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How to avoid diet issues when on a cruise ?

It's a known fact that some of our worst diet moments are on cruises or trips, as we just seem to forget ourselves in the fun and devour as it comes by. Here are some ways to avoid making poor meal choices on your next cruise

1 All you can eat buffet
It's common knowledge that a standard feature of most cruises is the all you can eat service. And perhaps like me, when it comes to food your self control takes a hike, do your best to avoid these services, and just stick with the main dining option provided by your cruise. Overeating is not the best feeling for a cruise.

2 Midnight dining
Excitement usually causes insomnia, insomnia comes with boredom. The excitement of the day often reaches into the early hours of the morning and as such boredom's playmate hunger makes us look to the 24 hour dining service most cruises provide. This often results in a less than optimum feeling the next day and starting a cruise day feeling heavy and tired is a recipe for disaster.

3 Actual meals
As hard as it may be, stick to actual meals and avoid snacking in between. It's quite difficult but having less cash on you as you take excursions tend to limit these. Besides no one wants to be told they have a weight problem after they come back from a cruise instead of how vacation looks good on them.

4 Type mixed meals
I say this to mean mixing heavy type and light type meals, you do not want to have heavy meals for breakfast and find yourself feeling tired and experiencing difficulty in moving around. A light breakfast helps you feel easy on oneself and light enough for cruise excursions.

5 Unfamiliar meals
New surroundings begets new dishes and as much as you want to try that mouth watering dish, avoid trying dishes with unknown ingredients or too many new dishes at a sitting. These can turn a cruise into a nightmare as allergies and intestinal disturbances don't make good cruise mates.

6 Specific meals
Sushi though a food for the gods might be better off staying off your plate for your next cruise. For one, they are active breeding sites for most germs and if the freshness is questionable, it is better to leave out the sushi than spend the rest of your day in bed or worse the bathroom heave ho - ing with the ship. Others include ketchup bottles, ice cream stations etc as utmost care is needed with such communal items.

These are based off personal experience, feel free to add your own views on the subject.
Also, what do you think?

Posted by
4418 posts

Willpower and booze calories. Most to do not want to consider denying themselves. After all 'I paid for it' is a common mantra.
I stick to the dining room, often have just fruit for dessert. Rarely feel 'stuffed' and drink mininally. Non alcoholic beverages tend to be water or herbal teas. I don't tell myself 'I can't', I am just not interested.
Same goes for land travel.

Posted by
8293 posts

First world problem if I ever heard one . Cruises are not for people who have difficulty controlling their food intake, unless, of course, they do not consider it a problem. In that case, “Bon appetit” .

Posted by
1259 posts

These are only someone’s opinions.

If one has dietary restrictions, food weirdnesses, nutrition awareness issues, or one is just a picky eater, get one’s questions answered before embarkation.

In depth information about The cruise industry’s restaurant systems, food preparation practices, nutrition breakdowns, and their marketing strategies are all easily researched with a bit of time and effort.

One of my favorite parts of traveling (anywhere) is tasting food I’ve never seen or even heard of before.

Posted by
10323 posts

So it boils down to :
1- do not be a glutton
2- if you have allergies, ask before eating something
and then
3- so what if you gain 5 lb on the cruise--- by the time you catch up on your yard work at home they will be gone

Thank you for the reminder to 'be sensible' about eating when presented a vast array of goodies.

Posted by
4418 posts

Bogiesan, if you choose right, you can have food adventures on a cruise.I might eat fruit desserts but then I am gluten se pnsitive and most desserts aren't tasty enough for the belly ache. Last cruise a table mate asked if I was ever going to eat normal food. I was the one eating frog's legs, guinea fowl, pheasant, any game on the menu. She stuck to chicken.

Posted by
2677 posts

We enjoy cruising but try to stay fit and healthy. We have come down to cruising with Celebrity and booking the Aqua Spa class. With that you dine in a private dining room that has healthier options. You can still order the higher caloric stuff, and we do now and again, but so far this has worked well for us.

