Buffet dining can be found everywhere from wedding receptions to all-inclusive resorts to cafeteria-style restaurants. Unlimited access to a wide array of foods means there's likely something for everyone to enjoy at the buffet table.
But having so many foods at one's fingertips also may compel some people to overeat. Some people are tempted to get their money's worth, while others have difficulty controlling portions with so many delicious offerings beckoning.
Limitless food supplies often tempt people to dine on much more than they normally would at sit-down meals. Dubbed "buffet binging," individuals may walk away from buffet lines feeling bloated. However, there are some tricks to enjoy buffets without ending up with the post-buffet bloat.
· Do a sweep of the area first. Examine the buffer offerings before picking up a plate. If something looks irresistible, leave room for it by going sparingly on other foods.
· Snack before arriving. Fill up on high-fiber foods before visiting the buffet line so you'll be less likely to overdo it. If that's not possible, have a salad or broth-based soup as an appetizer. Both options are filling but not too high in calories.
· Use a small plate. Pick a small plate so you can't fill it up with more food than you need to feel satisfied. If you're still hungry after finishing your plate, you can always go back for a second helping.
· Pick some protein. If the idea is to make the meal worth it from a financial standpoint, stick to protein-rich offerings like meat, poultry and seafood. These tend to be the most expensive items on the spread.
· Choose unusual foods. When indulging in an item or two, select foods you don't regularly have access to. And don't hesitate to give signature dishes a try.
· Load up on veggies. Fill your plate with plenty of vegetables, which are filling and healthy. Just be wary of how veggies are prepared, skipping those that are coated in cream sauces or look laden with butter.
· Indulge wisely in desserts. Pick up very small pieces of dessert if you want to sample various offerings. Fill the rest of the plate with fresh fruit, which is refreshing and low in calories.
· Slow down. Eat slowly and register when you are full. This will help you eat with your stomach and not your eyes. After visiting the buffet line, sit beyond the sightline of the buffet so you're not tempted to revisit it.