Eating On The Run: Choose Buffet Food Wisely

Buffet food: delicious, variety, easy to eat more than necessary.

Buffet food: delicious, variety, easy to eat more than necessary.

by donR  15/11/2015

During lunch breaks are you  tempted to line up for a buffet-style  lunch. I certainly  am. Last month I stood in the buffet line at two grocery delis, the hospital and for a casino luncheon. With so many scrumptious food choices, it is easy to eat too much. To make matters worse, it’s almost impossible to resist the “White stuff?”  (sugar and bleached flour in the  entrees and trans-fats in the desserts). You are left with three choices:

  • Splurge and enjoy  the moment
  • Avoid going to food buffets in the first place
  • Adopt some of the following strategies to eat well when going through a buffet line or eating at the family dinner table.

The real issue with buffets or a dinner table loaded with bowls of food is our “see food diet.” With food sitting right in front of our eyes, it’s easy to grab too much. I ate too much food during my last visit to the Casino buffet and made a plan for the next time I go. Here is my plan:

  1. I’ll walk around to see what is being served.
  2. The next step is to return to the table with some herb tea or glass of water. Then relax and think about what I really need to eat.
  3. Now it’s time to hit the salad bar for leafy greens, veggies and a lite dressing like vinaigrette. I’ll add some fruit and oriental salad for a different flavor and texture.
  4. If there is a light soup available, I’ll go for it along with a small whole wheat bun and butter.
  5. For entrees, I’ll go back to the salad bar…and get a small plate. Choose roasted or steamed entrees and sides like turkey, white fish, baron of beef, cabbage rolls and veggies along with brown rice if available.
  6. buffet pastryNow am I too full for the dessert bar? No…I’ll save some room to indulge myself. How about gluten-free cakes & cookies loaded with sweeteners? Cake or pie with ice cream? Sugar- free tart with whipped cream? Maybe, but I’ll probably go back to the salad bar for refreshing coleslaw or cottage cheese & peaches. If I opt for the desserts, I’ll work out an extra 10 minutes…maybe.

You may have a different idea for approaching a buffet line or setting up the dinner table but this is the mental game I’ll play in order to keep from gorging myself. 

If you want other ideas visit 10 Tricks and Tips from the USDA Choose My Plate program  that may help to discourage over-eating.

I am researching about why we have cravings and tend to overeat. Is it a hormone imbalance, genetics, or caused by emotions? That’s a subject for another post.