The fastest way to make — or break — your health this holiday season

Christmas is right around the corner — with New Year’s right on its heels. So you may be waiting until January 1st to start paying attention to your diet again. And rationalizing that “just one more” cookie or glass of eggnog won’t hurt.

But I’m here to tell you that’s a research-proven mistake. And here’s why…

It only takes three short weeks

Your weight isn’t the only thing that can yo-yo over the holidays. In fact, a recent review of two prior studies from a team of Purdue researchers showed that your eating habits — for better or worse — can change your heart risk profile just as rapidly.

It this particular research, subjects adopted one of two “heart-healthy” eating patterns — a DASH or Mediterranean-style diet (you know which one I prefer). But in this case, both diets were rich in fresh, whole foods, which is the important part.

Patients followed these diets for five to six weeks, after which researchers measured for cardiovascular risk factors, including blood pressure and cholesterol. Then, they returned to their old eating habits for another four weeks — and came back in for another checkup.

After that, subjects went back to healthy eating for another five or six weeks. At which point, researchers measured risk factors one final time.

And the results? Well, they were exactly what you might expect: Patients’ diabetes and heart disease risks cycled up and down rapidly, following the same trajectory as their commitment to healthy eating.

In the end, it only took a few short weeks to make a potentially lethal — or lifesaving — difference.

It’s never too late to get back on the horse

The winter months are especially hard on your heart. Dropping temperatures can make blood pressure skyrocket, along with your risk of stroke and sudden cardiac death.

I’ve discussed this seasonal threat — including how to protect yourself — in the November 2016 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“Warning: Winter weather can take a deadly toll on your heart.” Subscribers have full access to all my back issues in the archives.)

Obviously, we still have the whole winter ahead of us — so you shouldn’t be taking this threat lightly. And it should be all the motivation you need not let your eating habits slip too much.

On the bright side, this research also perfectly illustrates why it’s never too late to get back on the horse. Because no matter how long you’ve been letting your diet go, it only takes a month of course correction to reduce your risk dramatically.

One word of warning, however: Yo-yo dieting carries its own risks. The fact is that a see-sawing scale can double your odds of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and death. Which means that, if you have tried and failed in the past, it’s time to make this the year that the “new you” actually sticks around.

How? Well, as always, my A-List Diet is your most powerful secret weapon. But there are other strategies that will ensure your lasting success as well — a topic that I’m tackling in the upcoming issue of my newsletter.

So once again… if you haven’t yet, consider subscribing to Logical Health Alternatives today. Because the greatest gift you could give — to yourself or someone else — is the gift of good health.