With the focus I place on the delicious dining options on Carnival Cruise Lines, it’s no wonder that I am often asked how I maintain my weight while cruising. Many of my regular readers might recall that I lost 30+ pounds in 2012, and I am constantly working on either losing regained weight or maintaining my weight once I am successful. With as often as I travel, and my But I’m On Vacation! attitude towards food, it isn’t always easy to make healthy food choices…but it’s not actually difficult either!
How NOT to Blow Your Diet on a Cruise
Drink Water Instead of Soda
This might seem like common sense, but I think it needs to be said: drink water. You can also save money while cruising by skipping the soda package and drinking the free beverage options:lemonade, tea and water. Those are things that I drink anyway, as I am not a big fan of soda. Just as soda adds empty calories while you are home, it’s especially helpful to skip the soda and drink water while cruising.
There’s also a bonus to choosing water over soda while cruising: you’ll stay hydrated while playing in the pool on the Lido Deck!
Start Your Day with Protein
While Carnival Cruise Lines offers many delicious options in their breakfast buffet (and room service!), make sure that you are eating at least a little protein in the mornings. Scrambled eggs, bacon, Canadian bacon or ham, eggs benedict – whatever fits your diet plan, make sure to start your day with solid proteins so that your body has fuel and you are less tempted to hit the 24 hour soft serve ice cream station…several times.
Tip: Speaking of ice cream, did you know that Carnival Cruise Lines has a lowfat frozen yogurt option in their ice cream machine? It’s a great way to indulge in a sweet treat without totally blowing your dessert allowance for the day!
You will also find that the buffet serves yogurt as well as a wide variety of fresh fruit each morning. Take advantage of the low calorie, healthy options and why not grab a banana or apple to go? You’ll have a healthy snack for later on!
The Salad Bar is Your Friend
Carnival Cruise Lines offers everyone’s favorite vacation food in the form of delicious cheeseburgers, pizza and burritos at their specialty restaurants, but there are so many options in the buffet area too! Before heading to the buffet line to pile your plate high with fried chicken, casseroles, comfort food and the like, stop at the salad bar and fill your plate with leafy greens and fresh veggies. There is always a salad bar in the buffet area at lunch and dinner, which makes it easy to balance your meal with a healthy salad and a little indulgent food.
Hit the Gym at Sea
There is also a pretty fantastic gym on every Carnival ship, so wake up early and get your workout in before the day of fun begins! You can also find a jogging track on most Sun Decks, and while I am not a runner, I love taking morning walks along the track while the sun rises. It’s the perfect way to start my day!
Take The Stairs
Unless we are disembarking on a shore excursion, I always take the stairs when cruising. I am not a gym aficionado, so that is how I get my exercise while cruising! It’s a great – and easy – way to work off the extra calories you are consuming while on vacation!
Another obvious way to get a good workout in while cruising is to do a few laps in the pool. Many spend a lot of time in the pool but don’t think about actually swimming – it’s a great way to get a full body workout while still having a ton of fun. Make sure you get there early if you like to swim alone, as the Lido Deck is usually full on bright and sunny days!
Sample Indulgent Dinner Options in Smaller Portions
Did you know that you can request many of the dinner entrees as a starter in the main dining room on Carnival Cruise Lines? While you are free to order a second main course to sample if you want a little indulgence alongside your healthy dinner option, you can ask for a starter course if the option is designated on the menu. It’s a fun way to try a little bit of something without going overboard at dinner time.
There are also lighter menu items alongside the more indulgent dishes, I’ve often seen grilled fish and chicken, as well as vegetarian options!
How do you stay on track with your diet plan while on vacation? I would love to hear your tips!