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Dr. David Kim Kim Bariatric Institute

Tackling a Buffet

Eating out not only allows you to take in more fat and salt at your meal, but it can also result in overeating if you are not careful. Buffets can be a double edged sword, in that, they are great way to accommodate the whole family, however can be a diet disaster if you do not plan accordingly. Follow the tips below to enjoy your buffet experience without going overboard.

  • Never skip meals. Often we are inclined to skip meals if we know our next meal will cause us to take in more than our normal calories for the day. However, research states skipping meals actually causes you to take in more calories than if you would have focused on your normal routine of 3 meals per day.
  • Have a protein based snack. Eat a protein based snack no more than 2 hours before going out to eat. Not only will your snack carry you from one meal to the other, but it will also significantly impact portion control at that meal. Limit your snack to 200 calories.
  • Scout out your seating. Avoid sitting right next to the dessert section, or by the fresh baked breads; these areas lead to greater temptation that can be difficult to fight. Select a seat where the buffet table is out of sight. This will not only allow you to focus on your family, but also the food you have in front of you.
  • Scan the buffet before making a final decision. Avoid making your plate as you see the food for the first time, this will cause your plate to be completely full before you even finish making your way through the line. Instead, scan the entire buffet then make a healthy selection.
  • Focus on lean proteins and non-starchy vegetables. A small amount of starch in the diet is ok. However, typically restaurants/buffets heavily flavor starches causing your to consume more than you normally would. Start off by selecting a lean protein, such as : grilled chicken, sirloin steak, or shredded pork loin. Then, add your favorite veggies to complete your plate. This will allow you to enjoy the flavor of the buffet without falling off track.
  • Remember your healthy eating behaviors. Focus on small bite sizes, setting your fork down in between bites, and chewing thoroughly when eating out.

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