How To Survive A Cruise

Have you ever found yourself with the prospect of doing something that could potentially make a diet or lifestyle incredibly  more difficult? Well I can say I’ve faced more than a few and put excuses on why I quit many times.  The first big challenge to my weight loss journey came a few years ago when I was doing Atkins.  After I had lost 40 pounds and stayed there for about 6 months, I went on a cruise.  Now, I’m not blaming going on a cruise for gaining the weight back because ultimately we make our own choices and there was a way I could have kept the weight off on the cruise if I really had been so inclined.  With that being said, being on a cruise is a really, really hard place to keep the Atkins diet much less any other type of diet or lifestyle.  Nevertheless, the choices I made on that cruise were pretty terrible and I ended up quitting my diet after it. Lo and behold, we come to this years weight loss effort.  I was around 40 pounds down when I went on a cruise with my family again this year.  This time however, I made good choices and stuck to the lifestyle I had been living before it.  When I got back I was the same weight as when I left.  I didn’t lose, but I sure didn’t quit my new lifestyle!  I wanted to share some of the things that helped me stick to my plan on the cruise.

  1. Exercise the same way you would at home-Being on a cruise is no reason not to exercise!  Yes, you are on vacation and stuck on a boat, but almost every cruise these days has a running track and a fitness room.  Even if you’re at a resort or at a cabin, it’s easy enough to go for a walk or a run somewhere!  A good way to do it in my opinion is to go for a jog on the running track early in the morning, that way you can make sure to get the exercise in before the off-shore excursions and food temptations that will be around you all day.  For me, I’ve found exercising in the morning makes it less likely that I’ll want to ruin it by eating bad foods later!
  2. Consistent diet-I suppose I stress being consistent a lot, but only because I see it as so important! What I mean by this, is keep eating similar or equivalent foods that you were eating prior to the cruise.  For example I would have four to five meals a day on the cruise.  For breakfast I would have fruits, a little bit of eggs and some good carbs(wheat bread, oatmeal) to keep me going for the day.  Lunch I would have a bit of protein with some fruit and a salad.  My third meal I would just have a salad and finally, for dinner I would find one of the healthy options on the menu.  If you eat at the main dining hall on the cruise, a lot of the lines now offer nutritional and low-fat/calorie options on the menu.
  3. Don’t make excuses for yourself-I understand how hard it is to be surrounded by temptation, but it is important not to make excuses for yourself while on vacation or a cruise. In my experience making excuses enabled me to get to the weight I was.  Why is it  more important to eat a lot rather than keep to your new lifestyle?  What makes this week an exception to all the hard work you did in the days, weeks, months and years prior?
  4. Change your perspective-Think to yourself about why you went on this cruise or vacation.  Was it to eat? For me, I go on vacations to see family, explore new places, take some time to enjoy myself and many other reasons.  Don’t forget the real reasons to go on a cruise.  Yes, often times food will be plentiful.  But that’s an important point as well, the food will always be there!  Why make it the focal point of the trip?  Have a plan of consistent diet and exercise and focus the rest of the trip on being with the ones you love or doing the things you love.  Don’t let food run or ruin your vacation!

Any tips of your own? Leave a comment below!

About TestingTrueChange

I am a 22 year old recent graduate working on losing the weight and changing my life in a positive way.
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9 Responses to How To Survive A Cruise

  1. Good tips. I am not sure I would make it on a cruise. Most people go on them to sit around drinking and eating all the time. 😀

    I don’t drink anymore and I don’t eat anymore. 😀 I guess cruises aren’t for me.

    I would add that the first time you went on the cruise you used the gained weight as an excuse to toss in the towel. We’ve all done that.

    They key to REALLY changing is realizing that of course we will make mistakes and cheat from time to time, but that doesn’t mean we should quit. You simply start over. Heck in most cases, weight gained on a cruise will drop off pretty fast if you get back to your routine.

    We need to reprogram ourselves to live like the thin people. They eat big meals from time to time, but then they moderate most of the time. That is the key.

    Of course the temptation of a cruise is not a good place to practice moderation. Just as an alcoholic needs to avoid bars and drinking situations, people early in their diet may need to avoid situations which may be too difficult to maintain moderation in their eating.

    Happy Dieting.

    • Thanks for the great comment! 🙂

      I absolutely agree that I used that as an excuse and that to change one must completely change their mindset. For some it’s harder than others but it can be done with enough determination and moderation. To me it’s all about not quitting when you make mistakes and taking the small steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

  2. I think I want to go on a cruise just to test your tips out. 🙂

    But really, these are great tips for just about any vacation. I went on a small road trip to see some friends over the weekend, and temptation was all around me. I gave into a little of it, but all in all, I knew as long as I came back to my routine, I’d be okay.

  3. It definitely is important! And along with coming back to the routine, another important thing is to not beat yourself up if you make a mistake or two. I think this is incredibly hard for people (and is sometimes still hard for me) because they try so hard to be “perfect” during their routine that they get incredibly upset when they do mess up a little. Best thing to do is recognize it and move forward 🙂

  4. genkikitty says:

    I love your suggestions! I would love to go on another cruise, even though I’m living a healthy lifestyle now. I might suggest when booking your cruise that you tell the company that you have special diet requirements. For instance, if you are vegan, tell them you are vegan and give instructions. Your meals will be special ordered then and you can’t be tempted by the menu items that might be unhealthy and off your diet plan. Plus, you get to have some great new meals by professional chefs! You also get your meals earlier than other people at other tables! Yay! Secondly, try to go backwards on the tables for meals. I like to fill my plate with fruits that might be pricier than on land. It’s a treat! You can also make a plan to assure you have almost 90% healthy fruits and veggies on each plate. That way even if you eat ten plates, you know you had very little high fat/high calorie options on the other 10% of your plate. Thirdly, take advantage of exercise equipment and also the day trips! It’s fun to exercise on vacay! New surroundings!

  5. Lisa says:

    When I was 17 I went on a 13 day cruise with my family to Mexico. It was a really fun time and I had a blast. I also GAINED a bit because there was soooo much good food. And a lot of it was buffet style. I got sucked into the novelty of the buffet and I’d happily eat 4 or 5 desserts at one time.

    Cruises do have exercise rooms and classes, so there’s no excuse not to try and balance the eating with exercise. Plus the tours you can sign up for can be as athletic as you make it: snorkeling, swimming, hiking, biking etc.

    • The first time I went on a cruise I gained quite a bit! Hard to avoid those buffets and desserts :/

      Thank you for the input! There are definitely plenty opportunities to be healthy on a cruise.

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