Tips on limiting the damage?

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Lose Before You Cruise
A place for cruisers to share their stories of how to lose weight before a cruise. Virtual snacks allowed, but only in small quantities.
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182 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Hi, This time in 4 weeks I will be on my way to the US for a 14 day Alaska cruise, I have been losing weight in preparation for all the layers I will more than likely have to wear and will be eating and drinking whatever I want (within reason) as reward while away! I put 8lb on on my 7 day cruise in Jan in Dubai and I got it off in the next 2 weeks, So it's not too much of a problem but would like to lessen the damage...

I am planning on walking laps out on deck as often as possible (the scenery should keep me at it!) and I am going to try and use the stairs only (no lifts)...

What else can I do to try and limit how much I gain?
9,056 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Instead of eating and drinking whatever you want, limit that reward to one meal a day. Be cautious for other meals. Or, what I do is celebrate the first day of the cruise or also midway through on a long cruise, but I am careful the rest of the cruise. I like your plan for exercising. Having a plan and sticking to it will help a lot.

I don't know if your metabolism is like mine, but for me, I can just never actually eat and drink whatever I want without paying a penalty at weigh-ins. I'm one of those folks who has to carefully monitor intake pretty much all the time. The older I get, the harder it gets.
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Jimmy Buffet
East Coast, USA
45 Posts
Joined Oct 2016
Hi Red, so much depends on your normal lifestyle/diet and your body. But I can tell you somethings that might help, that I do.

For me, I am not very active in my day to day life (desk job, hate the gym). If I increase my walking by a lot (at home or on a cruise) that also kicks up my hunger too! So, I still take the elevator, etc. If add in a bunch of new exercise on top of the added walking I do in ports, then I just am that much more hungry.

As far as diet, what I found works for me is for breakfast I focus on all the fresh whole fruit that cruises offer. I would never get that kind of variety at home, and many fruits are tedious to cut and wash, so it is such a treat to be able to have so much all ready to eat on the ship! I rarely have anything other than fruit for breakfast when watching what I eat. Then for lunch, I go the salad route, but this has to be done carefully. Veggie heavy, a little crunch from a nut or seed and not croutons, no bread on the side, no creamy dressings, not heavily dressed, etc. Then when dinner comes I set no limits, other than portion control. I hate that extra full feeling but it really is a mental chore to stop eating at a reasonable amount, but I know I will be happier that night if I eat to satisfied and not too full and I know it will help after I get home. Yet, I will eat anything that looks good and never pass up dessert. Another thing is I won't snack, and if I do, it's usually protein bars I pack from home.

Hope these tips might help you or spark some inspiration! Bon Voyage! Enjoy Alaska!
North Carolina
369 Posts
Joined Aug 2016
Walking for an hour burns what, 100 calories? That's less than two oreos. If you plan to let loose and eat whatever you want for the cruise that's fine—it's what I plan to do—but you won't be able to mitigate that kind of caloric onslaught unless you're in the gym heavy lifting pretty much all day.

My advice would be to go, enjoy the cruise and the cruise food as much as you want, and then save the worrying about weight for when you get home. If it only takes two weeks to burn off the cruise gains, that's not so bad at all.
20 Posts
Joined May 2016
Giving a vote to using the stairs all the time. Read something suggesting doing so to reduce exposure to sick individuals but it also saves so much time and frustration. Cruise ships or hotels, how many times have you seen the throngs waiting for elavators. Take the stairs if you can and be wary of handrails too. Not a germaphobe but still....
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cruising.cockroach {at} gmail hotmail and yahoo
1,615 Posts
Joined May 2012
Easiest way. When you're at your slimmest just before the cruise, go out and buy _fixed_ waist pants, no elastic or adjusters allowed, and wear these all the time - don't bring anything else that is looser or expandable. It's great to prevent overeating - your stomach won't be allowed to expand and you won't overeat (easily).

I told my mother this trick and she's learnt that it works.

See my blog in the thread for men to lose weight for cruises
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4 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Just back from my first cruise and while I wasn't restricting myself, I found using the smaller dessert plates rather than dinner plates at the buffet helped me not to stuff myself too much.
19,514 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Originally posted by Penfold_67
Just back from my first cruise and while I wasn't restricting myself, I found using the smaller dessert plates rather than dinner plates at the buffet helped me not to stuff myself too much.
Good it worked for you. I'd rather stick to food choices.
Southampton, UK
208 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
Originally posted by Bellfree Bat
I somewhat follow the "3 Bite Rule" especially when it comes to the desserts and bread. If what I am eating is not fabulous, I have 3 bite and leave the rest.

I love this theory! I did try this sort of technique on my last cruise...particularly at lunchtime if I fancied a dessert. Just one bite to see if it was as nice as it looked (most of the time it wasn't!!)

I read the attached article as it is so true. How many times I have sat trying to munch my way through a tube of Pringles just to finish them . Next time I will leave them for another day to enjoy the 'first bite' another day.
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52 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
Hello future cruisers. Looks like a lot of folk are pre-dieting, which can't hurt. However, I wasn't very successful. I also seen to have zero metabolism, along with no thyroid, so I wasn't expecting much. To my surprise, I LOST six pounds! Did I deprive myself? Heck no. But, I only took the elevator when there was a time factor. My cabin was aft 12th deck, so I did a LOT of stairs (admittedly, first day I did a lot of resting between decks), but "powered through" including the day 2-3 pain from newly used muscles. I was never really hungry, I always ate breakfast, lunch and dinner (one glass of wine with dinner and lunch) every day, but rarely ate after the cheesecake ("had" to have it, ate every bite -yum!) at dinner. The 1st splurge was eggs Benedict the first morning on my balcony...followed by Kahlua in my latte daily every day (sometimes 2x...) and at least 3x dumped in a soft serve ice cream-wow! My best choice? A plate of sliced kiwi every afternoon. I drank LOTS of water, and had unsweetened African tea each evening before bed. I loved that there were small portions (and was able to resist asking for 2nds) in the main dining room, and was very picky when I ate at the buffet, which was rare. I've been home for little over two weeks and haven't gained any weight back, and my blood pressure is lower...I've actually lost another couple lbs., by sticking to a similar routine (minus the cheesecake and Kahlua, but not as many stairs or walking). I hope this helps someone fearful of the dreaded cruise weight gain; for me the new "exercise" seems to have awakened my metabolism...let's hope it continues.