Instead of the traditional turkey sit-down dinner for the holidays this year, everyone goes to the local buffet. While you’re there, you’re sure to see people going up for seconds, thirds and more, and then returning to their tables with plates piled high with food. You will also note that many of those people are somewhat to very overweight.
On another occasion, you’ve traveled to Las Vegas, where all-you-can eat buffets are a tradition. To make the visit all the more memorable, the hotel package you purchased includes a room and, as the ad promises, you also get 24 hours of unlimited buffet dining. With all of those temptations offered at all buffets, how can you possibly eat healthy? Despite it all, there are ways to do it.
1. Start off your buffet meal with a fresh salad with light dressing, or a bowl of clear, non-creamy soup. These can take the edge off the hunger you may feel after seeing all the delicious food displayed in front of you.
2. When going through the buffet line, take small portions at first, just samplings of each attractive type of food. Then, if one or more dish appeals to you, go back for another modest serving.
3. For drinks with your meal, make it orange juice, tea or black coffee. They and a glass of water can help give you that filling-up feeling, so you won’t go back to the buffet line for the umpteenth time.
4. For your main entree, limit yourself to lean meats, poultry and seafood. The deep-fried pork chops and slabs of ham may look inviting, but if you want to eat healthy in the buffet, forget about them.
5. One advantage of eating at a buffet is that you don’t find yourself munching endless bread and butter while you wait to be served. At your buffet, all the good food waits for you, so you don’t need bread and butter.
6. If you actually have room for dessert after all that buffet food, don’t get any of those very tempting cakes, cookies, pies and creamy ice creams. If you must end your meal with something sweet, make it a fruit cup or a small glob of sorbet.
7. Footnote: If a buffet was your lunchtime indulgence, make it the main meal of the day. Eat a modest supper, satisfied that you bravely observed healthy eating tips when confronted by the many temptations of the buffet line.