Low Carb on Cruise... is it possible?

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9 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
I have lost over 30 lbs doing Atkins over the past 6 months. I am going on the Adventure in May and am so worried about gaining alot of weight back over the week. Does anybody have any advice on how I can enjoy myself "here and there" without jeopardizing all that I have accomplished? or should I just indulge and worry about losing what I gain when I get back?
216 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
I'm not being cute....but will power is important. I have to maintain a low fat, low cholesterol diet. It is possible to maintain while on a cruise. Temptation will be great. You can cheat a little bit. I get up and excersize every morning and I definetly don't do the midnight buffet. It should be avoided at all costs.

Having said all of that...I have always had a good time and never felt like I short changed myself.

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5,961 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
A strict regimen of Michelob Ultra. Twelve a day is only 30 grams.


"Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits" Mark Twain

"Nothing so needs reforming as other people's formal night attire, poolside attire, child rearing practices, walk-talkie usage, chair hogging, seat saving, line cutting ..." Mark_K
Bethpage, LI, New York
3,156 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Have no worries, I have been on Protien Power for a year ( same as atkins but 10 carbs a day more) and I have been on 2 cruises this year and did not gain more than 2 pounds, which by the way was gone in 2 days ( it was water weight). I find eating on a cruise actually the easiest way to stay low carb because of all the choices. I just switched to maintainence mode and allowed myself a few extra carbs. So at Breakfast I had one slice of whole wheat toast minus the crust with my eggs and bacon and so on( did you know that by removing the crust you lower carbs?) and few extra fruits and a sugar free dessert now and then, which by the way were great. My waiter knew no starches and always brought extra veggies. I also discovered some new veggie dishes I like. I also brought splenda packets as all they have are the pink and blue kind.
By the way, I have lost over 40 pounds and am not going to binge because as you know the sugar cravings may come back and then you are back at square one. Most people really misunderstand low carb diets , so I am sure you will get a few lectures on this post just to eat smaller portions and exercise. Like they really have a clue But we both know how much healthier we are and how NOT hungry we are and how much energy we have, so why ruin a good thing!

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Norwegian Dawn May 23
10 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Good for you, "Monkeboat"! Losing weight is very, very difficult.

I agree with Barbara that you will find excellent choices, especially in the Windjammer cafe for breakfast and lunch. In the dining room you can select and mix and match any of the available dinner selections. Berries and cream often are available for dessert as well as other low or less carb items.

Schedule a walking or exercise time that fits into your day's schedule, too.

There are many, many excellent tastes that are low carb. You've achieved so much now, it's just not worth it to give up. You don't want a headache or sluggishness to spoil any minute of your marvelous cruise and shore time.

Stay strong!
Central Texas
6,633 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Yes, it is possible to stay on your Atkins diet while on ship. I just took a 12 night Panama Canal cruise and didn't gain any weight. I did get off of my diet slightly, but I had so many ship shape dollars that I got a T-shirt and other things at the end of the cruise. One could eat strictly to an Atkins diet if you wanted to. Saying that you would have to know what your maintence level is. If you are feeling you are consuming more carbs than you should then go to more of the exercise classes... and heck that track is open 24/7. I walked in a coat the first two days of our cruise in February. Sure was alot nicer to be in shorts later in our cruise. Good luck to you ...and just remember if you slip... moderation... and there is the ability to go back to square one for two weeks when you get home.

Mark K.... not a funny post for someone that is trying to keep a healthy weight. I guess you haven't ever had that problem, if you had you wouldn't post something as frivolous as wasting your carbs on alcohol. A good diet for someone that has fought hard to lose weight surely wouldn't be counting all of the carbs in a beer product.

God bless you and yours.
Southampton, NJ USA
65 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
I lost 28 lbs on the South Beach diet and was also very worried about gaining weight on our Panama Canal Brilliance Cruise.
I cheated VERY LITTLE,used the stairs, still greatly enjoyed the low sugar deserts. I gained 1/2 lb. Not bad at all. Had a great cruise.
There are so many food choices that you really shouldn't have any trouble.
Be careful, DH really enjoyed the Lemonade until I asked, and its main ingrediant is sugar..woops.
I'm sorry that I'm not as familiar with Atkins, but on the South Beach diet, we can have some wraps. They had a nice selection of wraps daily for lunch in the Windjammer.
Have fun. There are soooo many choices you should do fine, oh yes, don't forget you can always ask for double veggies..

