Tips for Eating Healthy at a Buffet

22 Jan

If you’re working on eating healthy, you probably think heading to a buffet is the last thing that should be on your agenda. Surprisingly this is not always the case, as buffet food offers you something that a normal restaurant does not, the chance to choose exactly what goes on your plate.

People are usually shocked to discover that I love buffet food, since eating healthy is obviously like my favorite thing ever. I like it because I can mix-and-match unlimited amounts of salad, veggies, fruit and other healthy foods, with a couple of little fat bomb splurges. For example, if I wanted a piece of pizza at a normal restaurant, I’d have to order an entire full-serving of it. On the flip side, buffet food allows me to harvest one piece from the serving tray, take a couple of bites and be done with it. Craving satisfied in two or three little bites!

Follow these tips for eating healthy when faced with a buffet food situation:

  1. Stock up on salad, which will be found at any buffet, anywhere. Instead of getting a separate plate for salad, put it on the plate with the rest of your food. Get enough to cover half your plate, making less room for fatty items.
  2. Head for the veggies. If the buffet food menu includes steamed veggies, force yourself to try at least two spoonfuls of them. The more the merrier though. Sure, fat Aunt Patty’s plate looks a lot more appetizing that yours, but would you want to see her in a bikini? No, you wouldn’t.
  3. Portion Control. You’re at a freaking buffet, so of course you’re going to eat a few fatty food items, just choose them wisely. You have the power to control your serving sizes, so do that! For example, if you love wings, take this opportunity to satisfy your craving with one or two, instead of a dozen.  Remember, it’s better to graze than to oink.
  4. Create a Rainbow. A good way to tell if you’re eating healthy is to take a look at your plate and see if a number of different colors are represented, a.k.a. creating a rainbow. A plate filled with buffet food is no different. Assess the situation on your plate, if you’ve got a lot of one color, say white (potatoes, biscuits, rice, crackers), you’ve got a problem on your hands. Since you can’t return buffet food to its serving dishes, you’ll need to add some colorful foods to it before returning to the table.
  5. Stock up on Fruit. Many buffet menus include fruit in the dessert portion of the evening. Admittedly fruit doesn’t always look that good when sitting next to ice cream, cookies, cake and pie, but whatever, you need to take one for the team. Sure you can still have your fatty chocolate brownie, but you need to balance this out with some fruit. If you don’t, you’ll be one step closer to looking like fat Aunt Patty in a wet t-shirt contest. Chew on that.

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