10 Ways To Keep The Kilos Off While Cruising

Posted September 13th, 2015

Weight gain seems to go hand in hand with cruising – the average passenger gains between 2.3 kilograms and 4.5 kilograms in the course of a week’s holiday. At the end of a world cruise aboard Cunard’s Queen Victoria, I met a lady who revealed that she packed size 14 clothes for the start of her three-month voyage and size 18 clothes for the end and then spent the rest of the year trying to lose weight.

As an on-board lecturer I, too, for a couple of weeks each month, am subjected to the many temptations on board. But, dare I say it, I often return home feeling fitter than I do when I’m office-based. Here’s how.

1. Step Up To The Stairs

I have a simple rule about not using the lifts during the day, even on big ships. Surprisingly it saves time: there’s no point in waiting and then riding a lift that stops on every deck. In the evening, when I’m wearing heels, I often just pull them off and head for the stairs.

Did you know? If you weigh 64 kilograms and walk upstairs for 15 minutes a day, you will burn around 130 calories (and may improve muscle tone in the process).

2. Bin The Bread

One, two or three bread rolls? Just say “No!” You will enjoy the main event much more.

Did you know? Two slices of white or brown bread can push you over 100 calories, and if you have butter on top, that’s easily doubled.

3. Proud To Promenade

The idea of a promenade goes back to the very early days of voyaging. I make sure that I get out every day, in all weathers and sea conditions. Even if you aren’t into jogging, there’s nothing like completing a few laps of the promenade deck. Look out for the signs that tell you how far a single circuit is.

Did you know? A brisk, half-hour walk around deck will burn around 160 calories. As soon as you start to jog or run, the calories burnt can more than double.

4. Ban The Bus

Burn calories and save money? On a day ashore, eat a hearty breakfast, then pick up a map from the tour desk and, logistics permitting, walk. By adopting this approach I get to see what I want to, and for the length of time I want to see it. In Europe, I always stop for a coffee … but in the Antipodes I end the day with a glass of fine Sauvignon.

Did you know? If you walk 6.4 kilometres at a leisurely pace (4.8 kilometres an hour) you will burn around 300 calories.

5. Time For Tea?

I love traditional British teatime. So on sea days I either have a light lunch or afternoon tea. I tend to alternate and slightly shift my meal plans to suit. On a tea day, I will have a late breakfast, miss lunch, enjoy a full afternoon tea and then have my evening meal after 8pm.


Don't rest on your laurels: 7 Cruises For Active People

And here's what else you need to know: How To Cruise Like A Pro


6. Take Your Partner …

While some ships have nightclubs, others are designed more for those who enjoy ballroom and modern sequence dance. If, like me, you missed out on learning these essential cruise-ship skills, choose a ship where you can learn to dance. I have burned more calories laughing as my husband and I ruined a rumba, tripped up on the tango and fumbled a foxtrot than with the dancing itself. But we can now make it round the ballroom for a waltz. As Brucie used to say … “keep dancing”.

Did you know? One hour of slow ballroom dancing will burn around 180 calories, but you can double that the faster you dance.

7. Find (And Use) The Gym

While many people find the spa easily enough, fewer seek out the ship’s gym. Here you can usually enjoy great ocean views, often at the front of the ship, or plug in headphones and watch a TV show, catch up with the news or listen to music. Most ships have free activities and classes run by qualified gym instructors, who will help you to use any gym kit you’re not familiar with.

8. Pack Your Cossie

If you want to swim a few lengths without crashing into people (although many on-board pools are too small), you need to pick your times. But you don’t require much space for aqua aerobics. Learn a bit of technique before you sail and put it into practice on board.

Did you know? Swimming has excellent cardiovascular benefits and puts minimal stress on the body. Depending on your exertion level, 30 minutes in the pool can burn between 100 and 500 calories.

9. Gin Is Not A Sin

Sailors would have their first rum of the day when the sun appeared over the yardarm (horizontal timbers that held the sails) at around 11am. It’s tempting to follow this tradition but it’s the last thing you should do. Not only is alcohol very calorific, it has no nutritional value (and lowers your blood sugar thus making you feel more hungry). Stick to water during the day (which can suppress the appetite) and avoid alcohol before 6pm. For my aperitif I have a good gin with a slimline mixer.

Did you know? A small glass of red or white wine is around 120 calories and a pint of beer or lager has up to 250 calories. A single gin or vodka with slimline tonic is around 50 calories.

10. Eat Yourself Slim

Most ships now offer delicious 'healthy options'. Try to choose one at every meal, and at dinner opt for a pudding or cheese, not both. Other tricks include not walking through the late-night buffet and avoiding poolside grills. A burger, chips and milkshake served by one American-owned cruise line comes in at a whopping 2,500 calories.


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This article was written by Dale Templar from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

The Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning UK English language broadsheet newspaper, published in London by Telegraph Media Group and distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally.

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