As I’m sure many of you can relate to, I did not enter January feeling the best I’ve ever felt about my body. Honestly, forget holiday weight gain—I hadn’t successfully lost weight since a stomach bug last May, and the whole thing was starting to feel hopeless. In 2019, I’d already tried a juice cleanse (painful, results gone within a week), and macro counting (exhausting! very difficult without professional advice on what to eat). So finally, I turned to intermittent fasting. I am in no way a nutritionist, and I cannot tell you whether IF is “good for you,” or give you a scathing review of whether or not the science behind it is legit. What I can tell you is that I had a tough 10 days, and a surprising set of results. If that’s enough for you, read on for my experience with intermittent fasting
What I Expected From Intermittent Fasting
If you’re interested in learning more about the science behind IF (intermittent fasting), or the different ways you can do it, I used these three articles as guides. Like I said, I’m not a nutritionist, and I truly don’t want my advice here to be the last word on whether or not you embark on a major diet change. Please believe me—it is a MAJOR change. I understood the merits of IF in two ways before starting. First, I learned that periods of fasting decrease insulin production and boost growth hormones—both of which mean nothing to me, but they apparently help boost metabolism, burn fat, and gain muscle. Second, by limiting your “eating window” (a term my friends would literally pay me to stop hearing at this point), you’re meant to limit overall calories (e.g. you can’t eat breakfasts anymore; you skip seven breakfasts’ worth of calories per week).
Have some objections to that second point? Yeah, me too—don’t worry, we’ll get there. But just to be clear with my intentions for IF: I wanted to lose weight. Not a drastic amount, especially not in 10 days; I know all too well that that weight just comes right back. But losing maybe 1, 1.5 pounds? If nothing else, just to prove that my body was still capable of weight loss after all the weird diets I’d put it through. So, I decided on a 16:8 routine (16 hour fast, 8 hour eating window), and set off on my 10-day journey.
Actual footage of me putting together diet plans and not shutting the f*ck up about it:
How Fasting Actually Felt
Despite most recommendations for 16:8 suggesting eating 12-8pm (or even earlier), I set mine from 2-10pm. First of all, I struggle way more with snacking at night than I do during the day, and I didn’t want to set myself up for failure. Second of all, I have a standing Bachelor date Monday nights, and no way in hell was I sitting through Colton’s journey for love without a healthy dose of wine and pizza. The first few days were mostly the same: I showed up to work around 10 (usually when I eat breakfast) and had unpleasant but bearable waves of hunger until 2pm. This included stomach cramps (worst when I woke up, or when someone ate a delicious-looking bagel near me), and a few headaches. Water and black coffee helped, but honestly more in terms of keeping me awake than making me feel better.
The first mistake I made that week? On Day 3, I went to a spin class at 8am (a disgusting habit I picked up in LA). Not only did I nearly die from hunger that morning, I forgot the parameters of my eating window and ate until 10:30pm that night. While I worried I’d messed everything up, and was starting to question how healthy it was anyway, I woke up on Day 4 “feeling LIGHT” (per my detailed notes). My stomach felt flatter, my digestion was good, and my hunger cramps were clearing up sooner. Everything seemed good. And then, as must happen to all diets, the weekend came along.
I was spending that particular weekend in Salt Lake City, crashing some friends’ ski trip. (I don’t ski, I just wanted to drink in a cabin for a weekend.) In preparation, I switched my eating window for the weekend to 4pm-12am. After all, if I was going to make IF my long-term eating pattern, it had to be something I could do while maintaining a social life. And my social life right now involves ingesting calories after 10pm. (I say “involves,” but really that’s all my social life is.) I also weighed myself Friday morning, but both of the scales turned out to be broken, and both told me I’d gained 16 pounds in the past two weeks.
So, even though I’d woken up Friday feeling light and lean, I spent most of that day questioning reality and trying not to eat my own hand. By the time I could eat at 4pm, my body went into full animal mode, terrified I would fast for another 18 hours at any moment. Basically, I filled the day with airport snacks, a pasta dinner, and bags of Cheetos and mini Oreos the Airbnb host had left behind. Yes, right up until midnight. Saturday and Sunday, I accompanied the non-skiing group to two massive brunches and fasted through both, for which I would like several medals. (Insta proof below.)
