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Low Carb/Keto on a cruise


CowboyMedic
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Has anyone been on a cruise that has been doing low carb or Keto? My wife and I recently started it and our first cruise on it will be in 19 days on Liberty OTS. We know what we can eat and I vaguely remember what the MDR and Windjammer have from our last cruise. We did book Chops Grille for one of the nights. We did set our dining preference on the RC website to low carb already.

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While I haven't specifically gone Keto on a cruise, I do try and eat mindfully and save my empty carbs for booze :)  I found it pretty easy to limit my meals to protein, veg and fat in both the WJ and main dining room.  The WJ always had a platter of cured meats/cheese, a meat carving station of sorts (beef, ham, etc), vegetables, a mountain of bacon, salad station, etc.  You should have no problem finding something Keto in there.  In the MDR, I would ask the waiter to nix the starch and double up on the veg with my protein.  There is usually one sugar free dessert on the menu in the MDR each night, although they probably wouldn't count as low carb just because they are sans real sugar.  There is usually a cheese plate on the dessert menu though that may be a better option for you!

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In the Windjammer you should find plenty of low carb choices around.

In the MDR, you might consider speaking to the head waiter on day one to arrange some dishes that are low carb.  Many are inherently low-carb (like there is always a chicken, beef and/or fish dish on the menu and veggies usually accompany them).

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You've got some killer willpower to stay keto on a cruise!!  Definite props to you.  Breakfast at the Windjammer is definitely your friend (mmmm baaaacon).  Although if its possible, try to get real eggs.  The powdered stuff (scrambled eggs) are slightly higher in carbs, but not too horrible if you're in a pinch. For lunch there should be plenty of protein available... bunless burgers, taco meat.  There should be plenty of salads and cheese as well at the Windjammer.  For dinner you can always get a steak (or two or three!) any night in the MDR.  Pair that with a caesar salad and some broccoli if they have it.  They don't have heavy cream on board, unfortunately, so if you're a coffee drinker I'd recommend butter in your coffee as well as a shot or two of the half and half - that's a good way to get some fats and keep your hunger at bay.

Good luck, and keto on!

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Don't freak out when you get back and you've gained a couple of pounds even though you've stuck to the diet.  They use a ton of salt in the food, much more than most people do at home, so chances are you're just retaining water.  Water weighs over 8 pounds per gallon, so just a little bit will really "tilt the scale".  It will be gone in a couple of days when it's flushed out of your system.

Avoid the "bacon" appetizer at Chops Grille, it's covered in a sauce that contains a lot of sugar.

I did Atkins back in 2000 and lost over 70 lbs, and stuck with it until 2006.  The weight has crept back, but it's taken over a decade (and the addition of 2 kids).  I started Low Carb again at the beginning of the year and have dropped 15 so far.  Stick with it, it works!

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Thanks for all the advice. Salt is actually a good thing on Keto because it does help retain some water. That is one of the reasons why people get the "keto flu". Not enough salt and water then they get dehydrated. I try to drink between 2-3 liters of water a day which is 4.4 to 6.6 lbs. A liter weighs a kilogram which weighs 2.2 lbs. My wife are looking forward to this cruise since it is our 5 year anniversary. I'll make sure I pay close attention to ingredients while looking at the menus.

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I don't specifically do Keto, but I stay low carb all of the time, as @firebuck says, there should be plenty of protein available and I know the MDR has fresh vegetables to order with the protein, my wife and I were training for a body building competition in 2000 and were able to go on a cruise and come back with no ill affects. I think we ate cleaner on the cruise then we did at home.

Good luck.

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2 minutes ago, sylph1221 said:

Anyone have any suggestions for a keto friendly cocktail?  I was thinking of asking for a cosmo with diet cranberry juice.

The triple sec and lime juice aren't really keto friendly (although not the worst) I'd go for a straightup vodka and diet cranberry.  I'm a rum guy, so my goto is rum and diet - just make sure its not the sugar added kind of rum like malibu.  Basically if you stick to vodka, gin or your higher proof whiskeys and rums, you'll be ok. Just make sure the mixers are sugar free as well ;)

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5 hours ago, sylph1221 said:

Anyone have any suggestions for a keto friendly cocktail?  I was thinking of asking for a cosmo with diet cranberry juice.

Not going to find diet cranberry juice on board.

Best best for low carb, vodka, lime, and soda. The twist of fresh lime juice isn't that impactful.

Most plain spirits are fine. Nice treat is Coke Zero and Absolute Vanilla. If I've done my research right the Absolute Vanilla has not added sugar.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Back from our cruise on Liberty. I think we did fairly well but decided to be a little more lenient on our carb intake. The first night in the MDR we decided to split the Royal Cheesecake then our waiter brought another one for me, I was like what but just decided to go with it. We only ate desserts at dinner, stay away from potatoes, ate plenty of veggies (I even asked for double veggies instead of potatoes), stayed away from bread. We were in grand suite so we had plenty of drinks available from 4:30-8. The wife stuck with white wine and I stuck with long island iced tea with diet coke (I know the triple sec). We probably stayed below 100 grams which is still low carb compared to the normal American diet but much more than what we have done lately. We came back about 3-4 pounds heavier but that will come off quickly. Overall I think my wife and I did well. We also walked a lot and tried to use the stairs as much as possible.

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  • 11 months later...

