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Cruise Travel: Helpful Tips To Help You Watch Your Weight and Enjoy The Great Food


Cruise Travel: Helpful Tips To Help You Watch Your Weight and Enjoy The Great Food

The last place you may want to be while watching your weight is on a cruise ship. With endless buffets of food, delicious specialty restaurants and bottomless beverages it’s easy to scrap your diet and dig in. But you may be surprised to know there are many healthy options available while cruising. You may need to do a little bit of advanced planning but it’s certainly possible.

Avoid the Buffet Lines

This may sound like it violates the very purpose of a cruise but when you’re presented with dozens of options you are more likely to make bad choices. Instead opt for a sit down meal in one of the ship restaurants. You can ask for the options that are lower in calories. You’ll also be much more likely to eat slower and feel full faster. You also will get one meal (and dessert) choice instead of several! You also an request a half portion of anything.

Buffet Eating

If you do decide to hit the buffet you’ll need to exert self-control. Cruise lines are making it easier for people to have options that are more diet friendly. There are options like a spa menu or lower calorie offerings notated on many buffets. Instead of piling your plate sky-high, build a plate with a few choices that represent a normal size meal. If you’re feeling extra hungry, fill up on vegetables and choose fruit for a dessert instead of the chocolate cake.

Don’t Complete Deprive Yourself

You are on vacation after all! If there’s a special meal you’re really looking forward to, like a steak dinner plan the rest of your meals for the day to balance out the one higher calorie offering. If you consistently deprive yourself you may walk away from vacation feeling like you’ve really missed out! It’s very possible to eat well without going overboard.

Skip the Snacks

Not only are you presented with never ending meals but you’ll also find plenty of snack options on board and in port. Sure that afternoon ice cream cone sounds like a great idea, and a midnight pizza run may seem like a good idea at the time but you’ll regret it later! If you want to snack stick with high protein, low calorie options to keep you full without adding loads of extra calories.

Watch What You Drink

Along with massive quantities of food, cruises are notorious for free flowing beverages. A 12oz beer will set you back 150 calories while a Long Island Iced Tea can have over 500 calories. Think a Mai Tai would be great? At 600+ calories you may think twice! It’s easy to see how just a few drinks could really add up to lots of empty calories. Avoid purchasing an all-you can drink packages, they may seem like a great deal economically but you’re far more likely to indulge in these types of drinks if you feel the need to get the most out of your purchase. Treat yourself to a drink a day and stick with the “skinny” versions.

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  1. Jennifer (@momvstheboys) says

    These are really great tips, I hadn’t thought of it before until we started to eat better this summer and when we took our first weekend away, I quickly realized it was harder to eat away from home than I thought. and you are so right about not overdoing it the other way too so you feel like you didnt get to enjoy your meals. balance is everything.

  2. Kungphoo says

    Snacks are my issue.. if i am around them i eat them, and keep going back.. I know my problems and i need to curb them

    1. Jen says

      Me too. I am a snacking fiend. I have to just not keep them in the fridge at home but I have such a sweet tooth if I see cake on vacay, I want it!

  3. Liz Mays says

    I didn’t realize some of those cocktails were THAT calorie rich. Yikes! You’re right about buffets being hard to resist too. I try to go up once and once only!

    1. Jen says

      I know. The only calorie free cocktail is vodka with fresh lemon juice.

  4. Samantha Angell says

    I think another good tip would be if you do hit the buffet, fill your plate up with salad/veggies first. Then, sit for 10 minutes (letting that get into you) and you’ll take less food!

  5. Michelle F. says

    I need to learn how to do this. I usually just eat anything I want when I’m on vacation.

  6. Michael says

    If you need a pizza…call Domino’s…they won’t be able to deliver and soon you’ll get over your craving and grab a salad instead

  7. Danielle says

    These are some great tips. I probably won’t be heading on any cruise ships in this life time. I spent the last 5 or so years of my life on the high seas in the Coast Guard and so any time I think of being on a boat it makes me think of work….lol

  8. Dawn says

    These are great tips, although I think a cruise is probably one instance where I would leave health consciousness behind. There’s no way I’m skipping the buffet on a cruise! =D

  9. Jenn says

    Great tips! I think you have to use common sense and realize that you need to eat healthy while on vacation too!

  10. Chrissy says

    Great tips! I always overeat when I go on vacation lol

  11. Jessica Peeling says

    I definitely agree with not depriving yourself! If you can’t have a little, you will most likely fall back into bad habits. However, for some reason, whenever I eat buffet style I tend to take a little of everything and just get full really fast, so I feel like I actually eat less. That’s probably just me though!

