Cruise Tips: How to NOT Gain Weight on a Cruise

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Just because you are on a cruise doesn’t mean that you are doomed to gain multiple pant sizes by the time that you return!  Here are some cruise tips that will help you upon your return to fit into the same clothes that you left in:

  • Take the stairs!  In many cases, it will be faster than the elevator and it will help you to burn off that extra pastry that you had for breakfast!
  • Go ahead and eat..a lot…but consume your calories in many small meals throughout the day.  Eating this way helps to boost your metabolism and ensures that your body is able to burn off all of the calories that you are putting into it.

Holland America Buffet

  • I know that there are a lot of bad for you foods readily available on a cruise…but there are lots of good foods, too!  My intake of fresh fruits and vegetables drastically increases on a cruise, simply because they are available.  It is al great opportunity to get your recommended daily number of servings of fruits in veggies served in appetizing combinations.
  • Pay attention to your hunger signals!  The presence of food ALL THE TIME makes you feel like you need to eat ALL THE TIME.  You find yourself saying, “Well, I COULD be hungry…”  Only eat when you are really hungry, not just because food is available.
  • Pace yourself (particularly on a long cruise.)  Start slowly, don’t gorge in the first days of the cruise.  Your eating habits for the first few days set the precedent for the rest of the trip.

The Surf and Turf at the Pinnacle Grill on our Holland America Cruise

  • Use small plates.  It is human nature to fill up the space available, and the standard sized plates on cruise ships can be very large.  You can always get more if you are really still hungry, but a small plate that is full will trick your brain into thinking that you are eating more food.
  • Stay away from the deep fried crap.  Really?  You came on a cruise to eat mediocre burgers and french fries when there are so many other options readily available?
  • Don’t eat dessert with every meal.  Do you really need to eat dessert with lunch?  Another thought:  There are many low quality desserts on a cruise ship, particularly in the buffet.  Save your calorie expenditures for a dessert that is REALLY good, not just the plain looking piece of chocolate cake with sprinkles that probably won’t taste as good as it looks.

Salad Buffet, Holland America Eurodam

  • Watch your intake of liquid calories.  Lemonade, juice, soda, alcohol and other drinks readily available on the ship all contain calories.
  • Split things.  Want to try something bad for you?  Split it with a travel companion and cut the calories in half.
  • STEP AWAY FROM THE FOOD!  If you are hoping to maintain the same pant size, for gosh sakes, don’t sit by where food is available nearly all the time. The Lido deck is a very bad place for you.  There are lots of great places to sit on a cruise ship.  Having food readily and easily available will make you more likely to eat when you are not really hungry.

Looking for more great tips about cruising? Check out these other pieces that I have written about life aboard a cruise ship:

 

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About Shanna

Shanna is a travel professional in the airline and hotel industries. She lives in Lonsdale, MN and there enjoys cooking and gardening. Her favorite places to travel are Scotland and France. Shanna writes about travel in the Midwestern part of the United States at her blog A Midwest Travel Companion More About Shanna Google

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5 Responses to Cruise Tips: How to NOT Gain Weight on a Cruise

  1. Juliann March 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    When I read the title of your post, my immediate thought was, “there’s no way I’d diet on a cruise!” But then I read on and you offer really good advice. There are a lot of mediocre foods and overabundance of desserts and such. Skipping those is rhe sensible thing to do. As is taking the stairs — which is much faster than the elevators on every cruise ship I’ve been on. Smart thinking!
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    • Shanna March 16, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

      No, I didn’t way “diet” necessarily…I am certainly not LOSING any weight on a cruise ship…just trying not to come home looking like a blimp!

  2. Kim May 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    We always skip the buffet and go for the sit down breakfast, lunch and dinner. The portions are smaller than what most restaurants serve so I do confess to ordering 2 entrees at dinner some nights. One day we ate 6 times since we attended a cooking demonstration, afternoon tea and burgers at midnight. I never gain weight and I don’t exercise.

    • Shanna May 25, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

      I do confess to preferring sit down breakfast to the breakfast buffet. It just seems like such a civilized start to the day. We also prefer sit down dinner, but for expediency, lunch is usually in the buffet (just too much going on in the afternoon on a cruise ship!)

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