by guest columnist and Avid Cruiser In Training Britton Frost, the 15-year-old daughter of Avid Cruiser Ralph Grizzle
I met Karen Cohen, founder of learn2eatright.com, on the AmaBella, one of the many riverboats that AMAWATERWAYS has to offer. Karen was in the lounge talking to my dad, and being the rising socialite that I am, I went to introduce myself.
I learned that Karen was a nutritionist in Los Angeles, California. She is a charming woman who always smiles, and who, by appearances, seems to eat right. I wanted to know if she could give me some advice for staying healthy while cruising. Indeed, she could.
Karen provided me with information on controlling yourself when there is a lot food around, which is always the case on a cruise ship. “Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to eat it,” she said. “There’s no contract that when you go to the birthday, you have to have the cake.” That became rule number one for me.
Rule number two is that a lot of planning goes into maintaining your weight on a cruise. Know your goal ahead of time and plan around it. And always keep your goal in mind.
Here are a few more of Karen’s tips that will help you stick to your goal:
- Preview the menu before dinner and decide what you will eat.
- Ask yourself: “How hungry am I?”
- Be the first to order at your table so others don’t influence you.
- Know that you don’t have to eat everything on the menu. Make tough choices. If you’re going to have wine, give up bread or dessert.
- Don’t deprive yourself. “Have it, eat it, and be done with it,” Karen says.
Also, remember that alcohol puts down your defenses. The more you drink, the less you are in control of what you eat. Make a rule, such as, no more than two glasses of wine per day. Of course, I’m only 15, so I don’t have to worry about alcohol consumption : )
Most ships have gyms. Take advantage of the nutritional services and fitness classes. Simply being in the gym can motivate you to make the right choices.
Snacking can be a killer. Snack on fresh fruit. Don’t turn to cookies or sandwiches, as tempting as they may be. If a healthy choice isn’t available, ask at the reception desk. If you’re hungry, don’t grab a cookie. Cookies and candies have no nutritional value. They just cause you to be more hungry. Go for proteins instead.
The main thing that I learned from Karen is how we should keep the amount of food that we consume under control. Self talk and planning is a big part of that. When you’re on a ship, you have to make good choices if you want to disembark feeling good about yourself.
The worst part of a vacation is returning home, in every sense. During the cruise, your body gets used to extra food. Go back to your balanced diet when you return home. Have three meals and two snacks daily to keep your energy going. And be sure to use some of that energy to plan your next cruise!