4 tips to avoid overeating at a buffet

With rows of tables loaded with mouth watering dishes, what's not to love about buffets? The effect on your waistline and health if you don't control yourself, for one. 

Whether at a party or a restaurant, don't let a buffet kill your diet. With certain strategies, you can enjoy a range of choices without going overboard and experiencing any of the usual guilt.

Cornell researcher Brian Wansink tracked the behaviour of people at all you can eat Chinese buffet restaurants and found that thin people have habits that seem to keep their eating in check. Here's how to follow their lead: 

1. Keep your distance

Firstly, ask to be seated away from the buffet at restaurants and don't face the food to avoid added temptation.

2. Scout the best choices

Before grabbing a plate, tour the buffet and decide on which dishes you want most. Give yourself a limit – say five to seven items – to force yourself to pare down options. To keep portion sizes in check, choose a small plate. This naturally limits how much you can load up on at one time.

how to avoid overeating at a buffet

4. Pace yourself

Back at the table, find ways to slow down your eating, like using your non-dominant hand. If you're the one paying the bill at a restaurant, resist the mindset of getting your money's worth and going back for more even after you're full.

how to avoid overeating at a buffet

4. Be social 

If you find the temptation's too great, you might be better off to avoid buffets when you can. If the buffet is at a friend's or relative's house or an office party, use the occasion to be social. Make the effort to spend more time on conversation than filling up your plate.

how to avoid overeating at a buffet

Looking for your next buffet meal? Here are the best buffet restaurants Food24 scouted in Johannesburg. 

All images provided by iStock

Read more:

Fast eating = overeating 

Pleasure eating may spur overeating 

The emotions of overeating

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