iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Thanksgiving is every dieter’s nightmare: turkey slathered in gravy, candied sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and buttery, and calorie-laden pecan pie.

Adults gain about a pound between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and they don’t lose it in January, according to experts. That means that, of the pound or two a year that adults gain as they age, half of it happens over the holidays, said Cedric Bryant, chief science officer of the nonprofit American Council on Exercise.

But there are ways you can enjoy Thanksgiving without overdoing it:

Exercise Before or After the Meal

Starting your morning with a turkey trot — a Thanksgiving 5K jog — will help offset some of the effects of a big holiday dinner, Bryant said.

An after-dinner walk or jog is even better.

When you eat the calorie- and fat-laden meal, your triglyceride levels become elevated and your blood sugar spikes. This can lead to a feeling of malaise. Over time, it can contribute to metabolic disorders and type II diabetes.

Light exercise before the big meal decreases your triglyceride levels — the fat in your blood — by 25 percent, Bryant said. Exercising after dinner will decrease triglycerides by 70 percent.

The exercise will also help peripheral tissues, such as muscles, respond to insulin, which controls blood sugar, he said.

Don’t Worry About Disappointing the Host

Research at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab showed that people often overeat at dinners because they’re afraid of offending or disappointing the host or hostess, said the lab’s director, Brian Wansink, who authored the book Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life.

“One easy way to do that is just only eat the stuff that’s homemade,” he said. “The hostess isn’t going to be offended if you don’t eat the peanuts or the nuts before dinner or you don’t eat the dinner rolls she bought. She’s going to be annoyed if you don’t eat the dressing or the turkey.”

Hosts in Wansink’s research never remembered how much guests ate, but remembered whether they went back for second helpings, he said.

So, start the meal with extra-small portions, Wansink suggested. That way, when you go back for seconds, you’re not overeating.

Make a Few Thanksgiving Swaps

A few simple substitutions can go a long way on Thanksgiving, Bryant said.

“Choose white meat over dark meat,” he said. “The white with no skin is going to be about half the calories and probably 1/6 to 1/7 the fat of dark meat with skin.”

A six-ounce serving of skinless white meat is only about 180 calories and 3 grams of fat, Bryant said. By comparison, the same serving of dark meat with skin is 370 calories and 20 grams of fat.

Choosing pumpkin or apple pie instead of pecan pie will save about 150 calories, he said.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, serving steamed green beans instead of green bean casserole will also save guests about 100 calories, Bryant said. And serving sweet potatoes with just sugar and spices is better than serving it candied and loaded with marshmallows.

Start at the Healthy End of the Buffet

People load up 60 to 65 percent of their plates with the first three things they see at the buffet, Wansink said. To save calories, start near the salad and vegetables.

And if you’re hosting the dinner and want to save your guests from overindulging, keep the buffet away from the table so people have to consciously get up to get second helpings. People who served themselves from a buffet ate 20 percent less than people who served themselves from the middle of the dinner table, he said.

“Thanksgiving is one of the greatest American holidays of the year,” Wansink said. “It’s probably not the best time to start your diet. To help, eat a little bit less but still enjoy the holiday.”

Eat Slowly and Drink Water

Bryant said absently “shoveling” in food as you catch up with relatives is bound to lead to overeating. Instead, remind yourself to eat slowly and stay aware of what you’re eating.

“Give you brain an opportunity to catch up with your appetite,” he said.

Another helpful trick is to drink water throughout the day.

“Hunger cues and your hydration cues can become confused,” Bryant said. “Making sure to address hydration can certainly help to curb the appetite.”

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Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It’s the season for a lot of things, but talking about why you’re still not married isn’t one of them. Thanksgiving dinner only happens once a year, so it’s best to leave such uncomfortable conversations for another day, and focus on safe topics like the weather, sports or, most importantly, the turkey — unless it’s burned, but we’ll get to that.

Keep table talk peaceful by avoiding these taboo topics:

“Somebody’s Hungry!”

