Cruises, Hard on the Diet!!

Here is what not to do…go on 3 cruises in 1 year. We found ourselves locked in to 3 cruises before we knew it, my wife and I. Cruises are great. I wrote about them last blog. However, if you are tying to lose to or maintain a healthy weight, 3 cruises per year will wreak havoc on your efforts.

I only gained 10 lbs over the 1st two cruises and was able to lose those fairly quickly. But it took a lot of effort. This cruise, I determined not to gain more than 5 pounds. I ran every other day and rode a stationary bike every other day while on the cruise. I ran for 1 1/2 hours each day and rode for 2 hours each day (only 1 hour the last day). I didn’t realize until later that my appetite increased disproportionately to the calories I burned. Too much food and drink available an in your face while floating around on the Caribbean Sea. I gained 9 pounds on the 7 day cruise. YIKES!!

I have already lost 2 of the pounds gained in 2 days back. I did learn something about myself and vacations on this trip, 10 uncompromising principles.

1. Find a way to continue your food & activity diary while on vacation. I did not keep my daily diary up. I believe if I would have made entries when I ate, I would have seen the calories building up each day and curtailed some of the extra eating and drinking.
2. Exercise, but normally. Do not increase the amount you exercise, keep to your normal routine or you will be tempted to eat to satisfy the increased calorie burn.
3. Don’t eat for entertainment. I found myself eating just because I was bored or had nothing else to do. Yes, you are able to become bored on a cruise ship. Find activities to do and do them. There are all kinds of games, activities, shows and events to go to and participate in that will keep you from the ice cream machine, pizza place, dessert bar, etc.
4. Don’t drink for entertainment. Same principle as above, but concerning sodas and alcoholic drinks. Too easy to drink “way” more than you do and skip the water.
5. Carry a bottled water with you at all times. This will keep down the number of snacks and drinks you get, if you are constantly drinking a bottled water.
6. Walk everywhere you go. This will help give you more calorie burn, which you will need.
7. Order 1 dessert at dinner. I at 2 at each sitting. Don’t know why, but I did.
8. Go on excursions. The only thing to do on the boat at port is eat or drink if you are not on an excursion.
9. Say no to the waiters and waitresses are constantly asking if you need something.
10. Make a plan before you go on a cruise…don’t be so strict on yourself that you miss out on some great food and drinks, but have a plan, make entries in your diary at the time you eat or drink, do your routine exercise plan, stay busy and enjoy your cruise.