Beat the Buffet! Dont Go Overboard When Eating Out

by : klively

You're out with a group of friends and it's time to eat. You've been so good with your eating regimen thus far, but you don't want to put anybody out because of your special dieting needs. At the same time, you're worried because majority vote rules, and it's off to the grand, all-you-can-eat buffet!

What do you do? Maybe you are eating on a special points system, and have only so many to spare. Or, perhaps you are to avoid a specific type of food, like high-sodium meats or gravies and sauces...and everything is saturated. Dining with people who love to eat, too, often proves a challenge, especially when friends are goading into sampling everything available. How do you fight the temptation to pile your plate high and make unnecessary repeat visits?

All you can eat buffet restaurants are often a good deal when dining out. If you have a large family, a trip to the buffet can be a treat, as many offer a wide variety of foods - different meats and sides, vegetarian options, and delicious desserts. Continuous discounts for senior citizens and children make the buffett even more impossible to resist if the budget is tight and the appetite is large. It may surprise you, too, to know that buffets can be dieter friendly. Following a few simple tips when dining can ensure a pleasant evening out for all.

Study the buffet before you buy. With many buffet restaurants, you pay first then eat. If you are at such a restaurant you have never before tried, ask to see what is offered before you pay for any meal. Is there a wide variety of foods? Is there a salad bar? How often is new food brought out, and how does it look? Do the vegetables look freshly steamed or drowned in butter sauce. Decide for yourself if this is where you want to eat.

Ask about foods for special diets. Not all buffets are completely self-serve. Often you will see servers making the rounds of the dining room, refilling drinks and clearing plates. If you have a specific dieting needs, like low-salt or no-dairy, ask the server if any provisions can be made to have a special plate brought to you. You might be surprised to know some restaurants will accommodate your request.

Stick with water. Whether you get your own drinks or whether a server brings them for you, it is best to drink water with your meal. Sodas bring extra calories and sugar you don't need, and tea is very high in caffeine. Water is refreshing, fat-free, and abundant. Enjoy!

Don't give in to pressure. Just because everybody around is taking advantage of the all-you-can-eat benefits doesn't mean you should feel compelled to eat more than you want. Take what you want or need for your eating plan, sit and savor every bite. The slower you eat, the more you will enjoy the flavor of your meal, and you will feel fuller on firsts when everybody has had seconds.

Don't give in to the dessert bar. It's the moment we all dread, facing an extensive bar of cookies, cakes, pies, and ice cream. Often when you visit a buffet, the desserts are offered in rather small portions, but don't take that to mean you can eat more for the cost one regular dessert elsewhere. Sugar and sugar, no matter how much you eat. Exercise moderation at the dessert bar. Better yet, if there is fresh fruit available, try some for an enjoyable, delicious end to your dinner.

Using vigilence, moderation, and patience at the buffet can lead to an enjoyable, healthy meal, regardless of any eating plan. All you can eat doesn't have to mean all you can weigh!