The Danger of Carbs

How to avoid overeating during the holidays.

Posted Nov 23, 2015

The media have been scaring us about ISIS, but I’m hearing that you’re statistically more likely to die from holiday food than anything done by ISIS. According to the Global Terrorism Database your chance of dying from a terrorist attack is roughly 1 in 20 million.  (See more at What Are Your Chances of Being Killed by Terrorist Attack?)

ZAYİFLAMA-İP-UCLARİ by Orcunkoktuna CC BY-SA 3.0
Source: ZAYİFLAMA-İP-UCLARİ by Orcunkoktuna CC BY-SA 3.0

Compare that to the risk of dying in a car accident on the way to your holiday dinner (1 in 19,000); drowning in a bathtub after dinner (1 in 800,000); and Wikipedia notes that obesity is a contributing factor in 100,000–400,000 deaths in the United States per year. 

That means that homemade stuffing is 5,882 to times 23,528 more likely to kill you than a terrorist. The bomb we should fear detonating is the one in our chest. It’s shocking to learn how many calories we eat at a meal. According to the Calorie Control Council, the average American will consume more than 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day alone.  At my age, with my slow metabolism, I would have to jog from LA to NY and back to work off just one piece of pecan pie. What’s said about Las Vegas could be said about me: what goes into my body stays in my body. 

Weight Watchers doesn’t pretend to know what to do about terrorism, but here are some tips from last week’s meeting from my Weight Watcher leader, Amy Brunell to help you not overeat over the holidays.

1. Put everything on a plate.

You can really lose count eating appetizers from the toothpick into your mouth. Putting things on a plate helps limit your impulse eating. And no, repetitive arm movements don’t count as exercising. 

2. Don’t eat during preparation.

Half the calories eaten on Thanksgiving come from what’s nibbled during preparation. Again – see tip one and stop hand to mouth impulse eating. ABC News has a breakdown of the calorie content. OMG! Pecan Pie 505 – for just one slice? I’ll just lick the knife and eat some fruit.

3. Go to the bathroom even if you don’t have to go.

In the middle of the meal, leave the table and go to the bathroom. This helps to break the eating frenzy. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask if you’re full. That’s the cue to stop eating. Feel free to do this more than once. 

4. Commit to no seconds. 

You know what the mashed potatoes taste like on the first go around. Be virtuous and you will be rewarded. You don’t want the only thing from high school you fit into is your high school earrings.

5. Excessively salt the food on your plate.

You don’t have to finish everything that’s found its way onto your plate. I know – what a concept. I was pressured by parents telling me to finish my meal because, “People in China are starving.” That was before we found out the reason they were starving is you’re hungry an hour after eating Chinese food. If you have no restraint, toss massive amounts of salt on what’s left on your plate. You will be far less tempted to eat it.

P.S. Please add YOUR tips for handling the Thanksgiving Food Orgy in comments

Judy Carter teaches how to speak your message and change the world.

More info at