From simple secrets to cutting hundreds of calories and fat from your family favorites, to the must-know travel tips, kitchen dangers and the best way to work off that second helping, The Doctors share all the tips you need to know to eat, drink and be healthy during the holidays.
How to Lose Your Turkey Neck
As Thanksgiving approaches, many people think about the turkey on their table. But others may worry about their "turkey neck."
Plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon explains, "A turkey neck is one of those really hanging, really conspicuous heavy necks." It's a combination of lose skin, excess fat and neck muscles. "We now have noninvasive ways that we can help those turkey necks," he continues. "There's a new product called Ulthera, which uses ultrasound technology." Dr. Ordon explains how it works.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
"Eighty-five percent of people will still retain that Thanksgiving fat afterward," OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says, adding that it's important to exhaust all weight-loss options before having gastric bypass surgery. "For a lot of people, especially if they're really overweight or obese, this can be a real health problem."
Dr. Lisa explains how gastric bypass surgery is performed.
Alana, one of the Dr. Phil Housewives, underwent gastric bypass surgery. She joins The Doctors and reports that her life has completely changed since she had the surgery. "It was the best decision I've ever made for myself, besides going to college," she says. "It changed the way I felt about food. It changed the way I looked at myself, how I carry myself and how I carry myself in this world. I woke up, and I thought I was in heaven."
Calorie Intake on Thanksgiving
How many calories does the average American eat on Thanksgiving: 2,500, 4,500 or 6,000? If you guessed 4,500, you are correct.
"That's over twice the recommended number of calories most people are supposed to eat in an entire day, much less one meal," E. R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says. He explains what happens to the stomach when you eat. "Your stomach is a muscle that can expand, and it can expand up to four cups to eight cups during a meal. It doesn't mean you want it to expand that much," he says. "You're actually limited to how much food you can eat, except for these big meals, like Thanksgiving." Overeating will cause your stomach to be distended, as if you ate a football.
Dr. Travis explains why you feel extremely bloated after eating a large meal.
Quick Tips to Avoid Overeating on Thanksgiving
1. Eat walnuts: Eat a handful before your meal. They will help fill you up, and the antioxidants can improve your artery function and reduce inflammation.
2. Limit yourself to two alcoholic drinks: Alcohol removes your inhibitions, so if you drink before you eat, you're going to overeat.
3. Sit down and chew your food: You will enjoy your food more if you chew it slowly.
Surprising Health Traps that May Put Your Family at Risk
Healthy chef and best-selling cookbook author Devin Alexander reveals her top six tips to keep your family and your kitchen healthy.
1. Thaw your turkey in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
2. Rinse the turkey before cooking and disinfect the sink after.
3. Use a meat thermometer to ensure your turkey is cooked to 165 degrees.
4. Avoid cross-contamination by using color-coded cutting boards.
5. Keep a stack of clean towels handy — it helps to color code these as well.
6. Welcome your guests with love and common sense — don't put purses on the counter.
Another health hazard can be leftovers. If you keep food at room temperature for more than two hours, it begins to grow bacteria. Also, you must eat your extras in three to four days, or freeze them. If you have leftover gravy, eat it within two days, or boil it for three minutes to kill bacteria.
Food Heating Safety
• Don't heat gravy in a plastic container to prevent chemicals from the plastic leeching into your food.
Hand sanitizer is also a great tool to bring with you to kill germs. When flying, you can also use it to clean the armrests and tray tables.
What You Need to Know about the Flu
• Seasonal flu season usually starts in early October and can go through May. The earlier you get the flu shot, the more likely you will avoid getting influenza.
• It's important to get vaccinated because influenza and pneumonia combined are the eighth leading cause of death in the United States. The flu is the sixth leading cause of death among those over 65.
• Everyone 6 months and older should get the flu shot.
• People older than 65 and younger than 5, anyone with chronic health conditions and pregnant women are at risk for flu-related complications.
• This year's flu vaccine protects against three strains of the virus, including H1N1.
Even if you got the flu shot last year, you need to get it this year as well.