Ask a Top Doctor: How Bad Is a Huge Holiday Meal for My Body?

Answer from Arthur Chernoff, chair of the division of endocrinology at Albert Einstein Medical Center

“Humans are very well adapted to having a feast. Hunters and gatherers used to go for long periods of time where they were eating insufficient calories until the harvest came in, they got lucky on a hunt, or they finally found that berry patch. At that point, they’d have a feast. But in our current society, the only hunting we have to do is in the refrigerator. It’s not one big meal that’s going to hurt you, it’s overeating all of the time. By cutting a few hundred calories per day in the days before and after a holiday meal, you’ll make room for the additional 1,500 calories or so that you won’t burn off that day.”