FOR NOT GAINING WEIGHT WHILE CRUISING
Often times many people shy away from taking a cruise for fears of ending a voyage with a few more pounds than they started out with. Often to the point that they don’t even desire to consider the magnificent pleasures of a cruise adventure. As a Jenny Craig diciple, I am always looking at ways to enjoy myself, without having to give in to the Over Indulgence Cruise Routine, that can (and often does) lead to the Over Lap Syndrome of your wardrobe you bring with you on your cruise. If you can heed just a couple of these tips, you will have a good chance at being able to minimize the caloric intake during your cruise adventure, and not end up feeling badly (in more ways than one) at the conclusion of your voyage.
Fears from those regarding cruising rank right up there with fear of heights, and all the other major phobias. I hear people say “well I am afraid of getting seasick” (another blog topic of mine), or I am fearful of drowning (because they cannot swim). However the ride in the airplane would be acceptable, yet most folks I know are unable to fly if something should occur while the plane was in flight. As I reflect on all of the wonderful experiences I have enjoyed while cruising, that I would have missed out on had I not have been able to live them, has compelled me to put forth keystroke on this topic.
While I am not saying that fear of gaining weight while on a cruise is at the top of the objection list, it is certainly one that I find myself often discussing with potential cruisers. So I do believe important enough to share with everyone possible.
#1 – After the ship sets sail, be sure to get yourself “underway” as well. When traveling about the ship from place to place, you just might wish to try avoid using the crowded elevators. Instead, opt for the stairways. They are certainly just as glamorous, and you might even find its a great way to burn off some of those extra calories you are bound to take on , and you might even find yourself getting to your destinations quicker than the jam-packed elevators provide. Especially when heading out for high traffic on-board events, and especially anytime there is any embarkation, or disembarkation activities taking place.
#2-Begin each day on board with a full stomach. That’s what I said. But, pass on the high in content things such as the donuts, pastries, and pancakes that are easily found in the breakfast buffets. Warning: Also steer around breakfast Cereals, Bagels, and Breads if you possibly can avoid them. They are all very High on the Glycemic Index, which can lead to a build up of stored fats, and it matters not whether they are whole grain or not (for you healthier thinking eaters). Also if you add sugar to the cereal you have really set the stage for a spike in your blood sugar levels, besides all of the other bad stuff they can cause. Instead, fill your plate with all of the wonderful fresh fruit offerings you will find on-board and (especially if cruising during the winter season) which are probably not available back home at your local grocery market. Fruit contains lots of fiber, which takes far longer to digest, and will leave you feeling fuller, longer. You might even find that these newly acquired habits you now have just put to use-might actually stay with you once you arrive back home at the end of your vacation.
#3-Aquire some energy for “Your Boiler” while on board. Most every cruise ship will have a state of the art gym facility. This is one of the many on-board activity venues for your use, than don’t come with a fee. That’s right, it is already part of your cruise fare. Now if you are already accustomed to a more specialized regiment, and find you need some help with a trainer or a workout-buddy, many cruise ships will also offer (for a small fee) fitness classes during your voyage. Be sure to sign up for the one(s) that interest you the most, as their limited class size may sell out quickly. Just be sure to remember that the fees for these classes will be automatically charged to your on-board cruise account for the classes, which right there is some pretty good inducement for you to actually show up and attend. Besides I’ll venture a small wager that the minimal amount of money paid for such a class, would be far less that the amount you spent to put it there in the first place.
#4-Excursions, Think Outside the Box. I suggest that on at least one of your port stops that you opt for taking one of the “strenuous activity” indicated shore excursions, or simply walk around town on your own window shopping or checking out the local architecture. You probably couldn’t even begin to guess the potential calorie burn you will incur from such an activity. Most of these types of excursions or activities account for up to five miles of walking, which equates to roughly 2000 calories (or the equivalent of) a day’s worth of calories, for just this one activity alone.
#5-On Board Activities, Try Something New or Different for a change. Today’s modern cruise ships feature more and more on board activities. There are things like Rock Climbing Walls, Surfing or Flow Riders, Basketball, and hey let’s not forget about those all important laps in the pool. These are just a few of the many ideas for being able to get a workout while experiencing something new or different. You might even wish to just let your hair down and go wild on the dance floor for an evening or two, besides did you realize that these types of activity alone can burn as much as 300-400 calories per hour of such fun, which is actually almost as effective as a high impact aerobic workout! So get out there and shake a leg, which for me is way more fun than say a high impact aerobic workout would be!
