Published on November 21, 2016

Tips To Avoid Thanksgiving Overindulgence

Thanksgiving means parades, football and overindulgence.

We become conquerors of the chocolate cream pie, warriors of the wishbone, and special forces of the stuffing.

We may consume more than 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving.  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. Wearing off that many calories through exercise would take hours of running and walking.

"This holiday has a tradition of excess that makes us uncomfortable when we could be enjoying the day with friends and family,'' said Jan Treftz-Allen, manager of health promotions, Genesis Health System. "With a few adjustments, we can consume hundreds of fewer calories, we'll feel better physically, and we’ll have less regret about how we stuffed ourselves.''

Here are some tips to help you handle the day more comfortably and actively:

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

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

3. Use smaller plates.  There are studies showing the benefits.  Smaller plates encourage smaller portions.

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

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

6. Socialize.  This is a good time to catch up on what your family members and friends have been doing.  Eat less and talk more. But you might want to avoid a political discussion this year.  And if there is risk of the conversation getting heated, ask this question forcefully … “Who wants pie?’’

7. Stick with your favorites. Take a look at everything that is available but only choose the items you really like. The scalloped corn and the cheesy Brussel sprouts casserole may be something you can do without.

The holidays are a period of reflection for many of us.  If you feel your eating and weight are out of control, the Genesis Center for Weight Management has surgical and non-surgical options for weight loss provided by a team of experts.  To learn more, call (563) 421-8361.

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