Tips for clean eating on the cruise?

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#1
Pittsburgh
7 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Hi everyone. I've been working out hard and dieting for my upcoming cruise. I wanted to see if anyone has any suggestions for eating healthy while on a cruise. I eat a bodybuilding diet and work out 6 days a week. I end up with 5 small meals a day. Of course it's a challenge with all of the great food on cruises. I'm a dessert girl myself :-)
#2
Philadelphia,Pa
832 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
Originally posted by BigJo
Hi everyone. I've been working out hard and dieting for my upcoming cruise. I wanted to see if anyone has any suggestions for eating healthy while on a cruise. I eat a bodybuilding diet and work out 6 days a week. I end up with 5 small meals a day. Of course it's a challenge with all of the great food on cruises. I'm a dessert girl myself :-)
One of the best tips would be to have breakfast DELIVERED to your stateroom, instead of going to the buffet and being tempted with all those sugary, carb loaded food.

Instead, you can have delivered, for free, oatmeal, fresh fruit, yogurt, juice, hard boiled eggs.

Also, limit your dessert/sweets to only 1 meal.

The bottom line is you need to have the WILL POWER not to over eat.

Since I have had a major lifestyle change in eating and fitness, I NEVER gain any weight after a cruise (just finished a 13 nt transatlantic). My traveling companions regularly commented on my 'discipline' in following healthy eating habits dispite all the temptations.
#3
Pittsburgh
7 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by kwokpot
One of the best tips would be to have breakfast DELIVERED to your stateroom, instead of going to the buffet and being tempted with all those sugary, carb loaded food.

Instead, you can have delivered, for free, oatmeal, fresh fruit, yogurt, juice, hard boiled eggs.

Also, limit your dessert/sweets to only 1 meal.

The bottom line is you need to have the WILL POWER not to over eat.

Since I have had a major lifestyle change in eating and fitness, I NEVER gain any weight after a cruise (just finished a 13 nt transatlantic). My traveling companions regularly commented on my 'discipline' in following healthy eating habits dispite all the temptations.

You are so inspirational. My favorite meal is breakfast even with my lifestyle change. I love to eat oatmeal every day. I wonder if room service does a veggie egg white omelet. The dessert idea makes a lot of sense. My sweetooth was always my biggest downfall. I will remember that!
#4
St. Charles Missouri
6,877 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
i eat healthier on cruise ships than i do at home. at lunch, most ships have great salad options, and usually grilled vegetables and fish.
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#5
San Diego
8,858 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
I think the thing that gets most people in trouble is eating when they usually wouldnt...for example...I typically only eat an early lunch and dinner...if I go on a cruise and eat a big breakfast, a lunch, snack, dinner and then get room service late at night I am going to run into problems.
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#6
seattle
4,626 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
I think it's easier to eat better on a cruise, I'm not pressured by a work schedule & no need to skip meals due to being in a hurry & then overeat when you finally do sit down to a meal.

I lost a few pounds on the 2 week transatlantic cruise. If you enjoy working out you'll still be working on your cruise. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

I ordered room service breakfast when I cruised on celebrity - carnival only seemed to have sugary carb type food offered on the breakfast room service menu.
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#7
United Kingdom
3 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Some people may have good intentions when boarding a cruise ship of eating well and staying away from the 24-hour pizza buffet or the freaking ridiculously delicious desserts. As in my wife’s case, maybe it works out that way in the beginning but eventually you succumb. There is nothing wrong with that. You shouldn’t take a cruise if you don’t plan on enjoying the food.
So you may be wondering whether Penny and I gained any weight. Yes, we did. It wasn’t much at all …3 pounds each. And I’ve already lost two of those pounds in the four days we’ve been back. If anything, my body really probably needed that break. My muscles seemed to have filled out some and my metabolism is stoked again.
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#8
RHODE ISLAND
1,034 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
I agree with most posters out here. It's all about choices when you hit the long buffet lines and endless dessert trays

I am not certain of all ships, however, carnival and royal have spa choices right on the MDR menu. That is a no-brainer...there are fabulous choices on there including dessert.

The cruise isn't really about the food is it? Well, maybe for some folks

I lost 20 lbs before my cruise and gained 1.5 pounds after 11 days away from my comfy kitchen with all my 'stuff' available to me. I opted for light beer or light cocktails instead of the frufru fruity drinks loaded with sugar. I ate from the spa choices in the MDR. I ate all protein items for breakfast and drank loads of lemon water. I ate whatever I wanted for lunch from fried to pizza to salad. I saved my sweet treat for evening after the show. I really didn't feel like I was sacrificing anything. We even ate at the specialty restaurant and johnny rockets! For exercise, I did some brisk walking a few times and skipped the elevator a few times after dinner, but didn't work out in the fitness centers.

It's all about choices and you will be fine if you set your personal expectation and try to stick with it. I love this saying from one of my past counsellors: one meal doesn't make a bad day, one bad day doesn't make a bad week, and one bad week doesn't make a bad month--get back on track and catch yourself.
#9
Kansas City, MO
2,317 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by tink360
I think it's easier to eat better on a cruise, I'm not pressured by a work schedule & no need to skip meals due to being in a hurry & then overeat when you finally do sit down to a meal.

