Many people like all you can eat buffets because, well, you can eat all you want. It’s a great value. Isn’t it?
My take it a bit different. My focus is on NOT eating all I can.
Why? Because when you eat as much as you can, it’s uncomfortable. Maybe you can relate to some of these side effects:
Unless you’re wearing something loose, your waistband is going feel like a pumped up a blood pressure cuff around your stomach
Your grand plans for the day might vanish along with your energy
Acid reflux reminds you of what you’ve eaten, and not in a good way
Your stomach goes into overtime to digest, making you queasy
I don’t know about you, but those don’t rank high for me as favorite experiences.
But at a buffet, it can be really hard to avoid this.
You want to get your money’s worth. So many foods look good. Getting a new plate for each round makes it hard to remember how much you’ve actually eaten.
And then there’s the social element. You’re expected to take multiple passes of the food.
In fact, when I went to a buffet with friends last weekend, the hostess came over to make sure we knew we could go back, and to tell us when more food came out.
With all this, if you want to avoid that overstuffed, need-to-nap feeling, what do you do?
Here are some strategies that I’ve figured out over the years. And they’re recently tested, since they helped me leave my recent lunch feeling satisfied but not stuffed.
Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels
Remember that “all you can eat” is not an order
No matter what the restaurant says you cando, no one is going to make you eat more than you need. It’s a choice you can make for yourself.
Consider what your time is worth
You might be worried you’re not getting the full value of what you paid if you eat more lightly. But think of this way. If you eat so much that you can’t focus or be effective afterward, how much is that meal costingyou in lost time? And is it worth it?
Review your options
Check out all the choices before you put anything on your plate. Otherwise, you might take food you’re only a little interested in early because you didn’t know something truly great was coming later. And so you end up getting more than you need in the end.
Think of it as a tasting menu
One thing I do like about buffets is that it gives you a chance to try a number of different dishes. So you can think of it like a tasting menu. Try a bite or two of a bunch of foods that sound good. if you find something you really like, you can always get a little more.
Quality over quantity
Think about what you really value about eating out. Is it massive quantity? Or is it having food you really enjoy? And also consider if you still enjoy favorite foods as much when you’re as full as Thanksgiving turkey. Personally, I vote for the great food in amounts I can eat and still feel comfortable.
Don’t try to keep up
You might notice others going back for more food. Maybe you feel awkward if you don’t join them. But remember, it’s not an eating competition. If you’re done before others, that’s a great time to chime in on conversation. Or if it helps to have something to do with your hands, maybe get a cup of coffee or tea to round out your meal.
If you have your own strategies, I’d love to hear them.
In the meantime, I hope this helps take some of the pressure off buffets. So you can eat just the right amount for you – whatever you decide that is!