January 2, National Buffet Day - Navigating a Buffet
A buffet is a system of serving meals in which food is placed in a public area where the diners serve themselves. A buffet can be difficult for a person wanting to control their weight. Planning, moderation and motivation are key to your success.
Seven Tips to Navigating a Buffet
1. Never go to a buffet hungry. You may be tempted to overindulge. Have a light snack a few hours before arriving at the event.
2. Use a salad plate, which holds less food than a dinner plate.
3. Start off with fresh vegetables and/or salad greens. Serve with low-calorie dressing, vinegar, salsa, mustard, or lemon. Avoid the croutons, bacon bits, cheese and salads made with mayonnaise.
4. Next go for a low calorie beverage, such as water, unsweetened ice tea or diet soda. If you are walking around with a beverage in one hand and a plate of vegetables in the other hand you can easily avoid the appetizers being passed around.
5. Main meal. Fill half your plate with vegetables. Choose steamed vegetables and keep away from those with heavy sauces. Avoid pastry items, deep-fried, breaded and foods prepared with mayonnaise, sour cream and cheese sauces. Instead choose lean meats, poultry, or fish. If you want to try a variety of items, ask for small samples.
6. Avoid breads and crackers, especially if prepared with added fat.
7. If you want a dessert, choose a light alternative. Many buffets now offer low-calorie or sugar-free desserts, as well as fresh fruit.
Eating at a buffet can be challenging, but with planning, motivation, and moderation your success will be rewarded.