Throughout the weekend, I felt like the bloating and general gross-ness I’d kicked during the week was back—but mostly I blamed the type of food I was eating (processed garbage and desserts, yum), and it was more of an internal “yuck” than an “oh sh*t, these pants are not fun to button.” The final few days I focused on drinking sh*t tons of water, eating more real foods and fewer snacks, and bringing my eating window back to a reasonable range. (AKA Monday I ate 4-11; Tuesday I ate 3-10; Wednesday I could eat at 2 again.) But honestly, I never quite kicked the bloated feeling from the weekend and I was still freaked out by the scale disaster Friday. By the time I went back to regular eating, it didn’t come a minute too soon.
Pros & Cons I Felt On Intermittent Fasting
I would need a licensed professional to confirm or deny this, but I suspect that I messed up by making my eating window so late on the weekend. Like I said, I am a chronic night-snacker—which means I’ve read all the advice on how it’s the worst thing you can do for your body and how you’re meant to give your body 2-4 hours of not eating before bed. I’ve also been a yo-yo dieter for years, and heard rumors of starvation mode (when your body’s metabolic rate slows down bc it thinks you’re dying and need the food) if you deprive your body of calories irresponsibly. Again, IDK for sure what happened, but once I started eating from 4pm-12am it felt like my body panicked, shut down any fat-burning processes, and held onto whatever calories I did consume for dear life.
In other words, with a later eating window, my digestion slowed, my usual bloated feeling returned, and it quickly seemed like a terrible idea. And while my 2-10pm eating window had made me feel lighter after a few days, it had also allowed me to stop thinking so carefully about what I was eating. I would try to break my fast with a big, healthy meal, but I was way more relaxed about carb content, afternoon snacking, and eating desserts. As long as I stopped at 10pm, I was still technically on a diet—right?
Yeah, I wasn’t right. People who promote IF assume that you’ll eat fewer calories if given less time, but they’ve clearly never been to a timed buffet. I can’t say for sure whether I was eating more calories while I did IF, but I really doubt I was eating fewer (and definitely not on the weekend). And overeating with 16-hour breaks isn’t a diet: it’s just eating the same amount and giving you a better shot at digesting it properly. By the time I found a less f*cked up scale that Friday, I found I was two pounds heavier from the whole experiment.
BUT—and again I have no way of proving this—I felt like it was possible that part of that weight gain was muscle. I’m the kind of person who can (and has) temporarily gained two pounds from a large meal, and I’m very familiar with what that feels like. This weight gain, however, felt different.
To sum up my very scientific impression of how my body changed during this process, I felt like I was roughly the same size but less jiggly—like my pants were maybe a little tighter in the legs, but looser in the waist. It wasn’t my goal, and I still have five pounds I’d like to lose, but I’ve experienced worse results on more painful regimes.
Overall, would I recommend intermittent fasting, or ever do it again? Kind of! I would recommend trying a few different eating windows and seeing what works best for you, for sure. I might try incorporating a 24-hour fast once a week, since I’d had good short-term results with a few days of fasting. Ultimately, I think incorporating a couple fasting periods helped me shed some bloat and regulate digestion—but extending the fasts and confusing my body on when to expect food backfired. As much as I hate to say it, I have to accept that this wasn’t a “weight loss hack” by any means. If I actually want to see a lower number on the scale, I will have to consume fewer calories. Until then, I’ll be accepting tips on how the f*ck I’m supposed to enjoy an evening at home without eating until the second I fall asleep.
Images: louisabhaus, dietstartstomorrow (2), betches / Instagram
I don’t know about you, but this heat wave is seriously fucking me up. After spending all winter becoming one with my couch, I was really ready for another four months on my couch to get back out there this summer. Instead, I’m finding myself yearning for the days when lying under a blanket didn’t feel like entering a sweat lodge. SO: even though we all get a pass on going outside this week, summer should be your most social season—and dating is no exception. Sunlight makes people happy, happy hours make people drunk, and drunk, happy people have more fun on dates. It’s basic math. Of course, not all summer dates are created equal. So while you’re fielding texts from Hinge matches, keep in mind that many invitations are still worth ignoring. Here’s what these date locations say about your date’s intentions.
