Thanksgiving means parades, football and overindulgence.

We become conquerors of desserts, warriors of the wishbone, and special forces of the stuffing.

Genesis Health System Offers Tips To Avoid Thanksgiving OverindulgenceMany of us may consume more than 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving, or nearly double the daily requirement. If we do, we’ll know it because our bodies will inform us with bloating, sluggishness and if we are lucky, a nap.

You don’t even have to eat excessively large portions to hit 2,500 calories for the big meal of the day. Add leftovers later and you can approach or top 4,500 calories for the day. Wearing off that many calories by exercise would take hours of running and walking.

Here are some tips from Rachel Fargher, dietitian with the Genesis Center for    Weight Management, to help you handle the day more comfortably and actively:

      Don’t skip breakfast. You will handle the big meal better if you have already eaten earlier.

Get some exercise. Before the parades or football games start, get on the treadmill or go out for a long, invigorating walk.

     There are many strategies to help you avoid overeating. Using a smaller plate allows you to put less food on your plate and encourages proper portion sizes. Eat slowly and savor every bite, and before you go back for seconds wait 10 minutes to see if you are truly still physically hungry. Aim to take 20-30 minutes to eat your meal and try to avoid grazing throughout the day.

     Avoid alcohol. You’ll be more comfortable and better able to handle the possible stress of the day.

     Make your contribution healthy. Take a dish to share that fits your goals like roasted vegetables or mashed vegetables flavored with herbs and spices instead of loaded with fat and sugar from butter, cream, brown sugar and maple syrup.

     Skip the extras. Do you really need more butter, that extra roll, two desserts or the whipped cream to cover them?

Find the Fiber. Look for fiber from whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans to help you feel full with fewer calories.

Sit farther away from the food table or kitchen. You will be less tempted to refill your plate.

     Socialize. Holidays are a good time to catch up on what your family members and friends have been doing. Eat less and talk more.

     Stick with your favorites. Start with healthy items first to help fill you up and then enjoy controlled portions of your not so healthy favorites.

The holidays are a period of reflection for many of us.  If you feel you need help with weight management, the Genesis Center for Weight Management has surgical and non-surgical weight loss options. To learn more, call (563) 421-8361 or go to

Genesis Health System Offers Tips To Avoid Thanksgiving Overindulgence
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.