#6 Food Decisions, Making the Right Choices. While most cruise ships do offer many different food venues (including healthy choice cuisines) you don’t have to deprive yourself at every step, just be sensible about it. Example: Rather than ordering your favorite beef dish which typically comes covered in steak sauce and garnished with french fries, or onion rings. Just have the steak seared to your desired choice, and ask them to put the sauce “on the side”, and give those pesky fries or onion rings to your spouse or the kids. Either of these items are not only high on the glycemic index, but add the trans fatty oils they are prepared in, and you can easily set yourself up for sickness on the “evennest” of keels. Generally, there is always someone ready to take them off your plate, and make gone with them quickly. The next step is Portion Control, which means nothing more than being creative with the wait staff and the menu. Example: Rather than ordering an entrée, order instead two appetizers (which is perfectly ok to do). Not only does it mean fewer calories, but more flavors for you to savor which after all isn’t that your ultimate goal when it comes to dining? It also means that smaller portions will be set down in front of you. I always try to remember the saying that “you are what you eat”. Just because they serve it to you, doesn’t mean you have to consume it all. The choice is yours to make. Cruising doesn’t have to be about over eating either. Speaking of too much of a good thing…….For you “up at all hours” type folks, Be sure to be cautious with the 24 hour pizza and/or snack bar/delis which are being provided on some of the newest “superclass” ships. These are food venues, that can take a wonderful job of being good, and wipe it out in just one unruly visit, SO BE ALERT, and at least be on guard.
#7-Beware of those Delectable, Drinks of the Day. The cruise lines make it hard to do with these eye-appealing beverage concoctions and they take it to an even-more difficult level with the servers walking around with trays filled to capacity of these sumptuous alcoholic drinks. Just beware, not only will your on-board account be charged for each of these little ditties, but they can have as much as 500 or more calories in each glass. The real problem with alcohol is that the booze alone is normally 300 calories per 8 ounce portion, plus the mixers, which in the case of a martini, or margarita can be as much in calories as the alcohol. Lemonade and Iced tea are both free, as well as fewer calories than those pricey little drinks you have been admiring. That way you won’t find yourself paying later in money or pounds.
#8-Wine or Drinks with Dinner? Well here again you get faced with a choice. Look, you’re trying to have a good time. That’s the whole idea of a cruise to begin with. I say enjoy yourself. To make for a truly enjoyable evening, you not only want to enjoy a cocktail or fine wine with your meal, but you deserve to treat yourself! Simply handle this as a moderation situation. Have the cocktail or wine selection of your choice, but simply limit the drink to one, and buy the wine by the glass, and keep that to a single order as well. Doing this will limit the add-ons’ to both your wallet, as well as your waistline. Bon Appetite!!!
#9 What about those delectable Deserts? It’s the age-old dilemma of Do I, or Don’t I. Let me just say I have many friends who look forward to going on a cruise BECAUSE they know there will be things like crème brulee, and baked Alaska complete with fireworks!! So here is a simple suggestion. “Treat these treats” as portion control issues; just TRY to limit the amount of these items you partake of during your sailing. Yes you will certainly have the ability to order from the same menu, the sugar-free, no sugar added, or dietary minded confections, but I am not going to lie to you, while OK, they are not going to taste as good as the items you are refraining from enjoying, but if you do manage to muster up the will power, then by all means you have earned a well deserved BRAVO!!
#10-FOO FOO COFFEE DRINKS. Ok I am going to keep this simple and to the point. The cruise lines offer these optional fee charge per items because they know that you like them, and you will most likely buy more of them while on your cruise than you would normally do at home. So there you go! Now you know their secret, and that you are their target. You now have the ability to do something about it. Try to take the walk (which is a good thing to do) all the way back up on the upper deck and get some of the free ship’s coffee brew in the casual dining area. It’s free, and generally something like a “Seattle’s Best” brand (or similar) so it’s good coffee, just without the FooFoo Calories and the WooHoo Expense.
So there you have it, my top ten suggestions for not gaining weight while on a cruise. While you have now had the ability to take all of this in, I must say that I rarely, if ever embark on a cruise adventure with the thoughts of NOT having to deal with some weight gain. After all, I am human, and I do find willpower one of my lesser marketable attributes. So I merely accept the fact that I will be tipping the scales a little less leaner upon my return, but it has never failed that my horizon’s have always been broadened and am far more the richer for the experience than when I left. But I promise if you take to heart just one of these suggested approaches, that you will definitely be able to minimize your caloric intake. Should you choose to employ two or more, then your odds are good that the overall increased caloric effect will be minimized.
For more information on ways to reduce the risk of weight gain while cruising and traveling, you can contact Mike via email firstname.lastname@example.org . You can tweet (or follow) Mike at http://www.twitter.com/cruisewithmike . You can “Join” our Travel Club at http://meetup.com/Sun-Cities-Travelers-Group/ Mikes web site can be found at www.mberryhill.cruiseholidays.com . Follow Mike’s blog (or subscribe to it) at http://www.cruisewithmike.com (or merely click on the subscribe button above to have daily delivery to your email). View all of Mikes uploaded Flickr Photo Galleries at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cruisewithmike/ . Mike also edits his own twice daily e-newspaper called “The Compass Headings” you can see (or subscribe to) it free! at http://paper.li/CruisewithMike
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BON VOYAGE, and Enjoy your Cruise!!!