Their Local Coffee Shop
In non-summer months, this has potential to be a fine option if you’re on antibiotics. It’s easy to cut short, requires minimal dressing up, and is overall a low-cost alternative to meeting for drinks. And going to the guy’s usual local spot can give you a sense of his overall vibe, though the implication that he’s hoping you’ll go home with him obviously stands.
During the summer though, this invite is all kinds of sus. If they’re trying to meet you at 2pm on a Saturday down the block from their apartment, they likely haven’t left their apartment in six weeks and will be rolling out of bed, wiping Cheeto crumbs off their shirt, and contemplating cancelling five times before they finally walk down the block. Oh, and they’ll probably try to steer the “date” back to their place to continue whatever TV show they were binging within 30 minutes of meeting you. With all the outdoor options and day-drinking venues summer has to offer, if the best they can do is a non-alcoholic beverage in their zip code, they either don’t give a shit about this date at all, have no social life to speak of, or both.
Picnic In The Park
Whether or not this is a red flag is kind of subjective. If you’re a fan of watching ants climb all over your food while dodging Frisbees, enjoy! (Yeah I hate picnics. Sue me.) The plus side of a picnic invitation is that it’s (meant to be) romantic, so the person who suggests this is definitely making an effort. The downside is that they require a ton of work to pull off effectively. So in Scenario A, your date shows up with a small suitcase worth of supplies (coolers, something to sit on so you don’t get grass stains, etc). While sweet, it also makes it painfully evident how much effort they put in and could be a turn-off early on. It also makes it impossible to continue the date afterward because they’re carrying around 10 pounds of picnic supplies.
In Scenario B, your date brings two 99 cent cans of Arizona iced teas and nothing else, you’re both covered in sweat and grass stains within 10 minutes, he gets embarrassed and tries to act like you’re too high maintenance to cover up that he planned a shitty-ass date. Ultimately, inviting you to a picnic means they’ve thought about this date way too much (and have probably done this exact date with their ex) or way too little. You can appreciate the gesture, but I do not recommend going on this date.
^The last time someone actually enjoyed a picnic.
Rooftop Bar With Their Friends
This is also kind of a mixed bag, but for different reasons. If they invite you to this a few days in advance, it’s ideal. It likely resembles the weekend plans you would have made for yourself anyway, and it means they want you to meet their friends. Win-win. If they invite you to this while they’re already there, it’s a very different story. This means they got drunk and horny, and are too awkward to actually meet someone at the bar full of equally drunk singles. Instead, they started going through their phone and messaging their last week of matches. While the commitment to not meeting people is admirable, you’re better than this. Being available on-demand for whenever they’re done with the social part of their night and just want to get laid is never a good look.*
*If you’ve been on a few dates already, this could be a cute “had a few drinks and started thinking about you” type text. But keep an eye on whether they actually introduce you to their friends when you show up, or if they just try to hustle you home.
Weeknight Dinner Reservation
Like the coffee date, this is normal/fine other parts of the year. But IMO, scheduling an 8pm dinner on a Wednesday is a little formal for a summer date. Has he never heard of happy hour? And is he just expecting you to waste prime drinking hours just to exchange information about your siblings and hometowns over cloth napkins? This date option implies that they’re highly traditional, operate by a strict schedule, and are probably not that much fun. This holds especially true if the restaurant they choose also offers a happy hour menu and they purposely choose not to do it. Who hurt you????
Their House In The Hamptons
This date is the easiest to decode. If they invite you to their house in the Hamptons, MARRY THEM. Seriously. Lock that shit down before the next heat wave rolls through.
Ultimately, dating in the summer is easier than dating in the winter. But because we can’t have nice things, that doesn’t mean some red flags don’t apply. Summer is the time to be your most fun self, taking advantage of long summer nights and half-off drinks. If their best self doesn’t crave margaritas after 12pm from June-September, think carefully whether this is someone you’re interested in dating. And maybe give your number to the people you see out at your favorite summer bars instead. At least you know they have good taste.
