They say there are three kinds of eaters at buffets:
1) The people who don't know when to stop eating – and end up leaving the restaurant bloated and sickly; 2) The people grossed out by buffets – imagining all the bacteria shared by so many hands the food is exposed to; and then there's 3) The smart eaters – the ones who get the choicest picks of meat, seafood etc and still end up having room for dessert. They leave satisfied but still happy that they got the most value for their buck.
Ok fine, so no one really said that except me. I'm a bit of a self-glorified "buffet connoisseur" and have been all three types of eaters at different restaurants, at different times in my life, the latter choice being the most preferred. I can understand those people who avoid buffets like the plague – going to an all you can eat buffets can sometimes seem like a nutritional shame walk or guilty pleasure. But when 'tackled' properly, all you can eat buffets can be the bomb!
Choices, Choices, where to begin? The buffet experience can be such a visual delight. Image courtesy of Patricia Figueira/Wikimedia Commons
Are you part of a group with indecisive people? Most nights when I go out it starts out like this:
"Where do you want to eat tonight?"
"Cool let's get chinese"
"Mmm nah I don't feel like Chinese"
"What about italian?"
"Mmm nah I'm not so sure about Italian tonight"
So on, and so on. But at all you can eat buffets, there's a wide selection of foods so everyone can get something they like and you don't have to spend hours debating on where to go.
Yum!! Image courtesy of Torsten Seiler/Wikimedia Commons
Ok, so it's settled. You're at the buffet. Now what? Past experience has told you that when you finish you're so bloated and sluggish you feel guilty for eating so much. You probably have. But follow these tips to get the best out of your next experience and you'll be all set.
1. Initial strategy
– Walk around the buffet before you settle down at your table. Scoping out the options, will let you know what you'd like to eat as well as what you should make room for. You won't get full on one meal knowing something you like even more is on offer.
2. Seating Location
– Grab a table as far away from the food bar. Those seated closer end up eating more than those seated further away. Remember quality over quantity.
– wash your hands before eating and use the utensils provided to serve yourself. This isn't just for your health but others too.
4. Avoid Soft drinks and Juice
– they will make you full before you can even say 'round 2'. Stick to drinking water and green tea.
5. Don't overload on carbs
– Unless you really, really love those foods and you look forward to these foods at buffets, steer clear from carbs. Zone in for your favourite foods but don't overload your plates with pasta, potatoes, bread or rice, they make you full and are usually sides to make you full .
Salivating yet? Image courtesy of Nicolaitan/Wikimedia Commons