What We’re Reading: Taming the Buffet

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For many people, summer is a time for sun, sand, surf, and…the buffet. While cruises are the most notorious venues of overindulgent eating, many other popular vacation spots offer all-you-can-eat menus. And once you’ve plunked down your cash for a buffet-style meal, you may be tempted to get more than your money’s worth. So what’s a person trying to eat healthfully to do?

In an interview with obesity expert Victor J. Stevens, Ph.D., diabetes blogger David Mendosa collected several tips for keeping food intake moderate at the buffet. The first, and perhaps most foolproof way, is to simply avoid situations that are centered on buffets altogether.

Unfortunately, if you’re on a cruise or the group you’re with has decided to go to an all-you-can-eat restaurant, this may not be a viable option. In this case, modifying the situation in some way is the next best bet. For example, one option is to ask the waiter not to bring bread or chips to the table while you wait to be called up for your meal.

Another option that Stevens recommends is to enlist the help of a friend: “Tell him or her that that you only want to go through the [buffet] line once, and that you want him or her to hold you to it. Then make sure you sit next to that person.”

A third suggestion, put forth by a commenter, is to go through the buffet line once without taking anything to determine what you’d really like to sample, and then pick up only those items on the second time through.

No matter which strategy you choose, moderation is key to making the best of the buffet. For more tips on controlling your portions, check out “Portion Control: Tricks of the Trade.”

This blog entry was written by Assistant Editor Diane Fennell.

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