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Turkeys may not be the only ones stuffed this thanksgiving, people who overindulge will be, too.  

Feeling plump? How to control holiday overindulgence

November 26, 1998
Web posted at: 11:00 a.m. EST (1600 GMT)

From Medical Correspondent Dr. Steve Salvatore

NEW YORK (CNN) -- It's likely a turkey won't be the only thing stuffed this holiday. If you're like most people, you're probably going to overindulge this Thanksgiving.

The holiday began as a harvest celebration shared by the pilgrims and Native Americans. But today's Thanksgiving is slightly different.

"We've really forgotten the meaning of some of these holidays so everything is about how much food we can put on a table at one time," said registered dietician Cathy Nonas with St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center.

If you do overindulge, here are some tips to help you out:

  • Go for a walk. Fresh air is best, but if you can't go outside, just walk around the house. You don't have to do a lot of exercise to feel better.
  • Brush your teeth. Sometimes changing the taste in your mouth can freshen you up.
  • Chew some gum. Experts say you are less likely to put food in your mouth if you're already chomping away on gum.
  • Pace yourself. If loaded up on dinner, wait a while before dessert or eat a small portion.

But why so much food? Experts say food is a symbol.

"We use food to show nurturing and love and wealth and health and things like that," Nonas said.

Health experts say overindulging can be dangerous for diabetics or those on strict diets. But for most healthy people who decide to overdo it this Thanksgiving, it's not likely to cause much of a problem -- except for maybe a stomach ache and a bad case of the guilts.

You can avoid the indigestion by being selective.

"If you love the stuffing, go for it; If you love the pecan pie, go for it," Nonas said. "Eat the things you really love, but don't overeat on the other things."

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