Here it comes...will you be ready?

And now, some holiday hunting, er, shopping tips... 

Early word from the National Retail Federation says around three-quarters of us plan to use the Thanksgiving Day weekend to start their holiday shopping.
   Breaking it down, around 164 million people will be taking advantage of Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday sales this year, with:
   --20-percent planning to shop on Thanksgiving
   --70-percent going out to shop on Black Friday
   --43-percent saying they'll shop on Saturday
   --Just 20 percent on Sunday, and 
   --48-percent on Cyber Monday.

   About two-thirds say they're looking for deals, while around a quarter say it's just something to do to spend time during the long weekend and another quarter saying it's how they begin their holiday shopping.
   Interestingly, the National Retail Federation didn't off the excuse: "it's a way to escape from the in-laws."

10 Ways to avoid overeating during the holidays:
   1. Don't go hungry. Munch down on a snack with carbohydrates and protein before you arrive at the party to stay full and avoid going overboard. A perfect pre-shindig snack is whole-wheat toast with peanut butter and strawberries.
   2. Watch the drinks. Fruit punch, eggnog and other festive beverages are full of pound-packing sugar! 
   3. Drink water, water, water. Get a glass of H20, keep it full and don't let it leave your side.
   4. Choose quality over quantity. Instead of trying everything to be polite, pick something you really love and savor it.
   5. Suggest a potluck. This way you can sneak in good-for-you treats like veggies, non-fat yogurt dip and hummus.
   6. Use a small plate. This is a surefire, easy way to trick your brain into thinking you're pigging out.
   7. Pile on the vegetables. Load up on the green stuff first, follow up with protein, then choose a starch.
   8. Eat slowly. It takes 15-20 minute for your brain to realize you're full, so wait a few minutes before going back for seconds.
   9. Get physical. Go for a walk, play with the kids, throw the ball for your dog and enjoy some activity.
   10. Be easy on yourself. Fall of the wagon? Fear not --tomorrow is a new day!