Firstly, understand that it is almost impossible to avoid eating on a cruise ship more than you usually do. Unless you have good self-control or are keeping to a strict diet, it will be difficult not to splurge on the foods you like.
Realize that you don’t always have to take that fancy hors d’oeuvre or beverage which waiters will often offer to you. One or two mini egg rolls and a margarita is fine every now and then, but you will quickly intake unnecessary calories if that literally becomes a fourth meal.
Eat breakfast and dinner in the ship’s dining room. This is because the meal is sit-down style and you will be waited on, instead of having the temptation to get up frequently for additional helpings. While there may be several courses, dining this way allows for portion control.
Request a special or dietetic version of your meal. This includes low fat, low sodium, low carbohydrate, vegetarian or kosher. It may not be as plentiful or tasty as the full fat version, but it will save you calories and perhaps a visit to the ship’s gym in the long run. Requests should be made when you make your cruise reservations if you want the best chances to receive a special meal, but they can also be made as soon as you board with the dining room maître d’.
Limit your beverage intake. Soft drinks and other beverages will also contribute to weight gain aboard a cruise. Limit your soda, juice, sugary drink, and alcohol consumption and instead opt for water or sugar-free beverages.
Eat lunch at the buffet restaurant. There aren’t as many food choices for lunch as there are for breakfast and dinner, so you won’t be tempted to take as much.
When eating at the buffet, don’t overdo it. Just because it may be “all-you-can-eat” doesn’t mean you should stuff yourself until you feel like you’re about to explode. Take a plate and fill it with one appetizer, one entrée, one side dish and one dessert. If you can manage to get full by finishing a meal served on a smaller plate, even better.
Work off those desserts. If you must have that fattening dessert or other snack, compromise by doing something to work it off later on. Tell yourself that if you’re going to eat that double cheeseburger or banana split sundae now, you’ll go to the gym before bed or sign up for that challenging hike excursion at the port-of-call tomorrow.
Eat slowly; it is a good way to try everything you like without feeling deprived; you will avoid overeating and will feel satisfied with less food!