All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

OK, so how many times have you been on a diet for a couple of days and it is going really well and then someone invites you out for dinner? You get there only to find it is an all-you-eat buffet with all the foods you have been trying not to eat for the past couple of days!

This has happened to me on more than one occasion and pretty much every time I would cave in and have more than I could possibly think about eating in a whole day in my current eating plan!

The truth is that when people say it is “all you can eat�? or “buffet�? it seems to send them absolutely crazy. It is like you HAVE to get everything you can possibly see onto your plate! You transport into a world where it becomes OK to eat a huge piece of chocolate cake for desert...followed by pecan pie, ice cream and a Danish!

Buffet Tips

For someone who is trying to seriously lose weight and has an emotional or gorging problem with food, a buffet or all-you-can-eat really should not be considered. However if you HAVE to go, because it is family, work or the first date you have been on in a while, then think about a few things first:

  1. Why don’t you use the opportunity to show yourself (and no one else) how much control you have and, more importantly, how much commitment you have to changing you eating patterns?

  2. Have a look at all the food that is on offer and work out which ones you can eat lots of and which ones you reserve for the tiny little amount you put on the side.

  3. Now here is a novel concept: Try to make a “realistic meal�? out of what is available on the buffet. In other words, if you wouldn’t ORDINARILY combine; roast chicken, roast pork, spaghetti carbonara, Thai chicken curry, fish casserole, mashed potatoes, fries, sautéed vegetables and a Naan bread; then DON'T DO IT at a buffet!

    Have the roast chicken with mashed potatoes, steamed veggies and a little bit of gravy. Don’t take the best parts of each of your favorite top 10 meals and make them into one!

  4. Think about why you always over eat at a buffet; Is it because you are trying to get your money’s worth? This is actually a very common occurrence across the board with diets. People buy “family�? packs of chips because they think they are getting more value. Therefore if the buffet is $19.95 then why not work along the lines of “what would I get in a restaurant for $19.95?�?. You certainly wouldn’t get all the food mentioned in Point 3!

    Perhaps start with a salad, it can have a little bit of blue cheese or grilled chicken, then move the main meal. Try to pick something that has not been fried or covered in oil and make sure that vegetables take up at least half your plate. Then choose a small desert, or better yet, half of one.

  5. When it comes to desert, buffets are the worst places! There are always so many yummy looking options. Try to pick the smallest piece of cake or pie and don’t put any cream or ice cream with it. To be honest, half the time it dilutes the flavor and you don’t get to taste the pie on its own.

  6. If you are not comfortable having a plate of fruit for desert (believe me, some people will comment!) that is OK. If you are out with your family and friends and you show control during your entrée then you can have a small bit of cake. If you don’t want to eat the whole thing then only take half a piece, there is bound to be someone else in the restaurant (not necessarily from your group) that will also want half.

  7. Spread your food out on your plate so that it looks like you have more than you actually do, this will stop you from putting too much on.

  8. Just remember no one notices if you eat a normal amount, and everyone will notice if you eat an abnormal amount. I am saying this because some people feel self conscious about telling the world they are on a diet. Trust me, your family and friends are often too busy catching up to notice you only have half a plate of food or didn’t finish your desert!

  9. Make sure you write down everything you eat in a food diary, that way you can record your good control and make note of what is good to eat at a buffet and what is not for the next time. Alternatively, you will also have to write it down if you ate way too much so then in a weeks time when you find you haven’t lost weight you will know why!