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How To Eat Healthy on a Cruise Vacation

Cruise aficionados say that one of the best parts of a cruise vacation is the 24/7 buffets. The endless, bountiful, and decadent array of dining options is enough to make your head spin and your stomach is always on the roll. Studies from Cornell University: Food and Brand Lab shows that people are more likely to use larger plates, take fewer bites, and engage in other disruptive behavior when faced with an all-you-can-eat-buffet. As a result, this leads to over eating.

Is it Possible to Eat Healthy on a Cruise?

The short answer is yes! According to Christy Brissette, owner of 80Twenty Nutrition, one psychological aspect of going on a cruise is that you must overeat to get your money’s worth. That is where people start ordering three times the entrees and double the desserts than they normally would because it’s “free.” However, the stress and money you spend trying to lose weight after the holiday can be costly. So, how can you maintain your healthy diet on a cruise? Here’s how to balance your meals while on a cruise vacation.

Grab the side plates

Eat Healthy on a Cruise

Cruise buffets are popular spots onboard

It can be tempted to dig into the all-you-can-eat servings of burgers, pasta, and self-serve cheesecake. However, the best strategy to stay on track of your diet at the buffet is to choose a smaller plate instead of the large dinner ones. Studies from the Journal of the Association for Consumer research claim that smaller plates can help reduce consumption under specific conditions. The smaller sizes will force you to exercise control of your portions and even monitor how much add to your plate for each serving.

RELATED: Vitamin Sea: Cruising is Healthy

Start with fresh fruit and veggies

Salad bars are the best places to fill your plate with fresh fruits and veggies along with salsa and guacamole. To help you stay on track of your nutrition and diet, make vegetables the center of your plate. During the buffet, see if you can fill at least half of your plate with fruits and vegetables – keeping them in the center for every meal. If you enjoy soup, add in the extra broccoli, beans, carrots, red peppers, and green beans for a healthy veggie medley. That way, you will feel full instantly without being tempted to overload on high-carb dishes.

Be smart about sides and sauces

Sure, you’ve made your own salad at the salad bar. You’ve chosen all the freshest ingredients and started on the right track. Until you reached the dressings. Avoid cream-based dressings and soups. You can pour it on the side or use sparingly. The flavor will still come through with fewer calories. Just be sure to skip the fried toppings and opt for greens instead.

The trick is to look beyond the French fries and burgers and try vegetarian burgers or roast turkey.  Be sure to pay attention to how you feel and listen to your body. Eat only when you are hungry and stop when you feel full while on your next cruise vacation.

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