How to go Cruising and Not Gain Weight

Monday, April 07, 2014

3rd cruise under my belt, and 2nd that I did not gain weight.
Here are my suggestions and what I do to make sure I don't come home packing more weight than just the goodies in my suitcase.

#1. Get a cabin at the fore of the ship. This forces you to walk the entire length of the ship prior to and after every meal. Restaurants and buffets are typically located aft.

#2. Snorkelling. You can burn up to 150 calories in 40 minutes. (FYI, there are snorkel trips you can do in Canada and Alaska). The snorkelling tour I did had us in the water for 2 hours, and I knew I'd had a good workout when we got back to shore. There were people around me snoring on the bus trip back to the port.

#3. Avoid the elevator. I can't tell you now many times a day I climbed the stairs. Our cabin was on 7. Restaurant was on 5, buffet was on 11, sun deck was on 13. I took the elevator if my mother was with me, but otherwise I hoofed it.

#4. Active excursions...every excursion we took had us out and walking. Some walks were broken up between sites, others, like a botanical garden tour we did on Kauai had us walk over 2 miles. My mom is 90, so we walked slowly...but it's still time on our feet, not on our butts.

#5. It's okay to try everything that looks good at the buffet, but there' s no reason to take a full serving of everything. Take one bite of everything that looks good to you, then go back for 2nds of those dishes that you find spectacular. At dinner and lunch I filled my first plate 1/2 with salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onions, and 2 or 3 olives, then a very light drizzle of dressing - no croutons, bacon, or cheese), then I took about 1 tablespoon of each entree to try.
Limit yourself to 1 dessert each night, and enjoy every bite.

#6. If you don't like it...DON'T EAT IT!!! This one is hard for me, I hate waste. There was one evening I took a scrumptious looking chocolate dessert. After 2 bites I realized it was dry and almost tasteless. I pushed it away and got some pineapple to take it's place. My sister in law is 100 lbs if she's lucky...I noticed at every meal she left more on the plate than she ate. I don't condone this kind of waste, she could have simply taken less at the buffet, but I'm sure this is part of how she stays so tiny.

#7. If eating in the dining room, get a salad and an appetizer, eat the salad first. All the salads I had were great, and the appetizers are small, many low-cal. Having these items first helped fill me up so I didn't eat all of the entree or sides.

#8. Avoid the alcohol. This cruise was on Norwegian. They really seem push the booze and soda much more than Princess or Holland America, and of course none of it is cheap! I had one mixed drink while on board, otherwise I stuck to the free fruit drinks, coffee, and the free water...lots of free water. I would walk up the stairs to the buffet area and fill up 2 glasses, carrying them back to my cabin. If it was the fruit drink, I burned off some of the calories in the process of getting it.

#9. If you have an at sea day, use the gym, or walk the deck. We had no at sea days this trip, so I didn't use this gym...I did do 3 laps around the deck one evening, giving me an extra mile on that day.

I got home yesterday and this morning I weighed the exact same as the day before we left....even with eating many more calories most days than I would on a normal work day.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great tips and congrats on maintenance !!! I see now how it is to be done!!!! emoticon
    1455 days ago
  • KLONG8
    I love how you break it down, evaluate and then use skills to keep within your plan. Nicely done. Now I just need a cruise!
    2487 days ago
    Great advice. Thanks.
    2543 days ago
    2642 days ago
    Looks like these comments are turning into "cruise tips," but one thing we did was to eat breakfast at the buffet and dinner in the dining room; lunch depended on where we were, as it was sometimes included in an excursion. Also, it takes a friendly group to do this, but sometimes for dinner, each person at the table would order a different dessert, and then we'd take tastes of each dessert (different spoons, the waiters were great about going along with this). If the others didn't want to do this, DH and I would share our desserts with each other - a good way to get the tastes without all the calories.

    I've taken 3 cruises and actually lost weight on one of them, but that was probably because I got sick - different story!
    2650 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2662 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13738302
    What great suggestions that clearly work. Well done on your success at maintaining your weight while on your cruise!
    2662 days ago
  • BERRY4
    emoticon Thanks for sharing such useful hints & suggestions! We hope 2 take an Alaskan Cruise sometime soon.

    Glad you were able to spend the time with your mom!
    2663 days ago
    Oh, I so admire your self-control!


    Thanks for the tips - I think I will have to print them out and take them with me on vacation!
    2664 days ago
    I too have learned it is possible to vacation without weight gain - what a great discovery that was! For me just being mindful and not automatically eating everything that was put in front of me (on a tour where dinner was NOT a buffet) was an important solution. Eating slowly then pushing the plate away when I was satisfied worked for me. Sometimes (when the food was especially tasty) I'd even resort to placing my napkin over the plate - whatever it takes!!
    2664 days ago
    2664 days ago
    Congratulations Robin. emoticon The best I've done is 1.5 pounds on an 18-day cruise.

    I agree with everything you've written and would like to add the following comments:

    After my first cruise I learned that I couldn't have the appetizer and the soup and the salad and the pasta and the entree and the dessert. For my metabolism I can only have three items. Usually I would have fruit for dessert, since that would satisfy my sweet tooth. That left an entree and either soup or salad or appetizer.
    My big problem is the "milk and cookies" at mid-afternoon. Sometimes there was ice cream too. The solution is to make sure you're busy on shore or some place far far away from the buffet.
    I would walk the outside deck(s) every day, either before we got into port and after we left. You would be surprised at how many people there are out and about in the morning getting their "daily constitutional".

    Margaret emoticon
    2664 days ago
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