Issue 5 Stories
The Best Medicine

Little-Known Scientific Facts About Holiday Eating

Since I work at a hospital, I receive a surprising number of letters asking me health-related questions. And during the holiday season, many of these questions tend to be related to overeating and the nutritional concerns that arise this time of year.

So with the caveat that I am not a medical professional (most people would say I’m not any kind of professional), and despite in no way being qualified to dispense information of any kind, I shall now endeavor to answer some of your thought-provoking questions.

Q. Do you have a philosophy about eating during the holidays?

A.My approach to eating comes from one of my favorite philosophers, Miss Piggy, who once said: “Never eat more than you can lift.” These wise words have motivated me to do more bicep curls. As a result, I can now lift more than I used to—and thus, more food for me.

Q. Do you feel you are in better shape because of your eating philosophy?

A.I can’t say whether or not it’s a “better” shape—it all depends on how you feel about round things.

Q. Can we learn better eating habits by studying animals and the way in which they eat to live, rather than live to eat?

A.If a cow and a shark had a human child, that would be me. During the holidays, I tend to graze like a cow in a pasture of snacks, and after a while the cow analogy becomes visually closer to the truth than I care to admit. And much like a shark, I feel that if I’m not grazing constantly, I will die. So my recommendation is that if you choose to study animals and how they eat, choose subjects other than a cow and a shark, because that hasn’t been working out too well for me.

Q. Is it really a little-known scientific fact that calories eaten during the holidays don’t count?

A. It depends almost entirely on the meal. If your holiday dinner consists of a water appetizer, a main dish of unicorn and Styrofoam peanuts for dessert, then yes, that should be a relatively calorie-free meal. Most other foods, though, can present a bit of a problem.

As a side note, I have come to the sad realization that “little-known scientific facts” are usually labeled as such because they aren’t actually scientific facts. That’s the main reason why they’re little-known.

Q. What are the major causes of weight gain during the holidays?

A.Things that are edible. Historically I have been able to track the vast majority of my weight gain back to things I have eaten.

Q. Do I still need to watch what I eat if I’m also exercising?

A.You don’t need to watch what you eatwhileyou’re exercising, if that’s your question. That can be dangerous, if not exceptionally messy. And if your exercise routine consists of running 100 miles a day, then you probably don’t have to watch what you eat after you exercise. But if after taking a brisk 10-minute walk you feel you can devour a large plate of chocolate chip cookies, you aren’t exactly going to break even on that transaction. You will, however, likely enjoy the cookies more than you did the walk.

I’m confident that you have found this information to be helpful. Be sure to check out our next issue, when I will tackle the tricky subject of neurosurgery. I feel like I’m on a roll now.

Mmmm. Did someone say rolls?

Next Story

Physicians Perspective

Preventing Addiction and Overdose

Sentara Martha Jefferson Physicians Take Precautions When Prescribing Painkillers
Feature

Tough to Swallow

Feature

Flying High at 90

Local Woman Not Letting Age—or Heart Issues—Slow Her Down
Feature

At Home at Martha

Family Embraces Sentara Martha Jefferson’s Caring Tradition
Presidents Letter

What It Means to Be a Community Hospital

The Best Medicine

Little-Known Scientific Facts About Holiday Eating

Physicians Perspective

Preventing Addiction and Overdose

Sentara Martha Jefferson Physicians Take Precautions When Prescribing Painkillers
On-Call Advice

What is restless leg syndrome and what can be done about it?

Blue Ridge Region physicians of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital and Sentara RMH Medical Center answer your health and wellness questions
On-Call Advice

Please explain what diverticulitis is and how it’s treated?

Blue Ridge Region physicians of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital and Sentara RMH Medical Center answer your health and wellness questions
Improve Health Everyday

Could You Have Hepatitis C Without Knowing It?

Improve Health Everyday

Kids and Caffeine

Improve Health Everyday

Are You Getting Enough Calcium?

Improve Health Everyday

After a Snowstorm, Be Careful With Your Heart

Improve Health Everyday

Men, Should You Get a PSA Test?

Clinical Excellence

Screening for Sleep Apnea

Presurgery Protocol Makes Patient Procedures Safer
Health Matters

Diabetic Foot Ulcers: Prevention and Treatment

La Salud Importa

Úlceras del pie diabético: prevención y tratamiento

Aging Well

Balancing Act

Helping Older Patients Improve Balance, Avoid Falls
Active Living

The Consequences of Concussions

Repeat Head Injuries Can Have Serious Long-Term Effects
Eat Well Live Well

Healthy Holiday Eating

Womens Health

Letting Nature Take Its Course

Facilitating a Natural Birthing Experience in a Comfortable Hospital Setting
Sentara in the Community

Sentara in the Community

Philanthrophy

Gifts From Our Community, Supporting Our Community

Philanthrophy

We Are Thankful for the Community Support That Helps Us Improve Health Every Day!

Philanthrophy

Life on the Board

Philanthrophy

Finding Gratitude in the Journey

Philanthrophy

High-Risk Breast Cancer Program Possible Thanks to Philanthropy