food How To

How to lose weight eating at the buffet

Who doesn’t love a good buffet?

Every time that Web Watch heads out to Las Vegas, we make visiting the casino’s buffet a “must do” on our trip.  Granted, we may only do it once per weekend – but it’s still a bucket list check item.

Las Vegas: All You Can Eat
Las Vegas: All You Can Eat

Now, not all buffets are created equal.  There definitely are quality issues at play here.

While all casinos offer some sort of shrimp cocktail, for instance, it’s the care that each kitchen puts into the shrimp presentation that sets it apart.  Some buffets just pile up the peel-n-eat shrimp by the bucket.  Others already have the shrimp pre-peeled for you. Others put out peeled prawns (you know you can’t eat more than one of these monsterous bad boys).  We say that there definitely is a “worth it” price point to keep with, and we’d rather pay $5 more for our buffet meal than smell like shrimp fingers for the rest of the evening.

So since we’re stuffing our faces with food at the unlimited trough, the question is always IS THERE A WAY TO EAT HEALTHY AT THE BUFFET?

The answer is yes, and it can have everything to do with the order that you load up your plate.

What the above linked study found is that people tend to load up as much as 66% of their plates with the first three foods that they encounter on the buffet line, regardless of whether those items are the healthier fruit and vegetables or the more fattening items.  75% of diners always picked the very first item on the buffet line onto their plate.

What this means is that you shouldn’t be a sheep and just get in line with everyone else when you first enter the buffet.  You should take the time to walk the entire buffet line, case the joint.

Pick and choose the foods that YOU want to eat, not just pick the foods that are in front of you because you’re there.  And if you’re trying to eat healthy, scope out where those fruits and vegetables are FIRST before hitting the high protein station or the all-you-can-snort soft serve ice cream sundae bar.  As long as you can fill up to 66% of your plate with three health items before you go for the tastier high fat stuff, you should be in good shape… as long as you’re in the clean plate club, that is.