10 Tips to Keep Your Weight in Check While on Vacation

Many people come back from a cruise vacation packing a couple of extra pounds. Those mouthwatering, all-you-can-eat buffets are often the culprit. However, cruising provides many opportunities to help maintain your weight goals!

Yes, overindulging can quickly derail you from your goal. However, you can strategically offset that possibility. When planning for your cruise trip, consider the challenges you may face and how to overcome them.

Here are 10 tips to help you come up with a plan to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle and have fun while you cruise.

RELATED: Can Traveling Improve Your Health?

BYOW (Bring Your Own Workout)

You can find excellent workout routines online that will allow you to take advantage of the well-equipped fitness center on your cruise ship. Snap a screenshot of your favorite routine and bring it along. Exercising first thing in the morning will help you stay committed.

Stay active

Don’t be discouraged if the gym intimidates you. Cruise ships have multiple on-board activities that will keep you moving and entertained. Find out if your ship has an outdoor running track, a rock-climbing wall, or a pool surfing simulator, for example. You will break a good sweat at any of these fun yet challenging activities.

Take a hike

Find out if there will be hiking opportunities during your cruise vacation. This is an excellent choice for people of all fitness levels. If hiking is not an option, check the land tour packages. Walking tours, snorkeling, or swimming with dolphins will certainly get your body moving while creating everlasting memories.

Eat smart

While all-you-can-eat buffets may host not-so-healthy traps, they also provide unlimited access to deliciously healthy food like fruits, salads and lean protein. Control your portions by packing half of your plate with salad and the other half with seafood and baked potato, for example.

Take your time

It takes 20 minutes for your brain to signal that your stomach is full. Eating slowly and pausing after the first serving will give your brain a chance to send “the signal”. If you are still hungry after that, go for another round of smart eating.

Beware cocktails

Sipping cocktails can pack a lot of extra calories. Cosmopolitans and mojitos are in the lower side of the calorie spectrum, as are wines and light beer. Consume in moderation, though, as each one averages between 100 and 200 calories. On the other hand, watch out if you like piña coladas and long island iced tea, as they are over 300 calories each.

Snack often

Having loads of fun can make us lose track of time, sometimes forgetting to snack. Starving out in between meals can lead to overeating later. Make sure to pack healthy snacks such as fruits, crackers and cheese to munch during the day.

Hit the nightclub

Dancing is a fun way to burn calories. If you still have energy left from all that fun during the day, join the night crawlers on the dance floor and finish the day strong.

Drink more water

Water packs no extra calories, keeps you hydrated, and tricks your brain into thinking your stomach is full. Win-win.

Relax at the spa

Seriously. Find out your cruise ship’s spa offers and book a treatment! Under stress, the body releases cortisol. Sustained elevated levels of this fight-of-flight hormone are related to weight gain. Therefore, relaxing will actually help you keep a balanced weight!

The key to keeping your weight on check while on vacation is knowing that it is all about creating a balance. If you over indulge one day, you should counterbalance it the next. Stay committed to your goals!

-Gina M.H.

Born and raised in the Caribbean, Gina loves the beach and is intrigued by snowy destinations. She thinks traveling is the best school and dreams of sailing around the world with her husband and kids.

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!