For food lovers, a cruise is a dream come true. With a nearly endless buffet of offerings, plenty of specialty restaurants, and snack options at every turn – not to mention 24-hour room service, you never have to be hungry. But if you’re more interested in watching your weight than going on a food-binge it can be a struggle. Today most cruise lines recognize that they have people on board with special diets whether that is by choice or necessity. They do their best to meet the needs of their passengers with a wide variety of options. If you’re planning a cruise there are many ways that you can stick to your diet on-board.
One of the quickest ways to use up your daily calorie allotment is through empty calories in things like alcoholic beverages. Some drinks can total over 1000 calories each! Avoid indulging in too many drinks while on vacation or stick with lower calorie options. Ask for a skinny or lite version if available. While sipping on your beverage it’s easy to succumb to snacking. Before you know it you can finish off a bowl of nuts of chips. Instead ask for fresh fruit or a pick up a tray of vegetables and low fat dressing off the buffet. These options will help you stay on track.
Do you love dining in restaurants on board or participating in the formal dinner evenings? Did you know that you can ask for half portions of the meals? Or that you don’t have to order one of each course on the menu? Ask your server what low calorie options they have. You can skip dessert or the appetizer if you want to eliminate some extra calories.
If you just can’t avoid the buffet line don’t feel like you have to load up your plate. Pick the things that you truly want to eat and put together a plate that is made up of normal sized portions. Resist the urge to go back for seconds and take your time eating. This gives your stomach time to digest and then you can see if you’re really full or not. Try to stick to three main meals a day and a small, healthy snack or two during the day (avoid the unlimited pizza and fries that always seem to be available in the pool area!). You’ll also want to drink plenty of water as it will help keep you full and avoid dehydration.
If you really want to treat yourself to a special meal, do it! You’re on vacation and shouldn’t completely limit yourself from enjoying your time. If you plan to have a big breakfast, keep the rest of the day light and vice versa. Don’t forget cruise ships usually have some amazing exercise facilities and group exercise classes. Sure - working out might not be your idea of vacationing but even taking a few laps around the top deck can help you offset extra calories.
It may be difficult to avoid temptation when it’s around every corner but with a little bit of planning and making smart swaps you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything!
Do you have any tips for how to stick to your diet on a cruise?