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Tips for eating at buffet?



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LIBRA74
Posts: 56
2/10/12 7:22 P

RURUFIT72 - If you're concerned about your willpower around the buffet on your vacation, remember that on most cruise ships and at most all-inclusive resorts, there are other options for most (if not all) of your meals. Cruise ship dining rooms are generally open for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner, so you can order a plated meal off the menu. At all-inclusive resorts, one of the restaurants on the property may be open for breakfast and/or lunch, or they may have room service available (and included). I've been on both cruise and all-inclusive vacations, and found that eating in the dining room/restaurant/room service for breakfast was helpful. I actually preferred the buffet at lunch, since I found it easier to get a lighter option, like a deli sandwich or salad, off the buffet since many of the offerings on the lunch menu were a little heavier.

I'd also recommend taking advantage of the activities on the ship or at the resort. There is a wide variety of scheduled activities (water aerobics, beach volleyball, fitness class, various games, scuba diving or snorkeling, etc.) and amenities (swimming pool, ping pong, kayaks, library, etc.) available. Not only will you burn some calories, but keeping active will keep you away from and your mind off the food!

Finally, don't hang out near the bars, especially at a resort where your drinks are included. It's way too easy to drink too many calories, even if you don't drink alcohol (there are typically several non-alcoholic specialty beverages on the menu, all of which are high in sugar and calories).

Have a great time on your vacation!



C_RAE07
SparkPoints: (1,477)
Fitness Minutes: (1,688)
Posts: 7
2/10/12 4:04 P

Thanks, Exotec, for your observations! I tend to go overboard with carbs. As for the cowboy beans, I'm actually really picky about meats and I was hesitant about it, so i just left it. Silly, but true. I'm really new to this lifestyle change and unless I have internet readily available or someone knowledgeable telling me about the food, then I don't really know if I'm eating the right things. I'm doing a lot of studying up! Like I said, though, everything was in small portions (especially the food that I knew had carbs). In fact, believe it or not, the only plate that was full was the first plate with the salad and fruits.

Again thank you for the observations and I'll keep that all in mind if I get to go again! And, yes, I have been to Crazy Buffet once. We went for my husband's birthday last June. :)



NILBOGGER
SparkPoints: (19,431)
Fitness Minutes: (34,249)
Posts: 260
2/10/12 4:04 P

Don't



LOTTSOFLOVE
Posts: 14
2/10/12 3:39 P

Don't!

Many times, you may be able to order a plate from the kitchen.

If you at a function where buffet is the only option, then focus on salad with lots of veggies and grilled fish or chicken, dressing on the side. Dessert? Stick to fruit!

But, your best option: Don't do that to yourself.



EXOTEC
Posts: 3,140
2/10/12 3:34 P

@RURUFIT72 -

If you're talking cruise-type vacations, where buffets are everywhere, I'd do the same ... use a small plate, and only put a bite of your favorites on. Drink lots of water or tea along with your meal. Start off with plenty of salad or healthy soup. Try to steer clear of anything bready or starchy. And don't look at the dessert line!

If you're talking about tours where your meals are scheduled, you could ask the tour service to provide a special diet. Most of them will do that. If you're just taken to restaurants to make your own choices, there wouldn't be much difference between that and eating out locally. You just have to be stern with yourself and make good choices.

Salads, soups, and lots of fluid with meals are always beneficial. Eat slowly from a small plate when you can. And don't be too harsh on yourself: you know you're going to "fall off" your diet plan a bit. Don't let it ruin your vacation! You're supposed to be having fun. Micromanaging your food shouldn't come first.



RURUFIT72
Posts: 65
2/10/12 3:18 P

Any advice for how to navigate all inclusive vacations? Do the same principles apply when food is always readily available?



DABLUECAT
SparkPoints: (44,695)
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Posts: 1,868
2/10/12 1:40 P

I used to not like buffets. Now I take a small plate, smaller portions and make multiple trips. I'd get moving getting up and down. I try to do a soup too. If I do dessert I'll do the Jell-o. Don't like buffet desserts.