I do enjoy the occasional Mo-jito while cruising. Now that I've gone keto, my plan is to order a Mo-jito at Bolero's, and ask the bartender not to use the simple syrup (sugar water). I'll ask for Club Soda only, along with the rum, mint and lime. Next I'll squirt some liquid Stevia in the glass to take the place of the missing syrup. I hope this works... then I'll have a Keto-jito.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 8 months later...

I sail on the 17th on Indy, and I am planning on staying on my keto/low carb lifestyle.  My plan for drinks are Vodka/soda/lime, Michelob Ultra, Flavored vodka with diet soda, and Americanos with half & half.  I always get shrimp cocktail for an appetizer, and I will order steak and chicken at dinner with salad and extra veggies.  I also plan on bringing Ghiardelli intense dark chocolates with me as a treat.

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So a big part of my job is nutritional counseling for weight loss. Hard alcohol (like vodka, gin, and whiskey) contains zero carbs so drinking any of these straight is the best bet. (However, these are not low calories).

That being said, if it were me, I'd follow an time-restricted feeding, intermittent fasting approach on the cruise where you limit eating/drinking to at least a 12 hour window, which includes the time you sleep. If you can limit it to 8 hours, such as drinking and eating between 11:00am - 7:00pm, even better. A low carb/keto diet works by limiting the amount of sugar we put in our liver so the body ends up burning more fat for energy. An intermittent fasting approach likewise works (and actually results in further reduction in waist circumference compared to keto/low carb diet - as well as a lot more other health benefits) in a similar way by increasing the amount of time we spend burning fat rather than relying on liver sugar reserves. Anyway, I wont bore you with the science on this...

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I know this is and old thread but I've been on keto for more than 2 years and have gone on 4 cruises. I've found it pretty easy to not eat carbs except for some of the sauces that come on the meat and veggies. I scrape most of them off. I only drink water, plain iced tea, black coffee and scotch/bourbon on the rocks.  When I think of it I order extra veggies instead of potatoes or rice or pasta or corn. If i forget I just don't eat those things.  Always get the cheese plate for desert minus the crackers. Never eat the bread or buns.  Never have a problem avoiding the sweet stuff, but that's just me. I don't cheat even a little bit but I eat well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just want to say, I am a fellow "keto-er" myself, been at it for almost a year and I am going to actually not eat Keto on vacation..... call it majorly carb cycling, LOL.....

I want to splurge and have drinks, bread, and sweets..... I know I'll gain some,...but I can jump back on the bandwagon when I am back,

 

Life is meant to live a little.....so I am going to thoroughly enjoy my cruise

 

Is it bad that I've already read the menus and picked out my meals? I am so excited lol

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1 hour ago, beccaball said:

I just want to say, I am a fellow "keto-er" myself, been at it for almost a year and I am going to actually not eat Keto on vacation..... call it majorly carb cycling, LOL.....

I want to splurge and have drinks, bread, and sweets..... I know I'll gain some,...but I can jump back on the bandwagon when I am back,

 

Life is meant to live a little.....so I am going to thoroughly enjoy my cruise

 

Is it bad that I've already read the menus and picked out my meals? I am so excited lol

I think that's awesome.  Enjoy yourself.

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  • 1 year later...
On 2/14/2020 at 1:16 PM, DrJenCruises said:

I don’t eat flour or sugar and had no problem on Anthem.  Ate at WJ and MDR.  I did email the special needs people beforehand and said I follow a particular diet, then on embarkation day I went to my assigned MDR and talked to the head waiter.

Dr. Jen, 

When you talked with the head waiter, did you find they provided you with alternatives, such as rolls, baked goods or deserts made with almond flour and sweeteners such as monk fruit and erythritol? Do you recall if there was bone broth on board? Options like riced cauliflower or shiritaki noodles?

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Question for the collective: 

I have been eating keto for the last year. I'm trying to get a gage to set my expectations. If you checked with the head waiter, did you find they provided you with alternatives, such as rolls, baked goods or deserts made with almond flour and sweeteners such as monk fruit and erythritol? Do you recall if there was bone broth on board? Options like riced cauliflower or shiritaki noodles? I know to stick with protein and veg, stay away from processed sugars, sweets, breads, pastas, and mixed drinks. Just curious about how accommodating they really are. 

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They don't have alternative options for baked goods that would be keto friendly. They have no sugar added desserts and sugar free options, but they're still made with fruit and flour. The sweetener in these is usually Splenda. Bring your own monkfruit sweetener with you for coffee or tea. However, it's really easy to eat keto on a cruise with the abundance of proteins and veggies available.

They're accommodating in the sense that they will make you a plain protein minus any sauces and accompaniments that may contain sugar or starches but keto isn't embraced in the way that gluten free is as they don't stock the replacement foods or ingredients onboard.

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14 hours ago, Nicki said:

Question for the collective: 

I have been eating keto for the last year. I'm trying to get a gage to set my expectations. If you checked with the head waiter, did you find they provided you with alternatives, such as rolls, baked goods or deserts made with almond flour and sweeteners such as monk fruit and erythritol? Do you recall if there was bone broth on board? Options like riced cauliflower or shiritaki noodles? I know to stick with protein and veg, stay away from processed sugars, sweets, breads, pastas, and mixed drinks. Just curious about how accommodating they really are. 

They did not provide any keto-approved or keto-friendly items onboard, not even sugar-free ketchup.  The only sugar substitutes available were Splenda, Equal, and the pink one (I forgot the name because I don't use it)

I sort of blogged my attempt to stay on Keto on a recent cruise.   I strayed, but not too far.  I got back into ketosis a few days after.

 

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