Cruise Control – Navigate your vacation without losing your bearing

Practice these tips and aim to choose the Healthy Response (HR) instead of the Sabotaging Thought (ST)

1) Stick with your regular routine of meals & snacks … Cruises are notorious for all day eating events. Typically, food is abundant and limitless.

  • ST: I don’t want to miss out on anything…
  • HR: Food is abundant all around me, so there’s no need to worry about missing anything. I can enjoy what I want without eating more than I need.


2) Keep treats and extras at bay… Plan for structured produce & protein snacks between meals.  Save treats and extras for special meals.

  • ST: I have to get my money’s worth and eat at every opportunity …
  • HR: When I eat exactly what I need, I’m getting my money’s worth. More than that is a waste of food, makes me uncomfortable, and makes the indulgent foods I love less enjoyable.


3) Avoid going overboard …  Drink moderately!  Alcohol loosens inhibitions, making us susceptible to mindless eating and/or overeating.  If you drink, avoid sugary beverages and indulge responsibly with wine, light beer or liquor with a refreshing mixer like diet soda or seltzer water.
4) Honor your “hunger compass” …  Practice mindfulness with portion sizes and stop eating when your hunger is satisfied, knowing there will be plenty more opportunities to enjoy the food again soon.

  • ST: I’m surrounded by food 24/7, so I can eat constantly…
  • HR: I’m surrounded by food 24/7, so I can wait and eat when I’m actually hungry.


5) Stay anchored… in a current healthy habit: choose something you’re doing daily now, and make a point of continuing to do it daily while you’re away.  Examples – eating a healthy breakfast, walking after lunch, having a salad with dinner, drinking 8 glasses of water, etc.

  • ST: I don’t want to think about what I eat this week …
  • HR: I want to meet my needs for nourishment and enjoyment all the time, wherever I am, because it makes me feel good. Plus, I’ll end up thinking about it whether or not I’m making healthy choices.


6) Maintain charge of the helm … by using the 80-20 Rule.  80% of the time make the best choices you can, 20% of the time enjoy treats in moderation (alcohol, dessert etc.).  If you don’t love it, leave it.  And if you love it, leave room for it.

  • ST: Everything in the buffet looks awesome! I have to try it all!
  • HR: The buffets have so many awesome options! I can pick what I love and skip the rest.


7) Enjoy the bounty of fresh, seasonal, savory vegetables & sweet fruit … already washed, cut, prepped, and seasoned for you!  You won’t even miss salty snacks or sugary sweets when there are so many other good flavors to savor.
8) Let good hydration be your buoy … surrounded by water, it’s easy to forget you still need to drink plenty of it – especially if your cruise involves lots of sunshine.  Include water with every meal & snack, and carry a bottle with you for all excursions.
9) Take advantage of ‘Land Ho!’ … When excursions are offered, seize the opportunity to fit in some exploration and activity. There’s so much more to the cruise experience than the food!
10) Walk the Promenade (not the plank!) … Take the long route from one part of the ship to another and use the promenade as an opportunity for movement, fresh air, and people watching.

  • ST: I’ll eat until I’m stuffed tonight and go to the gym tomorrow…
  • HR: I’ll eat until I’m satisfied tonight, and enjoy an after dinner stroll around the ship for fresh air.