All you can eat buffets are quite the economical display of food heaven. However, if you do not choose wisely, you can end up consuming far more calories than your diet allows. If you wish to manage your weight and make healthier choices at your next visit to a buffet, follow these best buffet diet tips to navigate a buffet when youâ€™re on a diet.
Make that Lap
Do yourself a favor and span the entire spread. Take mental notes on the foods you would normally eat at home and try to stick to those choices as much as possible. In most cases you have the option to order from the menu and make special requests to better suit your dietary needs. A good rule-of-thumb, whether you tackle the buffet or order from the menu: keep it simple. Plan on a variety of protein-dense foods, such as eggs, sausage, bacon, etc., and avoid the French toast, pancakes, and other baked goods.
Think about balancing your plate mostly with protein in the form of grilled or baked meat, fish, and then steamed vegetables to round out your plate. Avoid foods that are battered or fried, have cream-bases, and any dressings, cheese sauces and gravies. Look for foods seasoned with herbs and spices or lightly tossed in olive oil. Salads can be healthy, provided you top it off with oil and vinegar or light vinaigrette, rather than a creamy, high-calorie dressing. Stick with broth-based soups over cream-based options. Keeping your portions small will allow you to minimize the number of calories you consume.
Stay away from the empty calorie drinks, like soda, sweetened iced teas, juices and lemonades. Free refills are the norm with buffets and a trap you can easily fall into. Stick with water, or unsweetened tea. Plus, you can save extra room for dessert, that is, if you have already made the right choices in the buffet line.
There is room for dessert if you play your cards right from the beginning. You shouldnâ€™t be too hungry at this point; given the nutrient-dense choices you filled your plate with. However, if youâ€™ve got some room, look for fruit-based desserts, such as berries with a little whipped cream. If you prefer a more sugary dessert, see if the othersâ€™ at your table want to share. You can still taste a little without being overly ambitious and ruining your diet when youâ€™ve worked so hard to stay on track.
See? Thatâ€™s not so hard, is it? You will find a common thread with regard to eating out and not blowing your diet: keep it simple. If you plan ahead, and keep your food and beverage options similar to those options in your own kitchen, you will be able to navigate any meal outside the home, including a buffet.