Survival strategies for Buffets?

By jayabee52 Latest Reply 2013-03-02 18:53:17 -0600
Started 2011-08-11 20:33:00 -0500

I live in Las Vegas, a city of excess. One of those excesses is that we have many, many buffets here.

I was invited by a friend to a buffet last night and I accepted.

I know I over did. My numbers last night and this morning stand in testimony to that. Bedtime 228. AM fasting 177.

Do you all have a strategy for eating at a buffet, (besides avoiding them, that is) that you would share with us all, and what would that be?

54 replies

MrsCDogg 2011-08-15 05:30:27 -0500 Report

One of our favorite places to eat is Golden Corral. So my strategy for dealing with that is…look for meat that is prepared simply, like grilled chicken, steaks and that kind of things. Go for the steamed or sauteed veggies, they usually have a small salad bar there too so that is always a good option. At breakfast there I go for the scrambled eggs and bacon, sometimes if the fruit looks good I'll have a little something like berries or a wedge or two of melon. I always drink water so that is never an issue. There are times, however, when I am not in the mood to be good and I will just dive in and have whatever I want! A girl has to have a treat sometimes…:o)

jayabee52 2011-08-15 23:47:50 -0500 Report

Yes I've eaten at the golden corral before. Nice places. Those are some good strategies. I have dived in too. So I know the feeling!

nzingha 2011-08-14 16:06:41 -0500 Report

I'm planning to go on a cruise with some friends..maybe I should rethink that?

cottoncandybaby 2011-08-14 22:53:14 -0500 Report

Cruises are so much fun, but also can be a disaster for the diet…especially if you go on a Royal Carribean cruise, they have delicious food almost 24 hrs a day..just keep yourself busy with swimming in the pool or other activities that keep you away from yummy treats, and stick with the regular meals that are served in the dining room. I am not a drinker at all, but I see a lot of people drinking and those are added calories as well. I admit once in a while I like a Pina Colada, which is full of sugar, so will only have it if I share with someone..anyway, have fun! As far as buffets, I do not usually like them, I find the Chinese ones to have a few good things, and a lot of bad food, lots of fried (although I like fried shrimp), but too hard to resist the few things I like there, like egg rolls with lots of duck sauce!

jayabee52 2011-08-14 20:14:59 -0500 Report

Well if you watch what you eat and don't go hog wild in the buffets you should do OK. This is the kinda situation I had in mind when I started this discussion. To get the ideas out here in the open so we maybe can indulge in a bit of fun with friends without damaging our bodies in the process

Marytea 2011-08-14 09:20:02 -0500 Report

I don't go to buffets often but when I do I have just a taste of something forbidden and then stick to better foods for the remainder of the experience. Sometimes I will share a dessert with my hubby. I learned from Weight Watcher's that if I deny myself an occasional treat, I will fail.

jayabee52 2011-08-14 20:23:29 -0500 Report

I practice that WW principle in my regular eating plan. I'll have a taste of real ice cream just so I don't feel deprived. Keeps me from running out and buying one of those mega-buckets of ice cream and finishing it in 1 night (like I used to do).

I also use buffets as a way to taste test a food I hadn't before. The other night they had some collard (sp?) greens. Never tried them before. So I put a small spoonful on my plate tio check them out. Not too bad, but I won't buy them in the grocery either. And I also tried a brussels sprout. Still didn't care for them. LoL!

Type1Lou 2011-08-13 08:44:57 -0500 Report

I personally HATE buffets, but my husband's favorite restaurant is a local Chinese buffet and we go there for his birthday. I stick to the seafood (without the sweet sauces) and the veggie dishes. While on vacation, we went to a buffet in Maine. I loaded my plate initially with healthy choices…steamed mussels, fish, veggies. But when I got back to the table, my husband had me try one of his fried clams (I LOVE fried whole-bellied clams but couldn't remember the last time I ate one.) Well, it was like Eve giving the apple to Adam…there was no turning back! I went back for more and by bedtime/morning, my BG was close to 300! They also had sugar-free pie for dessert so I HAD to try the blueberry and the custard pie…boy did I blow it! I wish I'd had the WILL POWER to resist but I'll remember how good it all tasted, even if I NEVER eat them again!…actually the custard pie was horrible. I guess the moral of this story is that we all fall off the wagon but that shouldn't stop us from getting back on with a determination to stay on! (I have no easy answers…can only commiserate with you!)