New Hampshire
77 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
I lost 30# on South Beach and on my cruise I cut back on carbs but in no way followed the strict diet. I weighed the same when I got off as when I boarded. Enjoy yourself. You don't have to go hog wild but life's too short to avoid indulging in a dessert souffle now and then.
Bethpage, LI, New York
3,156 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
When I was on the AOS in May I was very new to the diet and really did follow it quite strictly. I did something that may sound a little silly. I have found and excellent local source of very low carb breads and brownies. So I brought some with me. Plus I did carry the protien bars for excursions. So then when I did stray and eat an oatmeal cookie or two, I knew that it was not enough to put on weight because the rest of the time I was eating the right foods.I did still have some sugar cravings then, but not as strong as when I was a candy junkie.
But In December when we spent 5 days in Hawaii then 10 days on a cruise, and I had already lost most of my weight, I was a little freer and went to between 55-100 carbs a day knowing I was also very active. And to be honest with you, I like the sugar free ice creams and desserts better because if you have been sugar free long enough, things with sugar are way to sweet because your taste changes. Hey I have done major holidays eating lower carb versions of everything. I did not eat one sugar laden thing am proud of it.Besides the lack of heartburn alone is enough to keep me from cheating.

I do not know about anyone else on these diets, but I know I will eat like this the rest of my life because now "real" foods are much more tempting to me than twinkies ever were. And coming from a real Ex-junk food addict, that is saying something. I make lasagna now with spinach leaves instead of noodles and it tastes much better to me. Personally I keep track of my daily carbs on FITDAY and if you connect to the internet on the ship you can also keep track. Some of us actually take eating right seriously. Remember how awful you felt during induction? That is something I do not want to go thru again!

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Norwegian Dawn May 23
153 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
My husband and I just returned a week ago from the carribbean princess. We both started atkins on Jan 1st, 2004. I had lost 40 pounds, husband even more.

We both went totally off the diet for the cruise. Pretty much ate what we wanted, though I feel the diet still affected some of our choices. We both gained 10 pounds exactly as of the morning we returned! But I believe this was mostly water.

I am now up only two pounds ( i had lost 4 pounds in two days even before returning to the diet). My husband has already lost his 10 and is down another 2 or so. Not bad for 7 days.

We were on induction level for the whole 3 months before the cruise, so sometimes it can be good to shake things up for a short period of time. We enjoyed ourselves. The only real drawbacks was the return of the sleepy, draggy periods, and our pictures are not that great. But we had tons of fun, and rarely had time for the sleepies to set in. We both felt that it would have been pretty easy to stick to the diet if we had wanted to! Have fun!

Just wanted to add that some people have really bad problems when returning to their old ways... feel really bad, headaches, naseau, etc. Fortunately we did not have these. If you are considering going off the diet, I would do a small "test", or a refeed. You don't want to feel like crap for your cruise, not worth it.
Home of the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Patriots!
4,488 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
I've been on three cruises since starting the low carb life in August 2002. I've kept pretty much to plan although I did endulge in the sugar free desserts. I managed to gain a few pounds as I wasn't as faithful to my water intake as I am when at home but they came right off.

Pink Sand and Blue Waters of Bermuda
310 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
I've been on the Atkins for 4 years and lost 2o pounds (I'm under 5 ft tall so that can be alot). I do not stick to it on vacations but it does make a difference in my food choices. I even make my own wine coolers out of a splash of white wine, lots of ice and lots of diet 7Up or Sprite.

I did just have an indepth cholesterol test and it was great. Recently the Atkins diet has been knocked for being high in fat. As with any diet, it can have it's drawbacks. Heck, I just heard French Fries can cause cancer and I know they can make you FAT.
Central Valley, CA
11,276 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
DH was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes last August, and we had a 15 day cruise leaving on 10/31. Our low carb diet was to keep the blood sugar under control, because carbs are just as bad as sugar for creating high blood sugar levels.

I joined him in changing our eating habits, because I needed to lose weight. Our carbs were 45 grams for me per day, and 60 for DH. One slice of bread is 15, which is considered a serving of carbs. So, you can see they can go fast. We worked out a routine that satisfies us.

