How to stay healthy on your cruise (and still have fun!)

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For anyone who has been on a cruise before, you know how impossible it can feel to be healthy. I mean, there’s literally tables and tables and tables of free food laid out for out at all times of the day. It’s everyone’s dream come true. And then there’s the alcohol… It’s hard not to indulge in frozen margaritas and daiquiris all day when the sun is out and your laying by the pool, and someone is bringing the drinks right to you!

My mom with our first drinks on our first family cruise!

So here are my tips for staying healthy on a cruise, without feeling like you’re missing out on anything!

1. If it doesn’t taste amazing, stop eating it!

For me, this was the most important tip that helped me stay healthy. There is SO MUCH food on a cruise. And SO MUCH of it is amazing. And while on any normal day I would never condone food waste like this, if you’re on a cruise and put some food on your plate at the buffet that you end up not loving, don’t finish it! Seriously, just because it’s on your plate, doesn’t mean you have to eat it.  Not only will doing this stop you from over eating, but it’ll force you to try more foods on your cruise, and find some that you’ll absolutely love! (Like the below desserts!)

2. Try to only drink water at meals

In my opinion, the best way to use your daily amount of calories per day on a cruise (not that I ever counted my calories. It probably would have been distressing if I had) is through food! But if you have juice and soda at breakfast and lunch, you’re wasting calories. Wouldn’t you rather try that cool desert? Or maybe have a cocktail at the pool?

Royal Caribbean cocktail

Giving up juice and soda at mealtimes is a great way to make a compromise that won’t make you feel like you’re missing out. It’ll also give your stomach more room to eat food at mealtimes!

(I didn’t always keep this rule at dinnertime. It’s nice to have a glass of wine at a fancy dinner)

3. Go for a walk in the morning!

This is actually a really nice way to start your day on the cruise. I’m pretty sure all ships have a track on one of the top decks, and walking around the ship with a full, unobstructed view of the ocean is really amazing. If you’re really adventurous, you can even watch the sun rise from the track. I haven’t done this yet, but it’s on my cruise bucket list!

Going for a walk in the morning can help you get an active start to your day. The mornings are also the time of day when the least amount of activities are going on, so it’s a great way to be active during down time.

4. Take the stairs!

This is SUCH a great way of staying healthy and active on your cruise. On my last cruise, the dining room was on deck 3, and the pools and Windjammer were on deck 12, so I walked between these floors a lot! And I never took the elevator. Not only is this a great way to keep active on your cruise, but you’ll actually get around a lot faster than everyone else. There’s a lot of people on cruise ships, and the elevators are pretty slow (and basically stop on every floor).

If you don’t want to always take the stairs, make a goal for yourself. For example, if a destination you want to go to is 4 floors or less away, commit to taking the stairs.

Just doing the stairs instead of taking the elevators got me over 10,000 steps every day of my cruise!

5. If you’re full, stop eating!

I know this sounds a bit like #1, but it’s really important in a different way. With so much amazing food around you, sometimes it can be hard to stop. Even in the dining room, they’ll give you as much food as you want (you can ask for multiple appetizers and entrees). It can be hard to stop eating when you’ve just eaten something SO GOOD, and you can get more of it right away, for free! But here’s the thing you need to remember: You’ll get to eat it again tomorrow (most likely). When it comes to the buffet areas, they keep most of the same foods every day, and if not every day, it will make an appearance again at some point during your cruise (especially week-long cruises). Even in the dining room, they repeat dinner options.

Meal from the Windjammer with a great view of the back of the ship!

And, even if that amazing food you got that one night on the cruise never comes up again (which is unlikely), there will be so many other foods you’ll love, that you won’t even miss it! So when you’re stuffing yourself as much as you can with that awesome dinner, just remember that there will always be more amazing food to try 🙂

Bonus tip: Eat slowly! If you eat fast, you won’t realize when you’re full. Take your time at your meals, and it’ll help you realize when you’ve reached your limit.

**Story time: My dad ordered 2 entrees every night at dinner (he loves to eat). One night he was eating his second, which was a pasta dish, and pushed it away half finished. And then he proceeded to complain that they brought the second one out to him too late, as he’d had too much time in between eating so now he couldn’t eat anymore. And I was like, Dad, that means you’re full. You’re not supposed to stuff yourself as fast as you can just so you can eat all the food you’ve ordered. So, moral of the story, don’t be my dad. And enjoy your cruise!!!**

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