Images: Giphy (5); Jelleke Vanooteghem / Unsplash
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been seeing someone for two months or three years: deciding where and what to eat for dinner almost always becomes a legitimate argument, regardless of where you live. You’d think that living in one of the best cities in the world would help this issue, but you would be wrong. Actually, New York City offers too many options, so it’s hard to know where to even start, especially with Valentine’s Day coming up in just a couple of days. This isn’t Gossip Girl or Friends With Benefits; chances are, your current fling’s romance skills are not straight out of a cheesy rom-com, so it’s now or never for you to find a place and make reservations for two. Or, scratch that—even just find a table for one, because who the fuck says you can’t dress up and wine and dine yourself to a candlelit dinner in a bougie restaurant? NO ONE. Whether you’re spending V-Day solo or going on a classy af date this year, here are five romantic restaurants in NYC to have Valentine’s Day dinner at.
1. The Park
Everyone who lives in New York knows what the High Line is since it’s probably the one place you bring your parents and out-of-city friends who want to be tourists. What you’ve probably yet to see is this cute little restaurant right on 10th Ave. The ambiance is, like, so worth an Instagram (or 10) since it’s lit tf up from ceiling to floor. It has an indoor and outdoor garden, amazing food, strong drinks, and decent music you’ll find yourself nodding to from time to time. Tables are surrounded with trees and full of classy centerpieces that set the mood.
2. Sofia Wine Bar
Nothing goes with Valentine’s Day better than a fuck ton of wine and good-ass pizza. Fucking obviously. If you plan on spending the day with your anti-Valentine’s Day GFs, by yourself (because less people = more for you), or keeping things low-key with your latest Hinge guy, you’ll want to grab a table in this cute little Midtown East spot. The wine options are endless, the menu is worth salivating over, and like, the service is actually good. I know, am I sure this is in the city? YES.
If you live in Queens, you already love this place. If you don’t, then you’ll at least consider borough hopping. Maiella sits in Long Island City, right on the water with a ‘gram-worthy view of the skyline. It serves carb-loaded Italian dishes and yummy drinks. For Valentine’s Day, they offer a special menu that includes lobster, spaghetti, and chocolate covered strawberries for just $75.
4. The River Cafe
Some of you hate trekking to Brooklyn for fear of the hipster apocalypse, but honestly, there are some hidden gems with fucking amazing food that seriously makes the trip all worth it. This place sits right on water and hosts quite a few weddings, so you know you’re heading into lovey-dovey central. However, the view and atmosphere are to die for, so you’ll probably consider having your own here. They have a special Valentine’s Day menu with bougie af foods like caviar, truffle, and filet mignon, but they do ask you look your best in their dress code, so maybe you’ll feel like you’re kind of a big deal.
5. La Grenouille
This restaurant has definitely been in New York for like, decades. Like, your great-great-grandpa used to come here all the time or some shit (IDK, I don’t know your family history). This French restaurant has long been known for its totally gorgeous flower arrangements and high-end cuisine. For Valentine’s Day, they’re offering a four-course dinner and a complimentary bottle of really classy Champagne that I can’t pronounce. Obviously, seats are limited so if you’re looking to be blown away, you’ll want to reserve ASAP.
One of the good things about Instagram (or the bad, depending on how you look at it) is the advent of doing things for the ‘Gram. Like, it’s great when you’re taking a photo of your hot dog legs on a beach and showing off to your 400 Instagram followers, but it’s annoying when anyone else who isn’t you does the same exact thing. Well, too fucking bad for everyone else, because I’m here to give you your Instagram bucket list: Miami edition. Whether you’re at Art Basel this weekend, planning your spring break, or just going because you want to live out your Will Smith tour of the U.S. (just me?), these are the places you need to go to—for the ‘Gram, of course.
