If you are like me you have a love hate relationship with all-you-can-eat buffets.
On one hand you love having 500 choices of food items. But on the other hand you realize how awful you’ll feel if you eat too much, especially if you are on a diet.
It’s tough to visit a buffet and not overeat. Some would say it’s darn near impossible.
With all of the options and temptations sometimes I feel like it’s a miracle if I come out without a belly ache and being able to walk upright with my pants still buttoned.
Some may think that because I’m a virtual fitness coach that eating out is easy for me. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I LOVE food. I love to eat. Sometimes it’s hard, even for me not to over do it.
I’m going to share my secrets on how to stick to your diet at a buffet, because I want you to succeed and meet your fitness goals.
Buffet This Way
- Don’t go often. The best way to survive the temptation of a buffet is to not step foot in one in the first place. This tip alone can save you from some unwanted pounds. When going out choose places that have smaller portions. I recommend not visiting a buffet more than once a quarter.
- Use small plates. Usually there are dinner plates, salad plates, and desert plates. When making your meals go for the medium sized plate. This tricks your brain into thinking you are eating a lot more, when you are actually eating the perfect size.
- Start healthy. In a study at Cornell University, those who began with healthier options (think yogurt, fruit, salad) ended up serving themselves 1/3 less overall than those who went for more decadent food items. When making your plate put healthy food options on it first, you’ll eat less food by the end of your visit.
- Check it out. The first thing you should do before even picking up your plate is to walk around the entire buffet. Scout out the healthier options and go for those. People who take a look around the buffet first usually eat less than those who don’t, and they make better food choices. Sure you can pick a decadent item, but just pick 1-2.
- Share a sweet. If you have a sweet tooth like I do, share a dessert plate with your man. Let him pick 2 mini treats, and you pick 2 as well. Most buffets have mini desserts so split them in half and enjoy. You’ll enjoy a “taste” of everything and not feel like you’ve missed out on anything.
- Drink plenty of water. You’ll already be loading up on calories with the food, so don’t add extra calories with your drink. Ask for a water cup and tell your server to keep it coming. Not only will you save money but you’ll also be filling up your tummy with a calorie free drink so that you’ll have less room for the other calorie rich foods at the buffet.
Remember that this is one meal. It doesn’t have to blow your diet. Drink plenty of water, share your treats, use small plates and chew slowly. Think of it as a regular restaurant where you can’t get refills. Have a game plan going in. If you start by scoping the buffet for the healthy options and putting them on your plate first you’ll have a much better chance at coming out pleased with yourself.