So, the big event is coming. The reunion. The wedding. The presentation. What if I told you that strategic nutrition could have you looking noticeably healthier, sexier, and, yes, younger—in a matter of days. Read on for the most powerful non-surgical, DIY transformation guide ever.
How do I know? Because it was once my job to make celebrities look younger and healthier, superficially, in a couple of hours. But after being forced by a health crisis to figure out my own do-or-die cellular-level Rubik’s Cube, I can now help others do in a matter of days what took me decades to piece together. Check out celebrity trainer Shianne Lombard’s inside and out transformation after only five days (at right).
How to Quickly Decrease Bloating
It might seem counterintuitive in our fat-averse society, but the key to a super slimdown is to:
- Cut carbs
- Eat more fat
- skip those sweet beverages and fruits
- Switch to sea salt if you haven’t already (it doesn’t cause the water retention or sodium/potassium imbalance that regular table salt does)
- Eat a little sauerkraut every day
- Take a multi-strain probiotic to reduce bloat, calm cravings, nourish skin, and even out blood sugar swings. You can get one of the best multi-strains, with postbiotic benefit in a new collagen product with hyaluronic acid (a fast-acting skin plumper!), called Collagen Plus by Essential Formulas, which also contains the famous Dr. Ohhira's fermented extract.
- Avoid brined, or sodium-packed foods such as feta, olives, pickles, and Parmesan to reduce fluid retention
- Avoid foods you’re sensitive to, of course. This will minimize digestive and skin flare-ups.
Using Sea Salt with Hydration
Regarding hydration, don’t shy away from water or sea salt, thinking they will bloat you. Just the opposite is true. Plenty of pure water and sea salt help allow your tissues to hydrate normally, affecting skin texture and eye health. Sea salt rarely throws off sodium/potassium ratios like table salt does, so water retention is rarely an issue. In fact, the lack of the electrolytes found in table salt can cause bloat, not to mention a lack of energy, concentration, and ability to hydrate your tissues with the water you do drink.
How to Improve Sleep Rapidly
Sleep issues can make or break your Five Days to Fabulous plans. Increasing fat intake a bit (but only once you’ve lowered your carb intake) will often deepen sleep quickly. Coffee and alcohol, even if you feel like it makes you relax at first, generally interfere with deep wave sleep and worsen the adrenal issues that affect sleep quality. A number of other factors such as anxiety, pain, negative brain chatter, and irregular circadian rhythms can be helped greatly by changes in diet and nutritional supplementation (see list below).
Sleep apnea is a major thief of beauty and metabolic health. Strategic supplementation and even topicals can help. And limiting your carb intake helps reduce the swelling that is often a major contributor to sleep apnea, in addition to reducing other sleep deterrents such as pain, hot flashes, and acid reflux.
A lack of sleep-defending boundaries with children, pets, or even your spouse, could be building your belly fat each day while harming your adrenal (and thus, thyroid) functions. It also causes cravings for caffeine and/or sugar, so it pays to lay down some sleep time rules, even if they’re only temporary. It’s amazing how changes can be successfully made if we tell ourselves “it’s just for a few days.”
Other simple hacks that can help bring on deeper sleep include ear plugs, white noise machines, a better pillow or mattress, and reducing electronic device use. Total darkness during sleep and using blue light filtering apps such as Iris can make a great difference. Shoot for shuteye by 10 p.m. or earlier on your 5-day lead-up.
Inside-Out, Swift Skin Transformers Will Also Brighten Your Eyes
These dietary changes can also revive the glow in your skin and your eyes. Switching from processed to whole, lower-carb and higher-fat foods can brighten your coloring quickly, due to reduced inflammation.
Eventually, you may want to adopt a very-low-carb/very-high-fat regimen for the long-term, but hold off until your big event is over, or you may have a couple of ill-timed, low-energy transitional days. So for now, continue eating low-sugar fruits, beans, or a little quinoa each day to stay energized. Ditto with quitting coffee. Five days ahead of your event is not the time. You can delve deeper and get to the root of your sleep and energy issues afterward, when you have time to carefully and comprehensively execute a full regimen.
In the meantime, taking fish oil, evening primrose oil, and hyaluronic acid can change the feel and look of your skin and the brightness of your eyes in a matter of days. Drinking lots of water will help those supplements work their magic. Speaking of pure water, another little hack that changes skin and hair texture in a couple of days—more than any serum—is a good chlorine-filtering shower water purifier.
Days Before: Make Your Hair Youthful-Looking
If you’re really going for a bit of reverse aging, cover those greys with a low- or no-PPD natural color from your health food store. Make sure your cut is flattering. For most women, a few long, skillfully executed “icicle-shaped” layers can help frame the face and soften or lift flat or heavy areas, and an inverted overall shape will generally take years off when compared to a straight-across, or “A-shaped” cut. Very long hair can be quite aging, so if you’ve just “always” avoided splurging on a professional cut at a higher-end salon, a special event merits an appointment with a true professional.
Smooth the hair first with an ionic blow-drying and large round brush, followed with a hair type-specific shine serum and, if possible, a straightening iron, which can also be used to add wave or curl.
The Morning of the Event: Run Hot and Cold (Water, that Is)
Epsom salts and magnesium flake baths are great for sore or creaky joints. Seaweed flakes are also a great option. A hot (though not too hot) washcloth on your face, alternated with very cold water, will shunt blood back and forth. Using a gentle rolling motion (or even a jade face roller) under the eyes is a great way to drain fluid and reduce under-eye puffiness.
Additional Products for Quick Inside-out Transformation
Supplements that can help speed your radiance revival:
- Melatonin, 5-HTP, and CBD address sleep rhythms, pain/depression, or mood and negative chatter. Countless other sleep boosters exist on vitamin store shelves. Find what works for your specific sleep issues.
- Facial anti-wrinkle patches, such as those by Andalou Naturals, Frownies, or Earth Therapeutics Facial, can give amazing results in a short amount of time.
- L-Tyrosine and iodine can increase energy, thyroid function, and weight-loss speed.
- Adrenal formulas with adaptogens and glandulars (for the ultra-stressed), such as Adrenal Support by Vital Nutrients, can reduce stress and belly fat.
- Seaweed, vitamin C, peptide, and hyaluronic acid serums such as those by Evan Healy, MyChelle, Mad Hippie, Derma E, and Hyalogic can be layered (use hyaluronic last, while skin is still moist), to plump and rejuvenate skin.
- Tooth-restoring and whitening products such as Xlear Spry (daily care and mints) and Cali-white (paint on teeth) are great daily and pre-event tools, respectively. A white smile can take ages off of your appearance.
- Timed-release magnesium can give you the optimal energizing, yet calming, effects (and excellent muscle-cramp relief for deeper sleep) without the digestive distress sometimes caused by magnesium supplements.