I am convinced that deep down everyone is hoping to find true love. I know that it can be challenging for people to connect with the right person. One must “get out there” some how, either in person or online, and boy, the competition can be fierce. One thing that can really up your odds is being the best you that you can possibly be. I have interviewed thousands of singles in my decade of matchmaking and one desire in a partner that everyone seeks is a person who takes care of himself or herself and is healthy and fit. Statistics tell us that 66% of Americans are now overweight or obese. That is a startling number!

Since men are visual, it only makes sense that when plunking down thousands of dollars for a matchmaking service they choose the one that offers good-looking, slender women. It’s similar to offering women the choice of meeting either successful men, or men who are flat broke and struggling. Still, I meet women who have a hard time accepting the fact that their looks are the first thing a man is interested in. But no man is going to approach a woman who he does not find attractive and say “Hi, my name is Jim, you look like you have a beautiful soul and a brilliant mind, would you like to have dinner sometime?”

Men are hardwired to respond to visual cues, and there is nothing that any of us can do about that. It’s the reason that advertising agencies hire gorgeous models to sell everything from cosmetics, shampoo, cars, clothing, perfume and even hamburgers, just to name a few.

The way we physically look greatly affects our ability to attract and keep a partner. A man knows if he is physically interested in a woman within the first three minutes of meeting her. For men, attraction occurs on a biological level -- he wants to know that he can successfully pass on his genes, which is why men generally are attracted to younger women. For women, the man that is most attractive to her tends to be the one who can provide food, shelter and care for a family, which is why women are often attracted to older men. In the dating game, staying slim and trim is probably the most important thing that you can do to help ensure that you will attract a man and then keep him interested once you do.

More importantly, staying slim and trim is also one of the most important things that you can do for your overall health.
Did you know that high blood pressure is twice as common in overweight people? Or that your risk of arthritis increases 9-13% for every 2 pounds of weight you gain, or that gaining as little as 11-18 pounds doubles your chance of developing type 2 diabetes, or that women who gain more than 20 pounds between the age of 18 and midlife double the risk of developing breast cancer after menopause? It’s about far more than looks for vanity’s sake -- the benefits of staying in shape cover all aspects of a woman’s life. You want to enjoy a long and active relationship with your soul mate when you find him – that should be impetus enough!
Of course you don’t want to obsess about your weight endlessly, or beat yourself up about extra pounds. Looking and feeling healthy, fit, strong and sexy is the goal to aspire to.

Eating healthily can definitely be a challenge for women on the go, but you can do it! If you stick to Deepak Chopra’s advice: “Avoid eating anything with a label on it,” you will be off to an amazing start! Here are some easy, helpful tips you should try if you’re not already doing them.

•Invest in a juicer and make wonderful fresh vegetable and fruit juices right at home.
•Drink plenty of filtered water. Sodas of any kind are terrible for your health and should be cut out of your diet.
•Drink green tea daily. Green tea has powerful antioxidants, catechins that have been shown to fight viruses, slow aging, reduce high blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and help prevent cancer. Green tea also boosts the immune system and also helps prevent tooth decay.
•Avoid eating fried foods.
•Incorporate olive oil into your diet.
* If you want to sweeten coffee, cereal, smoothies etc. skip the refined sugar and use stevia instead. It can be purchased at any health food store.
•Cut animal products out of your diet. They are loaded with saturated fats, hormones and antibiotics. If you don’t feel that you can cut them out completely, try to cut down to a couple of times per week. Your body and the animals will thank you.
• Eat a handful of Goji berries everyday. You can buy them at any health food store. The Goji berry is a complete protein loaded with 18 amino acids including all 8 essential amino acids. They contain over 20 trace minerals and vitamins including iron, zinc, copper, B complex, vitamin C and E.
Slowly making healthy and smart changes will get you and keep you on the road to looking and feeling great, which of course will result in attracting a soul mate!

Author's Bio: 

Marla Martenson is a professional matchmaker, life coach and speaker. Marla is the author of two relationship advice books, Excuse Me, Your Soul Mate Is Waiting and Good Date, Bad Date and two memoirs, Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker and Hearts On The Line.
She has appeared countless radio and TV shows including the Today Show, WGN Chicago Morning News, San Diego Living, Urban Rush and Better TV.