All your friends’ basic avocado toast Instas have nothing on Leynia, the Argentinian grill located inside South Beach’s famed Delano hotel. First off, the seating is outside (because, hello, you’re in Miami), so the natural lighting cannot be beat. In the background of your Instas may be the Delano’s pool, where the famous Proviseur chairs, originally from Le Jardin St. Payl in Paris, sit. Second, and most importantly, you will not find these brunch foods on any menu anywhere else. They have an El Tucamano egg Benedict that sits on top of a fucking empanada. The smoked salmon Benedict rests on a potato pancake. The French toast comes with a guava dulce de leche, and will make you a believer in sweet breakfast foods, if you’re not already (aka me before I had this French toast). If you manage to take any pictures before you shove all the food in your mouth because it looks amazing, and tastes even more amazing, your pictures will get triple-digit likes, guaranteed.
^No filter needed on this.
Beaker & Gray
For your brunch Instas that are bougie but in a more rustic, hipster, less in-your-face way, head to Beaker & Gray in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. Once again, this is not your run-of-the-mill eggs Benedicts that you’ve eaten at every place in NYC. To quote the great Stefon, “This place has everything”—from spicy chilaquiles with chicken that practically disintegrates in your mouth to a sweet and savory waffle panini with pork belly rillette and maple mustard to a guava skillet cookie. I had a croque madame—a slab of crunchy yet chewy sourdough spread with oxtail, smothered with gruyère and topped with an egg. If I didn’t know any better, aka study abroad in Paris, I’d have thought Beaker & Gray invented it—and it was leagues better than any croque I ate in France. Je ne suis pas désolée.
This is where you and your friends will want to take those not-not candid group photos. This cute little spot has floor-to-ceiling wallpaper in that chic palm leaf print you’re seeing literally everywhere, plus a giant neon sign that says, “I’m never gonna dance again, the way I danced with you…” that’s just begging to be posed underneath of. The DJ booth also has a retro-looking neon sign in the shape of lips, which is another solid option. And you won’t even want to bother the DJ in between snaps to ask him to play the new Taylor Swift (please don’t be that person), because the music is on point. They play a mix of ’80s and ’90s throwbacks and current hits, and you really can’t argue with it. If all that’s not enough for you, they have a gif photo booth inside the bar for your Boomerangs.
Employees Only Miami
Employees Only has an outpost in New York, but if you’ve never in your life managed to get a seat there because it’s always so packed (same), the Miami location has a more spacious interior, plus outdoor seating. It’s a speakeasy, so the drinks taste and look incredible. They serve dinner, if you’re not a rager, but if you are, there’s an insane late-night food menu. Ever had a craving for buttery bone marrow poppers at three in the morning? Me either, but you can make it happen at Employees Only Miami. (They’re actually known for their post-3am chicken noodle soup. Don’t know why, it just is.) Not to mention, it’s located on the Washington Park Hotel property, so after getting (responsibly) drunk off fancy af drinks, you can stumble back to your room, mere steps away.
Step into Byblos, with its eye-catching artwork that depicts ancient mediterranean scenes, accordion-style fabric-wrapped panels, plush turquoise and yellow couches, and gold and silver mirrored statement bar, and you’ll feel like you’ve landed somewhere in the Mediterranean. Settle in with an earthy cocktail like the Ottoman Cartel, a melange of Avion silver, spiced barberry reduction and carbonated beet juice, decorated with edible marigold flowers. Or try their cold tea service—tea infused with spirits and served for two or four in a luxurious ritual reminiscent of a classic eastern mediterranean tea ceremony. The most difficult part of eating at Byblos is going to be putting down your phone long enough to take a bite. The food tastes as gorgeous as it looks—the canoe-shaped Wagyu Lameh Pide houses vibrant Turkish paste made in-house, creamy fior di latté, garlic-y toum, and basil cress. The melt-in-your-mouth, Spanish octopus is perfectly prepared with biber chili vinaigrette and a hint of lemon. Also, Drake eats here. That is all.
BRAVA by Brad Kilgore
It’s hailed as the best restaurant in Miami, and for good reason. Helmed by celebrity chef Brad Kilgore and located inside the Ziff Ballet Opera House, this locale will provide some of your most enviable Instas. Unlike other spots, the lighting in BRAVA is perfectly suited for your iPhone camera—and so is the food. The heavenly, marigold-colored lobster risotto is adorned with some sort of classy gold flake that I’m still trying to explain to people. The black-and-white pecorino cheese-filled gnudi are topped with an airy foam. And the pastry-encrusted short beef Wellington is served with a peppercorn demi-glace that the server pours gently over it. This is where you’ll want to break out your fanciest outfit and spend all your money, because you’ll feel sophisticated af. Again, doing it for the ‘Gram.
