Guest post by Martin and Marion Shirran
Late last year, we were lucky enough to get the chance to run a new, large-scale survey of cruise passengers. Surveys come and surveys go, but we’ve done the math, and we can now say for certain that the average person gains 4 pounds on a 10-day cruise, and sometimes a great deal more.
In fact, it’s not unusual for cruise passengers to put on more than 7 pounds, which would mean the 23 million or so people who cruised in 2015, were collectively more than 40,000 tons (yes TONS) heavier when they disembarked than when they boarded.
We’re weight management specialists. We run a clinic on the Costa del Sol, where we developed the now much-imitated “Gastric Mind Band,” a psychological approach to weight loss. We are cognitive behavioral therapists, hypnotherapists and have many thousands of hours of one-on-one client time with unhappy overweight clients. We know just how difficult some people find making sensible choices around food.
We’re also avid cruisers. We’ve taken many cruises over the years and have spent hundreds of hours watching and observing our cruise companions in bars and restaurants. We wanted to understand why weight gain in epic amounts seems to happen more to cruisers than any other group of travelers. As cruisers and foodies though, we were well aware that no-one, ourselves included, wanted to be told they couldn’t enjoy themselves and wouldn’t be able to eat any of the sumptuous goodies to be found on cruise ships nowadays.
Cruise Yourself Slim
Eventually, we were able to send a survey to 500,000 past and prospective cruisers. Those survey results form the backbone of our new book, Cruise Yourself Slim. We’ve put together a wide selection of tips and techniques for coming home without piling on the pounds.
To minimize the chances of gaining weight – or realistically, to reduce the amount you put on – we’ve narrowed down three top tips that just about anyone can follow. Use these, and you will return home without piling on the pounds ….
- Press Pause. Stop and think just for a few seconds about the consequences of your actions as you approach the bar when you’re thinking of having a pre-dinner cocktail. Yes, that piña colada might look tempting, but a G & T instead will only “cost” you 200 calories or fewer than the luscious fruity cocktail that could rack up more than 600 calories – as much as some burgers. Always remember that a tonic water contains as much as eight teaspoonsful of sugar, so make sure to ask for a diet/lite tonic. If you’re not into G & T, a dry white wine will only come out to around 150 calories …. Or swap for fizz if you fancy, also around 150 calories.
- Give the buffet breakfast a miss, at least sometimes. Breakfast in the main dining room will always present you with less temptation and more portion control. Research has shown that when people can see food in a buffet type environment, they’re likely to eat more. By sitting at a table in a dining room you remove that element of temptation. Plus, of course, in the buffet you also have the option to go back and refill your plate… Don’t.
- Move more. Instead of wasting your valuable holiday time waiting for the lift, take the stairs. Doing so may even get you on deck quicker than blindly standing waiting, and will use up some of those excess calories you know you’ve consumed. Cruise ship staff have been known to comment at how amazed they are that passengers are prepared to wait so long just to avoid one flight of stairs.
Guest contributors Martin and Marion Shoran are directors of the Elite Clinics in Fuengirola, Spain. Their new book, Cruise Yourself Slim, is available through Amazon, and is out in paperback, Kindle and Audible versions.
An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com.