How Not to Gain Weight on a Cruise and Still Have Fun
How not to gain weight on a cruise and still have fun may seem like an impossible task. Yet I think it really comes down to our whole outlook on food and life in general.
Quote of the day: “I’m far from perfect, but I strive to do the right thing as much as I can every day.” Jennifer Lopez
Just in case you missed my post about my journey with healthy eating in the past, I haven’t always been small. There is a photo in that post that proves it. And I’m not a food doctor by any means. However, some of you may remember that I am a retired dentist. I have been schooled in nutrition during my education. While much of that training was more about how food affects teeth, over time, I’ve continued my learning about nutrition.
As for our personal habits, my husband is a foodie. Meaning he loves food. ALL THE TIME. When we first met, he was 30 pounds heavier. He still loves food, but he’s learned he also loves feeling good.
When we cruise, he likes to be served food at least for dinner. Sure, we visit the buffet for some breakfasts and lunches. But for him, he enjoys the ambiance of sitting and having someone bring him his food. Either way, we try to enjoy all the variety of food on a cruise.
So What Did I Do as How to Not Gain Weight on a Cruise?
While everyone has their own way to keep their weight in check, I don’t subscribe to any “popular” diets except what I talked about in my healthy eating post. Yet I’m like anyone and tend to get into ruts about what we eat at home and using the same recipes.
Thus when we go on vacation, it can seem like everything is new and more fabulous than our home meals. Therefore it all comes down to some basics.
Insider tip: Did you know that our weight is 80% dependent on what we eat, and only 20% dependent on working out. So don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll work out hard and be able to eat more. That doesn’t work.
My Eating Philosophy
1-Enjoy yourself. You’re on vacation. Eat the things you don’t get to eat at home. For example, we usually have cereal and fruit for breakfast. So it was nice to have waffles one day and eggs another.
Insider tip: Think about the quality of the food you’re eating. Take a bite and consider how delicious it is. If it’s not that good, DON’T eat the rest of it. It’s not worth it.
Insider tip 2: I also don’t order the things I can make myself. When I’m out to eat I want to try the unique items.
2-Sleep. I know you want to do everything on vacation, but if your body is stressed it makes cortisol. Make sure you relax on your vacation and get the sleep your body needs.
3- Portions, portions, portions. Granted the portions on a cruise aren’t always as huge as in restaurants, but you still don’t need to eat it all.
Insider tip: Try to leave something on your plate at every course.
4-What are you eating? Yes, I ate the croissants and the ice cream. Yet I made sure that I had fruit or veggies at every meal. Remember that our bodies use food as energy. You want to keep it on an even keel.
5-Give yourself grace. Yes, you are probably going to overindulge. It’s vacation. Even if you do, you will not gain 100 pounds in that week. Don’t obsess over it and have fun!!
I don’t even take workout clothes on our vacations anymore. I am on a trip to enjoy the sights and experience, not the gym.
1- Walk and take the stairs. Instead of going to the gym, we plan on walking and taking the stairs as our daily movement. On this cruise, my mom’s hip was hurting so we ended up taking the elevator more than we ever have. Instead, while we were waiting on Charlotte and Nancy to meet us for meals, we climbed up and down the stairs then. (And trust me, we waited a lot, LOL)
2- Fidget. If you happen to be sitting for awhile, tap your feet or any kind of fidgeting. This is basically a small workout. I also use it to keep warm if I’m chilly.
Insider tip: Fidgeting or tensing up different parts of our bodies can be good for blood flow and help you focus. I learned this in Pilates and while I’m driving I will alternately pull in my abs and squeeze my butt.
3- Stretch. Yes, we should be stretching daily, but vacation is a good time to really put it in action. You’re on a strange bed with a strange pillow and hopefully you have more time to stretch.
4-Use the hot tub. All of the cruises we have been on have had a hot tub. Take advantage of it.
Insider tip: I read that a hot tub simulates the beneficial effects of exercise. And it helps you sleep better. 2 good reasons to indulge.
Do Drinks Count?
Of course you know that drinks can be a huge factor on how not to gain weight on a cruise. Personally, on this cruise we had the drink package. FYI, only because we got it free when we signed up. Therefore, we took advantage of the pina coladas and even tried some martinis at the Martini Bar.
Insider Fact: Did you know that Pina Coladas were invented in Puerto Rico? I mean, that’s where our cruise originated from, so we had to indulge.
1-Drink Water. Of course we know it’s important to stay hydrated. So for every alcoholic drink, make sure you drink a glass of water in between.
Insider tip: Drink water as soon as you get up in the morning. It’s easy to have a bottle of water next to your bed. Then start drinking it as you are getting ready in the morning.
2- Eat some protein with your drinks. Especially if you are drinking the sugary drinks like pina coladas. This will keep you fuller longer and doesn’t give you such a sugar buzz.
Photo credit: Rob Filogomo
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