Thursday, October 13, 2011

Buffet - Friend or Foe?

Three hours of sleep + 8 a.m. class of 35 students + 10 oral presentations = NOT FUN!
Still, overall it was worth it - at least it's finally the weekend (Fridays and Saturdays are off in Kuwait).

So last night we went to a buffet for dinner. I've read quite a few blog posts about people going to buffets and seeing it as an absolute nightmare. Patter after platter of food and no portion control -- you can go up as many times as you want and eat as much as you want ... there is nobody there to stop you ...

Well, I think that's just one side of the story.

I was actually relieved that we were going to a buffet. For me it meant that I was in complete control. I didn't need to look at a menu and try to figure out what I wanted - guessing how much sauce something came with, wondering if there would be cheese on top of something, etc. etc. Instead I could go up and look at all my options -- what was fried, what looked like it had rich sauces, and of course identify the healthier options - salad, vegetables, fish ...

It is tricky though, especially the salad bar -- I approached it first, thinking that I could fill up on the salad ... but I noticed that most of the salads were already mixed with creamy dressings ... that was a no go for me. There was a platter of grilled vegetables - zucchini, red bell peppers, and eggplant ... I just had a few slices of the zucchini. Stayed completely away from the bread and rice - and was relieved that their one fish dish was grilled tandoori fish -- dry heat, no sauce perfect for me given the circumstance. I was also relieved that most of the other dishes had meat in them ... it definitely makes it a LOT easier since that just removes the temptation ... Did I overdo it? I don't think so. I didn't feel full after I left ... I think it also helps that I'm a slow eater and that I was surrounded by friends so the talking/laughing was more of a priority than eating.

Yes, lots of laughter ...
and that was before I saw the gorgeous pair of heels inside the box ;)

I think it's important to have and stick to a food plan ... but I think it's also necessary to be able to cope when you're in a situation where there are factors out of your control. Even in those situations you can have a plan -- you can control how much you put on your plate. At a buffet no server will come and plop a massive serving of buttery mashed potatoes on your plate ... if it's on your plate - YOU PUT IT THERE. I don't think you need to starve or deprive yourself of food -- I've definitely been there. I remember a time when I was afraid to eat ... every mouthful - even if it was just a cucumber - was followed by guilt. Look how far that got me -- nowhere at all.

My attitude towards food has definitely changed. Even foods that I used to find tempting before don't tempt me anymore. Some people post pictures of cupcakes oozing with chocolate frosting or lasagnas bursting with cheese ... I can honestly say that it doesn't make me think 'Ooo I wish I could have some of that' ... and I think another thing that has helped is taking more control of my cooking at home. Buying fresh ingredients, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and cooking in a way that is not only portion controlled but ingredient controlled seems to have changed my taste buds ... do I still like chocolate, ice cream, and all that stuff ... of course. Do I want any. No.
So last night was not a normal day in my routine, but I think I handled it very well, and I had an amazing time. I guess we'll see if my approach to food worked when I weigh in on Sunday. No matter what choices you make, the proof is in the numbers. If I weigh in and I've put on a few pounds then you can tell me that everything I just wrote is BS ... but I'm confident in what I've said. We'll see. [By the way, here's a short article about how to approach a buffet.]

No gym today - lots of furniture moving in preparation for tonight and some boxing skill training that I can do at home (I restart lessons next week - gotta be prepared) ... and perhaps a nap to recover from just a few hours of sleep last night!


  1. I completely agree IF the buffet at least offers something healthy. I've been to some where even the veggies can be a diet disaster. We had a birthday a few weeks ago at a buffet aimed at kids, and I got myself so worked up over nothing. They had salads, fruit, and baked potato halves. You just have to NOT put the pizza and tacos on your plate ;)

  2. I've never been a germaphobe but when it comes to buffets I used to lose my appetite every time. I never liked eating at them unless they were for private events. I think your mindset with the food is commendable though.. once people realize they are in absolute control and 100 percent responsible over their food intake, they are taking steps in the right direction! :0) Yay for you and yay for gorgeous heels in pretty boxes!

  3. I used to like buffets back when I didn't care about how much I weighed. Now they just make me kind of nauseated because there's too much food. I'm glad you were able to find some food you enjoyed. Post pics of your new shoes?

  4. Very cool to hear you had a good buffet experience. There's also the inkling to also try just a taste of everything, knowing you'll stop when you've had enough... Buffets can be belt buckling bulging if not in control... :)

  5. Buffets definitely have their challenges -- this was the first time I approached it and realized how much control I actually had ... I think there's also the price factor. If people know they're going to an 'all you can eat' buffet for a certain price, then why not get their money's worth? I think that kind of mentality also contribute to the overindulgence ... it's just about getting to the point of realizing that the amount of effort it's going to take to work off those calories is not worth the price!

  6. Hehe... Yeah... I've definitely fallen into the trap of "getting my money's worth", only to feel like I snake that's eaten a huge meal and must just sit and digest for hours on end... These days I use my stomach/common sense and avoid the price per bite ratio! :)


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