6 Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight on a Cruise

No cheese, light mayo, and lots of lettuce, please!No cheese, light mayo, and lots of lettuce, please!Let's be honest; when people go on vacation they tend to gain weight. It just goes with the territory of being out of your normal routine and the idea that a vacation is a break from it all. And when people are on a break, they want a break from caring about what they eat; they want to have fun and relax! Plus, the calories you eat when you're out of your normal routine don't count right? You know what else doesn't count? Eating over the sink and off of my kids' plates. Full fat mac and cheese is perfectly acceptable when it's made for the twins even if I'm the one who ultimately eats it. It's what I tell myself but it's also the reason I spend so much time in loose fitting pants. They help with the denial.

Related: 12 ways to sneak workout time into your schedule

As far as vacations go though, a cruise seems like a recipe for weight gain. All that drifting around on the high seas, lounging by the pool, and extra whip on your brownie sundae can't help but lead to a few extra pounds by the time you dock right? Well, I want to go on a cruise really badly but I don't want to come home needing another getaway to a weight loss spa. I consulted with a friend, who is sort of a cruise expert, for suggestions on how to not return from my trip with extra baggage.

Go ahead and peruse these suggestions and then please leave one of your own in the comments!

Related: The 5 worst foods for weight loss

Oh, the tempting delight of endless foodOh, the tempting delight of endless foodAvoid the Midnight Buffet
Nothing does more damage than pigging out super late at night. If you know that there is a buffet full of crazy calorie-laden snacks, stay away. You don't need another full meal in the middle of the night! Tell yourself you can have a big breakfast in the morning instead.

A little sweat goes a long wayA little sweat goes a long wayUse the State-of-the-Art Gym
You always say you don't have time to work out. Well, now you do. Start every morning on the treadmill and you won't feel bad about dipping your lobster in butter later at night.

Related: 20 delicious salads hearty enough for tonight's dinner

If you like Pina Coladas ... If you like Pina Coladas ... Light Beer Instead of Pina Coladas
Did you know that a Pina Colada has more calories than a Big Mac? I didn't either. If you want to drink cocktails, try to have one type of alcohol like vodka by itself or with a little fruit juice. Here's a delicious drink (from my drinking days): Put a little Clamato juice in a beer. It's refreshing, a little citrusy and kind of filling without a ton of calories. You're welcome!

No cheese, light mayo, and lots of lettuce, please!No cheese, light mayo, and lots of lettuce, please!Custom Order
Ask for your salmon grilled without butter or, instead of a bacon cheeseburger, have a turkey burger with lettuce and tomato. You will have choices on the ship so why not make healthy ones?

Related: 10 surprising benefits of taking a walk

Kick off those heels and put on something more comfortable Kick off those heels and put on something more comfortable Walk the Deck
Put your gym shoes on and go explore every nook and cranny of the ship. My friend says you can walk a couple of miles this way without even realizing it. Then grab the paper and a cup of coffee and relax before your full day of … more relaxing.

Ready for some Night Fever dancing?Ready for some Night Fever dancing?Dance All Night!
Put the kids in the late night kids club (if you have them with you) and go sweat off dinner in da club yo! If you worked out in the morning and danced all night, I'm thinking you will lose weight over the week. Or be very, very tired. Big butt or naps, you decide.

- By Stefanie Wilder Taylor
Follow Stefanie at Babble

For 5 rules on cruise ship etiquette (yes, there is such a thing), visit Babble!


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