KDYLOSE
Posts: 742
2/10/12 12:22 P

Even though you're planning to eat light before this meal, it would help to get some lean protein into your system not long before you go. Then start off your buffet meal with a big salad course.



CLOUDCAT13
SparkPoints: (7,763)
Fitness Minutes: (9,891)
Posts: 69
2/10/12 12:14 P

At least they picked a good place. Mongolian Bbq can be very healthy. Pick the lean meats and tons of veggies! Get the sauces that aren't oil based and you're set. The cooktop has minimal oil on it, if any. You have a great stir-fry and don't have to worry about looking like you aren't happy to be there by only getting salad. Eat with chopsticks if at all possible. They will help you slow down eating.



LAURAE1967US
SparkPoints: (825)
Fitness Minutes: (1,331)
Posts: 32
2/10/12 11:36 A

The thing about a buffet is that you have a ton of food at your disposal and you tend to eat a lot more than you would at a normal meal because of all the selections and the mentality of wanting to get your money's worth. So try to create a plate of food that is the same size as what you would eat in your normal meal. You wouldn't eat eggs, bacon. sausage, pancakes, croissants, fruit, coffee and juice all at one sitting in your daily routine, so don't do it at the buffet.

If it is a special occasion, skip the foods that are not special and focus on the items that are not things you would normally get at home and then just have a small portion or each. Being discerning is a good thing. Why waste calories on bland rolls with butter or other items that are just "meh". You can always account for eating more at one meal by eating a bit lighter at your other meals. Enjoy and don't stress. You can enjoy the food without going off the deep end.



BOUYEA
Posts: 13
2/10/12 10:26 A

I apologize if someone before me had already mentioned this, but I had a similar problem the other day. The advice I was given was "try to enjoy your time and don't make it all about the diet". While its very smart to try to stay on track. Make sure you still log in everything you ate. Usually in buffets they have a salad bar and lots of fruit in the dessert section. I started with my salad and ate around my plate. I ate what I thought would have least amount of calories and ate what I thought would be higher next.

If you do happen to go overboard, don't beat yourself up over it! I tell myself when I go overboard that after midnight is a new day, and a fresh start. Also, by logging everything you ate into sparkpeople, you can use it as a guide what to stay away from next time!

Hope this helps, and again my apologies if this was mentioned before me!



EXOTEC
Posts: 3,140
2/10/12 8:58 A

I hope you had a lovely visit with your mom!

Observationally - just my opinion - I was looking over your choices from the ancestral/paleo perspective. You seemed to be a bit sheepish about the cheese. ;-) Depending on the plan, cheese (hard cheese, at least) isn't restricted. But then, you go on to say that you ate the cowboy beans and left the meat! why? The beans are the culprits! The meat would have been great - tasty with the bean sauce, but without the carbs of the beans. Ditto with the potatoes - they're fairly high in carbs. The sweet potatoes aren't as bad as the white, from my gathering, but still ... And although I'm a succotash junkie myself, so I can't really say too much on the issue, lima beans and corn are pretty much nothing but carbs! That and a little bit of sugar from the corn. Fiber, yes. But we're not really oriented towards fiber in this regime.

Try to make choices for meat! And veggies. You did well with your salad veggies. I love mushrooms, too. In fact, there's times I just saute up a big bunch of mushrooms with different spices and that's my whole dinner. Love 'em.

If you try to focus away from the carbs, you might not have a fear of your yummy-sounding buffet, if you get a chance to go again. BTW, I've never been to that buffet, but I lived in Tampa until recently, and I LOVE a place called the "Crazy Buffet" on Dale Mabry near the interstate. It's delish, too, and has a Mongolian station. If you haven't been there, try it! Lots of safe choices there.

Hope you had a great time. I'm jealous of your time with your mom - mine is gone. I'd give a lot for a night like you had!



