Cruise control: How to not to overeat on your next cruise

Many people let themselves go when on a cruise ship. They choose not to exercise and overindulge on all day buffets. While one is on holiday and it is perfectly fine, Dr Tshidi Gule, the founder of Medispace Lifestyle Insitute suggests that holidaymakers keep an eye what they eat.

“Cruises are a great time for relaxation, conversation, connection and self-indulgence. They do however also have a tendency to entice holiday seekers with mouthwatering delights that can lead to a new pouch in the midriff and more,” she said.

Here are some of her tips to not overeat on your next cruise:

Make time for morning physical activity: Dr Gule said nothing prepares the body for incoming calories better than daily physical activity. “This is crucial on a cruise because it’s often the first healthy habit we abandon. Movement not only improves digestion, but it also releases feel-good hormones (which curbs overeating) and reduces the hunger hormone that can lead to overeating.” She said adopting this daily sets you up for a healthier focus on your daily meals by allowing your physiology machine to ‘crave’ healthier options. If you feel good from the get-go, you’re twice as likely to choose better at the buffet table all day.

Portion control: Ever heard of the word Portion smortion? Well, Dr Gule coined the term to describe how one should plan their meals. She suggests that cruisers take one plate, eat one carb, one protein, and 3 vegetable per portion at a time. “The eyes feast before the mouth does so triggering the brain into portion smortion mode inspires a moderation is a key approach. Trust me, it works!” said Dr Gule.

Drink water: Studies have shown that people do not consume enough water to meet their daily needs. Not only is this dangerous for kidney health (dehydration slows down its ability to detoxify the body) it often leads to overeating when one confuses thirst with hunger.

“By drinking adequate amounts of water a day, before and after meals, the body processes the food better, improving absorption and metabolic function. This leads to a stabilised blood sugar level, preventing swinging levels that can lead to a binge-eating experience.

“The more stable your blood sugar, the happier your body, the less the chance of violent cravings and purging episodes. Healthy eating frequency equals zero guilt,” she said.

Snack: Many cruise ships have become conscious of the health movement and offer healthier options on board for all kinds of foodies. Dr Gule one should keep a snack bowl in their cabin. This can include pocket-sized nuts, fresh fruit (low GI), high fibre snack bars and gum. She said snacking between meals fills the boredom in between activities and keeps the sugar levels stable.

It is perfectly fine to indulge, but with moderation: Gule said if one practice the portion smortion philosophy for two days, they can indulge on the third day. “This, coupled the daily physical activity, reduces the drastic changes in waist size,” she added. 

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