Thursday 19 April 2018

Is it possible to cruise yourself slim? A new book says you can beat the buffets

Cruise control

Stock Photo: Cruise ship at anchor.
Stock Photo: Cruise ship at anchor.

Sarah Marshall

Is weight gain inevitable on a cruise? New book Cruise Yourself Slim claims that's not the case. Sarah Marshall reports.

Gourmet food on tap, snacks served 24 hours a day, and a temptation to ditch exercise altogether - it's a combination that makes cruising one of the most potentially damaging holidays for your waistline.

Last year, 23 million cruisers collectively returned home 43,000 tons heavier than when they left, according to a survey conducted by

But hope is in sight for those who prefer to keep their bodies ship shape, thanks to a new book titled Cruise Yourself Slim.

Authors Martin and Marion Shirran, who are both weight-management specialists and avid cruisers, have come up with a series of suggestions to avoid gaining additional body ballast while sailing the high seas.

Firstly, they recommend eating food you find most tempting first rather than piling plates high with the intention of leaving the best until last. That way, you'll feel full quicker and won't overeat.

Using a smaller plate is also a good habit to adopt; research shows that people can eat up to 30pc more when they use a larger plate.

Buffets are well-known danger zones, so it's best to either ask a partner to select dishes or keep temptation literally out of sight. Research has confirmed that the further away a person sits from the food at a buffet, the less likely they are to overeat.

Another handy tip is to focus on the words 'want' and 'need' to determine whether you are actually hungry or simply bored.

Lack of activity is one of the main causes for weight gain, and on a cruise ship, you may only burn 600 calories a day - the equivalent value of a Pina Colada. Sitting down burns just one calorie per minute, while walking up and down stairs burns 10 calories. So take the opportunity to walk where possible. Strolling around the deck is not only a good way to admire the views, but it will help you stay in shape as well.

Cruise Yourself Slim by Martin and Marion Shirran, £12.25/€15.80, Visit for more information.

Online Editors

Travel Insider Newsletter

Get the best travel tips, deals and insights straight to your inbox.

Editors Choice

Also in Life