Jewels Doskicz, RN, is a freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. She and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.

We've all been there, I'm sure. Halfway around the buffet, a plate brimming over with food, feeling like it weighs five-pounds by your 'hand scale' — are you familiar with this scenario?

Too many choices, an overabundance of food and the desire to try a little of everything usually equate to overfilling our plates and bellies. Let's face it, buffets can be a total disaster for diabetes control.

According to, it's important not to save up for the 'big meal,' approaching it from a place of starvation. If you feel like your stomach is eating itself, you may be tempted to overindulge and feel deserving of going hog-wild.

Eat smart - Here's how:

Use small plates - Avoid the buffet trap through tableware: use the smallest plates available to help with portion control. You can usually find the size I'm referring to at the dessert table.

Do a drive-through - Before you approach the food with a plate, walk around and take inventory.

Start with veggies - Just as you would in a restaurant, start with the veggie tray or salads. This will help you save the carbohydrate portions for the main event and dessert.

Choose whole foods - It's difficult to ascertain what certain foods contain at buffets, leading to erroneous carbohydrate calculations. Do your best to stick with identifiable proteins and carbs; the wild card usually comes at the dessert table.

Drink water - The simple act of drinking water may save you from another calorie disaster. Approach the buffet well hydrated; your glucometer will thank you later.

Get moving - An after-meal walk can help to erase some of the carbohydrate impact your meal had and also aid with digestion.

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