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So, you’ve decided to do it! You’re taking a cruise to the Caribbean. You can hardly wait. The sun. The surf. The sights. It’s all waiting for you.
The only thing you might be worried about now is eating healthy. After all, we’ve all been on vacations that “encouraged” us to eat a little more than we should. And to eat stuff that wasn’t so great for us.
However, that doesn’t have to be the case if you know what to do. If you’d like to eat the best food while traveling, without too much worry, here are three tips to keep your diet healthy as you enjoy the seven seas.
1. Treat eating out as a meal, not a treat.
Once upon a time, going out to eat in a restaurant was considered a special occasion, reserved primarily for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. That’s not the case now. Many people go to restaurants three or four times a week for lunch or to meet up with friends for coffee.
But according to WebMD, many of us still retain the “special treat” attitude about going out. Most restaurant-goers will still eat more fat, more calories, more of everything when they go out. This leads to some unhealthy eating habits, especially when you’re traveling.
A couple of ways exist that will help you combat this. Order half-sized portions or a lunch portion instead of a dinner portion. Share your meal with someone else. Or have an appetizer as dinner.
And be okay with leaving some food on your plate. Many restaurant portions are larger than you’d eat at home. If you feel really guilty about leaving some food behind, ask if the ship’s kitchen has a box. Dinner could always become a midnight snack if the urge arises.
2. One Plate to Rule Them All
Many vacation destinations include buffets. This is especially true of cruises. If the buffet is your choice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Reader’s Digest has a few suggestions to make it better.
First, go with the one plate rule. That means that whatever you’re going to eat needs to fit on one plate. Further, when you’re getting your plate together, go to the salad bar first and fill half the plate with salad, fruits, and veggies. That will fill you up.
Second, grab only a palm-sized portion of protein. Then, the remaining area of your plate can be filled with a starch like rice or potatoes.
Also, try to avoid getting too hungry between meals. Always have a snack on hand. That will prevent you from stuffing yourself at the buffet.
So, go ahead and experience a western Caribbean cruise. Just be mindful of experiencing the whole cruise and not just the buffet line.
3. Eat breakfast everyday.
A Vogue article tells vacationers to eat breakfast everyday of their vacation and to be sure to include fruit. The fashion site also warns people not to fill up on the typical continental breakfast fare. You know, rich pastries, fatty meats like bacon, the works.
Healthier options include whole-wheat toast, a plethora of fresh berries, and an egg-white omelet. Eating breakfast ensures that you’re not hungry later on, which in turn prevents you from overeating because you’re starving.
Bonus: Be sure to keep moving.
If you’re on vacation, you don’t have to worry about what you eat if you follow the previous pieces of advice and if you keep it moving. Cruising happens to be one of the healthiest ways to travel if you do it right.
Modern cruises often include several stops at ports. Take advantage of these stops to add some walking or biking, if you can rent bikes locally, to your regiment. You’ll probably have three or four ports of call on a seven- to 10-day vacation, which keeps you active.
As well, be mindful of the fact that, nowadays, most cruise ships have state-of-the-art gyms for the passengers. If you normally work out a couple of days a week in the gym, try to keep that part of your schedule.
If you plan your meals for your cruise right, you can eat just as healthy on vacation as you do at home. You must only remember a few rules-of-thumb.
First, always start with breakfast. You’ll fill up on healthy stuff, which prevents you from overeating later on. Second, bring snacks to keep hunger at bay. Third, follow the one-plate rule at the buffet.
Finally, stop thinking of your restaurant visits as treats. This mindset will encourage you to fill up on fatty, high-calorie foods. Instead, look at each meal for what it is. A meal that is meant to fill you up and to build bridges between you and your loved ones, as well as the new friends you make aboard the ship.