Q: I feel so "bah humbug!" when I attempt to stick to a heart-healthy diet during the holidays. Do you have any suggestions of how I can survive the holidays while being kind to my heart and feel festive?
A: It is possible to eat heart-healthy during the holidays, although it is one of the most difficult times of the year to do so.
Allow yourself to celebrate – just don’t throw all caution to the wind. Limit yourself to one SMALL treat (or less), or seasonal food, a day. Never go to a party hungry, which can set the stage for overindulging. And be sure to bring a healthy dish with you so that you know there is at least something there that you can eat without guilt.
Finally, try shifting your focus away from the food and concentrate on family and friends. Catching up and sharing laughs with loved ones will help you feel in the spirit of the holidays more than a second helping of fruitcake, anyways! Lastly, keep moving!! Get in as much extra activity as you can to avoid weight gain!
Answer provided by Julia Zumpano, RD, Dietitian, Section of Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation, Tomsich Family Department of Cardiovascular Medicine
Get more information on nutrition strategies. To make an appointment with a registered dietitian, call the Cleveland Clinic Preventive Cardiology - 216.444.9353 or 800.223.2273 ext. 9353. Or, get a nutrition consultation online with our private and secure MyConsult Nutrition Consultation.