10 Tips on How to Make the Most out of an Eat-All-You-Can Buffet
Because of its often steep price tag, buffet dining is usually reserved for very special occasions and celebrations. But even then, most still wonder if they are really getting their money’s worth from these Eat-All-You-Can restaurants.
We’ve consulted a handful of buffet experts for their tried and tested strategies in conquering buffets. Listen up, Padawans. Here are 10 tips on how to make the most out of your pricey buffet meal tickets:
Prior the Feast
Don’t come in starving. “I want to get my money’s worth at tonight’s all-you-can-eat dinner. Therefore, I’ll skip breakfast and lunch,” sounds like a fool-proof game plan for any buffet event, right? Wrong. Skipping meals so you’ll be hungry enough to eat a cow by the time you arrive at the restaurant will cause you to binge in the first twenty minutes. After two plates full of carbs and meat, you’ll feel too bloated to go for your third plate.
Schedule your feast during lunch time. Aside from the fact that lunch rates are way cheaper than their dinner counterparts, feasting at noon will grant your body more time to digest all the food. Besides, the lunch spread is sizeable enough and is barely different from the dinner selection (save from three or four special dishes in the carving station). Surely you’ll get full even without those extra carvings.
While at the Buffet
Strategize. Before picking up a plate, take a quick trip around the restaurant and survey the buffet selection. While at it, take mental notes on the high-cost dishes and strategize which dishes should be prioritized.
Explore new cuisines. Buffets are great avenues to discover and sample new dishes you don’t normally get to try when dining out. While it’s highly tempting to get a bowl of your favorite chicken adobo from the Filipino section, try to prioritize other dishes that you can’t normally cook or eat at home.
Mind your portions. Fill your first and second plates with many but small tasting portions of the dishes that caught your attention. The goal is to sample as much as you can, eliminate the mediocre ones, and pick favorites. Get second and third helpings of the dishes that impressed you. This way, you won’t waste stomach space on dishes you dislike.
Grab Some Greens. Most people skip the salad station, because come on, who would prioritize lettuce over the lechon carving right across it? But most buffet experts will agree that filling up on the fresh, leafy vegetables does not only lessen the gravity of the ensuing food coma (more on this later); it will also aid digestion.
Skip sodas and juices. Drink water throughout your meal. Fizzy and sugary drinks tend to bloat your stomach and tell you you’re full when you’re not. Besides, they are usually overpriced at buffet restaurants. Hot tea is okay, post-meal.
If you feel full, stop eating. You’re supposed to make your tummy happy and contented, not persecute it.
Resist sleeping for at least three hours. Slouching at your seat and staring at oblivion at the end of your meal are classic signs of an impending food coma. This means you’ve eaten so much food, and your body wants to shut down and hibernate. But don’t give in just yet. Try to stay up for at least three more hours to allow your digestive system to process your meal.
Prepare for a disgruntled stomach. Sometimes, a happy, food-filled hour at the buffet will leave you with three or more hours of stomach aches, pains, cramps, and rumblings. After all, you’ve just crammed a day’s worth of meal in an hour! Your quick solution? End your meal with a soothing hot tea. In more serious cases, make sure you have some antacid tablets on hand in case you suffer from post-buffet dyspepsia, heartburn, and indigestion.
Practice the above said tips and in no time, you’ll be wise enough to be hailed as a buffet Jedi. Just remember that after your indulgent buffet, be sure take a break (don’t binge eat for another month or so), resume healthy eating, and exercise.