With the fast-paced schedules that most people have every day, avoiding restaurants is almost impossible. Business meetings take place everywhere, from five-star restaurants to buffets. With all these temptations, it tends to be challenging to choose healthy foods. You don’t need to restrict yourself to salad and water, however. But, you do need to be diligent about what you’re choosing off the menu.
So, how do you maximize buffet eating while you are looking to lose weight? Learning to manage your diet in any situation is the key to finding success. Let’s discuss some tips on how to maximize buffet eating and keep your diet on track without needing to cancel your breakfast, lunch, or dinner buffet plans.
These Tips Can Help To Keep Your Plate Light When Dining Out
No matter the time you dine, the following tips can help you to feel satisfied with your buffet meal. After all, if you are not happy with the food you are eating, you probably won’t stick to your diet.
It may be helpful to look over the offerings on the way to your table or even online before arriving. Make a mental note of what you plan to eat. There are many options to choose from once you step into line. Developing a game plan, while trying to stick to good choices will help you avoid temptations once you are in line. With a bit of advanced planning, you lessen the urge to pile your plate with everything that looks good.
Try choosing foods that stay within your calorie limits. Grilled meats often have a lower calorie count than the fried version. Likewise, sushi might please your need for rice without needing the fried version. Bread and pasta typically rate high in calories, so be mindful of how much you pile onto your plate.
Don’t Go Hungry
If you’ve ever gone grocery shopping when hungry, you know that it leads to impulse shopping. Many diners think that not eating breakfast and lunch will mean splurging for dinner. Studies show that abstaining from food for meals and making up for them in one large meal does not mean you eat less.1 However, drinking lots of water before your food arrives at your table may help you feel fuller when it is time to eat.
Another suggestion is to eat a small snack before leaving home.
Studies show that eating a salad before a meal decreases the appetite significantly.2,3 Having a plate of salad before your meal may help you feel fuller by the time your food arrives or you get back in the buffet line. If you do not feel like you are starving going in, you won’t feel like eating everything you see in the buffet.
Remember Meal Portion Control
Buffet dining often brings to mind those plates piled high with food. That shouldnt be the case, though. Whether you are eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner, remember that you don’t need to stuff your plate just because you’re at a buffet.
Choosing smaller plates will allow your body to feel full without the guilt of throwing away food. This guilt may drive diners to eat more than they desire.
Using smaller dishes will help you feel full without overeating.
Ask To Substitute
If you are in a restaurant that provides table service, it is a really smart idea to ask about how the food is made. Many restaurants will use unhealthy oils and fats for cooking. Ask for healthier alternatives to vegetable oil such as olive or coconut oil. Ask for freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of salad dressing. Be mindful of the condiments you choose from.
Load Up On The Following Foods
As soon as you hit the buffet line, tell yourself the first round you are going to load up on healthy foods only. This way, you’ll likely be too full to go back for that slice of pizza that caught your eye. And even if you are still hungry, you’ll likely only reach for one slice instead of two or three.
Health options provide satiety may consist of the following:
- Chicken (stay away from fried or breaded)
- Seafood (stay away from fried or breaded)
You Will Often Feel Satisfied With A Taste Of Dessert
Studies show that eating all types of food is okay while dieting, as long as you do it in moderation.4 Sampling a small portion of that dessert that is calling out to you doesn’t have to mean breaking your diet. Giving yourself the ability to indulge in small amounts help satisfy that need for dessert. Tell yourself that if you choose healthy options and control your portions, you’ll allow yourself something from the dessert table.
Keeping Your Health In Mind At The Buffet
Visiting a buffet while on a diet doesn’t need to be a cause to break your healthy eating habits. Plan ahead for menu choices. Have a light snack before heading to the restaurant. Finally, choose smaller portions and plates over larger ones. Following these tips will help you survive buffet dining and stick to your diet at the same time.
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