Well, no problem with our eating on the cruise, I'm happy to report. We told the waiter our first night in the dining room NOT to bring the bread basket, so we weren't even tempted. We also didn't order any potatoes or pasta, but if they were on the plate, either didn't eat them or ate just a bite or two. I would order double veggies with my dinners.

Breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer was easy, too. Lots of eggs or EggBeaters with veggies in the omelettes, no toast, fresh pineapple and melon, and breakfast meat. Yogurt is also high in carbs, so I'd eat half of one if I wanted yogurt. Lunch was the same: fruits, veggies and meats.

We allowed our carbs to be desserts. That worked out great, because then we didn't feel overly deprived.

The low sugar desserts are HIGH in carbs, so remember that. You can eat them to cut fat and sugar, but you won't cut any carbs with them.

Use the stairs and walk a lot, or use the gym, too. We walked every day around the ship for 20 minutes, and used stairs a lot.

Worked great, and we didn't gain any weight. DH's blood sugar was normal the whole cruise.

Peggy - RCI since 1973
1,409 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
I lost 20 lbs before cruising on a low carb diet. I decided I paid for this food, I am going to eat it. I did follow some low carb rules, taking croutons out of my salad, limited bread/potato intake, but I didn't scrimp on desserts. I tried to order entrees that weren't breaded and fried. But, overall, I pretty much ate what I wanted. I did gain 7 lbs back, but easily lost it within 2 weeks after getting back home and going back to induction mode for 2 weeks.

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South Florida
933 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I've been on Atkins for 4 years and have lost 55 pounds.

Whenever I go on vacation, I try to stay on plan for breakfast and lunch. For dinner, I eat properly, but sometimes allow myself a dessert.

Here's my tip to avoid cravings: If you must be naughty, eat the naughty stuff after dinner. That way you end up sleeping off your cravings as well as the blood sugar crashing. If you cheat during the day, you risk cheating all day long.

YMMV, but I've found this works best for me.

Navigator of the Seas 5/1/04
Southfield, MI, USA
29 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I have lost 20 pounds on South Beach and I am also worried about gaining weight on this cruise. I am going to try and follow the suggestions to only cheat at dinner so I won't crave sweets all day long. Thanks for the tips.

Navigator of the Seas 05/15/04
Central Valley, CA
11,276 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
We allow ourselves small desserts at lunch in the Windjammer, also. It's surprising what you can keep in your diet by eliminating potatoes, bread, rice and pasta.

We actually eat this way all the time, not just on cruises. It's worked very well for us for over 6 months.

My DH has to be careful with carbs late in the evening, since his blood sugar will go up when he's sleeping. However, he allows himself desserts with dinner (not large, huge ones, just normal portions), and sticks to high protein snacks after that. Beef jerkey and peanuts in the shell are his favorites. He takes them on vacation, too, so he has a snack late at night if he wants one, and doesn't eat sweets.

I've lost about 20 - 30 lbs just eating like him to help him change his habits. Works great for me, too!

Peggy - RCI since 1973
South Florida
933 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
pcur, is your dh diabetic?

My idea of eating sweets later at night rather than earlier in the day is not one I'd recommend to anyone who is diabetic. In fact, I'd be VERY afraid of eating sweets if I were diabetic ANY time of day! Diabetes scares the crap out of me!

From what I understand, eating a fatty or high protein food with dessert helps slow down absorption of the sugars. So, I'd rather eat ice cream than cotten candy, for instance. Or eat a steak for dinner with tiramisu for dessert.

I guess I don't diet very well when I'm on vacation LOL

Navigator of the Seas 5/1/04
Bethpage, LI, New York
3,156 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Ice cream is the only thing that I ever really cheat with because of the fat content. It never slows my loss down, but candy, cookies and so on are a real no no. I will only eat a peice of bread if it is whole wheat and slathered with butter or cream cheese and the crusts cut off ( no kidding check fitday).

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Norwegian Dawn May 23
Vancouver, WA USA
17 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
I wonder about the tour food. We are doing several shore excursions that say they have a "snack" included. What does that consist of? In a 7 hour tour we will need to take some lowcarb snacks if the tour snack is high carb