Okay. So it’s a brunch buffet the day after your friend’s wedding. Do you really want to go? Maybe yes, maybe no. But you have to, she’s a really good friend.
Or, maybe you’re on vacation and staring down the sumptuous brunch buffet in the resort hotel. Boy oh boy, everything looks both beautiful and indescribably delicious. Freshly baked bread and scrumptious pastry displayed with an artist’s touch.
You really indulged at the reception the night before and your inner voice is chiding you to choose your food wisely and not blow your diet another day.
As any social dieter should do, you cruise the buffet line first just taking in all of the choices. Wow, what a minefield of diet busters!
What to do? What do you want to do? What’s going to energize you and not mess too badly with the calorie count that you want to maintain?
Yes, there’s fruit and yogurt and eggs. Bacon and sausage, too. But, you eat yogurt everyday and those pancakes and waffles look really delicious. So does the danish and coffee cake. And, you really want some.
It’s decision making time. Think. What are you going to eat the rest of the day. If you think you can eat at 11AM and have no food until tomorrow, bad choice. By late afternoon you’ll probably be so hungry that you’ll throw all caution to the wind and head for pizza or a cheeseburger promising yourself you’ll get back on track tomorrow. The possible beginning of a downward spiral.
Make your choice. Have a good meal that will fill you up, keep your blood sugar at a nice level, and taste good. What does that mean? Some protein and some complex carbs. Easy on the fat and simple carbs. Look at your choices – what will fill the bill? What are you willing to trade off? What will make you happy without feeling either deprived or guilty?
Start with the fruit. Not the juice, the whole fruit. Juice is sugar, albeit natural, in a glass. Fruit is full of fiber and antioxidants. Berries are a great choice – low in calories, almost always available at a buffet, and they can serve as a topping for yogurt or pancakes. Next some protein. Yogurt is a possibility – is it low fat? Eggs fill the bill, too, but not when smothered in hollandaise sauce or cheese – want to guess that fat and calorie count? Bacon or ham? Plain ham is surprisingly low in fat – something bacon and sausage are not. Plain pancakes aren’t a bad choice – as long as you don’t coat them in butter and drown them in syrup. Top them with those berries and have some protein on the side (a slice of ham, some yogurt, a spoonful of scrambled eggs from the next chafing dish).
If you decide you really will feel totally deprived if you don’t indulge in one of those delicious baked goods, choose one without loads of thick buttery crumbs on top, cut it in half or in thirds and be satisfied with that amount. Put it on a separate small plate that you can easily push away from you. Keeping it on your main plate or even a smaller one that’s easily reachable means you’ll be nibbling away at it the entire time.
Still hungry? Have some more fruit, another glass of water, some tea or coffee. No half and half, please. Oh, try and skip the mimosas and the bloody marys. If you must, try a virgin mary – tomato juice is low in calories and it looks just the same in the glass. Remember that the alcohol will mess with both your calorie count and your willpower to keep your hands off the pastry and the bacon.
Now, don’t you feel full, happy, and very proud of yourself?