Sure, people like to indulge on Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean you need to point out when someone clears their plate or grabs an extra helping of stuffing.

“You want to avoid commenting on how someone eats,” etiquette expert Daniel Post Senning of the Emily Post Institute said. “The compliment doesn’t always get received that way.”

“But you can always compliment the chef,” he said. “You can say how good you feel, how good the food was, how full you are.”

Religion, Politics and Money

These should be no-brainers: Religion, politics and finances are definitely topics you’ll want to avoid during a holiday celebration.

“You just want to be careful,” Senning said. “It’s not that you’re never allowed to talk about these things, but you need to be prepared for people to have legitimate and valid differences of opinion. By definition, that’s what makes these potentially controversial.”

For some families, heated discussions about politics are almost a holiday tradition. If that’s the case, just save those for after dinner, so people who don’t want to partake can be left out.

Sex and Relationships

We’ve all heard the stories of people whose families’ use holidays as an opportunity to nag about when they’re getting married. Or engaged. Or having kids.

Senning says such “probing questions” should be off limits, but understands they can be hard to avoid when family is around.

“Of course, this is family, people are going to pry,” he said. “A great tactic is to turn around and ask someone else what they think, if a conversation is starting to feel a little too personal. Steer the conversation toward safer territory.”

When the Food Is Bad

Is the turkey overcooked? Pretend it isn’t, and compliment the chef on the mashed potatoes if anyone asks.

“Keep the focus positive,” Senning said. “You’re there to celebrate.”

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Image Source Pink/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Frown lines. Crow’s feet. Dynamic expression lines. It’s enough to send a person running to the Botox needle. And now there’s a whole other wrinkle to worry about. The kind that happen while you sleep.

It turns out the notion of “beauty sleep” might be a farce, according to Dr. Goesel Anson, a board certified plastic surgeon.

“Sleep wrinkles are created by the distortion of the face when it’s pressed into the pillow surface night after night,” she said.

But, unlike expression wrinkles, which can be treated by Botox and fillers, Anson said sleep wrinkles can only be prevented. It’s a sentiment that’s echoed by the American Academy of Dermatology, which suggests sleeping on your back to reduce premature skin aging. Sleeping on your side or your face causes the lines you may notice on your face when you wake up in the morning, the Academy said on its website.

“In time, these lines turn into permanent wrinkles,” she said.

In other words, not even sunscreen can help you here.

Anson said most people move an average of 20 times per night. To prevent this, she created a $180 sleep pillow to prevent mushing of the face during sleep. The JuveRest sleep wrinkle pillow is especially helpful for side and stomach sleepers, the website says.

But do sleep pillows really work? It’s definitely possible, though Dr. Lisa Donofrio, associate clinical professor in the Department of Dermatology at the Yale University School of Medicine, said it would “take many years to evaluate their true efficacy.”

“The pillows could work,” she said, “by re-distributing pressure and preventing creasing. These pillows seem to help.”

Donofrio said she recommends the enVy pillow to her patients.

Dr. Patirica Farris said pillows that encourage back sleeping are “definitely beneficial. We see lots of sleep lines that develop on the sides of the cheeks and around the mouth that can be directly attributed to lying on the face.”

Another suggestion? “Using linens that are satin and slippery makes you less likely to develop wrinkles,” Farris said.

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Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Do you remember anything from when you were five months old? No doubt, you don’t.

In fact, babies that young would be hard pressed to recall things that happened from hour-to-hour. However, Brigham Young University psychology professor Ross Flom says that infants as young as five months old are capable of remembering things that make them happy.

Flom says her study is the among the first to measure how emotions influence memory. To do so, the babies first heard a person on a computer speaking in either a happy, neutral or angry voice. That voice was immediately followed by the visual image of a geometric shape.

The infants were later tested by showing a new shape and one of the old ones. The researchers then watched the babies’ eye movements and how long they spent staring at an image.

Invariably, the babies focused more on shapes that they associated with positive voices than the ones linked to negative voices.