C_RAE07
SparkPoints: (1,477)
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Posts: 7
2/10/12 7:52 A

Thank you all for the tips and support. I was able to read your messages just before I left for dinner. Thank you all for taking the time to reply. (And for you nay-sayers... whether I should go or not was not my question ;) ) Anyways, I had a GREAT time with my mom! We went to a buffet called Fresh Harvest, it's at the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa.
After work I was able to run my 2 miles and I drank a glass of water on my way there. My first plate was a field greens salad, as recommended, with some chopped carrots, a very little bit of cheese, cucumber slices, and a little vinaigrette dressing. I also had some fruit (mandarin oranges and a fruit salad of cantaloupe, blueberries, blackberries, grapes). I looked at the soups, but there weren't any that really piqued my interest, so I didn't get soup.
My second plate was not as healthy, but it was small portions: small slice of herb roasted pork loin, cowboy beans (I just ate the beans and tried to leave as much of the meat and sauce on the plate), mashed red potatoes, a small square of pizza (smaller than the palm of my hand, my only form of bread), and some mushrooms from the Mongolian BBQ station.
The third plate was, again, small portions: Asparagus, Lima beans and corn, mashed sweet potatoes, and more mushrooms. Loved those mushrooms!
For dessert I had a little chocolate mousse and small cup of pudding.
I know it looks like a lot, but I avoided the breads and pastas and cookies. Those are my weakness! I hope it wasn't too bad!



REVA500
SparkPoints: (924)
Fitness Minutes: (305)
Posts: 34
2/10/12 6:54 A

Thanks for your suggestion on the Buffet question. I try to eat a lot of veggies and just some chicken or fish. I usually eat a sugar free dessert, such as Jello, etc. I am going to a food court this month at a Casino and plan on having Shrimp, rice and veggies, etc. Wish me luck !!!
Good luck on your effects too. I just joined SparkPeople about a week ago and havent weighed myself since the first time. I am a very slow loser, so I dont let myself get discourgaged.





GOTHICLOLLIPOP
Posts: 196
2/9/12 10:37 P

I realize this is probably a bit late and the original poster has probably already gone out to eat (unless she's in a completely different time zone than I am), but...if the place has Mongolian BBQ, there shouldn't be any problem :) If it's Mongolian BBQ like what I'm used to, you get to assemble your own veggies and meat, and even add your own oil (and then they cook it in front of you on a giant griddle). So just load up on veggies and a little lean meat (shrimp is a great choice), and limit the amount of oil you put in your bowl (use the minced garlic for flavor if they've got it). Skip the noodles, or just watch your portion size on them.



PAMULDROW2007
Posts: 591
2/9/12 7:37 P

Try to stick with salads, veggies and grilled meat options. Sometimes its hard I know



MFLEESAK
SparkPoints: (68,151)
Fitness Minutes: (43,347)
Posts: 3,917
2/9/12 7:36 P

I don't have any problems with buffets. I usually just pick the smallest plate and fill it with veggies and a little fruit if any. Then I go back and fill a plate with a half protein and half carbs. I drink at least 2 glasses of water (it fills me up) and that's it. If there is any weight gain it's usually the salt. emoticon



NEWBIEBAIT
SparkPoints: (13,780)
Fitness Minutes: (15,551)
Posts: 157
2/9/12 7:28 P

If I know I'm going to a buffet (usually family invites us a week or two in advance) I really go easy that week to make sure I'm not freaking out at what to eat. I just enjoy myself when I go and eat stuff I usually can't (macaroni, baked potatoes, huge steaks....) But I don't do dessert because I'm really picky about my sweets.

If you have a lot of triggers or you feel you can't emotionally or physically deal with eating $10 worth of food (after all, you want to get your money's worth when you go to those places) Then I would just say stick to the salad bar.



CICELY360
Posts: 2,747
2/9/12 7:25 P

Start with salad bar and vegetable dishes. Then, choose one meat and non meat protein.



BPOPE20101
Posts: 27
2/9/12 6:59 P

The buffet I go to is at Ponderosa,I'ts only.$ 5.99 for a lunch all you can eat food bar,before 4o'clock.I usually fill my dish with lettuce ,green peppers ,salsa and a few other vegetables,fat free salad dressing.Sometimes if I"m still hungry They have herbed baked chicken I try to eat mostly vegetables .They have sugar free jello for dessert...Also Subway ,always has a good spinach and chicken salad...Ponderosa, has a lot of food to chose from.Their Stakes are good too.



