How I Lost Weight on a Cruise, and You Can Too!

Yes. I LOST a pound on the 7-day Royal Caribbean cruise with the family last week. It might seem impossible, but a vacation might be a unique opportunity to burn fat!

How’d I Do it?

  1. I skipped breakfast (This is what I always do)
  2. I worked out in the gym for an hour a day. (This is what I always do). This nets me about 750 extra calories.
  3. I ate a very light lunch (200-300 cal). (A little lighter than normal. I wanted to conserve calories.).
  4. Between lunch and dinner, I ate a basic snack. (protein bar or rice cake + peanut butter). (I always do this).
  5. I ate a VERY light dinner. (800 – 1,000 cal) (I rarely do this. Usually, my dinners are a little bigger).
  6. I ate 2 slices of pizza and some other light snacks at night. (I NEVER do this. Pizza is a cheat food for me.)
  7. I ate a protein bar before bed. (Sometimes, I do this).
  8. I waited 48-hours after getting home before weighing in (water retention from flying can lead to bad numbers on the scale).

If you add up the calories, I was eating about 2,200 a day. With an hour in the gym every-day, my maintenance number is about 2,900, which means I was eating at a 700 calorie-per-day deficit: in 7 days that was a 4,900 calorie deficit or, roughly, 1.3 pounds of fat.

The math checks out. The scale agrees. It’s amazing to end a vacation not feeling disgusting!

Why use a vacation as a weight-loss opportunity?

Vacations are a unique chance to drop pounds:

  • (A) You get out of the normal routine and you’re BUSY (less time to think about food).
  • (B) You’re way more active than normal, thus burn more calories, and
  • (C) You can make more time for the gym and workouts because you’re on vacation!

Other tips for losing weight on vacation

  1. Resist the buffet: Find other ways to eat if you’re prone to the temptations that come with unlimited, unhealthy food. Especially desserts.
  2. If you’re starving, stick to veggies: Broccoli. Steamed broccoli. A tiny amount will make you feel STUFFED!
  3. Take the stairs: Okay, honestly, it makes very little difference. But you’ll FEEL more accountable for what you eat.
  4. Work out: Again, the math isn’t in your favor on this one (An hour in the gym might earn you one cookie, so ignore the people who say “But I worked out, so I can eat whatever I want”). The REAL benefit is that nobody wants to work their butt off for an hour, and wipe out the results by eating too much.
  5. Stay active: Not only will you burn more calories, but you’re less likely to get the boredom-munchies from lying around.
  6. Savor the good stuff: Pick one or two nights where you have half a dessert, and call it good. Stay focused on the intense desire to not over-indulge, so you can leave feeling amazing!
  7. Easy on the alcohol: A single pina-colada has more sugar/calories than THREE candy bars. A single shot of vodka is nearly 100 calories.
  8. Tell your family what you’re doing: They’ll support you. You’ll feel dumb breaking your protocol if others know they’re supposed to help keep you accountable.
  9. Bring your own snacks: Cruise ships offer almost nothing healthy for snacking. Take a case of protein bars and/or your own favorite mid-day treats so that you’re not tempted to make a bad choice when things are tough.
  10. Bring your own salad dressing: I’ve never seen a cruise ship or resort that has low-calorie dressing. You can EASILY blow up your entire meal-plan if you’re not careful. There’s nothing wrong with bringing your own bottle of healthy dressing.

Fat Brian was definitely with me

It took a little work to keep the old Fat-Brian quiet. I used to eat my cruise-fair on Day 1 at the buffet. Vacations, for Fat Brian, were All. About. FOOD. I would eat, and eat, and eat, and eat… and eat some more. So this new approach was a total adjustment for me. But using the tips above, I managed to keep Fat Brian quiet, and I suspect you’ll be able to do the same!

If you’ve got a vacation coming up, consider using it as a chance to double-down on your fat-burning routine!