When it comes to preparing for a big date or event, we have so much to think about. From what we’re going to wear, what perfume or cologne we’ll wear, where we are going and more can wreak havoc on the stress-o-meter. What we don’t always think about is the foods we eat and their impact they have on us leading up to the date. If you’re preparing for something important on the calendar, you’ll want to check out this list of foods that you should definitely avoid. From smelly breath, acne, bad gas and bad body odor we have got you covered in what to stay clear from. So let’s dig in, oh, and good luck at that event!

1. Garlic

Garlic may be an obvious food to avoid that can ruin your breath but it can actually make a mark on more than just in your mouth. It can also become absorbed into the bloodstream.

As a result, it can not only linger in the mouth but it can actually emit a scent out of our pores too. Garlic is still really good for us and shouldn’t be eliminated from the diet completely but when an important date or event is approaching it may be best to stay clear of anything garlicky for a little while.

2. Onions

The anticipation of an upcoming date can be quite stressful on its own. For some of us, this leads to excessive sweating especially so on the day of the event. We can also sweat to due high temperatures in the weather, and exercise. If you know you’ll be stressed before the date and believe the agenda of the date will require you to be outdoors then you’ll want to stay clear of the foods that could seep through your pores.

Just like garlic, onions too can cause bad breath and body odor. The high sulfur compounds can make the odor of onion linger in your breath and your body odor days after you have consumed it. It does add flavor to many dishes but it might be wise to stay clear of it leading up to your date.


3. Alcohol

Happy hour or innocent patio drinks with coworkers on a Friday seems harmless, however, if a hot date is on your agenda that weekend you may want to opt out of the bevvy that day. Most of the alcohol consumption will metabolize in our body but some of it gets released into our sweat as well as our respiratory system.

We already know that you can smell alcohol on your breath after you drink it but if you drink too many bevvy’s it can start to linger when we sweat too. It could also cause less saliva production which could make our mouths the perfect habitat for bacteria to thrive. Furthermore, alcohol can be considered a natural diuretic which could result in dehydration in the body. You may not have to eliminate alcohol before you date but it is important to be mindful of your consumption.

4. Coffee

While a daily cup of joe will do no harm to your big date chugging back a cup before the date is not highly recommended. Coffee surely tastes good but the compelling smell can linger in your mouth which could be unpleasant to the person you talk to.

Beware of consuming too much coffee because it could give you the jitters. Caffeine is well known to help boost our adrenaline levels. Due to this, too much caffeine could cause a jittery sensation and excess sweating which combined with the nerves you’re already feeling is just a recipe for disaster. A cup of coffee may, however, give you the extra energy you need just make sure to drink it hours before your date or simply, brush your teeth and gargle with mouthwash after.

5. Sugar

If you’re gearing up for a big date or event you’ll want to watch your sugar intake leading up to it. When we eat and drink, bacteria begins to build up in our mouths. The bacteria that causes bad breath specifically will take advantage of sugar once it reaches the mouth and uses it as a super fuel.

While we often reach for gum and mints when we feel the bad breath coming on, many of these gum packets and mints are full of sugar. It may subside your bad breath momentarily but the sugar content could actually cause the bacteria to become active long term. Not only can sugar cause bad breath but it can also contribute to gum disease and decay, yikes! Make sure to look for sugar-free gum and mints to help keep that bad breath at bay.

6. Dairy

Those who are lactose intolerant know it is enough of a reason to avoid dairy products altogether, especially before something big planned. For others, dairy could be an IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) trigger which is another reason to avoid dairy before the big event, although, we know that ooey-gooey cheese dish looks tempting!

Furthermore, many dairy products have loads of sugar and as we discovered previously sugar could be the culprit to bad breath! Lastly, for some, dairy products can cause acne breakouts and we all know we try to avoid those especially when getting ready for somewhere you want to make an impression. You might want to avoid the dairy and put on a face mask instead!

7. Horseradish

Horseradish is known for its tart and unique flavor. It offers a lot of nutrition such as a great supplement of dietary fiber, folate, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and several others. We shouldn’t cut horseradish out of our diet completely but it may be wise to stay clear of it on the day of your date.

Horseradish may add the perfect zing to your sandwich but it can also cause unwanted bad breath. The reason for this is due to it’s overpowering and smelly oil. Raw horseradish that is left intact will have next to no odor but once you grate it or cut it, it will emit what some claim to be the smelliest oils in the world, mustard oil. This odor can linger in the mouth and can be a huge turn off if your date comes into contact with it, uh oh!

8. Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy and Brussels sprouts are all considered cruciferous vegetables. They all come from the same family and each offers their own unique texture and flavor but they all have one thing in common, a sulfur compound. This sulfur compound can be quickly absorbed into the body and seep back out when we sweat, resulting in body odor that smells rank.

