Cruises are more popular than ever as a vacation option. In fact, statistics released by the cruise ship industry reveal that over twenty million passengers boarded these ships last year and of those passengers, sixty percent left from North American ports. While these cruises can be enjoyable, the abundance of food and its preparation may present some health concerns. If you plan to sail off into the sunset on a cruise ship soon, there are a few tips you can keep in mind when it comes to eating well and staying healthy over the duration of your trip.
1. Track What You Eat
Some cruises feature buffets at every meal, and the opulence can be enough to cause you to overindulge quickly, especially when it comes to seafood like oysters and shrimp. However, overeating at the buffet may result in several unpleasant consequences. First, you may come away from the table feeling bloated and uncomfortable, leaving you too full to enjoy other activities and secondly, shrimp that sits out at the buffet too long may grow bacteria that could result in severe stomach upset.
To avoid buffet bloat, keep track of how much you eat at each visit. If you know they are serving something you simply must try for supper, hit the salad bar at lunch and drink plenty of water to keep yourself feeling full until then. If there are a variety of desserts to try, eat less of the entrée so you can sample more than one treat.
2. Stay Hydrated
When you are on a cruise, few things are more tempting than to nap all day and then party all night, but overindulging on sleep and alcohol may result in you becoming dehydrated. This issue can come on quickly and the symptoms can cause you to feel ill for either a few hours or several days, but there are several ways you can avoid them.
The most effective way to stay hydrated is to drink six to eight glasses of water a day while you are on the cruise. This is especially important if you take part in any activities during the day and the weather is warm. If you consume alcohol during an event, try to drink a glass of water in between drinks because alcohol contributes to dehydration, even in cooler weather.
3. Request Smaller Meal Portions
It is easy to overindulge while you are on a cruise because after all, you are there to have fun and you do not want to have to put restrictions on what you eat. However, this mindset can cause you to arrive home with five or ten extra pounds on your waistline and a suitcase full of clothes that no longer fit. To combat this vacation-fueled weight gain, ask your server for smaller portions when you have sit-down meals. This is especially helpful if you stop off at ports of call and the local cuisine is especially irresistible.
4. Bring Your Own Snacks
One way to stay on track with eating healthy during a cruise is to bring along some non-perishable snacks along with you. Crackers, whole-wheat pretzels, and cookies made from Hamptoncreek Just Cookie Dough, which is low in sugar and contains all-natural ingredients, can help you avoid overeating at dinner. Store these snacks in your cabin, in your travel bag, or at your bedside in case you wake up hungry in the night. Having a cracker or two may also help settle your stomach if you become seasick, which makes them handy to have within your reach.
5. Avoid Skipping Meals
With so much to see and do during a cruise, it can be easy to miss a meal. However, if you miss breakfast and then hit the lunch buffet, you are much more likely to grab bread and other carb-heavy selections because you feel like you could eat a whale. As a result, the more meals you miss, the more likely you are to overindulge during the next. Try to eat three meals a day and eat slowly each time so that you can fill up without feeling completely bloated and avoid digestive upset as well.
Going on a cruise can be the vacation adventure of a lifetime, and if you practice moderation and avoid giving into temptation at each meal, you may have increased energy to enjoy all the pleasures a trip like this has to offer.