Bariatrics and Buffets


There are a few challenges in life that seem to never get easier, no matter how much time goes by or how many times you try. Managing your healthy eating plans while at a buffet is one of those challenges.

Buffets are difficult for everyone. They are designed to encourage overeating and glutinous behavior, and even the healthiest of eaters will likely run into a challenge when confronted with one. But unfortunately the buffets happen, and it is better to be prepared for how you can handle the buffet before you get there than it is to be surprised by the challenge once it is in front of you.

How to Handle the Buffet

The biggest problem with the buffet is the inherent attitude that is held towards the experience. Buffets are a standard dinner experience. They are a go all out and eat everything experience.

The typical meal consists of a few servings of food, typically made up of several items that go well with one another. The plate is full, the meal is good, and you are no longer hungry. The meal serves its purpose. Buffets completely change the entire eating experience. The motive of the meal is no longer about not feeling hungry, but about tasting as many items as you can. The plate isn’t there to hold a few servings of carefully selected items, but to be piled up as many times as you’d like as you enjoy every bit of the buffet. The issue with needing to try a bit of everything is even worse at potluck parties, where you may fear offending someone if you don’t try their dish.

Whatever the circumstances, you need to walk into the buffet armed and ready to stand by your weight loss plans. Here are a few strategies that can help:

  • Walk the buffet line before you start loading your plate. Take a survey of everything that is there and decide what you want before you start serving yourself food.
  • Discard your plate as soon as you are done. Don’t let your plate sit around, asking for a refill. Once you are done, be done and discard your plate and utensils.
  • Stick to small servings. Don’t heap anything onto your plate. Just do a few small bites and then move on.
  • Stay away from the appetizers. Don’t get caught up near the chips and dip! If you are going to have something to eat, then make it part of the main course.
  • Eat before, and just go for the company. If you don’t trust yourself to eat at the buffet and still eat healthy, then don’t eat at all. Eat before you go and don’t pick up a plate while you are there. Avoiding all food can help you to avoid overeating.

You don’t need to turn down invites to stay healthy, all you need to do is stick ahead.   When you get the invite to a potluck, bring your own healthy dish. When it is time to eat, load up on your dish and pick your other options carefully. Focusing on portion control will make your ability to maintain your healthy weight much easier.