This weekend I leave for a two week cruising vacation in the Caribbean! I'm SO excited, can't wait to soak in the sun and warmth! What I'm not looking forward to, though, is what I fear will be a pretty heavy weight gain. On previous cruises, I've gained a lot of weight, so I'm scared I will do so again. I'm doing fairly good with my weight loss these days and I don't want to ruin the momentum.
On a positive note, I've been very inspired by fellow bloggers who managed to maintain or even lose weight while on vacation. So it can be done, and my weight goal for this trip, is to weight the same as I do when I leave within one week of coming back. (I usually put on quite a lot of water weight when I travel, so I know I won't weight the same right away when I get back).
In order to accomplish my goal, I've made a plan for how to maintain weight on the cruise:
* Work out/move a lot every day
This time I'm not only bringing my running gear, I'm actually going to use it as well! There will be a gym as well as an outside running track, and now that I can run, I will take advantage of it! I'll probably wake up early because of the time difference, so I plan to get my workout in before the ship docks for the day. That way I won't feel like I'm missing out on anything.
Last time I went cruising in the Caribbean, I ended up constipated from not eating as much fiber as I normally do. (There is little whole grains on those buffet tables!) This time around, I'm bringing some Benefiber to put into my water. (I'm going to buy the flavored one that they sell in the US but not here, really looking forward to try it!) My plan is to drink this before every meal, that should make me fuller and keep me from overeating.
I've been using chromium to curb my sweet cravings, and while it isn't a miracle pill that keeps me from eating sugar (I wish!), it does help keep the sugar hungry monster inside of me at bay. (I'll write a more detailed blog post about my experiences with chromium later).
Personally I don't have much experience with Zinc supplements, but Karen at Waisting time recently linked to a Dr Oz article that mentions Zinc as a way to reduce hunger. I read up on it, and while most people don't lack this mineral, and you can overdose on it, there seems to be no harm in taking a supplement as long as you follow the recommended dosage. So, I started taking it a couple of days ago, and I hope it'll help me stay clear of the overeating trap (also known as a 24-7 free all you can eat buffet).
* I've tasted you before
Luckily, the desserts on the aforementioned buffet isn't really my type of desserts. Unfortunately, the fried and fatty foods are. This time around, though, the foods won't be new and enticing, but more familiar. I read in an article somewhere, about a dieter who thought to herself 'I've tasted you before, I don't need to taste you now'. That helped her, and I'm hoping it can help me as well.
I've had some success with hypnosis for sugar cravings in the past, so I'll be bringing those, as well as some more general weight loss hypnosis tracks to listen to. That should help keep my motivation up!
* Limit the alcohol
I actually drink very little alcohol, but I do have a soft spot for those drinks that contain an incredible amount of calories. After an office night out, I put the alcohol units into my food journal and was astounded to see how many empty calories I'd consumed. So while I probably won't abstain from these completely, I will be more restrictive and instead enjoy the ones I do drink more thoroughly and think of it as a special treat.
* Limit the vacation eating to the actual vacation
I learned this 'trick' from a fellow blogger this summer. (I'm sorry I can't remember who it was at the moment, but if it was you, let me know and I'll link to you here!). Too often, I allow myself to slack food wise in the days before the vacation. Then, after the vacation, it usually takes forever to get back in the weight loss groove. This time around, my vacation starts when I leave from home, and it ends when I'm back!
There you have them, my secret weapons for maintaining weight on the cruise. If you have any other tips or good ideas, I'd love to hear them! :)