Ask Dr. J: Healthy is Beautiful: How to Get Fit for Valentine’s Day

The timing of Valentine’s Day couldn’t be any worse. Need proof? Just go take a look in the mirror: Pasty, white, dry skin. Dull, lifeless hair. Those twelve pounds of christmas still weighing you down despite your New Year’s resolutions.

Yes, after months of very little sun—and maybe too much celebrating—squeezing into that sexy lingerie for that special evening can feel anything but sexy.

But don’t fret, dear reader, for there is a cure to your mid-winter woes.
A simple two-week turnaround regimen will get your cheeks looking rosy again.

For starters, you need to start eating better. You already know that, but if you want to lose that bloat and downsize into those skinny jeans, you absolutely need to avoid the big, bad  three: Grains, Sugar and Dairy.

Sugar is a gimme—we all know that it is bad for us. But grains and dairy? Well, grains and dairy are inflammatory, they cause water retention (read: bloating), and they give us enough midriff spillage to put someone off eating muffins for a month or more.

Focus on eating fresh—and preferably raw—fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Add in a few legumes and tuber and keep your protein lean. After all, eat lean to stay lean.

Second, you need to start exercising. You are welcome to hit the gym, but try HIIT’ing Tabata exercises instead. HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, gives you the same calorie-burning buck that you would get if you ran for two full hours.

Tabata exercises are 20-second full-intensity bursts of activity followed by ten-second breathing periods. Cycle between the bursts and the breaths for a total of four minutes. I like to do burpees, followed by mountain climbers, followed by running in place (think: Flashdancestyle) and finish with speedy jumping jacks. Give this exercise your all and you will have rosy cheeks (and flatter abs) after only three sessions.

Next, you need to hydrate your skin and hair. To do this you need to drink more water. While you are at it, cut the coffee, cigarettes and liquor (hey, it’s only two weeks). For these two weeks, add in 3,000 mg of omega-3 fats (like fish or flax oil), 5,000 IU of both Vitamin D3 and Vitamin A, as well as 800 IU of Vitamin E. Your skin and hair will glow.

In addition to these supplements, I would recommend taking a good, pharmaceutical-grade multiple vitamin. Trust me, not only will you look better, but you will feel better. You can
thank me later.

Lastly, get some good shut-eye. No one wants to gaze across a candlelit table into someone’s baggy eyes. And, no matter what cooky Dutch researchers say, yawning isn’t sexy (yes, I’m pointing at you, Wolter Seuntjens).

Follow the above advice and you’ll be ready for action by the big V-Day. After all, healthy is always beautiful. This program will help you feel good, look good and get the goods.

When Dr. Jason Bradley isn’t naked in bed, reading Wolter Seuntjens’ erotic book, The Hidden Sexuality of the Human Yawn by candlelight, he can be found practicing Nutritional and Metabolic Medicine at the Washington Street Wellness Center in Iowa City, Iowa.