Are Carbs More Dangerous than ISIS

How to Not Overeat During the Holidays

Orcunkoktuna /Wikimedia Commons
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 In A Terrorist Attack? )

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 contentOMG! 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 judycarter.com.


  1. I remember being rather disappointed in myself when I discovered I couldn't make myself barf after over-eating. I later went on to discover there *was* such a thing as Binge Eating Disorder (a slightly underwhelming acronym - BED, for what transpired to be an entirely over-whelming condition), that differed significantly from bulemia, though has similar mental health roots. Anyway, another string to add to my bow of MESSages - I have quite some tales to tell! And Judy, you may well provide me with the key to discovering the missing puzzle piece of my exisitence. Nope, doesn't sound weird at all, right? And thanks! Probably...

  2. I live by Orson Welles quote:

    My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.


Judy's Blog

Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.