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How NOT to Gain Weight
On A Cruise

By
Dr. Carla Rogers

Food! Food! Glorious food!

From the moment you step on board, you enter a world of gluttony. But, boy is it fun! Chocolate souffle', melt-in-your-mouth tournedos of beef, swan puffs, lobster tails dripping in butter, midnight buffets -- need I go on? Just thinking about it expands my hips two inches!

No one really wants to be rolled off the ship onto the plane home, only to be faced with a couple of weeks of salad and dry toast and 8 glasses of water a day to try to lose all those excess pounds. The best way to avoid this scenario is to use an ounce of prevention.

So how can you avoid gaining weight on a cruise, you say?

First of all, you can start with your choice of a cabin. If you are choosing a standard cabin, they are basically all the same, from the bottom deck on up. Pick a cabin on one of the lower decks. There will also be less movement there if you're prone to mal de mer. (Of course, if you do get seasick, I guess you won't have to worry about those extra pounds!) Just having a lower cabin will increase your exercise level about 40%. You'll climb several sets of stairs to get anywhere! If you make a promise to NEVER take the elevator (the only exception being the first and last days of the cruise when you're carrying all that LUGGAGE), you will end up climbing a lot of stairs. Why do you think so many people buy stairmasters? Because it is really great exercise. When you exercise, you increase your metabolic rate and you burn more calories for several hours after exercising, even if you are just lying on a deck chair!

And if you're one of those people who forget their sunscreen or sunglasses, and have to go BACK to the cabin several times, you then have to do all those stairs TWICE, so you'll really be burning up those fat cells!

Second point: Go up and visit the fitness facilities. Cruise ships have great fitness programs and they are really fun! There are also incentives to participate, such as free t-shirts, hats and visors, and water bottles. Join up. See who can get the most points in your group. Have fun with it. If you can manage to do just ONE fitness activity every day, plus use the stairs, you'll be keeping the ol' fat molecules from accumulating in those thighs or on that gut! Walking is also included in this program. Walk to the shopping areas. Go for a long walk on the beach. Swim. Snorkel.

Third suggestion: Don't overeat at the beginning of your cruise. In fact, it certainly doesn't hurt to try to lose a couple of pounds BEFORE your cruise departure date. Then you start out ahead of yourself! Your stomach does expand and contract, you know. It is composed of muscle. So it is true that you can "shrink" your stomach. Your stomach will be "smallest" at the beginning of your cruise. Believe me, it will slowly expand during the week (or weeks) of your cruise! If you are careful not to really overindulge the first day or two, your stomach will stay "smaller" longer!

Fourth: Be sure to weigh yourself on the first day of your cruise. And don't forget to weigh yourself every day, if you can. One fitness program which I participated in gave points just for weighing yourself! One day I actually went down a pound, so promptly rewarded myself with an extra dessert.

Fifth important point: Don't AGONIZE over your weight, because that is NO FUN. Just keep these suggestions in mind and do what you can do! Have a great vacation and don't forget to take those STAIRS!

Line

Would you like to thank Dr. Carla for this good advice? No problem. Just click here and Dr. C will get your email!

Dr. Carla Rogers is a former medical school professor and holds her PhD in anatomy. She is the author of "How to Get Into the Right Medical School", part of a whole family of avid cruisers and is known for the excellent advice she gives to other cruisers.


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