Last week, I went on a seven day cruise with family and friends. I had a wonderful trip and really enjoyed my vacation! It can be a little hard on long trips to continue your healthy lifestyle, especially on a cruise. There were so many different places to eat on our boat, an abundance of food choices at the buffet, and too many decadent desserts to choose from.
Here is a picture of my mother, father, sister, and me at dinner. Dinner always started with rolls and ended with a coffee and dessert. This type of overeating can be quite an obstacle if you are trying to maintain your weight. I did, however, learn a few tricks to prevent coming back with some extra weight.
1) Always check out the healthier options at every meal. Whether you are at a buffet or in the dining room, you can always make a healthier choice. On most cruise ships there is a spa menu with healthier options. I tried a few spa menu dishes and they were very tasty.
2) Eat more vegetables! At dinner, there would only be two spears of asparagus with your salmon and such small veggie portions will not cut it for me. So, I learned to order an extra side of vegetables or side salad with my meal. The best piece of advice for healthy eating (offshore or on) is to EAT MORE SALAD! It helped me to increase my vegetable intake at lunch and dinner and left little room for richer fare.
3) Order what you want! If you don’t see something on the menu that you like, kindly ask the waiter if another option is available. The first night I was on the cruise ship I really wanted to have a grilled chicken caesar salad, so I asked the waiter if I could have that instead of some of the heavier options on the menu that evening.
Healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand, so even on vacation I try to get in both. I tried to do these three forms of extra physical activity to off-set my extra caloric intake:
1) Take the stairs! Well, if I was in heels headed to dinner I would use the elevator. Most of the time I did use the stairs, even if it was to go from the seventh floor to the fourteenth.
2) Get in a daily run, walk, or weight-lifting session. As you can see in the picture above, most cruise ships now have an amazing gym on board with exercise classes, numerous machines, and a variety of weight-lifting equipment.
3) Participate in physical activities during days at sea or shore trips. There are so many activities to choose from during the days at sea, when you are traveling between destinations like: rock climbing*, ice skating*, swimming, running, basketball, putt-putt*, etc.
* These may only be available on certain cruise ships.
These tips don’t just apply to cruises; when on vacation you should always be on the lookout for ways to vacation healthy!