I lost a few pounds on the 2 week transatlantic cruise. If you enjoy working out you'll still be working on your cruise. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

I ordered room service breakfast when I cruised on celebrity - carnival only seemed to have sugary carb type food offered on the breakfast room service menu.
I agree. I think it is easier to eat right on a cruise. There are plenty of healthy options even on the buffet. I do tend to eat more, and so I spend a little more time in the gym doing cardio. If I gain 2 or 3 pounds it's gone in a week or so.
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#10
84,374 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Avoid buffets and if you do eat at a buffet take smaller portions and when you eat just like a good glass of wine take your time and enjoy each mouthful. Be sure to exercise more and try to walk the steps and avoid the elevators. Eat a lot of salad, vegetables, fresh fruit and fish.

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#12
Northern NH
240 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
We make a goal at the beginning of our cruises to not take the elevator at all except boarding with our luggage and disembarking. We have done this each and every cruise and we manage not to gain weight even though we drink a wee bit more alcohol than at home! We also go to the fitness center and work out every day too. Good luck... you can do it!
#13
Atlanta, GA
942 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
I've recently read that the water onboard ship is really high in sodium due to the water purification process that uses the sea water. I've heard it doesn't taste salty, but the sodium content is still really high which also will make you retain a lot of water.... so when we lose those cruise pounds quickly during the first week back home, often it is just ditching all that sodium retained water. i'm bringing my own case of water this time!
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#14
seattle
4,626 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by fendere
I've recently read that the water onboard ship is really high in sodium due to the water purification process that uses the sea water. I've heard it doesn't taste salty, but the sodium content is still really high which also will make you retain a lot of water.... so when we lose those cruise pounds quickly during the first week back home, often it is just ditching all that sodium retained water. i'm bringing my own case of water this time!
That's my opinion too! I did the same on my last cruise, and this was the only one in years that my face did not swell up like a balloon. Yes, there is still the same ship's water used in the coffee or tea and used to prepare the food you eat - but at least your poor kidneys get a bit of break with some regular water throughout the day. Come back to post if it made a difference after your cruise!
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#15
116 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by fendere
I've recently read that the water onboard ship is really high in sodium due to the water purification process that uses the sea water. I've heard it doesn't taste salty, but the sodium content is still really high which also will make you retain a lot of water.... so when we lose those cruise pounds quickly during the first week back home, often it is just ditching all that sodium retained water. i'm bringing my own case of water this time!
we are really worried about this. Do we put packs of 17 oz. bottles in each of our carry-ons? Is this acceptable to security?
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#16
Central Mass
272 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I normally bring a whole case of water with me. I leave it wrapped in the plastic I buy it in and attach a luggage tag to the top with packing tape. It gets delivered with my luggage.

As far as watching what you eat I always say no thank you to the rolls at every meal and if you MUST try the pasta dish get the appetizer size.
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#17
Atlanta, GA
942 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Hi, everyone,
we just stepped off the ship this morning. I am happy to say, YES, bringing the water did indeed help. I actually Only drank bottled water for the entire cruise, with the exception of wine at night (no juices, teas, lemonade, etc). I did have hot chocolate a few times though. We were gone for 5 nights and I singlehandedly went through the 20 water bottles I brought. I wish I had brought more though. Also, I had opened them out of the case and had put them in a duffle bag with a luggage tag. However this time I noticed Several people in line to board carrying on their cases of water. Funny because on past cruises I've never noticed that many carrying on water and soda. Anyway, that afternoon once luggage had been delivered to our cabin, I opened the duffle and there was a letter on top of my water bottles from carnival saying something like, "we had to check your bag since it seemed like there might be soemthing not allowed. We've found it to be alright though. Please be sure to check your Carnival policies. ". So I'm guessing you r supposed to carry on the water. Either that or it is supposed to be left in it's original packaging. I know we will be bringing a case for our cruise in may, but if we can check the cases in tact, then I'll be bringing two cases for the rest of the family, too.
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#18
seattle
4,626 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by fendere
Hi, everyone,
we just stepped off the ship this morning. I am happy to say, YES, bringing the water did indeed help. I actually Only drank bottled water for the entire cruise, with the exception of wine at night (no juices, teas, lemonade, etc). I did have hot chocolate a few times though.
That's great that the water helped. Thanks for coming back to post! I know for me, bringing on the water or buying some sort of water package is just part of my cruise routine from now on.
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#19
Australia
11,167 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
That's interesting about the high sodium levels in the ship's water. You certainly cannot taste it.
As to the original post, I'm in favour of a high protein regime... with carbs only at breakfast (muesli + yoghurt + fruit). My eating pattern does not differ much from when I'm not cruising. There is a wonderful assortment of healthy food onboard.
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#20
Virginia
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Joined Jul 2009
Had no idea about the sodium in the ships water! That's just crazy!!!
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