-Wade recommends 3 to 4 ounces.