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Holiday mealtime tips from Genesis Healthcare

Dietitian with the Genesis Center for Weight Management Rachel DeBecker has tips you can use to handle the day more comfortably and actively.

MOLINE, Ill. — Editor's note: The video above is from Nov. 20.

Thanksgiving is upon us! That means it's time to start thinking about how we can best prepare our stomachs for the feasts that await. However, the holiday's customary overeating can cause discomfort and sluggishness, which might hinder your ability to properly give thanks.

Luckily, dietitian with the Genesis Center for Weight Management Rachel DeBecker provided these tips you can use to handle the day more comfortably and actively:

  • Don't skip breakfast. You'll 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 take a refreshing walk.
  • There are many strategies to help you avoid overeating. 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 genuinely still physically hungry. Aim to take 20-30 minutes to eat your meal, and 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 need more butter, that extra roll, two desserts, or 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 an excellent 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 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 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 visit their website.


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