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Published on November 10, 2017

Let’s Talk Turkey

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season, and with the holidays comes food, food, food. With all the pies, gravy, and mashed potatoes around, making healthy eating choices can be extra challenging. On top of this temptation is the social pressure – and ensuing guilty feelings – to indulge. How many times have you heard: “Holiday calories don’t count, right?” (Unfortunately, they do.)

Here are some dos and don’ts for making it through the festival buffet:

  • DO indulge a little. Part of healthy eating is allowing yourself to enjoy the more delicious, less nutritious options from time to time. Restricting yourself completely will only lead to frustration and a higher likelihood to binge later on.
  • DO eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. A table laden with food makes it easy to eat more than you normally would and to continue eating as long as the food is in front of you. Don’t make yourself sick – there will be leftover turkey tomorrow.
  • DON’T skip meals. Even if your sleeping clock is off during holiday break, your body still needs the same amount of food to function properly. Not eating will make your thinking foggy and may lower your mood.
  • DON’T let eating be the focus of a holiday gathering. There is so much more to the holidays ­ even Thanksgiving – than the spread. Catching up with friends and spending time with family will take your mind away from temptation. Social interaction also helps fight mood disorders and gives you a sense of support.

If the holiday temptations don’t subside after the holidays are over, or if you find yourself restricting too much, worrying about your eating habits or just feeling the holiday blues, Bryan Medical Center offers free online mental health screenings. The program will connect you to local resources and help you find treatment if you need it.

dave miers

About Dr. Dave Miers

Dave Miers, PhD, is the counseling and program development manager for mental health services at Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, Neb.

He helped establish the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition in 1999 and chaired/co-chaired this Coalition until 2017. He currently serves as the past co-chair. Dr. Miers is a member of the leadership group for the Lincoln/Lancaster County Suicide Prevention Coalition. Dr. Miers has published research and co-authored a chapter in the Routledge International Handbook of Clinical Suicide Research focusing on family survivors of a child suicide. Dr. Miers helped develop the Lincoln Lancaster Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors (LOSS) team in Lincoln, Neb. He also helped develop other LOSS teams in Nebraska and is active with LOSS team development on a national level.

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