Healthy in the Holidays: Tips & Tricks

Staying healthy in the holidays can be a challenge but our shopping expert, Melissa Lessard is here to help with her tips!

The holidays are usually the time of year where we indulge and eat and drink a little more than we normally do. For many, the holidays are a time to gather with friends and family, while enjoying some fabulous food and drinks.

However, it is nice to try and stay on track as much as possible and sneak in a little bit of health in the middle of all the not-so-healthy happenings. If you are looking to stay healthy during the holidays, here are a few of my favourite tips and tricks to help you stick with your healthy approach.

Staying active is not only important all year long, but now that we are eating and probably sitting and relaxing a little more, it’s important to get moving. Even if you are out of town, this should be no excuse. You can fit in some physical activity no matter where you are. Heading out for a brisk walk or jog is a fabulous way to get some activity while also exploring the city you are in.

Whether you are in a hotel room or a relative’s home, there are plenty of bodyweight exercises you can sneak in. Make up your own circuit with exercises such as squats, lunges, push ups, jumping jacks, sit ups, running on the spot, and anything else that gets your body moving. I can guarantee you will feel a lot better after doing some of these moves and you will enjoy that holiday meal just a little bit more!

Saving some workouts from Instagram videos or using an app that will helps create a routine for whatever you feel like doing (abs, arms, legs, etc…)

If you have the space while you are traveling, there are also some pieces of equipment that can be thrown into your bag. Resistance bands can be used for all sorts of strength workouts, such as variations of squats, glute bridges, and many more. This tiny band won’t take up any space in your suitcase, but will definitely help you feel the burn while away from home. Even a good stretch will do wonders and will help relieve some stress! You can find different strengths and types of resistance bands on and receive Cash Back on your purchase!

If you are traveling by car, throw your yoga mat in the trunk. I actually keep one yoga mat at home (my favourite yellow Lolë one), and one in my car at all times. You never know when that opportunity to do a little yoga or stretching may arise. Yoga mats can easily be spread out onto the floor of your hotel room or wherever you are staying. Whether you need to stretch out those tight muscles from sitting in the car, feel like doing some yoga, or even want to work your abs, a yoga mat can be used in so many ways. I can guarantee that no matter how you use your yoga mat, you will feel better and more refreshed afterwards. Lululemon has plenty of different yoga mats to choose from, in different sizes and colours (and some cute bags to carry them in!)

Now, let’s get to the good stuff… food!

Let’s be real, the holidays really are all about food, and why shouldn’t it be?! As we know, there will be plenty of delicious foods and a ton of opportunities to indulge. There are a few ways to make these meals a little healthier, while also learning how to approach food if you are trying to stay on track.

Firstly, if you are in charge of any of the cooking, contribute something healthy. This way you will know there will be at least one thing you can feel good about eating. There are a lot of healthy options to make like roasted vegetables, a salad, or a whole grain side dish. I’m personally a big quinoa fan! When it comes time for the big meal, sticking to vegetables, as well as protein is the way to go. Fill your plate up with mostly veggies and protein (turkey is a great healthy protein!), and then leave a little bit of room for the indulgences that you love. Smaller portions will still give you that taste and satisfaction you are looking for, while filling up on healthier items.

Look for healthy substitutes for your classics! Try to replace butter or olive oils with another option like avocado or coconut oil.

If I could give you one helpful tip, it would be to not starve yourself all day! If you come to dinner ravenous, chances are you will eat everything in sight and end up eating more calories than if you had eaten properly during the day. Feel free to eat a little bit lighter during the day, but definitely eat a healthy, filling breakfast and even a snack or two during the day.

Staying hydrated during the holidays (and always!) is very important. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger and end up reaching for a snack, when all we really needed was a sip or two of water. Water also helps to fill us up so we aren’t stuffing our faces (even though those cookies look SOOOO good). Keeping a water bottle with you everywhere you go is the perfect reminder to take sips all day long. I’d suggest picking up a S’Well bottle and you can choose from so many beautiful designs and patterns. They also make a great gift!


It’s all about balance! Feel free to indulge but think about healthy alternatives or ways you can squeeze in a workout! 

At the end of the day, the holidays are a time to enjoy the company of your loved ones. If you want to stay healthy, these tips above will definitely help. I’m a big believer in balance. Feel free to do a little bit of indulging. But be sure to even it out with a good sweat or even a little bit of movement. If you do however indulge a little too much, don’t beat yourself up. Cut yourself some slack and get right back on track! See you in the new year, Savvy Shoppers!

  • Ylva Van Buuren


    Hi Melissa. It’s tough to figure out how to contact you and rakuten. This is a media inquiry. I’m writing a Best Boxing Day Shopping Strategies story for StarMetro and would love to speak to you. Would you be available for a quick call over the next few days. Later this aft or early in the week? Please let me know.

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