Navigating the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

August 25, 2014

binge eatingThe all-you-can-eat buffet may seem like a dieter’s demon, but there are few tricks to navigate the bottomless options of food with ease. Once you look past the rolls, pastas, and brownies, you can find some healthy options like fresh vegetables, fruits, and salads.?? Learn how to master the all-you-can-eat-buffet without derailing your weight loss plan.

Go for the healthy stuff first. The first food you put on your plate sets the tone for the rest of your meal. A study published in the Public Library of Science One found two-thirds of your plate is filled with the first item you pick. Moreover, those who choose unhealthy foods first put 31 percent more on their plate than those who opt for a healthy food first. Usually the carb-heavy foods are at the front of the buffet line, so start at the opposite end and pile your plate with veggies first.

Use a salad plate. Managing portion size is one of the keys to success when it comes to weight loss. It’s simple: You can fit less food on a smaller salad plate, which means smaller portions. You would be surprised how full you’ll feel after filling just one salad plate. Our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs.

And smaller utensils too. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to tell you it’s full. Eating will smaller utensils will help you slow down. If you’re at a Chinese buffet, for example, use chopsticks. Eating slowly will help you be more mindful and really taste your food.

Only go to the buffet once. Just because the buffet is all you can eat doesn’t mean you should eat until you feel like the button on your pants will pop off. In reality, you only need to go to the buffet line once. When you start taking two or three trips to the buffet line, you’re just packing in extra calories. If you think you will be too tempted, request to be seated farther away from the buffet.

Listen to your body. If you follow all of these tips, your body will tell you when to stop eating. Listen to it. Focus on every bite you take and really enjoy your food. All-you-can-eat buffets can fit into your weight loss plan if you make smart choices and stay mindful throughout your meal.

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