Saturday, January 23, 2010

How to avoid gaining weight while on a cruise

On my very first cruise back in the early 90s, the cruise director jokingly said "You get on the ship as passengers, you get off the ship as cargo." When you are pampered for a week with fabulous food such as these (pictures follow), how can you resist the temptation to stuff yourself?

For those people who love to cruise but are concerned about weight gain, this is no joking matter. It is difficult to avoid gaining weight while on a cruise, but with a little discipline, you can do it. The key word is discipline. The discipline to exercise and to eat healthier. Here are my tips:

There are many ways to incorporate exercise into your daily activities on a ship. They include:
  • Walking. Whenever possible, avoid the elevators (the wait is too long anyway) and walk up or down the steps to your cabin and other locations.
  • Swimming. With thousands of passengers on board, you may be turned off by the crowd at the pool. Go during the time when most people are at lunch or on shore excursions.
  • Going to the gym. Take advantage of all the equipment most cruise ships have in their gym.
  • Dancing. Every evening, before or after dinner, there is music playing somewhere, offering opportunities for some dancing. Join in and have some fun!
  • Excursions. Do something exciting on your shore excursions -go hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, anything that will keep your adrenaline pumping.
  • Other activities. There is always something going on that everyone can participate, from a fitness class to ping-pong tournaments to rock climbing.
  • Meals. Instead of going to the buffet line, eat at the ship’s restaurants. Most are opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When you dine at the restaurant, you tend to relax and eat slow. The portion size is controlled, so you don't overeat (that is, as long as you don't order two of everything!)
  • Food selection. Make a conscious decision to choose healthier options like oatmeal, cereal, salad, fish, chicken, vegetables and fruits. Cut down on carbs like bread, pastries like croissant, danish and donuts.
  • Alcohol. Limit your alcohol intake
Don't feel guilty and get all stressed out if you indulge or miss a workout. Relax, you are on vacation after all! Think positive and get moving.
Exercising and eating healthier and in moderation are both good habits that will serve you well in the long run.
What are your tips for not gaining weight while on a cruise?

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  1. I can't be good on a cruise. Something inside of me kicks in and makes me act like I'm starving! My husband kids with me and tells me I put the "feed bag on" when we cruise.

  2. Hi Deanna,
    Always great to get comments. Thanks for visiting! As much fun as it is, a cruise is not a vacation you want to go every year!

  3. I think I just gained a bit of poundage just looking at your fabulous food photos!

  4. You girls are a bunch of wuss. You have several years to work those extra pounds off until the next cruise. I say serve me those delicious looking dishes, and please don't hold back on the portion...