SKINNYJEANS60
Posts: 20
2/9/12 6:18 P

Hi, as long as going to a buffet isn't very often, have a Great Time With Your Mom. Enjoy! Start with a clear broth, and a little tea first to supress your appitite, then stay with one plate of food and perhaps one eggroll. You are there with your mom to enjoy Her company and that whats it's really about-not food.



MBHRD27
SparkPoints: (3,050)
Fitness Minutes: (2,244)
Posts: 114
2/9/12 5:33 P

dont



LIS0707
Posts: 71
2/9/12 5:28 P

First up, I hope you have a WONDERFUL time catching up with your mum!

Secondly, I read recently that protein prompts feelings of satiation more quickly than carbs, and the article suggested that starting with a small portion of protein will help you do not over eat because you'll feel full sooner.

I can totally sympathise with you, I've been doing really well these last few weeks. Tomorrow I'm going to a pot luck dinner, and I'm trying to work out how I'm going to keep myself in check while also telling myself that it's ok if I have the odd scheduled "blow out" day, as long as I'm back on track the next day.



JAYDEE16
Posts: 255
2/9/12 4:10 P

I'm not a fan of buffets because A) they kind of gross me out - too many people touching everything, ha ha. And B) I feel too pressured to overeat to "make it worth it" and because it's so tempting to try so many different things!

That said, sometimes "buffets happen." Make sure that the buffet you are going to doesn't have a regular menu, from which you can just order one entree and not be tempted with the buffet. Some do, some don't. That may work for you if it's an option.

If you must do the buffet, there are still plenty of healthy choices - which have already been described at length by others. I think the best point so far is, don't beat yourself up about it. Life happens. One meal at a buffet, even if you don't keep temptation entirely in check, will not derail all your hard work, unless you let it become a habit. You might catch some flack from the scale in the next few days, but it's not permanent, so relax and have fun with your Mom!

We choose to live healthier so we can enjoy our friends and family for many years to come. We can't let a pursuit of diet-perfection spoil the fun we are trying to have with them!



JESSAUSMC
Posts: 261
2/9/12 2:41 P

I like buffets for their salad bars too but try to stay away because I feel like I shouldn't eat more than I would at home...but don't want to waste my money either. Boo! ;)



SUECHRIS50
SparkPoints: (57,340)
Fitness Minutes: (56,933)
Posts: 3,204
2/9/12 1:57 P

I think if you are the type,you can focus on eating well and most important.. MOM! It's one time and it wont cause you to go stark raving mad and attack the buffet. emoticon



ERIKGN
SparkPoints: (17,053)
Fitness Minutes: (5,116)
Posts: 165
2/9/12 1:57 P

I shouldn't be answering because earlier this week I was at a buffet for work and over did it.

For your advice I would say small portions. Stay away from sauces. and the dessert bar.



BLUEANNIEDOG
Posts: 321
2/9/12 1:57 P

If it doesn't taste fantastic, don't eat it. Why waste calories on mediocre food?



BITTERQUILL
Posts: 1,370
2/9/12 1:54 P

I find it strange that people are saying that buffets are "evil" and something to be avoided entirely when cutting calories. I'm honestly curious: how are buffets any worse than any restaurant meal or other food that is prepared by someone else? If you have the foresight and willpower to make the best choices you can, I think buffets are just fine. Yes, they provide a lot of temptation. But so do restaurants (and grocery stores) in general. Yes, you might be surrounded by people eating huge portions, for better or worse. But that can happen at anyone's dinner table. Part of learning to eat healthy is learning to deal with the presence of food, even if it's plentiful or unhealthy.

As for the idea that a buffet is a waste of money, I don't think they are really any worse than a regular sit-down restaurant. If I spend $15 at a buffet and can pick and choose healthy options, it's not any worse than going to a restaurant and spending $10 on a plate of food where I have to *ask* to have certain things added or taken away. Eating out at *all* is a waste of money if you're only taking the cost of the food into account, that's very true, but there's also the social and convenience factors that people will pay a premium for. If it's an occasional thing, I don't personally consider it a big deal.

In this case, in which the OP has an opportunity to see a loved one that she might not see often, I think it would be a mistake *not* to go. But maybe that's just me.

