'You can eat a ton before your body tells you, "uh-oh, too much"'

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EUGENE, Ore. -- A turkey and all the trimmings could take a toll on your health, as it can be easy to overindulge in all the tasty Thanksgiving treats.

Dr. Geoffrey Simmons says the holiday typically brings an increase in visits to the emergency room.

"The average calories in a Thanksgiving meal is 3,000 calories," the Peace Health physician says. "That's not counting dessert, and that's not counting alcohol. And you really shouldn't have more than a thousand or fifteen hundred calories in a meal. And it's easy to overdo, and folks do."

He recommends that Thanksgiving eaters don't starve themselves before the feast.

"You're likely to eat more. It's probably not a bad idea to have a couple glasses of water before you start so you're not as hungry. Basically eat slow. The body is slow at telling you you're full. It takes about 20 minutes. You can eat a ton before your body sends you the signal, uh oh too much," says Dr. Simmons.

Emergency rooms across the country are also extremely busy this time of year with people suffering from heart attacks or diabetic-related health issues.

"If you divert the blood from other places in your body to your stomach, where all the food is. Your heart is deprived a little bit. People get angina, people get heart attacks. Happens with a lot of holidays.

"Like a lot of things in life, don't overindulge. That extra cookie, that extra this, that extra that, starts adding up very quickly, and it's very easy to do," says Dr. Simmons.