Many people who are trying to watch their food intake by dieting or portion control sometimes find it challenging going out to eat. It’s not easy going to an all-you-can-eat-buffet without being enticed to try everything that is yours for the taking. While there is restraint and discipline needed, you don’t have to feel like the “odd man out” when it comes to enjoying an occasional dinner out. Here are some suggestions that might be helpful.
Eat before – I know it sounds strange to suggest eating before you go out to eat but eating a half-sandwich or a bowl of cereal about an hour before may help prevent hunger pangs so you don’t go “hog wild” at the buffet counter.
Water – Besides it being good for you, water also acts as a deterrent to overeating because it fills you up and will help you in not overindulging. Drink with a lemon or lime slice if you want a little flavor. Leave the sugared soft drinks alone. You’ll be healthier for it.
Salads – You can actually get a good meal from the salad bar alone. Stock up on the vegetables and don’t go overboard if using toppings and dressings. Select a variety of green leafy vegetables and ones with different colors to appeal to your sense of sight and taste.
Meats and Fish – Stay away from the fried choices or ones bathed in gravy and heavy cream sauces. Choose the baked, steamed or broiled options instead. They can be delicious too but with fewer calories.
Baked potatoes – This source of food will leave you feeling full after eating. Leave the sour cream off or use it very sparingly. Put it in a small container and add a little to the potato. Top with steamed vegetables instead of heavy toppings and cheese.
Sweet tooth – To satisfy that craving for something sweet, choose a naturally sweet fruit such as pineapples or oranges. If that just doesn’t do, take a cookie or a single small scoop of ice cream. Hopefully this smaller portion will appeal to your taste buds without eating too much of it.
Portion control – Use a saucer-sized plate for putting your food on. It will give the appearance of a full plate without excessive amounts. Be careful not to pack heaping portions.
While I would not endorse going to an “all-you-can-eat buffet” on a regular basis, it might be just the thing you need to stay on course and not getting bored in your weight management journey. Portion control is the key to a successful dining experience at home or when going out.
Personal experience and suggestions