- Grab a salad/dessert plate - Smaller plate = smaller area for food, making portion control a lot easier.
- Survey the buffet - Have a look at the whole table or area before you start loading up your plate. We've all had the experience of starting to put food on your plate at the beginning and ending up with a mini mountain by the time we get to the end and find the things we actually want to eat.
- Fill half your plate with veggies and/or fruits - We worked on this during the 4 weeks to 5 servings challenge last month, and while it's a great strategy for everyday eating, it's an even better strategy at the buffet! Most buffets have a salad bar or veggie area, so stock up there before you check out your other choices.
- Eat the things you're excited about, ditch the things you're not - There's no sense in eating food that isn't fun, enjoyable or good. Just because it's on the buffet spread, doesn't mean that you have to eat it! Grab some of the stuff that you really enjoy and leave the rest.
- Cancel your membership in the CLEAN PLATE CLUB - It's either going to your waist or to waste - it's your choice. If you're feeling satisfied or the food just isn't doing it for you, don't feel obligated to finish everything off. It's okay to leave some stuff or take a doggie bag!
- Keep it simple - While I'm all for trying new things, it's probably good to stick with what you know at the buffet, so go with fruits and veggies, lean sources of protein and whole grains. Try to steer clear of sauces, coatings, batters, dressings and other extras that will just pile on the calories
Here is what I grabbed at the offsite:
So I didn't really have much of a choice but to fill my plate up with veggies and fruits as the rest of it was wraps, cheese & crackers and cookies so I went with half a plate of salad with a drizzle of dressing, a bit of coleslaw, some grapes and melon. It looked really full, but I was just trying to stock up on salad! I had also brought a larabar and some almonds with me which helped me to feel satisfied! I ended up going back for more salad and I found myself munching on the fruit all day.
I think my last tip for success at the buffet is to think about it like any other meal - what kind of choices would you make if it wasn't a buffet? It's not "The Last Supper" so you don't need to treat it as such. Go in with a plan, think about these tips and make the best choices possible. You can do it!
Do you have any tips for buffets or special occasion eating?