I just got back from a week-long cruise and one of the highlights was the never-ending, delicious food. In case you’ve never experienced a cruise, let me just explain the food situation for a moment.
Imagine a buffet with every type of food available to you 24/7. The breakfast, for example, included an omelet station, banana pancakes, waffles, French toast, donuts, sugary cereals, croissants, danishes, bagels, lox, basically every breakfast food on the planet. Lunch was build-your-own burger, right next to the pool I might add, along with a buffet of pizza, pasta, chicken, fish and ice cream sundaes.
Dinner was the most exciting meal of the day in my opinion. Imagine going to a fancy restaurant and being allowed to order one of everything on the menu. A typical dinner for me included three appetizers, an entree, and two desserts. They served everything from lobster to steak to fried mushrooms to pasta.
And let’s not forget about the midnight buffet with all kinds of desserts, and the free pizza and Starbucks pastries available to guests any time of day. For someone like me who has trouble with portion control and overeating, it can be a huge challenge to go on a cruise and not gain a single pound. Here are my tips for staying healthy and maintaining your weight while enjoying the food on your next cruise:
1. Choose your food wisely. There may be a ton of options, but surprisingly many of the foods are very healthy. Avoid the white carbohydrate breads and pastries at breakfast and try a vegetable egg white omelet and oatmeal instead. For lunch, build your own salad and top it with a piece if grilled fish or chicken. At dinner, feel free to order several appetizers and desserts, but just try a sample of each one. The menu often lists vegetarian, gluten-free, and lighter options so be sure to pay attention to the descriptions.
2. Remember portion control. It may be tough to not fill three plates to the top when eating buffet-style, especially when every food looks amazing. Remind yourself at each meal that your next meal will be in a couple of hours and it will be more enjoyable if you are hungry. Remind yourself how good you want to feel and look in your bathing suit.
3. Stay active. Most ships have a gym that overlooks the ocean. Enjoy the view. I promise you will forget that you are even exercising when staring at the water. There is also track on the pool deck where you can run or walk during the day. Be sure to hit the club at night and burn those calories away dancing. Take walks on the beach when your cruise stops on the islands. Some cruise ships have rock climbing walls, ice skating rinks and wave pools. Take advantage of these amenities and keep moving so that you can enjoy samples of desserts and of course, fruity cocktails.
While a cruise is a vacation and you should take advantage of the delicious food that you would not normally have at home, choose your meals wisely. Stay active, and remember how great you want to feel in your bikini all week.