Flom says that by heightening the babies’ attentional system and arousal, “We heighten their ability to process and perhaps remember this geometric pattern.”

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George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Not a yogurt fan? Here’s information that make might you one.

According to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, eating yogurt daily might help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease.

Lead author Mu Chen said her research was based on three separate large studies involving a total of 200,000 men and women ages 25-to-75 for as long as 30 years. About 15,150 people overall were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Although dairy consumption itself was not associated with either an increase or decrease in the risk of contracting diabetes, Chen and her team learned that people who ate 12 ounces of yogurt daily, about two regular containers worth, lowered their risk of developing the disease by 18 percent.

Although Chen said there is no definitive proof that yogurt will prevent type 2 diabetes, “Some mechanisms suggest that yogurt is special,” he said. “There is some research suggesting that the probiotic bacteria in yogurt may be beneficial.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — There’s nothing like a day of solid eating to get you in the Thanksgiving spirit. But as family members catch up, they often don’t realize just how many calories they’re devouring over the course of the day.

Experts say people often eat more than a full day’s worth of calories in one gravy-laden feast, in part because overeating is as much a part of the holiday as the turkey.

“I think people would be frowned upon if they were, quote, ‘dieting’ on Thanksgiving,” said registered dietitian Jamie Pope, who teaches nutrition at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville, Tennessee. “It’s kind of a socially acceptable day to indulge.”

It’s a commonly held belief that the average American consumes 3,000 calories during the Thanksgiving meal plus another 1,500 on snacks and drinks, numbers that come from the Calorie Control Council, which is the industry group for diet food companies. That’s 4,500 calories in all, and about 45 percent of them come straight from fat, according to the council.

“The average person may consume enough fat at a holiday meal to equal three sticks of butter,” the Calorie Control Council said in a statement.

But many have contested the 4,500-calorie figure in recent years, including New York Times health reporter Tara Parker-Pope, who in 2012 tried to come up with the most calorie-laden Thanksgiving dinner she could muster, but only came up with 2,486 calories. She concluded the Calorie Control Council’s number was a myth.

The Calorie Control Council did not respond to requests for comment.

Cedric Bryant, chief science officer of the nonprofit American Council on Exercise, did his own calculations and said while 4,500 calories for the day may be “liberal,” eating 3,000 calories during the meal is probably right on target.

“If you look at how people tend to have that feast mentality for the meal I think that is very likely,” Bryant said, adding that if someone had their blood tested after eating Thanksgiving dinner, the fat in it would be elevated for a little while.

Pope said the Calorie Control Council’s count seems “inflated,” but that doesn’t make this a diet meal by any stretch. Pope said the basics of the meal aren’t terrible for you, but the embellishments and the second helpings are enough to put the meal over the edge.

A day of overeating won’t hurt in the long run, unless it’s the start of a six-week holiday binge, she said. Then, the 2 or 3 pounds people gain during the holidays might not come off once January comes around.

Pope recommends people enjoy the festivities but simply be aware of how much they’re eating. She said she never recommends weight loss as a goal for the holiday season because between the treats and the lack of exercise because of cold weather and limited daylight, the best that can be expected is weight maintenance.

“You don’t have to go hog wild but also realize this shouldn’t be the impetus for the loss of constraint going forward,” she said. “You don’t want to go paranoid into the holidays. People just have to be aware.”

Bryant also recommended going on a run in the morning and taking a walk after the big dinner.

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Courtesy Donya McCoy(PITTSBURGH) — Born with a rare metabolic disease that rendered eating protein poisonous, 3-year-old Kennedy Stevenson was never able to appreciate a good bite of Thanksgiving turkey.

But all of that is about to change thanks to a liver transplant she received two weeks ago from her mother’s Facebook friend.

“She just ate a chicken finger for the first time ever,” her mother, Donya McCoy, told ABC News Tuesday from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where Kennedy underwent her transplant and will remain an inpatient through the holidays.