Posted by
2081 posts

1) for breakfast, hit the oatmeal and fresh berries, bran muffin and greek yogurt with a glass of orange juice....okay grab a small chocolate's okay
2) for lunch, a lean meat and lots of greens and just a small amount of ice cream or a cookie
3) go for a cookie or two for a snack
4) order from the menu....use restraint...if it is not delivered on a plate to you, you will not be tempted to eat it :) Whole wheat roll okay...pass on the butter. Just a smidge (and I do mean a smidge of wine).....two fingers high max in the ole wine glass. Ditto for dessert....ask the waiter to bring a half serving of whatever you order. Special sauces...just a smidge,please. I was nicknamed "the smidge lady" by several waiters :) If a plate comes with a potato, ask if you can substitute asparagus (without a sauce)...the answer will always be yes :)
5) Avoid recreational alcohol....just because it is included does not mean you should (on all inclusive ships) Get lots of ice in your drink. Always have a glass of water handy.
6) Shore excursions will provide lots of opportunity to walk
7) Take the stairs
8) For the day(s) at sea, walk some laps on the upper deck. Take the stairs. Avoid the freebie snacks/drinks/etc.
9) Allow yourself some incredible treats....but use restraint.
10) it is a cruise, not a pig out.
11) wear the skinny jeans, they will remind you when you do not feel skinny...LOL.
12) relish in other passengers telling you how slim/trim you look.....and decide right then and there that you have a commitment to yourself
13) if you fail, forgive yourself...the cruise does not last forever...there will be bran muffins and sauteed chicken with vegetables when you get home :)
14) if you are on mega ship with a midnight buffet, stay in bed
15) Eating too much right before bed is a great way to gain weight...remember that during dinner (regardless of what time you dine)

Posted by
2081 posts

P.S. to my previous post. Do not dine with pig-out people who make 10 trips back to the buffet table. If you can, enjoy dining with people who appear to have some level of will find each other........those who have restraint will also not talk about it constantly...they will just practice it.

Posted by
7786 posts

We've been on so many cruises that the unlimited food is really not that appetizing. My blood sugar is often better on a cruise than at home.
My wife and I have switched over to an all green, no white diet. Eat all the meat and protein we care for, however. And it's going to be a permanent lifestyle change.
All it takes is willpower.

Posted by
4272 posts

My wife and I have switched over to an all green, no white diet. Eat all the meat we want....

Green meat does not sound that appetizing...

Posted by
4319 posts

Green meat does not sound that appetizing..

I agree. And I tend to avoid the green eggs and ham at the breakfast buffet.

Like a previous poster, I have to wonder from some of the OPs comments how many cruises she's been on. What ships still have 24 hr food service ( other than the limited room service menus of dubious quality)? And I would assert that a good breakfast is a plus if you have a full day excursion ahead of you- one that can carry you through to early afternoon if necessary. As for avoiding sushi when on a ship- given the higher sanitary conditions that ships are required to operate under ( higher than most land restaurants) I would not hesitate to partake. In fact, the sushi restaurant on our favorite cruise line is a must do for us.

Whether you're on a land vacation or a cruise, it all boils down to self control. You either have it or you don't. And unless you have a serious, life threatening medical condition, a few dietary overindulgences aren't going to kill you. So what if you put on a couple of pounds over a 2 week cruise? It will come off soon enough once you're home. When I travel, no matter where, I want to try new things. And that includes food and drink. I've never had cause to regret that. And that includes eating from street vendors in Singapore and Bangkok.

I wonder why the OP chose to post a thread about cruising on this site, and not Cruise Critic.

Posted by
8293 posts

By no means are you obliged to take your meals at the buffet. There is always the main dining room, where you are given menus and it is up to you to choose wisely, and with fewer temptations to pig out.

Posted by
5029 posts

My what you want, you paid for it, who cares what other people think.

Posted by
13 posts

We’ve been on about 20 cruises. We eat when we’re actually hungry, not because there is ‘free’ food. We stop eating when we’re full, not when the plate is empty or buffet closed. I have serious food allergies so I work with the maître d’ & wait staff to avoid what might send me to the epipen.

If something doesn’t taste wonderful I don’t finish it.

It’s not hard ... just be sensible. If you want to eat yourself into a food coma, it’s your holiday, do what you want!