The buffet table can be a dieter’s worst nightmare: an endless supply of different types of food, waiting to be sampled and piled high on your plate. When you’re trying to eat healthy, it’s not always easy to resist the temptation of food that’s there for the taking. Luckily, there are ways you can avoid binge eating in an “all-you-can-eat” situation like a dining hall or cafeteria. Armed with these tricks (and a little bit of willpower), you won’t fall victim to the siren song of second helpings.
USE YOUR EYES
This may seem fairly obvious, but visual cues are a huge factor in the amount of food we end up eating. There are a number of ways that what you see affects what you eat:
-If you look at the entire spread of food before you start putting anything on your plate, you’re less likely to impulsively add things as you go down the line.
-Since finishing a full plate makes us feel fuller, always use the smallest plate available so you can fill it without going overboard on portion sizes. If there’s only one size, fill half your plate with veggies before taking any other foods.
-Seeing how much you’ve consumed can help signal you to stop eating, so keep all plates and bowls on the table to remind yourself of what you’ve already had.
Once food hits your stomach, your brain needs 20 minutes to realize you’re full. Inhaling your food in 5 minutes means that you could continue eating for another 15 before you actually feel full. Eating slowly and consciously is the best way to avoid this problem.
If you’re still hungry after finishing your first helping, try drinking a full glass of water. The brain can often confuse thirst for hunger, so there’s a chance all you need is some H2O.
Whenever possible, have a low-calorie healthy snack like fruit before you go into a buffet situation. Going in with a completely empty stomach will probably make you eat more than you normally would.
Do you have any tips to avoid binge eating? Share them here!