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We were in Saudi Arabia and Turkey a couple of months ago and the hotel buffets were insane. We basically had them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They probably had seven options for every course and cuisine options from all over the world. AND It all looked so good! You didn’t even know where to start.
Buffets are definitely a tough one when it comes to sticking to your goals and making good choices but they’re not impossible!
Here are a few things I keep in mind when at a buffet:
- Scope it out first. When you first arrive, walk through the entire buffet before even picking up a plate. Check out the appetizers, entrees, and even desserts. A lot of times we start piling our plates from the beginning without even realizing that what we really like is later on so you end up grabbing a lot more food than you want.
- Choose a smaller plate. A lot of buffets will have both salad plates and dinner plates. Grab the smaller plate, and don’t worry about not getting enough the first time around- it’s a buffet! You can always come back. Our eyes think our stomachs are much bigger than they are so a smaller plate helps keep us in check.
- Fill your plate with veggies. I often tell clients to eat their veggies first so they don’t miss out on all the vitamins, minerals, and fiber they provide but my advice for a buffet is slightly different. With a normal meal you know what you are choosing and eating prior to receiving it, a buffet on the other hand your choices are not tied in until it’s on your plate. So, I choose to fill up half my plate with veggies with every trip to the buffet. This allows you to have space for other yummy foods while keeping half of it veggies.
- Listen to your body. This is the most important component of eating well in general. Eating intuitively (also called mindful eating) is “a way of eating that teaches you to eat based on your natural hunger and fullness signals“. In an environment where your food choices feel endless, like a buffet, knowing when to stop based on your body’s signals is going to prove most beneficial. This step definitely takes practice and being super attentive to your plate and your body. I will be covering this a bit more in upcoming posts so stay tuned!