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How I kept from gaining weight on my cruise

30 Dec 2022
Marcy Miyar

Cruises are a time to splurge on food and drinks that we normally wouldn’t have at home, whether endless soft serve ice cream on the pool deck or three course meals in the Main Dining Room.

While I usually splurge on a Royal Caribbean cruise, I recently had an 8-night back-to-back sailing on Independence of the Seas and I wanted to watch my weight. Plus, one day after we disembarked Independence of the Seas we would board Wonder of the Seas for the Royal Caribbean Blog group cruise. I was determined to fit into my dresses for that cruise!

I am prone to putting on weight fast. It's not unusual for me to gain 8-12 pounds on a weeklong cruise. I knew keeping a healthy diet would be a challenge onboard with all the tempting, delicious food and cocktails available, but I had a goal I was committed to reach.

Eating healthy onboard

I decided to eat most of my meals in the Windjammer as I figured there would be more selections there than the Main Dining Room. Having dinner in the Main Dining Room with the bread basket in front of me for two hours would be too hard to resist!

My motto as I entered each meal was to make healthy choices. Breakfasts were very simple, mostly consisting of cereal with banana slices and occasionally a slice of bread. We went to the Main Dining Room one morning for breakfast where I had a veggie omelet with mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, and spinach.

I even ordered my cereal from room service a couple mornings; there's no reason why I can't enjoy breakfast on my balcony! I did, however, pass up the vanilla lattes I usually like to have on cruise mornings. Instead, I opted for Earl Grey tea with no milk and Splenda.

I enjoyed pre-dinner snacks of raw vegetables and chicken skewers in the Diamond Lounge. For dinner, I started with a raspberry vinaigrette salad, roasted broccoli, carrots, and usually a meat from the carving station (turkey or beef).

For dessert, I opted for pieces of cantaloupe and watermelon.

I drank a lot of water

Another healthy choice I made on my cruise was to drink a lot of water. I brought a Royal Caribbean tumbler onboard with me (the one that you get with a soda package). I measured how much liquid it would hold before my trip so I could keep track of how much water I consumed. 

The tumbler was easy to keep filled as there is always water available. My go-to places for water refills were Cafe Promenade and Sorrento’s. 

Before my cruise, I also researched lower calorie cocktails if I wanted to indulge, but I ended up just sticking to water. Our concierge even suggested brewing some flavored tea and putting it over ice for more variety!

Exercising onboard

I start every morning at home with a 5K run around my neighborhood, so on the ship, I visited the jogging track every other day for my 3.1 mile run. I always went running on the track pre-dawn to see an amazing sunrise and to hopefully get most of my run finished before the crowds showed up.

I have a love/hate relationship with the jogging track. Even though the run/walk lanes are clearly marked, there’s always a slow-moving group that takes up the entire track—or worse yet—walks the wrong way around it. I try to remember to pack my patience!

Treadmills make me dizzy, so I'm not a huge fan of going to the gym, although I did do a little bit of the step machine one morning. 

Speaking of steps, I took the stairs EVERYWHERE. I'm proud to say that I didn’t see the inside of an elevator for 8 days! One day we got off the ship twice at Perfect Day at CocoCay to meet up with friends that were on the ship next to us and I took the stairs from Deck 1 to 14 twice in an hour!

Not all exercises have to be regimented, and part of exercising onboard is making it fun. I had a blast jumping in the Sky Pad, and one morning I did the sky climber since the rock climbing wall wasn’t open yet. There was also basketball, soccer, and open time on the ice rink available. You’d be surprised how much of a workout you can get doing those activities!

Something else that worked for me was to keep a journal of what I ate, how much water I drank, and which exercises I did each day. Time gets away from me on a cruise and it’s easy for me to forget what I ate and if I need to make adjustments on the next meal or the next day. 

Did it work?

My goal after 8 nights on Independence of the Seas was to see the same number on the scale when I got home as when I left. I was extremely surprised to find out that I actually lost a pound and a half.

It felt great to be able to wear those dresses I had been determined to fit into on the group cruise. While on the Wonder of the Seas group cruise, I splurged on specialty restaurants and cocktails on the brand new ship. It’s all about balance!

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