Prep before you go
Have a “buffet policy” in place when going to a buffet, says Keith-Thomas Ayoob, EdD, RD, FAND, associate clinical professor, Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. “Don’t arrive in a starving state,” he says. “Remember it’s not the first time you’ve eaten and it won’t be the last. Make it about the socialization, not the food, especially if the food is fairly standard, and it often is at a buffet.” Also, stay hydrated—here are some clever ways to get more fluids—which helps keep your hunger in check.
Survey the buffet
When assessing the choices on the buffet, walk entirely around it, to make informed decisions. “On the survey, look for all the favorite low-calorie foods you do like,” says Ayoob. Maybe there are steamed shrimp or smoked salmon, sweet grape tomatoes or grilled veggies. “Those will be your priority choices, “he says. “If you get second helpings of anything, these are the foods to choose.”