Edited by: BITTERQUILL at: 2/9/2012 (15:06)


SLARUS
SparkPoints: (6,112)
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Posts: 43
2/9/12 1:53 P

I agee, start with a big salad with lots of fresh vegetables. I stay away from the tables of breads and desserts - also items that have lots of sauce on them and go for the plain vegetables, seafood and roasted turkey or chicken.



CCJOHNS82
SparkPoints: (1,275)
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Posts: 42
2/9/12 1:47 P

Dont make any other plate than a large salad at first, finish this salad (opt for a light dressing) and you will eat less following plates.



GAYEPB
SparkPoints: (4,881)
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Posts: 159
2/9/12 1:31 P

I love buffets, they usually have an awesome salad bar loaded with great items to make a massive salad so I try to fill up on vegetables, even steamed vegetables and baked meats, fish and things like that. If you can, fruit is a great option for dessert (I love fruit). I try to drink water with lemon before going, it seems help not to over do it but that is what works for me. Enjoy and be mindful to your diet.



GJIDEOFOR
SparkPoints: (334)
Fitness Minutes: (90)
Posts: 41
2/9/12 1:09 P

Yum, all this talk makes me hungry.

Here is what i would do. Pick the spinach from the salad bar, top with tomatoes and onions, add all the vegies like mushrooms lots of broccoli and carrots. So far grilling all those vegies will satisfy you. I would not add sauces or oil. Maybe sprinkle a little soysauce after but if you go this rout it is all vegies. Most of they time they add a little water or broth to the griddle. so there is gonna be some fat. If you decide to go a second time start with bean sprouts, garbanzo beans, pineapple/mandrine oranges and spinach or green peppers, and If you add a little chicken it will tast like sweet and sour chicken with out sauce! they usually have fruit and no one ever thinks to add it. If you eliminate the fatty salty sauces and have the smallest portion of meat you wont miss the rice or noodles and you'll still have 2 plates of food.

Hey, get back to us and tell us how your evening went. Most of all ENJOY the sight of your loved ones. watch them eat, slow down and try to keep your face out of your plate, time flies when your having fun. you may not even finish your plate! There's a woo hoo waiting for you

God bless ya



FRUITYFUL
Posts: 1,009
2/9/12 12:12 P

I'm with the folks who say don't go. Buffets are evil and a waste of money if you actually go there and eat a normal meal with normal servings. My family knows that I am on a weight loss journey and I would tell them in no uncertain terms that I don't do buffets. Sorry, but this is about you, nobody else. I've only been back on track for a few weeks now, and I had to turn down an invite to a regular restaurant the first week because I knew I was not ready for dining out. I actually hate dining out. I'd rather be in control of my own food and how it's cooked. Once in a while, when I've been doing well, I'll go out to eat and maybe let myself slide on the calories a bit, but anything beyond that would knock me off the wagon. Good luck to you.



EXOTEC
Posts: 3,140
2/9/12 11:27 A

We go to a couple of Mongolian-type buffets. One is more of a regular oriental buffet combined with a Mongolian station ... and the other is purely Mongolian. You don't say which chain (?) you were visiting, but the one we have here in town has its nutrition values online. That makes things much easier, when I can go in with a plan in hand.

For that restaurant, I start out at the veggie station. I load up with mushrooms, some sprouts, carrots, green beans, green onions, bamboo shoots, waterchestnuts... whatever looks good (and with the nutrition values from the website in mind!). Then I go back to the protein station and take a little of anything tempting (that's at least a "safe" station for low-carb!). Then I put the powdered seasonings on top of that. If I've been "good" lately, I'll add a small amount of the liquid seasonings, but those can really boost your carbs, so be careful. This place also offers raw eggs for the grill, and I almost always get at least two of those. The final step is to choose your carb - and I usually just tell 'em "no". Occasionally I will get half a serving of the rice noodles, but mostly I forego that part. I've almost always got my bowl so crammed with veggies and good meats that I can't finish the bowl I get anyway. It's just a mental thing that I *want* it. I don't have to have it, and the meal is yummy without any of that.

