The average weight gain on a cruise holiday is a pound a day... so the average person gains a stone on a 2 week vacation!!! So when I found out my hubby had booked us a 2 week Caribbean cruise for my birthday I was a little worried about the possible weight gain, just a month before I start competing in athletics again! But I also wanted to enjoy the holiday and not worry about eating what I fancied, so this is what I did!
Before the cruise I emailed P&O and told them I have special diet needs (in my case vegan) but you can request any special diet (eg. low carb, low fat, diabetic, gluten free, food allergy) Then when you are on board, the head waiter comes to see you each evening at dinner with the following days menu, and a special diets menu so you can pre order something suitable, or ask for something specific. SO that was my evening meals sorted, then there's the breakfast and lunch buffets and poolside grills - which serve an amazing variety of delicious foods and treats- but they have healthy options available too!
So once on board I chose healthy choices some days and treated myself on others, but I really did indulge, 3 courses every evening and red wine most nights (with the odd rum punch and cocktail thrown in!) I ate what I fancied and when I fancied it most of the time but was a bit careful of not having crazy sized portions and just chose healthier options some of the time, its just about finding a happy balance where you enjoy a little of what you fancy and don't feel deprived.
Then I checked out the fitness room, fairly basic, some dumbels and machines and a studio. They had circuit classes on every other day for about 20-30 mins and I love circuits so most days, before getting ready to go out for dinner, I did a circuit class or some weights for half an hour, but just instinctive training, doing what I fancied. I love training and half hour most days didn't eat into my vacation time. Then on sea days when we didn't have much to do other than bask in the sun, I would get up and do some treadmill sprints or tabatas for 20 mins in the morning before heading for a big breakie.
SO I weighed myself on the first and last day and was happy to find that id not put on any weight at all. One lady who was in the circuit classes with me had actually lost weight, taking advantage of all the classes and the PT's available to educate herself and get back into training while it is all free and so easy to just walk over to the gym from your cabin!
So with a little prior planning and 20-40 mins most days in the gym and a few active excursions or walks ashore, I was able to enjoy all the treats I wanted and not come home with a spare tire to work off. The balance for me was right, just a few minutes of the day for some high intensity training so it didn't feel like I was taking away fro the holiday, but all these short sessions and activity really add up and really wasn't any effort, in fact I really enjoyed it all!
So now I'm back home, feeling refreshed and after a couple of days rest to get over the jetlag I'm back training and focused on my first competition of the year, the masters athletics british champs!