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"Will my heart suffer the effects of poor diet if I just splurge once per week or so?"

ZocdocAnswersWill my heart suffer the effects of poor diet if I just splurge once per week or so?


I eat very healthy and use a personal trainer to guide me through a healthy fitness regimen at least a few times per week. My trainer has told me that a lot of his clients eat healthy during the workweek, then eat the foods they really want and crave on weekends. My concern is my family history of heart disease and attacks leading to death. With this family history, should I stick to a healthy diet every day, or can I splurge once in awhile to satisfy cravings? I miss things like pizza, sweets, fried food and even an occasional alcoholic beverage. So, do I have to stick to the ""all or nothing principle"" that leaves me feeling deprived, or can I do as my trainer's other clients do and take weekends off from my regimented diet?


Congratulations on making the sometimes difficult choice to make regular exercise and healthy eating choices a part of your regular routine. It does take a commitment to do this right, but it is absolutely the best thing you can do to stay healthy for the long run. Regarding your question, the best thing to do is to discuss this issue with your doctor or nutritionist. Generally speaking, it can be helpful to stay motivated with a lifestyle diet to make sure that you give yourself the chance to take "breaks." In general, moderation is the key. You mention pizza, fried foods, sweets, and alcohol as being included in some of your cravings--it is probably a good idea that when you do take a break from strictly healthy choices that you don't indulge in all of these things at the same time. In general, thinking about one day a week to take a break from a strict dietary plan is reasonable. However, if you eat well during the week and then completely let go for the weekend you are not likely to make the kind of healthy progress that you'd like to do. Again, the best thing to do is to consider seeing your doctor to discuss this and to obtain a referral to a nutritionist or dietician who can discuss a healthy way to include "breaks" into your eating plan.

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