Think holiday season, and you can’t help but think, see, crave food – usually in the form of an amazing spread. Not overeating at the holiday buffet is easier said than done. Who can resist all those platters packed with every imaginable goodie? The best part is you can stand there and graze all day long, go back again and again for more, and then start all over when the sweets emerge. The enjoyment is never-ending.

Therein lies the buffet table problem. Once you start, it’s really hard to stop. Which is all well and good while you’re enjoying your night – but not so good the next day and the day after that. So if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to head to the buffet table armed with a plan in order to eat just enough but not too much.

To avoid temptation and overeating at the holiday buffet, use these strategies that work for me.

How to Enjoy The Holiday Buffet Without Getting Stuffed

1. Eat First

Don’t go to a party with an empty stomach. Now, I don’t mean have a 3-course meal before you go, but making sure you’ve got a healthy snack under your belt – an apple and a handful of nuts, for instance – means you won’t be looking to eat a horse once you get there.

2. Go Tighter

Wear that sexy little number he loves. You know, the one that fits just right and has a subtle way of letting you know when you have had too much to eat.

3. Start Small

Choose a smaller plate and fill it once. Chances are, if you fill a big plate, you’ll start getting full halfway through eating. If you are like me, you will want to polish it all of anyway (no use wasting perfectly delicious food or insulting the hostess!). But if you start with the small plate, you’ll be able to eat it all, then think about whether you’re full.

4. Plan a Stakeout

Check out the buffet goods before you dish up. If you spoon yourself a little of everything, you end up with a heaping plate of so-so foods and you may have to skip a favorite or come back for seconds – because there is no room left on your plate. Choose only what you love.

5. Do Some Skipping

In particular, skip the bread and buns. They are filler foods that you can eat anytime. Save your plate and stomach space for your faves.

6. Get the Good Stuff

Load up on fresh fruits and veggies. These are caloric freebies – unless, that is, you make the mistake of loading up on creamy dip.

7. Stop At One

Choose just one dessert. Pair it with coffee or tea and take your time to savor it. You’ll enjoy it more that way.

8. Step Aside

Once your plate is empty, move on. Find someone to have an interesting conversation with on the other side of the room. Removing temptation will save you.

9. Go Easy

You can follow all the tips you want – but it’s still holiday time, and food is still central to it. Remember, it is the season to enjoy and celebrate, so don’t be too hard on yourself for the occasional overindulgence. You deserve it!

photo credit: jovike via photopin cc

About the author

Karen Southgate

A certified nutritionist, freelance writer, blogger, mother of two, happy wife and foodie. I have always been passionate about food and its role as a building block in our health and wellness. There are few things I find more inspiring than a farmers market on a Saturday morning! I love a good read, hiking with my dog (okay, husband too), spending time with family and friends, and travel.

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