By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thanksgiving is one of those days where I tell people to sit back and enjoy the moment. If you are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to celebrate with family or friends and there is a big meal at the center of the festivities, enjoy the food and don’t feel guilty.

Here is the way I view the holidays. If you can choose wisely in the weeks leading up to New Year’s, you can avoid putting on those extra pounds. One of the ways to do this is to take advantage of certain opportunities to give yourself treats. A big Thanksgiving meal and a dessert is not bad for most of us. In fact it is healthy to celebrate and take a break from a rigid diet.

Studies have shown that if we allow ourselves an occasional treat it can make us more likely to make good choices the rest of the time.

There is one area where I have a strong warning. This is when it comes to alcohol. There are many families on the road and there are people on the road who will be under the influence. You need to be alert and avoid problems. And, of course, you don’t want to be the problem.

Finally make sure you and your family are all wearing seatbelts.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor