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Eating Out at Buffets? God or Bad



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JENNY888
Posts: 1,342
10/12/12 8:12 P

I've read through the comments and there are some great points. I wish we had one of those Tomato buffets. I have never heard of it.

As to getting my money's worth that was one of the best things about this buffet. It is generally only about $15 to eat at it but for seniors (over 50) on Tuesday and Thursday evenings it is half price. I always feel just one item is probably worth the $8 that we pay to eat there with some of the best food I have had at any restaurant.

The buffet is at an Indian Casino of all places. To make it even more enticing they put free money on our cards. Usually both my husband and I get $15 free money when they send a text message. If it is a Tuesday or Thursday it is quite tempting with the half price buffet. It has taken me a long time to not worry about how much I eat at buffets but I am getting better at it all of the time. I think the setup at this buffet is also very good. They have attendants watching the food at all times and if they see something happening they remove the tray and put another one on. I have seen them do this myself when I was there. I don't feel bad about the health aspect here at all.

We have a lot of fun with the free slot money. You don't have to spend any of your own and we just play that and take out all of our earnings. Last night on $30 free money we took out $30.70 which was all ours. That covered our meal and gas. It was very relaxing and fun. We don't play any of our own money but just the free money. That way we can't lose.



JENNY888
Posts: 1,342
10/12/12 8:00 P

I can't believe how much response I have here already. Could be the God or bad in the title. I did not know I made that error until just now.

Here is a report on my experience:

My buffet experience last night turned into a NSV (Non Scale Victory) for me. I wasn't completely successful but could have been if I wanted to be. I am sure I will get a chance to try again soon.

Overall I did not do too bad but there were some fried shrimps that I let myself have five of with some blue cheese dip for an appetizer. They were incredible. Just a light coat of breading, hardly any, all shrimp, and not oily at all. I just could not pass them up.

I stuck to baked protein like tilapia and some skinless chicken which was heavenly and cooked just right, some steamed veggies, and some sweet potatoes that they had. I did take a few very small tastes of other items to see what they were like (all great I am afraid).

For dessert I had a small portion of the rice pudding that they make that is excellent with a few cherries on the top that I took out of another dessert. I'm sure the rice pudding was not low fat but I kept it to minimal and enjoyed ever minute of it.

My real NSV of the night though was a salad I made myself between the entree and the dessert. I used the romaine lettuce, lots beets on top, a little hard boiled egg, spinach, and a few slivered almonds. There was a raspberry vinaigrette dressing that I put about a TB on top. The NSV of it was that as I was eating it I realized that it tasted better to me than even the friend shrimp or anything else I ate. Basically, I love veggies. Usually when I go to this buffet I don't go to the salad bar because I am having other things instead. From now on I will start with the salad bar and enjoy it before anything else. I would have still had the shrimp though as an appetizer.

This buffet also has a bar of freshly cut fruit. I usually have that but passed on it this time because of all else I had.

Overall, I felt the experience was a success. I do feel if you go to the right buffet that there are more healthy choices there than at many restaurants. I would have liked to eat even a little healthier and will next time, but I passed up homemade pie and other desserts along with entree that I knew were full of too many calories or sodium.

I will comment again later when I read all of your comments. I wanted to get this report to you now.



KIMBOLEAN
SparkPoints: (16,714)
Fitness Minutes: (6,452)
Posts: 817
10/12/12 12:31 P

i think it is bad...because i tend to overeat...i want to try a little bit of a lot of food...i try to avoid buffets at all cost for myself...too many bad choices on the buffet



BROOKLYN_BORN
Posts: 2,077
10/12/12 8:03 A

Buffets are useful when going out as a group, so everyone will find something to eat. My problem is wanting to get "my money's worth" and I have to be mindful to get "my health's worth" also. It's sad to watch people there loading their plates. sometimes one plate is a salad but covered with so much thick dressing they might as well have chosen the fried chicken.



FAITHP44
SparkPoints: (38,858)
Fitness Minutes: (25,690)
Posts: 2,780
10/12/12 3:45 A

I love buffets! But I'd only go to one every couple of months and then I'd set out to enjoy it and eat everything I want. The only thing is, because I have been trying hard with portion control, I don't really want so much as I used to, and I don't want so much of the fatty things either. (I enjoy the sweet things though!) I think for me Spark people is about understanding what I'm putting into my body and making lifestyle changes. I've done enough crash diets that have worked for a while so I'm taking things slowly aiming to lose 2-3lb a month and keep it off, so I don't consider anything to be permanently banned unless it's downright harmful.



BUBBLEJ1
SparkPoints: (21,955)
Fitness Minutes: (20,943)
Posts: 2,800
10/12/12 12:22 A

Nothing is 'bad', it is what you do with it! If you have 7 plates full and eat anything that looks good then you'll have a problem. Have 1 plate, maybe 2. Load up on the healthy options and just have a small portion of anything in a heavy sauce, or fried.

Best of luck!



JHISEROTE
SparkPoints: (8,631)
Fitness Minutes: (7,211)
Posts: 207
10/11/12 11:33 P

I think it depends on whether or not you think you can handle all that temptation or not...if you do go, eat a really filling healthy snack at least an hour before you go. Eat a salad and some fruit first, and then if you are still hungry, try to choose something semi-healthy like roasted chicken or some vegetables. If you know you can't choose healthy at a buffet, just stay away from them, the smells and the sights of all that food might make you give in!



GINGERVISTA
Posts: 5,648
10/11/12 11:13 P

Unless I'd go to an organic, health-food buffet.......do they even exist??? Perhaps in California....I haven't gone to a buffet in years, since 1) the food is made with more fat & sometimes sugars, 2) you ALWAYS eat more than is healthy in order to 'get your money's worth' & 3) since being in SP I've lost my desire to eat like someone at a horse trough. emoticon



YOJULEZ
SparkPoints: (15,605)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
10/11/12 11:04 P

The Hometown Buffet in my old city always had really terrible health inspection ratings, like the worst in town. I'm not sure how they managed to stay open.



SHAKEUPTAMPA
SparkPoints: (9,500)
Fitness Minutes: (4,545)
Posts: 925
10/11/12 10:27 P

Cortney...reason #4 (I knew there should have been something else) haha.



CORTNEY-LEE
SparkPoints: (48,339)
Fitness Minutes: (39,734)
Posts: 2,909
10/11/12 9:22 P

I am not a fan of buffets. I used to enjoy going to them until one day I was in the ladie's room, and watched a woman come out of the stall, not wash her hands, and head out the door.

Ever since then... I just can't do it



SHAKEUPTAMPA
SparkPoints: (9,500)
Fitness Minutes: (4,545)
Posts: 925
10/11/12 8:58 P

I love sushi buffet places but they also have a mass amounts of other food. I found out that at one place, the mini hot dog wraps gave me migraines. The other: either the egg rolls or dumplings, not quite sure and not willing to find out.

How did I figure this out? Besides the feeling of wanting to die and paying for a $20+ script to kill the migraine I realized I normally make good choices at these place: some sushi, some fruit, and maybe a soup depending and light on my soy sauce. If I ate anything fried from them or even baked= pain for 2-4 days.

That skirted me real quick from grabbing bad things at those place. Then there is Sweet Tomatoes, my grandmothers favorite place by far! If I have not been in 3-4 months I will splurge a little on sour dough bread, whipped butter, a baked sweet potato and maybe a little rotini pasta with dressing. If I have been going more often like regular lunch dates I stick to just the salad bar, a cup of chili, and maybe 1-2 little items off bread bar. I stay away from the pasta bar at all costs, and most days if they don't have watermelon or cantalope I don't want the fruit bar either. Always water to drink instead of cherry coke or something else.