The Salty Donut
Sweet and savory food lovers alike will moon over The Salty Donut’s confections. Flavors run the gamut from tangy and creamy Guava and Cheese to rich Nutella and back again. These pillowy, small-batch craft donuts pack tons of flavor, and they look just as gorgeous as they taste. This place sells out before closing every day, and you’ll see why if you take just one bite.
Set in the courtyard of South Beach’s historic Hall Hotel, this open-air space reminiscent of an outdoor tiki bar boasts larger-than-life table games like giant Jenga and oversized Connect Four. Food items like mini empanadas and bite-size ceviche can provide a different perspective to your pics; cocktails like Batida de Maracuja offer a unique twist on your favorite go-tos.
I saved the best for (second-to) last, because the Wynwood Walls are your number one Instagram destination. I would say that they were basically invented for IG, except that there’s a really rich artistic history behind them, and I’m not a total idiot. A short history is that Wynwood used to be an unsafe area artists eventually moved into because housing was affordable—think like every New York City neighborhood on the cusp of gentrification. Different city, same story. In 2009, real estate developer Tony Goldman bought up a lot of Wynwood and created a series of open-air art murals that are today called the Wynwood Walls. Graffiti and street artists are invited to paint a mural at the walls, and there are new murals every year. So now you have this whole neighborhood that’s got graffiti art everywhere—and I’m not talking like, your shitty bubble letter graffiti. This shit is the real deal. Get a tour with Wynwood Art Walk before you go see the walls, so you actually know what you’re looking at and aren’t just an annoying tourist. Then go out and be basic and have a full-on photoshoot in front of your favorite murals—you’ll come out with one-of-a-kind pictures…except for everyone else who took the same photos in front of the same walls.
Washington Park Hotel
Located within a five-minute walk to the beach, Washington Park Hotel is an Insta-worthy hotel that even non-influencers can afford. The exterior of each of the hotel’s four buildings are done in the retro art deco style that’s been preserved since the early 20th century. Inside, the chic retro rooms are decorated in an updated art deco style with modern photographs by artists and influencers including Jason Peterson, Ryan Parrilla, Stephen Vanasco and 13thWitness. The hotel bar, Swizzle, makes oversize tropical drinks adorned with local flora, and the frontside pool is an ideal location for lounging and snapping.
Dear everyone who takes 30 minutes to decide on an appetizer,
When it takes the better part of the work week to decide where to get dinner on Friday night, we can let that slide. After all, there are a lot of restaurants to choose from before ultimately deciding on the first place suggested 50 messages ago in the group chat. At that point the hardest decision should be made, though, instead of your panic that ensues as soon as the menus arrive.
While everyone else can chose an entree within a few seconds or decide on the spot, when it’s your turn to order, time stands still. As if completely caught off guard, you look at the waiter helplessly and tell him you “have no idea!” This isn’t because you have any dietary restrictions or there are a lot of options, you’re just under the impression that the entire purpose of this restaurant is to support you through the most difficult decision you’ll ever make in your life.
After spastically scanning through the menu, you’ll explain you’ve narrowed it down to two choices which are always the healthier option and the thing you actually want. “Would you recommend the Caesar salad or the double cheeseburger with truffle fries?” you ask, which is obviously an absurd fucking question. Sensing your need for approval, everyone will tell you to get the burger, and at this point 45 people have had to help you decide it’s a cheat day.
Even after you’ve ordered, your meltdown continues as soon as the food arrives and you instantly hate the person who got the best looking meal. You stare longingly at their plate to the point where everyone feels uncomfortable and they basically just give you their food. By the end of the whole ordeal you’ll leave telling us the restaurant was “just okay,” and that you’ve had better, meanwhile we’ve started a separate thread vowing to never eat with you again.
Basically we don’t know how you survive any daily decisions, or why you think food is so stressful. But whatever, we’re getting cheese fries.