jayabee52 2011-08-13 09:48:48 -0500 Report

I commisserate with you too Lou. At least my BG was down to 93 last night without insulin or meds. It only took me about 1.5 days to get through that high, eating carefully after that. I fully intend to get back on the wagon, and I think I'm already back on.

margokittycat 2011-08-12 17:26:18 -0500 Report

We do not have any buffets around her the closes onesto us our about two hours away. There is one but none of the family likes it USA steak Buffet foods is grouse and meats very very dry.. I always do salad as I am a veggie person love them all, I try to do fish and chicken or seafood depending on how they are prepared.

grandmaducky 2011-08-12 16:44:12 -0500 Report

i forgot the pizza buffet in town went today for lunch with grandkids I had salad with black olives cauiflower and ranch 1 pizza no crust i just scrape off topping and eat 2 hour after lunch # 106 started the day with #117

RAINDANCER1950 2011-08-12 13:09:53 -0500 Report


jayabee52 2011-08-12 14:45:52 -0500 Report

Thanks Rain!

RAINDANCER1950 2011-08-12 17:17:32 -0500 Report

welcome my friend …have a great weekend…last time i was out your way…i was sooo tempted…by all the food…so , my gal pals and i went to a place…because , i'd never been before…where guys strip…funny …how being so embarrased can kill your hunger…wanted to just drop thru the floor…now…i'd just laugh along , and enjoy it…be well, be happy…

AuntieM234 2011-08-12 12:18:03 -0500 Report

I've not been to a full-blown Vegas-type buffet in years. I do occasionally go to a restraunt called Sweet Tomatoes, which is a glorified salad bar-type set up. It isn't difficult to eat healthy there, as I love all types of veggies and can take or leave the salad dressing. The only area I have to be especially mindful of my selection is in the breads area. I love fresh-baked bread with lots of butter slathered on it, but we all know thats a no, no! Yes, I admit, I've overindulged on fresh bread and butter a few times. I don't do that often, though, because remembering what it does to me (how it makes me feel afterwards) usually turns me off on the idea. ;-) Mara

jayabee52 2011-08-12 13:27:12 -0500 Report

I've eaten in sweet tomatoes a couple times too. They're pretty neat!

Unfortunately my friend had a dollars off coupon to go to a casino buffet, and it was good for such a limited time. That's why we went there.

Fortunately I don't do THAT much anymore.

BTW my fasting BG this AM was 135.

edit: @ 11;00pm my BG number was 93

AuntieM234 2011-08-13 03:27:43 -0500 Report

I'm so proud of what you're able to do, James. I'm not nearly as good at it as you are, but you've been a great influence on me. I've discovered if I eat oatmeal for breakfast, I don't have to take the usual 850mg Met tab. For instance, a typical day would be fasting BG of 125-130, oatmeal for breakfast, banana for snack, BG 125ish before lunch. Its just a baby step, but I've done it for the last three weeks with good results. I know Gem has to be looking (yes, looking) down and smiling at what you're doing. ;-) Mara

jayabee52 2011-08-13 03:43:52 -0500 Report

Well thank you for those kind words Mara! My time with Jem, brief though it was, was a real blessing! I learned a lot about how my body works when I we were together.

I'm glad you can eat oatmeal and bananna. I can't without getting BGs getting skyrocketed. I gotta stay with the protein meals. That shows how different we all are when it comes to metabolizing foods & drinks. Keep up with those baby steps!

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-08-12 11:44:12 -0500 Report

I know I can't do buffets like I use to! It used to be if the buffet cost $15.00, then I had to eat about $45 worth! Now, I do it differently. My first round is meats & cheeses. Protein. Next is selective fruits, avoiding those in syrups. Then a salad, choosing the dressing carefully. Still hungry? Go back for more meats and Cheeses. Finally, I allow myself 1 desert if I really need it.

AuntieM234 2011-08-13 03:39:19 -0500 Report

I hear you Jim! There is a local casino that hosts a fantastic buffets on Sunday afternoons. I've not partaken in years, because I just don't trust myself. Anyway, what we USED to do is go toward the end of the lunch spread and stay through the change in the spread into dinner. That way, we got a lot of good choices of some great food. Of course, that was when I didn't have to worry about carbs or weight gain, but it was before my Dx and while I was still physically active. I then had to go from I love to eat to I eat to live. ;-) Mara

Darrin D
Darrin D 2011-08-12 22:30:55 -0500 Report

Like you Jim, I go for the meats and cheese first. But I go for the salad and non fried veggies next. Then some more meats and cheese. Then, as you also, the fruits, without syrups. I let the fruit be my desert. Good luck all, Darrin.

