How to Avoid Cruise Weight Gain

Recently I just returned from the land of crab, Alaskan beer, and lobster – mixed with the butter – a deadly combo for someone trying to watch their weight. However, I went on the seven-night Alaska cruise with the mindset that I was not going to gain a pound, and it worked. I completed seven nights in Southeast Alaska on Holland America’s ms Westerdam with my weigh-in weight the same as my weigh-out weight. And in case you’re wondering; 215 lbs.

IMG_3493 What did I do?

1. Took the stairs. You’ll probably think this is the most basic. It is. But it’s also the most trying because after a big meal or a night out the last thing you’re thinking of is walking the stairs to your stateroom. While I didn’t take the stairs every single day, I did use them about 80 percent of the time. I can’t contribute not gaining weight to just that but I’m sure it didn’t hurt.

2. Spent 30 minutes in the gym each day. If you have a good playlist on your phone, this one is easy. Get on the treadmill, set it, and forget.

3. Scaled back my meals. I basically ate my meals in reverse. I pigged out in the mornings, had a filling lunch, snacked on fruit during the day and had a regular meal at dinner. A regular meal doesn’t mean that I just ate salads. I went full on with the lobster, 23 ounce steaks, and baked potatoes. However, I worked backwards with my meals because I knew I was going to be active in the port and would burn everything off. Someone once told me to eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper – I tried.

4. Book excursions that actually have you doing physical activity and not sitting on a tour bus all day. Some examples of active shore excursions would be snorkeling, hiking, and swimming. Most cruise line excursions have an activity and strength level next to each excursion, as do third party companies like Shore Excursions Group.

5. No spa scams.  A lot of cruise line spas will offer you body wraps that claim this miracle weigh loss. They put fancy electric currents on you and wrap you in seaweed and claim you’ll lose inches. What they don’t tell you is that you only lose water weight. Your body carries water weight naturally and you shouldn’t fall fool to paying hundreds of dollars for these so-called miracle treatments.


It wasn’t difficult not putting on weight on my last cruise, it’s just a matter of watching your intake and getting some exercise. It clearly doesn’t take me telling you how to not gain weight.

The equation is simple: burn more calories than you take in.

Do you have any tips or tricks for not gaining weight on a cruise? I’d love to hear them.

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