Good choices can be made. A agree 100% that places like Golden Corral are hard. They made it MUCH easier since they took away the crab cakes I was willing to wait in line for. Their steaks are disgusting...so I would eat up fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and a pile of yeast rolls..and my mashed potatoes would be loaded! Now in stead of going there and binging we make a date night at least once a month to my favorite steak house (actually cheaper to eat at minus the tip) and I can have an 8oz steak, small loaded baked potato, cup of brocc cheese soup, and some yeast rolls (but stop myself at 2 or at least I try lol)

Eating that meal V what I would eat at a buffet like Golden Corral on the same plate is well over 1500 calorie difference. It's crazy what a plate can hold.

As long as you are not the person with their laptop sitting there like it's a starbucks to work all day and keep eating even if you consider it a "bad or cheat" day, you can brush yourself off and keep going forward.

3 Things that have made me leery of buffets since March: 1) on our honeymoon there was the buffet on the ship...even though they use hand pumps for germs what about the people sneezing or coughing or wiping their face then using the utensils to get food? (now I clean my hands again before eating) 2) the people who are rude and grab things off and eat them while going through the line...with their hands 3) the children who go alone to the buffet and not only touch, poke, and shove things around with the spoons but then let the spoon rest on the counters and what not. I'm not a germ a phobe by any means but if I am paying for quality I want it served to me without all the rest of that going on.



STARSHINEFL
SparkPoints: (1,069)
Fitness Minutes: (40)
Posts: 157
10/11/12 7:53 P

I stay away from them - even at Sweet Tomatoes, I always end up stuffed and uncomfortable (and eating too many of their bread and desserts). Plus when I eat out, I like to be able to relax and have someone bring me my meal.

BUT you're not the first person I've seen say they prefer buffets because they can customize their healthy choices and portion sizes. We eat at tapas/small plates restaurants for that reason. My husband and I like to share 4-5 small dishes so I can get a little of something less healthy plus healthy things like salads, ceviches, roasted vegetables, bruschetta, etc.

Whatever works for you is great emoticon



DIETITIANBECKY
Posts: 26,019
10/11/12 7:37 P

Thanks for commenting on the Spark Coach Video.
Sounds like you have "your buffet" under control.
For many...the all you can eat buffet is a disaster waiting to happen....all you can eat for one special price. People want to get their money's worth...and that often means large portions with a high calorie intake.

SP Dietitian Becky



GAILSTANFORD
SparkPoints: (108)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 41
10/11/12 7:34 P

I agree. There are lots of healthy options to eat at a buffet. The trick is to stay away from the bad stuff.

The only other thing is that for me, I still get concerned on how they cook it. I often wonder how much butter and other fatty ingredients are used for cooking it.

Another concern is plates and portions. For me, I do not eat enough at buffets anymore to even equal how much I pay at one. So just keep all these things in mind!



GRAMCRACKER46
SparkPoints: (24,596)
Fitness Minutes: (11,216)
Posts: 930
10/11/12 6:53 P

Wishing you the best luck Jenny. I hope you let us know how you did.



YOJULEZ
SparkPoints: (15,605)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
10/11/12 6:48 P

I think if the buffet has lots of healthy options like Sweet Tomatoes, then it's pretty easy to do it. But if it's a place like Golden Corral or Hometown Buffet, where almost everything is a bunch of "homestyle" comfort food, then it would be more difficult.

It also takes a lot of self control at a place like that, to avoid the "kid in the candy store" problem. Some folks just don't have the self control to handle it.

Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 10/11/2012 (18:50)


JENNY888
Posts: 1,342
10/11/12 6:21 P

Just listened to my daily SparkCoach video by Coach Becky. I was told to avoid eating at a buffet at all costs. Funny because my hubs and my plan tonight is to go to a delicious buffet. Still will be going but I will see if I can make very good choices. I have been able to do it in the past. There are so many veggies and other healthy items there if that is what you choose. Yes there is temptation there but if you avoid it I find it does not have to be so bad. Does anyone else find that to be true?



 
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