Most people who have been on a cruise will tell you that the absolute best thing about it is the food. Forget the sights, the exotic locations, the relaxation. There’s nothing quite like having access to excellent food any time of day at no additional cost.
Cruising is a unique kind of vacation that can be better in many ways than a normal trip. Whereas other vacations may be stressful and exhausting, on a cruise, you have everything taken care of, from your itinerary to your meals. In many ways, cruises are cheaper than a regular vacation because there are peripheral charges like ground transportation and food that people often don’t take into account when planning a trip. Of course, on a cruise, you don’t have to pay a dime for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and all the snacks in between.
This is one of the main reasons that people gain weight on cruises – they feel like they need to get their money’s worth and so they eat more than they usually would. If this is something you feel might motivate you to eat more, you should keep in mind that those pounds will be more costly for you in the long run than the extra food you’re enjoying on your cruise. Not to mention that it’s a good deal no matter how much you eat. It’s still cost efficient if you just have regular meals instead of getting uncomfortably full. And take it from someone who has been there, after 6 days of the same extravagant meals, you’ll feel pretty sick to your stomach.
Another reason people gain weight on cruises is because of the abundance of food. If you’re one of those people who eats anytime there’s food in front of them, this tip is for you. It might be hard to pass up that ice cream cone or croissant every time you walk through the food court on your way to the pool, but it is certainly in your best interest to do so. The only way to prevent that is to simply have self control. If you’re worried about packing on those extra pounds, then make sure you don’t indulge. If you must, avoid areas of the ship where food is served all day to avoid the temptation.
Similarly, especially at dinner time, there are three course meals available and most people want to try everything, including sometimes several different courses. This is natural, especially when all the options on the menu sound delicious. But instead of getting three different main courses and stuffing yourself, perhaps everyone at the table could try a different option and everyone can share. This way, you can try a little bit of everything while still maintaining reasonable portions.
The trick is really just to have everything in moderation. Forget about the food they have available and think about the food that is just enough to satisfy you. That should be your main focus during meals and during the day, though you should try to avoid the extra snacking between meals. Simply put, eat when you’re hungry, not just for the sake of eating. And of course, eat only until you’re full, not until you’ve tried everything on the menu.
Thankfully, there are always activities on a cruise to keep you busy and away from the buffet. If you spend less time wandering around the lunch area and more time in the pool or at a show, you’ll forget all about the tasty food all around you. Don’t let yourself eat just because you’re bored. That shouldn’t be too hard to do on a cruise, where there is little room for boredom. Use the itinerary of daily activities to guide what you want to spend your day doing so you have less room to just wander the food court and eat chicken fingers just because they’re available at 3 in the afternoon.
Finally, if you’ve really been indulging and you want to balance that out, you can always be more active. Instead of sunning on the deck, do laps in the pool or take the stairs instead of the elevator. There are also gyms that you can work out in, sometimes for an extra fee. If you normally work out every day, don’t get lazy on your cruise. You can still wake up early and go for a jog around the top deck. Some cruises have amenities like basketball or tennis courts to keep you active. Some of the shore excursions might be a good excuse to get your body moving, like swimming with dolphins or stingrays or hiking Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Trust me, I don’t like to exercise either, but there’s plenty of time on and off the cruise to have fun and to get some activity in.
These are just a few of the options available to you if you are serious about not gaining weight. The main thing to remember is that you should maintain regular eating habits. As long as you don’t eat more on the cruise than you usually do at home, you should be fine. But don’t stress too much about it – an ice cream cone isn’t going to kill you.