Battling the Bulge On-Board
Having recently taken a four-day cruise from Sydney to Auckland, I was absolutely amazed at the size of the people on the cruise and the size of the meals they ate.
My husband surprised me for our 10th wedding anniversary and what a treat it was! But for us, it wasn’t an opportunity to eat ourselves silly, more of a chance to re-charge our batteries for 2016 and to re-connect with each other, disconnecting from the social media world that we live in.
With the affordability of cruise ships these days, it is much more accessible to everyone, where it used to be reserved for the more affluent. With this in mind, the fact that it was cheaper to take a four-day cruise home than fly, meals included, it is no wonder that people are taking this option, whilst over indulging at the same time.
If you’re planning a cruise, I’d love to share my key strategies on how to ensure you have a fantastic time, so you don’t battle the bulge on-board.
Always take the stairs: There are several levels on cruise ships, with level 2 for example being the gym and level 14 for dance classes, and everything else in between. Taking the lift every time would be the easy option but make a commitment to take the stairs. You’ll be amazed at how much extra exercise this will include!
Maintain your exercise: There will always be a gym on board or a running track on the open deck. Use it. Do it first thing in the morning so it is done and then you can enjoy the rest of the day. Or they might have planned exercise activities that you can participate in. Also, improvise where you can, use a bench seat for your tricep dips, or run up and down the stairs for extra cardio.
Participate in as many physical activities as possible: There are always plenty of activities planned throughout the day, which may include dance classes. So join in, not only are they a lot of fun, but you’ll also be burning extra calories.
Eat the same portion sizes as you do at home: This is a biggie and where most people fall down. Just because it’s there, it doesn’t mean you have to have seconds or thirds! Choose wisely, and choose the lighter options.
Choose the healthier option: When choosing from the buffet, go for the fresh fruit, natural unsweetened yoghurt and natural muesli rather than the full monty cooked breakfast. For lunch, create your own salad out of the choices available, rather than going for the macaroni cheese or creamy seafood chowder. You will be inundated with choices so be prepared to exercise your will power!
Go à la carte instead of buffet: There will be several different eating options available, which will include buffet style or à la carte. If you find it difficult to control your meal sizes at a buffet, choose the à la carte option where they control it for you. This is more of a restaurant dining environment where you dine over a longer period of time, therefore eating less and allowing your food to digest, and not reaching for seconds!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll end up doing more walking than you ever imagined because it takes at least 2-3 days to get your head around where anything is on the boat, therefore a lot of back tracking is definitely on the cards! (Oh, and don’t forget the cards, a cruise is a perfect chance for a game of 500).
To finish up, have an amazing time and definitely make the most of every opportunity available. On the food front though, my advice is to eat wisely because it’s just too easy to say, “Oh, it will be fine, I’ll get back on track when I get home” – much easier said than done.