Kennedy wasn’t so sure about the chicken, McCoy said, but she loved her first taste of chocolate milk.

“Her eyes got big and she just kept sucking the straw,” McCoy said. “She didn’t want to stop.”

Kennedy was diagnosed with a rare metabolic disorder called S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase deficiency. It’s so rare that only eight people have ever been diagnosed with it, six of whom are still alive today, McCoy said.

The enzyme deficiency prevents Kennedy from processing protein normally, leading to a buildup of other toxic substances in her system and causing degenerative neurological effects over time, said Dr. George Mazariegos, chief of pediatric transplantation at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Although other doctors had changed Kennedy’s diet to eliminate protein and make it “stricter than vegan,” McCoy said they decided that a liver transplant was her best chance for survival because the deficiency was concentrated in her liver tissue.

In the two weeks since the transplant, McCoy said doctors told her the new liver was “kicking butt.” Levels of the toxic byproduct that used to build up because Kennedy couldn’t process protein are way down, even when she eats chicken and chocolate milk, McCoy said.

“She can now have turkey and stuffing,” McCoy said. “It’s just going to be really special that she can eat a Thanksgiving dinner.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — There’s a new treatment for saggy, creased skin around the mouth that works from the inside out to tighten soft tissue and produce a smoothing effect on the surface.

Dr. Christine Lee, a dermatologist, helped pioneer a new treatment that’s known as the inside-out face lift.

The procedure uses a laser that delivers targeted heat from inside the mouth, Lee says.

Jacki Adams, a popular model during the 1980s, has posed on the covers of magazines including Vogue and Elle, but years of outdoor sports exposed her face to days of wind and sun.

With plans to return to acting, Adams hoped to smooth out some facial lines.

“I prefer to look good for my age, rather than look another age,” she said.

Adams visited Dr. Lee at her Walnut Creek, California practice, The East Bay Laser & Skin Care Center, Inc.

“When you go inside the mouth, what it does is causes immediate contracting, and that tightening makes this nasal labial folds by the side of the mouth seem like they’re plumping up,” Lee said as she performed the 30-minute procedure.

ABC’s Good Morning America spoke to some doctors who were skeptical of the procedure. They said patients could get better results from lasers used directly on the skin, or from less expensive treatments such as fillers.

“The general consensus is that with laser therapies, that is best accomplished from the outside in not the inside out, but again, it’s a new procedure. I think people should proceed with caution until we know more,” ABC News’ Dr. Jennifer Ashton said.

Lee says her procedure “has some of the same effects a filler does but appears much more natural, and you’re not having to inject a foreign substance in your face.”

Her patients undergo several treatments that cost about $1,500 per session. Results can last for months, she said.

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monkeybusinessimages/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers say that a newer, less painful mammogram may be possible.

According to a study presented at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, researchers believe that the improved process can exert pressure throughout the breast tissue, avoiding direct force applied to the breast.

Researchers tested the proposed procedure on over 400 women. Of those participants, 27 percent said they experienced less severe pain, compared to the current standard protocol.

Researchers say the images produced by the mammography were not inferior to the old technique, and could be implemented in many hospitals or doctors’ offices quickly using a simple device.

The proposed mammography method did have at least one drawback, however. Researchers found that the pressure-based test had three times the number of people forced to re-do the test when compared to the force-based test.

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kzenon/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — And for our next trick, we’ll try to walk from the barista to our table without spilling this tray of coffee.

Good luck with that. As opposed to carbonated beverages like beer, coffee often spills out of the cup regardless of how careful we walk. But why?

It took some geniuses from Princeton and NYU to figure out the answer: it’s all about the bubbles in beer and the lack thereof in coffee.

Apparently, foam in a heavy stout like Guinness reduced much of the sloshing, making it a lot easier to go from counter to table with beer than coffee.

Researchers explained their interest in such a seemingly trivial study by noting that the findings are relevant to “numerous industrial applications,” including the transfer of liquids in cargoes.

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