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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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?
- 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!