This article is addressed to two groups of people: those who have cruised and those
who have not. Does that make sense? If you've cruised, you can refer to what this is
all about. If not, I'm preparing you for what to expect on that fateful day when you
do. Well, as a cruiser, I feel that an urban legend regarding weight gain must be put
to rest. The myth perpetuated by former cruisers is that, during the course of the
journey you will gain (a) 5 pounds, (b) 10 pounds, (c) 20 pounds, (d) so much
weight, they'll arrange for a forklift on the other end. I can attest that this is not true.
But, people do add additional birth, once at sea, they have forgotten how to
eat. Let me explain.
This 'out-of-control' behavior is the direct result of the insidious cruise line.
They make 'food' a destination by itself. By providing outrageous buffets, dining
rooms, snack areas, and unlimited cabin service, food is available in a nonstop,
never-ending, extravaganza that tempts even the best of strong-murdered travelers.
One could eat continuously for the entire trip if one wanted. Normal people become
transformed into eating machines with uncontrollable urges, heaping outlandish
portions upon their plates. It's as if they were hypnotized into a feeding frenzy,
against their better judgment. Is there no help for these soon-to-be members of
Of course, and that's why I'm here. There's a simple solution, which I will share.
Begin with an attitude that says, I do not want to hurt myself when I get home, but I
still want to have fun and indulge. Consider every meal as a personal challenge.
Think about how you eat when you're not on a vacation, where there is:
(a) less temptation,
(b) limited choices,
(c) an actual cost associated with each portion, and
(d) consequences with overeating.
Then begin with your breakfast. Does a stack of foot-high pancakes, a dozen
sausages and a whole pineapple look anything like what you eat at home? Try to
make a relationship back to realistic needs. If you usually have a piece of toast at
home, then why would you require a tray-load of Belgium waffles, covered with
extra whipped cream, at sea?
It's okay to treat yourself with a dessert that you might not normally order, but
try to keep things in perspective. The temptation to overeat, because all the meals
are included, is attractive. But the reality is that one day, you'll be back home
bemoaning the fact you have to diet because certain clothes you love will not fit
anything. Another way to stay fit on a cruise is to bypass the elevator. Personally, I
never use one. Even if I'm on the 5th floor and need to get to deck 14, I walk the
stairs. And walk the ship often. And when you're in port, walk there too. If you work
out at home, use the ship's gym: it's free. Then, when you grab the chocolate
mousse dessert at night, you have a fighting chance to keep your weight gain to a
minimum, if any at all.
To recap, avoid temptation and eat like you were at home. Walk everywhere and
often. Treat yourself in moderation. You may not lose weight, but you should at
least keep the status quo and you'll thank yourself when you're back on land.
Gaining weight on a cruise is not inevitable: Myth busted and Bon Voyage!