If you don't want to succumb to the temptations of yummy food available to you 24 hours a day, taking a cruise may not be the answer. That said, a little will power and proper use of the facilities could actually see you return fitter and healthier than before!
Here are some steps to beating the cruise induced bulge:
1. Use the stairs
The obvious way to burn calories is to avoid the lifts and take the stairs. The largest ships can have somewhere between 10 to 15 decks. Whilst performing your daily ritual of breakfast, activities, lunch, dinner and shows, make sure you make full use of your legs. Not only will this keep you trim but you'll avoid any queuing for the lift.
2. Use the fitness equipment
All cruise lines have some form of gym and most are state of the art with instructors on hand to guide. Don't be afraid, even walking briskly on a treadmill can burn up to 300 calories per hour!
If the thought of the gym sends you bolting in the opposite direction just remember that working out doesn't have to involve lifting weights or mind-numbing hours on a treadmill. Most cruise lines offer plenty of ways to keep fit while having fun too. There may be pilates or yoga classes, ballroom or line dancing classes, even surfing simulation and rock climbing! Even dancing the night away in the ship's disco could burn around 400 calories per hour. And lets not forget everyones favourite... the ship pool.
With all those options, the extra weight you gained at the midnight buffet will disappear in no time.
4. Moonwalk... well at least walk
Probably the easiest way of all, walking is good for exploring the ship and the ports-of-call. Added to that, you'll stay fit without breaking a sweat (unless your in tropical heat of course). On shore, try to explore ports on foot rather than with a coach excursion.
Just think, if you walk around a port town for 3 hours at 300 calories per hour... well you do the maths!
5. Stick to 3 meals a day
Lets face it, we are all aware its not the 3 main meals a day that necessarily puts the weight on, its the constant snacking simply because its all free (no such thing as free i know) and available 24 hours a day. Set yourself a rule that you will only visit the buffet or restaurants for those three set meals each day then arm yourself with fresh fruit from the breakfast buffet to snack on the rest of the time.
6. Order smart
Making sure you stick to those 3 meals won't be enough though, you'll need to eat the way you do when you're at home to ensure the best results. If you usually eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast you'll need to avoid having a full monty fry up and I can bet you don't eat a 3 course lunch whilst you're at work so why eat that way on holiday?
During your evening meal select only one or two first courses, or if you must have dessert too, opt for one of the healthy or lighter menu items for your main course. When it comes to dessert, sharing is fun and so much better for your waistline. Follow these guidelines and you'll enjoy your meals without feeling so stuffed you can hardly walk from the table.
7. Treat yourself
No, i'm not contradicting myself, no-one says you shouldn't treat yourself at all on holiday. You can eat that triple choc sundae or tropical cocktail, just don't do it all the time. If you limit yourself, you'll enjoy them more when you do have them.
Try a few of these tips on your next cruise and you'll only need to pack one size of clothing!