We can literally write a bible filled with the amount of questions and thoughts that go through our minds during a date, and deciding what to order goes on the top of the list. Okay, maybe after like, is he a serial killer. Anyway, if you’re planning on going home with this guy later, you want to order the right thing so that you don’t end up feeling bloated, gassy, or in a food coma. Like, if you’re treating this date like your cheat day, you’re missing the point. Here are the seven things you should avoid ordering at all costs if you know you’re going home with him.
1. Extra Soy Sauce
Sushi is a typical date option, and there’s nothing wrong with ordering a couple basic rolls and a miso soup, but if you don’t want to get bloated after dinner, I would avoid soy sauce like the plague. Sorry if that ruins your meal, but soy sauce is literally a sodium bomb, which will make your stomach bloat, and probably your face too. Soy is difficult on the stomach in general, so you can only imagine what 5,000 milligrams of added salt will do to your tummy post-dinner. Yes, that’s how much sodium is in soy sauce. Look at your life, look at your choices.
2. Hummus Platter
A lot of restaurants offer a Mediterranean-style appetizer with some hummus, vegetables, and pita chips, and you might think you’re being super healthy for opting for this instead of chips and guac, but it’ll come back and haunt you later in the night. In case you forgot, hummus is made of chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, AKA BEANS. This appetizer will make you super gassy and it’s really not worth it. You’re better off with the chips and guac.
3. Brussels Sprouts
This category also includes cauliflower, broccoli, kale, or any other cruciferous vegetables that are loaded with fiber. I mean, don’t get us wrong. On any other night we’d Seamless three orders of crispy Brussels sprouts from The Smith and eat it for dinner while watching TLC, but on a date, veggies loaded with fiber are just a recipe for disaster (read: farting). These types of vegetables usually lead to gas, bloating, discomfort, and you spending an uncomfortable amount of time in the bathroom while your date wonders if you’re trying to ditch him, so just skip them all to be safe.
4. Bread Basket
The bread basket is always tempting as fuck, but if you needed another reason to reject it, here it is: bread is known to cause bloating in most people. Whether you consider yourself Celiac, Gluten-free, Paleo, Vegan, or any other diet you parade all over social media, bread should be avoided on dates. I don’t care if it’s whole wheat, 9-grain, grass-fed or whatever the fuck is available nowadays. Skip the bread to avoid bloating. Or if not to avoid bloating, just skip it so he isn’t forced to witness you stuffing your face with 15 dinner rolls. Save that for like, the third date.
5. Processed Meat
If you’re on a date at a baseball game and think you’re being super cute and down-to-earth by ordering a hot dog or a burger, you’re wrong. You might be better off with like, pizza—or even better, nothing. Processed meats have gone through a shit ton of processes (fucking duh) to preserve their shelf life, like salting, curing, smoking, and adding synthetic preservatives. They have a shit ton of sodium and are super high in fat, and we’re not talking about the healthy, avocado/almond butter type of fat. Just say no all those mystery meats and skip the charcuterie plate, too. I don’t care how classy you think you are because you can pronounce “charcuterie”; your perfect French accent will not matter when your love handles are bulging out of your jeans.
6. Anything Teriyaki
You might think you’re sticking with the safe option by ordering the grilled chicken or salmon, but if the dish is prepared with a Teriyaki glaze, it’s probably gonna kill your stomach later on. Teriyaki sauce is literally made out of soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, and cornstarch, which is basically a recipe for a stomach ache. I mean, I know that sauce is finger-licking fucking amazing, but you shouldn’t be doing that on a date anyway, so you’re welcome.
7. Bubbly Drinks
Alcoholic or not, bubbly drinks are tricky on a date. On one hand, it’s tempting to order a vodka soda at the bar or a San Pellegrino for your table, but carbonated beverages are known to cause bloating/burping. And DON’T get me started on beer. Is one drink really worth the regret you’ll feel later on? Def not. Your date will not be impressed that you can burp the alphabet—and if he is, maybe you should not go on anymore dates with teenagers? If the waiter asks if you want sparkling or still, stick with still. Plus we all know the best way to appear sophisticated on a date is just to order regular, non-sparkling wine.