Buffets are the worst diet killers available. Especially those at a potluck dinner or on board a cruise ship. You want to taste everything and by the time you are done, you've loaded a plate with enough calories and fat and sodium to fulfill your dietary needs for a month. Don't hit the buffet without some sort of plan to avoid overeating.
First, instead of grabbing a plate and getting right in line, scope out the array of goodies available. If there's something you just gotta have, make a mental note. Otherwise, look for those things like veggies (that aren't swimming in cream sauce or butter), fruit dishes (fresh cut fruit without syrup), and lean meats (like chicken or turkey) or fish.
If a small plate is available, take it. It will help to keep you from piling on more than you need. Work your plan--that one special treat and some of those better choices.
Do not return to the buffet. I repeat: DO NO RETURN TO THE BUFFET. If you sit and sip your soft drink and/or coffee, you will eventually feel satisfied. They say it takes about 20 minutes for your mind to get the message that your tummy is full.
Allow yourself one sweet treat. Again, plan ahead. You don't want to grab the brownie and then see your favorite Christmas cookie at the end of the table and it's a "just gotta have."
For you cruisers, this is a workable plan for all the meals you take in that wonderful Lido buffet. I suggest looking into the other restaurants on board ship as well. Celebrity has a great spa lunch on some of their ships--healthy, lo-cal, and delicious. Eating in the main restaurant is helpful too if you limit your menu choices and keep the dessert choices to one at dinner time--no matter how many the waiter offers you!
Midnight buffets are almost a thing of the past on cruise ships as more and more people are becoming diet conscious. Once in a while there's a decadent chocolate buffet, or a fruit buffet, but for the most part, not too many are offered. At Christmas time, however, we experienced a beautiful huge buffet on the Queen Mary 2. There was a table that stretched throughout the main hall with Santa and his reindeer posed as if pulling all the goodies behind them. Everything from shrimp to sushi to beef Wellington to chocolate houses and confectionery delights. I may have overindulged on that one--just a bit.
How do you work a buffet?
(All buffet pictures are from our Christmas cruise on the Queen Mary 2 in 2004.)
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