What NOT to Eat on a Cruise Ship and Other Cruise Tips to Avoid Weight Gain 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!  Avoiding weight gain on a cruise can be difficult with so many bad food choices available.

Here are some cruise tips that will help you decide What NOT to Eat on a Cruise Ship and other ways to keep the calories in check so that you fit into the same clothes that you left in upon your return!

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

Cruise Ship Dining Option: Fixed Time Dining VS Anytime Dining
5 Reasons to Choose Holland America for Your Next Cruise Vacation
Tips for Taking Kids on a Cruise

Concerned about gaining weight on your cruise? Here are some cruise tips - what not to eat on a cruise ship

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.

Eat More of the Good Stuff

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 a 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.

Holland America Buffet- what not to eat on a cruise ship

Pace Yourself

This is particularly important 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.

Use the 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

This is a HUGE category of What NOT to Eat on a Cruise Ship.  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.

Cruise Tips Salad Buffet, Holland America Eurodam - what not to eat on a cruise ship

Watch Your Intake of Liquid Calories

Lemonade, juice, soda, alcohol and other drinks readily available on the ship all contain calories.  Drink more water.

Split it Up!

Want to try something bad for you?  Get in the habit of splitting it with a travel companion or dinner table mate and cut the calories in half.


Knowing how to avoid eating too much is just as important as knowing What NOT to Eat on a Cruise Ship for maintaining your waistline.  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.

What are your best tips and suggestions for avoiding cruise weight gain and for what not to eat on a cruise ship?



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