The Magic Shrinking Wardrobe

Cruise yourself slim? Is it possible? Read on…

The statistics on the amount of food consumed on cruise ships are phenomenal. We all know that food quality and dining options are an important drawcard when it comes to choosing a cruise, but I bet you did not know this...

P&O use 22,000 kilos of chocolate across their 5 ships each year, including 450,000 portions of mud cake.  2 of the Norwegian Cruise Line ships (Breakaway and Getaway) have 20 dining options. Anthem of the Seas has 18 eateries on board. On your standard Celebrity Cruise ship the guests consume over 18,000 pounds of beef and nearly 22,000 eggs. WOW!

Maybe you, like me, believe that the wardrobe on all cruise ships have a magical power where they shrink your clothes overnight whilst at sea! If only this was true.

Remembering that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to tell your stomach that it has really had enough to eat, here a few tips to help you stay feeling better (and fitting your clothes!) on a cruise holiday.

Eat your favourite thing on the plate first. If you “save the best till last” then you are obliged to eat everything on your plate whether you want it or not.

Chew more and chew slowly – take your time eating your meals. Savour the flavours, and give your brain time to tell your tummy to slow down!

Put away the iPads and phones – spend time talking to your dining companions. Make conversation. This also allows you to slow down the meal and not over eat, and guess what – it helps you make friends and enjoy your holiday even more!

Out of sight, out of mind. Sit with your back to the buffet. Sit as far away from it as you can. This takes some will power… trust me!

Drink during your meal. For this article it does not matter if it's water or wine – stop chewing and lay down your knife and fork, take a few sips, have a chat, then start eating again.

If you fill your plate as a habit, choose a smaller plate! Dine from the side plate. That way you can go back for seconds and thirds and feel like you are getting a good value buffet meal, but you are not actually eating more than normal.

Guess what, you don’t need a bread roll with every meal. You don’t at home so don’t while you are away.

Use the stairs. Don’t be lazy ang go up and down the lift all the time.

Make it a routine to go for a lap or two around the deck after dinner (most ships have a top deck that has a walking/running track that allows you to do a complete loop).

Get up early and join the exercise classes. Especially on sea days, you can always go back to the cabin for a snooze through the day to catch that extra hour of sleep you missed. You will never miss breakfast no matter what time you dine, so put that walking machine in the gym to good use too!

If you cannot skip dessert and insist on having one each night share the one dish with your dining companion instead of ordering one each.

Discipline yourself to have one healthy meal per day. Lots of salad and lean meat for lunch with no chips or bread maybe? Or try bircher museli and fresh juice for breakfast one day and skip the hot food buffet! Get your eggs cooked to order. Egg white omelette with some vegetables in it and no cheese. The possibilities are endless!

Don’t eat the leftovers on someone else’s plate. Tempting as it may be.

There are bound to be many more tips and tricks, but with a little dedication you can enjoy the culinary delights of your cruise to the full, without sacrificing either your health or your wardrobe.

Bon Voyage!


By Sarah Fenton

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Your MTA Travel Expert