Bond: Eating healthy–at a buffet?

By Lexie Bond

I’m a health and fitness blogger. On an almost daily basis, I read, research, Tweet and blog about health and fitness. But sometimes, I don’t necessarily “live” health and fitness.

You see, while I am a health and fitness blogger, I also somehow frequently find myself at buffets.

I’m picturing your expression right now. I looked that surprised once. Then again, I had overarched my eyebrows while tweezing.

Moving on.

A buffet sounds like a health conscious person’s worst nightmare, right? The concept of the buffet basically spits in the face of eating sensibly and in moderation. So this summer, when I somehow found myself at a buffet on more than a dozen occasions, I decided I was going to have to find a way to keep gluttony at bay at an all-you-can-eat establishment.

Therefore, I’ve developed a few steps on how to eat healthy at a buffet.

Step 1: Don’t go to a buffet.

There are very few reasons to go to a buffet. One of them being that many buffets are Chinese. For some reason, Chinese buffets rise above the rest, offering buffet-priced, all-you-can-eat delights that are still extremely high quality.

The only other circumstance warranting your presence and participation at a buffet would be  that your boyfriend made you go. All good girlfriends accompany their boyfriends to buffets. Other than that, the only “good” thing about a buffet is the high quantity of a variety of foods. If those dishes were high quality, I’d be in heaven. But most buffets remind me more of a trough full of slop for human pigs.

Step 2: Wear tight clothes.

Observe Golden Corral’s dinner crowd and notice their apparel. As much as I know you’re probably thinking that adults should not wear Tweety Bird shirts and that you haven’t  seen this many mullets since  your last country music concert, let’s concentrate on what’s below the waist. Pants, perverts, pants. Other than the always fashionable stretch pants complete with stirrups, you’ll notice that the tautness of most people’s jeans is enough to create a nice shelf of belly fat. I’m imagining that overtweezed-eyebrow expression again when I tell you that we can learn something from these Harley-Davidson-T-shirt-wearing-people. By wearing form-fitting clothes, you will be more conscious of your body and what you put in it. With every bite, you’ll be aware of how snug your clothes are on your body. Being in this state of slight discomfort should keep you from gorging yourself. Now I’m not saying you should show up to Golden Corral in your favorite little black dress. Skinny jeans should do the trick just fine.

Step 3: Drink water.

No need to start wasting precious calories on what you drink. Look at it this way: If you were allotted 250 calories, you could either drink a Pepsi and eat nothing, or you could wash down a reasonably sized piece of cheesecake with some water. Which would you rather have? I for one would probably choose cheesecake over sex, unless I hadn’t worked out yet that day, in which case I’d have sex so that I could justify it as a workout. Actually no, I’d still probably choose cheesecake.

Step 4: Eat your greens.

Starting off with a salad is a great way to make sure you don’t overdo it on more calorie-dense foods. Eating a high amount of low-calorie foods like vegetables is a satisfying way to eat a lot and feel satiated without becoming pregnant with a food baby. I will warn you though, vegetables at buffets are notoriously disgusting, likely because more love is put into the fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. But it’s your fault for being at a buffet to begin with. Or your boyfriend’s.

Step 5: Get your money’s worth.

There’s no point in shelling out $10 or $12 to go to a buffet if you’re not going to eat $10 or $12 worth of food. The trick is doing this without blowing up to a state I refer to as “large and in charge.” All you have to do to get your money’s worth at a buffet is to fill up on the more expensive foods. Example: Pasta dishes are inexpensive, shrimp are not. You’re probably not going to find things like caviar at Ponderosa, but just keep in mind that things like meat and other proteins are generally going to be more expensive, while starches like french fries are cheap.

So if you ever happen to see this health blogger at a buffet, number one, what are you doing there? Didn’t you read step one? And number two, know that I’m probably just being a good girlfriend, so don’t judge.

If you make a good cheesecake and would like Lexie to sample it, e-mail her at [email protected].