  12. Maya Fitz says

    Love these tips. It’s true that it’s important to watch your diet as they say that you gain a pound a day on a cruise. I also found that my husband and I ran on the cruise daily which helped. We also didn’t snack or order room service but we did try a bit of everything during dinner. It is vacation after all.

  13. Roch says

    My boyfriend has spent a week on a cruise ship and every day they had buffet meals. Guess what? He gained an instant 10 pounds. It has been a year now and he could not get it off. Maybe it’s also because of bad eating habits.

    1. Jen says

      He gained 10lbs in a week? Oh man, why is it not that easy to lose it!

  14. Mary Ann says

    Wonderful tips. Never been on a cruise before, but it sounds like food would be a big temptation.

  15. FamiGami says

    I wish I could go on a cruise. For me, the lack of all-inclusive options irks me. Thanks for the tips though. Hopefully one day I can put them to practice!

  16. Mrs. Mashed Up says

    Great piece. I can’t wait to go on a cruise. I will have to keep this in mind.

  17. Kath Rivera says

    Basic and easy tips to maintain weight and enjoy great food. Yes avoid the buffet because there are so many temptations there. Snacking on fruit is healthy and water is always a great choice to hydrate.

  18. magdalena says

    Just becuase everything is on display doesn’t mean you have to eat everything. Think of it as a visual menu. You don’t order the whole menu normally …. so why pile your plate with 100’s of dishes?

  19. maria @ close to home says

    I did not know cruising and diet could be used in the same sentence. Great tips for even those not going on a diet.

  20. Casey E. Palmer says

    All great tips 🙂 Cruises are too often about gluttony, with the on-ship gyms nearly empty and the cafeterias constantly packed! All about moderation!

  21. Pamela says

    Very good tips, eating habits will likely change on a cruise and it’s good to keep it in check.

  22. Kimberly says

    And I am all for the fruity booze drinks…sigh…I go all out. I have no willpower at all even though I try to talk myself into healthier options.
    Dang food!

  23. Heather says

    Oh my gosh, I think that was the best part about cruising both times I’ve been. I probably gained 15 pounds, I just called it, “water weight” ha ha…you know from being on the ocean. It was funnier in my head.

  24. Randa @ TBK says

    The buffet is tough, so many yummy options. Usually my eyes are bigger then my stomach 😉

  25. becka says

    Great tips. I have not been on a cruise but could easily probably gain 10 pounds from the sounds of it. 🙂 I love a good buffet even if I know I should run from it. I will keep these in mind when I do get to go cruising

  26. Maria Oller says

    Great tips, We went on a cruise for our honeymoon and I gained 15 pounds there, the food was delicious =(

  27. Becca Niederkrom says

    Good tips! Just went on my first Disney Cruise and had no idea how crazy good the food would be. Thankfully, I lost 5 pounds prior to the trip, gained 5 during the trip . . and then cleansed right after. =)

  28. Rosey says

    I think it’s hard to resist bagels and they are calorie laden. Fortunately, I don’t come across them often. 🙂

  29. Joyful Gifts by Julie says

    Trying to watch the calories on vacation is close to impossible. Not because of the food, but the strawberry daiquiris about killed me on our summer vacation. It was hot in Florida and we were thirsty for something good and fun. Kind of hard to resist.

  30. Rach @ EazyPeazyMealz says

    I love cruising, and all the food. But this is a fun list of ideas to avoid the weight gain!

  31. Ann Bacciaglia says

    I love buffets and snacks. I would have a hard time on a cruise but I do want to go on a cruise one day.

  32. Aleshea Dominique says

    Moderation is not my friend. Heck, he isn’t even a cousin twice removed. It is deff something I have been trying to work on. Leaving the buffets alone is another one.

  33. Brijdeep says

    these are quite good tips, we have been to cruise so many times and even though we go for the buffet only every time, we avoid eating too much, try to eat minimum of desserts, focusing best on fruits and salads and things like that..

  34. Natalie says

    If I spent the money to go on a cruise, best believe I’m gonna eat or drink whatever I want on it. Just means for a better workout afterwards..

  35. kristen says

    getting meals with fries is my biggest challenge. But when I order fish an veggies. It also tastes good.

  36. Amanda @ Adorkablii says

    I don’t go on vacation often but these are really great tips for those who do. Thank you for sharing!!

  37. Jen says

    Great advice for all year round, not just on vacation!

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