alanbossman 2011-08-12 09:50:13 -0500 Report

Hey James I know how hard it is to around a buffet everything looks great to your eye. But I also head for the salad,vegges, and protein and use oil and vinegar on my salad or lemon juice. Walk fast past the bad stuff also helps lol.

grandmaducky 2011-08-11 22:50:49 -0500 Report

I start with a salad and veggies the go for the protien and cooked veggies and i do have a wheat yeast roll and for my sweet tooth the only buffet in town has suger free cheesecake :) i can't go to the chinese buffet anymore because i would really be bad oh so bad

jladytiger1979 2011-08-12 09:11:14 -0500 Report

Just watch what you throw into that salad. Limit of no cheese, croutons and Lord knows the salad dressing!! Also, things like chickpeas, regualar peas, etc on the bar. They are good for you but DO contain carbs!! I do a light salad to start. (Low cheese and little vinagrette and NO croutons) I look over the buffet and see what looks most interesting. I take small portions of those few items and maybe I'll try something else next time. My goal is to leave at least 1/4 of my plate empty and take only 1 spoon (or 1/2 if its a large serving spoon) of what I like. I chuck the bread options, look for veggie dishes and skip those that already have rice and/or noodles already missed in. I also try to avoid battered or fried items. @ the chinese joint I ask for a little brown rice and eat no more than 1/2 cup. Also at the chinese joint soups are a good starter (hot & sour, egg drop). I MAKE sure I always eat very slowly and talk to company/put my fork down between bites and chew them up good making sure I am enjoying the flavor. When I'm not hungry anymore, I STOP. THAT TOOK A LOT OF RETRAINING MYSELF!! Hope it helps!!

grandmaducky 2011-08-12 11:00:54 -0500 Report

i eat cheese its one of things i can have and i don't do low fAT IT WORKS FOR ME sorry cap shift button on accident but i do full fat ranch i have a metabolic doctor follow her diet it works for my body and i am sticking with it thanks for your input

Bunny Cakes
Bunny Cakes 2011-08-11 21:23:10 -0500 Report

I handle buffets the same way I handle the rest of life. Stick mainly to proteins and veggies and only eat carbs I know my body can handle, when in doubt I hit the salad bar. I think the biggest mistake people make when going to a buffet is thinking it is different than any other situation. Food is food no matter where you are so treat it that way.

MewElla 2011-08-11 21:22:27 -0500 Report

I just went to a buffet tonite…knew I had to be careful, so I chose small greensalad, with spinach,romain lettuce,cucumber,carrot slivers, tomato and celery with drizzle of lemon juice; small fish filet, baked, small dish of brown beans, and ice water. Just tested bg#95…Was happy with #'s.

carol1107 2011-08-11 20:47:30 -0500 Report

I know this isn't really part of the discussion but I just heard about Chia Seeds. They are better for you than flax seed. Has anyone heard about them.

jayabee52 2011-08-12 14:47:07 -0500 Report

Yep I've heard about them here and there.

carol1107 2011-08-12 20:16:42 -0500 Report

I didn't mean to offend anyone. I'm new to this site and I just thought maybe someone would be interested. I realize it didn't have anything to do with the topic of conversation about buffets but I wasn't sure where to post my comment. That is the very first time I have posted on the site. I'll try to post more appropriately from now on.

AuntieM234 2011-08-13 08:35:13 -0500 Report

Carol, I apologize, I saw your question re Chia seeds yesterday, but I was in a hurry. I had planned to come back, but forgot until just now. If you go to the top of this page, click discussions on the left side, then look on the upper right lower than the top. You will see a place to enter a search: just type in Chia and click go. I don't know if more than one discussion deals with it or not, but there will be a list appear in the middle of the page. You may have to scroll down to see it, depending on how large or small your screen is. ;-) Mara

RAYT721 2011-08-13 04:20:35 -0500 Report

Carol … no problem at all. Jump in any time, anywhere. We all understand what it's like to be new and there are no "rules" here. Be yourself. You will soon see how our discussions can go from one topic to another very quickly. That's what makes this such a unique, welcoming and fun place to hang out. Welcome!!!

jayabee52 2011-08-13 02:50:42 -0500 Report

No offense taken Carol! We're not real sticklers here about such things. NOT a problem! No offense taken!

If you don't see any place where a question fits well, you can always start a new discussion of your own. You are welcome here to start a new discussion or add to something someone already started. And if you read around the discussions a bit you'll see we don't ALWAYS stay on topic.