Furthermore, our bodies sometimes have a hard time digesting these foods thanks to an oligosaccharide called raffinose. We don’t have the enzymes in our bodies to digest this so in result it passes to our large intestine undigested. This then causes the large intestine to ferment them. A byproduct of fermentation in the large intestine would be gas, that combined with its sulfur compound results in not just gas, but smelly gas too. Make sure to stay clear of any of these veggies on the day of your date and if it’s completely unavoidable make sure not to eat them raw. When these vegetables are cooked they make the digestion process easier.

9. Canned Fish

It’s amazing how food is so accessible to us in so many ways which also means we can enjoy foods that aren’t in season 24/7 all year round. Canning is a great way to hold onto bulk foods for long periods of time. However, when getting ready for your date, you may want to stay away from canned fish.

I’m sure we’ve all been there, either opening or being present while a can of fish is being opened. Immediately you’re bombarded with a wretched fish smell. The process of canning fish will cause it to oxidize and due to this is why it has a strong scent. However, this scent can linger on your breath, giving it a fishy and unpleasant odor. If you can’t cut the craving of canned fish before your date make sure to gargol with mouthwash, once or twice or 10 times, better safe than sorry, right?

10. Refined Grains

Some examples of refined grains include pasta, cereal, crackers, desserts and bread that are made out of white flour. Refined grains might not give you bad breath but you’ll still want to avoid them leading up to your hot date because they could be the cause of sudden and annoying breakouts.

As we talked about earlier, dairy has been shown in several studies to be the cause of breakouts and acne and now many are looking into refined carbohydrates too. Refined grains can cause an increase in blood glucose levels up to 2 hours after eating said food. It may be obvious that someone with diabetes should avoid a diet with a high glycemic index but those seeking to avoid acne and clear acne should be wary too. Instead, try and reach for foods that are whole grain and unrefined.

11. Fast Food

We already discussed how we should avoid refined grains when gearing up for an important date or event, but fast food should be avoided too. Broadly speaking, the western diet is made up of a diet that is highly caloric, full of fat and refined carbs which can all be contributors to breakouts and acne.

Fast foods such as burgers, fried nuggets and fries and many other fast food items can put you at a serious risk for a breakout. It may taste good but if you’re looking for a clear complexion you may want to stay clear of the fast food meals a couple days before and leading up to your date. Furthermore, many fast foods can leave grease residue on your hands while you eat it so make sure to not touch your face as this could cause further unwanted clogged pores.

12. Milk Chocolate

If you’re like me, stressful situations can cause poor eating decisions, like eating a chocolate bar when you really shouldn’t. When something important on the calendar creeps up on you, it could be an exciting time but also a nerve-racking stressful one. And chocolate may just be your default stress-reliever.

A high sugar diet could cause sebum production which could then encourage an inflammatory response in our body. This could lead us down the path to acne. If you must have chocolate before your big date you should go for a dark chocolate that is a lot lower in sugar and contains more antioxidants than your average milk chocolate bar would.

13. Ice Cream

We already discovered you may want to avoid dairy when getting ready for a big date but if we investigate into that further, we can discover that ice cream more specifically should definitely be avoided. Not only do many ice cream varieties contain dairy but they contain added refined sugars too.

The combination of the natural sugar found in dairy (lactose) and added refined sugar helps make ice cream taste so addictively awesome but also can lead us down the path of bad breakouts. If you have a serious ice cream craving arise it may be smarter to try and go for blended frozen fruit instead.

14. Pizza

Technically speaking, pizza could fall under the fast food category as we discovered earlier but it deserves its own point for a couple reasons. Many of us love pizza, I mean truly love pizza and that’s why when going on a diet pizza is one of the hardest foods to give up.

You’ll want to avoid pizza because firstly, pizza is very high in refined carbs and is often topped with ooey-gooey melted cheese. This makes it a double whammy in the foods to avoid before a date department (refined carbs and dairy). It may be irresistible but try to avoid eating it several days before your date to avoid hefty breakouts.

15. Asparagus

Along with cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower etc, asparagus too could cause bad gas. Asparagus also contains a complex carb called raffinose and for the same reason as the cruciferous veggies, our bodies don’t have the proper enzymes to fully break down asparagus either.

Furthermore, asparagus can also cause smelly urine. This is from the sulfurous compound called mercaptan. You can also find this compound in rotten eggs (ick!), onions and garlic. When our digestive system breaks down this compound, by-products can be released and in result can cause a strange smell in our urine. While smelly urine might not be enough to avoid asparagus before your date, the bad gas will probably do it.

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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