If I'm in a regular oriental buffet, I do as others have suggested: I start with soup. Mostly, that's what I'm craving there anyway - I love the soups. But you have to be careful with that, even, because a lot of them are full of thickeners (even the broth types) that kick up the carbs. And won tons in soup don't help, either! Then I go to the salad bar and get what I can there. Usually, it's been my experience that oriental buffets don't have very extensive salad bars. What they have on them tend to be mixed salads with a lot of mayonnaise in them. But since you said the one you were going to had a Mongolian station, you could probably get some lettuce from the salad bar and then load up on toppings from the Mongolian station. Again, go easy on dressings - that's where I really fall at salad bars! Then try to steer yourself away from most of the standard oriental fare. Many of those are fried, and will derail you from the first bite. I think most oriental buffets have the stir-fried veggies, like green beans et al ... and I believe those are a pretty safe choice. I can never totally deny myself some of the standard entree items, but I get ONE BITE of my favorites, and leave it at that. If I'm hungry enough after the salad and soup - and knowing the Mongolian is coming - to eat any of those. The dessert bar is usually set off from the regular food bars, and I just steel myself and refuse to even look at them. They're devious: they cut those things into tiny little squares and I find myself thinking, "oh, just one little tiny x-y-z isn't going to be too bad..." But it is. If I go anywhere near the dessert bar at all (which I usually don't have to after I work my way through all the other things I've had), I stick to the Jell-O, which I like far better than cakes and puddings anyway.

One tactic I use at ANY buffet is to try to obtain a "salad" plate, or a small bowl, and use that instead of the typical dinner plates they provide. If I only put a small amount in front of me, and have to finish it and then get up and go grazing again, it tends to not only slow me down, but make me more conscious of how I'm filling myself. How much can my stomach really contain? One or two of those small plates, usually.

It sort of appalls me anyway to see people go to standard AYCE buffets and come back with (big) plates loaded so high with food they can barely balance it ... and how can they possibly taste the different foods with them all mashed together like that??? Then, mostly, they don't finish that plate anyway and go back and do it again with a new plate. Do they suppose that maybe the food is going to run out? The staff isn't going to restock the bins? I just don't get it. We are truly irresponsibly wasteful. I admit to having more difficulty in those types of buffets, because I am so tempted by the yummy carbs available on the line... mashed potatoes, mac-n-cheese, lots of sauces and dressings (even the salads I get are over the top on carbs in those places!), the *rolls* omg....

I think you can make some good and responsible choices in an oriental/Mongolian buffet. If you "stumble" a bit, it's not a disaster. Just plan around it, enjoy your company, and get back on track with the pleasure of a special outing in your memory. Don't let your diet rule your life - savor the special! I hope you had a great time.



WHEELS54
Posts: 492
2/9/12 10:25 A

Drink a large glass of water before you eat and don't go back for seconds. Eat slowly and talk a lot.



NAVYOT
Posts: 112
2/9/12 10:25 A

Don't do it! Buffets are evil diet derailers!



TOASTIE
SparkPoints: (36,653)
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Posts: 3,031
2/9/12 10:06 A

I actually do better at a buffet that has good fruit and/or veggie choices, where I can sensibly put a modest portion on my own plate, instead of going to a restaurant where someone else serves me up a huge portion of too much fat and carbs.



CHARLOTTE1947
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2/9/12 9:54 A

Don't eat at a buffet restaurant. I went last night fortified with will power until I saw what was offered. I ate moderate portions, vegetables, nothing fried and 4 desserts.



KICKINGIT@56
Posts: 2,595
2/9/12 9:53 A

Even though a buffet presents a lot of temptation, at least you can remain in control of what you select and how much you put on your plate. I always take a look at all the offerings before deciding and always start with the salad bar. Remember salad is healthy as long as you don't ruin it with high fat, high calorie add-ons like croutons, cheese and gobs of dressing. Portion control is also the key; take one piece at a time or level off that spoonful and try to eat slowly so you give your stomach time to register that it is full.

Many people overeat at a buffet because they want to get "their money's worth" but if you concentrate on enjoying this time with your Mom, the food becomes secondary.



