Does The Thought Of A Buffet Send Your Inner Calorie Counter Into Panic Mode?

buffet table-graphicEating well and being “calorically observant” can be a challenge at parties, buffets, and events.  Since wedding and graduation season is upon us, week 3 of the lose 5 pounds in 5 weeks challenge will focus on making good choices to save calories when choosing your food at these events – especially since so many of them are buffets where the array of food can be dazzling and too darn tempting.

The Allure And Terror Of The Buffet Table

It’s possible to keep calories under control at a buffet even with all of that tempting food staring you in the face.  Whether it’s a fancy catered affair or pizza, wings, and cold cuts laid out on the kitchen table, why give yourself extra opportunities to shovel chips and dip or passed hors d’oeuvres into your mouth all night long? You’re human, so stay out of hand-to-mouth range, too. You’re far less likely to mindlessly eat if you have to leave a conversation and walk across the room to get to the food.

We Eat With Our Eyes 

  • Keeping your back to the table is one of the easiest strategies to use.  We often eat with out eyes – if we see something delicious, we want to eat it.  So, don’t look at it.  Keep your back to the tempting food as you’re having conversations or working the room. If you have a drink in your hand – it doesn’t matter what it is – your hands are full and it’s more difficult to grab food to eat.
  • Hors d’oeuvres can really sucker punch you, too.  They’re small, but the calories really add up. Make up your mind how many you’ll eat ahead of time and stick to your plan or you’ll have shoved down a thousand calories before you know it. Pick the ones you love and avoid the ones you don’t.  Why sacrifice your calories for something you don’t love?  Try to keep a mental count because when you’re talking and drinking it’s far too easy to grab from each passing tray.
  • When it’s time to sit, choose a seat that puts your back to the buffet — preferably one that’s some distance away from it.  How long can you sit and stare at those lavishly decorated cakes or the mounds of fried food without wanting to sample?  Not having them in your line of sight helps to keep your mind – and your stomach – off of the food choices.
  • Distance helps, too.  Having to get up and walk past lots people – many of whom you know – while balancing a plate filled to the brim, can serve as a “seconds” and “thirds” deterrent.
  • Before putting any food on your plate, just cruise the buffet line to eyeball all of the choices – a potential minefield of diet busters! What do you want to do?  What’s going to energize you and not mess too badly with the calorie range that you want to maintain? Make up your mind, make your choice, and enjoy what you’ve decided to eat.


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