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If the holidays seem to catch you off guard every year (how do they do that!?), I’ve got six stellar tips that’ll get your mind and body ready to handle them like a champ! Get excited and confident about feeling the best you ever have after a holiday season.

My 6 Healthy Holiday Rituals that’ll help you own the holidays this year:

1. Get active! Kick off Thanksgiving day with a 5K race—there are SO many of these “Turkey Trots” now! What a great way to start the day! With a stroll—challenge yourself or walk it—your choice—the bottom line is you’re moving! If a 5k isn’t your thing, you could bond with the family over backyard football. It’s not about the score, it’s about getting everyone together and tossing a ball around! Something else to consider—you’ll be less likely to overeat if you know you’ve got a lively game of Charades (Or Twister! Okay, maybe not Twister...) waiting for you after diner. No matter what you do, don’t become a post-dinner sofa spud!

2. Don’t be afraid to say “no.” Getting in over your head is not only easy to do this time of year, but almost justifiable. You’ve got your normal day-to-day obligations on top of additional preparing, decorating, shopping, (and socializing!)...you don’t want to add recovering to that list! Pay attention to your body and acknowledge when you need to take time for yourself. It’s easy to say “Yes!” to everything and then end up enjoying none of it when you burn yourself out. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that the holidays are about taking time and being thankful, not squeezing in everything and stressing about little details. I'm prone to doing this myself, and am continually reminding myself that it's okay to say "no." It's all about balance!

3. Don’t fall for the ‘ol “save your calories” scam! It’s common practice to conserve calories for the big meal….which is a recipe for disaster. When we enter a meal completely ravished, our blood sugar levels are already low, which leads to out of control eating. This is because your brain is smart and knows what’ll raise blood sugars the quickest...sugar! So we oblige, and what happens when we stuff ourselves? Our blood sugar spikes and crashes. What goes up must come down. And the cycle repeats. Stay off of the blood sugar roller coaster by eating every 3-4 hours—and be sure to include plenty of healthy fats (like butter, avocado, nuts and seeds) to keep you satisfied!

4. Stay equipped. Low blood sugar and sugar cravings are no joke, especially when there are sweet temptations around every corner, on every desk. That’s when EVERYTHING at the gathering is appealing. As outlined in the last point, eating a PFC balanced meal or snack every 3-4 hours is key when it comes to avoiding low blood sugars—especially the day of the big gathering. If that doesn't happen ...when a all else fails... My backup? I swear by (and so do thousands of our clients who have taken control of their sugar cravings with this lifesaver): Pure Glutacaps, my favorite tool in the sugar craving busting toolkit—and your new best friend. Keep capsules in your desk or purse, and when you feel a craving coming on, open one up and pour the powder on your tongue. It’ll zap your craving and you’ll feel more confident having it in your artillery.

5. Get accountability. Whether it’s a family member, a close friend or our A New Way To Weight Loss! Facebook Group, research has shown time and time again that accountability works, and we all do better when we have a partner in crime supporting us. Tell someone what you want to accomplish and how you plan to stick with it throughout the holiday season. You could consider starting a food diary too; write down what you eat and drink and look for patterns so you can avoid any pitfalls.

6. Bring a healthy dish to share. Bringing a healthy, balanced option is a great step to ensure success. No one expects you to be perfect (PFC isn’t about perfection!), but this way you can walk into the party knowing you have at least one option that can be your healthy go-to. For more of my favorite real food recipe ideas, join the A New Way To Weight Loss! Group to see all the delicious recipes we share!

You’re going to own the holidays this year!

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