I like to walk around the buffet or table and look for things I have never eaten before, or something that looks like it has been prepare in a new way. That way I am getting a real treat and then going to vegetables and a non sauced protein
Great suggestions. Similar principals could be used for gatherings and pot-lucks which are my downfall (I rarely go to a buffet). The last picnic I went to, there was food piled sky hi. I made a conscious decision that I was only going to choose items that were special and really desireable. While the sheet cake looked pretty, I've had a million slices of sheet. However, the homemade pecan poundcake was worth having a slice! I think it's wise to ask yourself before you put anything on your plate if that food is really desireable and worth it.
In my experience buffets can be very healthy or very unhealthy. Most buffets I have been to have a tremendous amount of salad and healthy veggies. Of course eating these and not the rich goodies at the other end takes discipline. Not everyone has that kind of discipline so it can be at either end, healthy or not depending on your personal discipline
On today's Spark Coach session the topic was about dining out, and the statement was made about avoiding buffets. It got me thinking....I vacation every year at a resort that has buffets for breakfast and lunch, and a buffet option for dinner. I remember the first time we went, I felt like I needed to try a little of just about everything on the buffet. Naturally, I overate. Then I realized a few things. (1) Some of the items (or something similar) are out on the buffet again during the week. (2) I was trying things because they were there, but not because they really sounded all that appealing. (3) There were quite a few healthier choices, including stations with freshly made items. This made me change the way I look at the buffet. Now I go with the expectation that I will get no more than 2 plates of food during the meal and that I will use the small (salad) plate. I also make the first plate fresh produce (fruit at breakfast, salad at lunch/dinner). I have my fruit/salad before I go for the other/prepared food. This takes the edge off the hunger so I don't want as much when I go for plate 2.Then for the other/prepared food, I walk around the buffet and look at all my choices first before picking up a plate. That gives me a chance to see what's there - better than piling on one thing after another because each new chafing dish looks more appealing. Knowing what's there makes it easier to pick the healthier and the more appealing items. Since changing my approach to the buffet, I found that I would come home after a week without a vacation weight gain. I found that these same principles work at home. I still wouldn't go to a buffet often, but if I do (or have a potluck meal at church) this strategy certainly helps.