BITTERQUILL
Posts: 1,370
2/9/12 9:51 A

That's a good point, ZORBS13. I missed the part about the Mongolian BBQ when I first read the OP's post. Mongolian BBQ, as long as it's the kind where you can really customize what goes in, can actually be pretty healthy. I focus on lots of veg and some lean meat, include very few noodles (if any), and get flavor from the less oily sauces. It's delicious stuff!



ZORBS13
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2/9/12 9:47 A

I wouldn't waste my time on salad. You can put cups and cups of veggies into mongolian bbq and customize with as little sauce as you like.



CHEIVOUS
SparkPoints: (133,771)
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Posts: 4,915
2/9/12 9:41 A

Big Salad First...



VKKESU
Posts: 969
2/9/12 9:17 A

Also keep in mind.....you don't do this all the time so do enjoy it and don't stress over it.

You may be able to stop when you get full, I though keep eating because it "looks and tastes good" unfortuntyly.........something I'm working on. Because of this, even if I have a salad and soup.....I'll still eat a lot of food that I want. emoticon

If you can fill up and stop, do the salad /soup first. But me....I'll go for small portions of what I want to eat ( I do this at dinner theater every other month). I also will have a small desert if I really want it because I don't keep deserts at home. I leave not feeling "left out" of the party this way and know it was only one day in my life .



MSGNOME
Posts: 555
2/9/12 9:13 A

Even the unhealthiest places have some good food, too. There's a Chinese buffet near me that has a salad bar (you do your own dressing) and lots of cut fruit at the dessert table. That said, when I go to the buffet, I have like two dinner plates and a couple dessert plates... oops.



DDEITCH
Posts: 343
2/9/12 8:30 A

I read an article one time in Hungry Girl and she says to do the soup thing first...she said Hot and Sour soup first--gets ya feeling a little full....then head for lean meats and veggies and she says go ahead and have that fortune cookie because it is only like 30 calories. emoticon



DDEITCH
Posts: 343
2/9/12 8:27 A

I usually focus on the veggies and the lean meats. I found I gotta watch the rice/pasta/potato department. However, I do struggle walking by the desserts....if i can avoid walking by then I do just fine. I notice most buffets seem to have the bananas with strawberry sauce on them so if I gotta have something I usually have that. emoticon



HIPHOPSCOTCH
Posts: 1,047
2/9/12 8:24 A

If there's a salad bar, I would start there and load up on greens and vegetables. In my book, it's totally okay to have a taste or two of something that I really, really love (crab rangoon), but that means the rest of my meal needs to be somewhat healthy. I usually skip dessert if I'm eating out, but fruit is a great alternative. I almost never go back for seconds, which helps keep me on track.



BITTERQUILL
Posts: 1,370
2/9/12 8:00 A

I always start with the salad, skewing heavily toward the fresh veg and leafy greens and going light on the caloric toppings, but I do usually include a bit of protein in the form of beans and/or hardboiled eggs. Depending on how hungry I am, I will then add a cup of soup (I plan ahead and read nutrition facts, and generally avoid cream-based options when possible), a small piece of lean grilled meat (usually poultry or light fish) and fresh fruit if I want dessert, in that order.

Since you can't entirely control the ingredients and cooking methods, it still might end up being more caloric than a meal you would make at home. But with a little prepping and making decent choices, you can minimize the damage.



C_RAE07
SparkPoints: (1,477)
Fitness Minutes: (1,688)
Posts: 7
2/9/12 7:33 A

I'm going to dinner with my mom tonight. We live a few hours apart and don't usually get to spend much time together. Since she's in town for a conference with some of her co-workers, she's invited me to dinner. Problem is, she and her co-workers want to go to this huge buffet (Mongolian Bbq, Japanese, Chinese, various carving stations, huge dessert bar that I'll try to steer clear of, and I'm sure a salad bar). Any suggestions for not ruining my diet? What are some healthier choices at a buffet?
I'm planning on eating low calorie meals today, but still healthy (fruits and veggies) and walking as much as I can at work. I'm also hoping to get off work early so I can still go for a run (at least 2 miles). It's their last night in town, too, so I can't just go out with her tomorrow.
Thank you in advance for any suggestions!



 
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