Managing the dreaded buffet

My husband and I headed out to do a little Christmas shopping yesterday after work and knew we would be eating out for supper. We had settled on a quick bite at Jimmy John’s, but just as we arrived, I saw the sign for the Chinese buffet place and my mouth started watering. 

My head knew we should have stuck with Jimmy John’s, where I would have had a Turkey Unwich (two WW points for the whole sandwich) and a bag of Lay’s baked potato chips (another two points). But my mouth and my stomach were longing for China Buffet. Not sure why, I haven’t eaten at that place for probably two years. I kind of don’t like it, yet at the same time, love it. Weird.

The car ended up veering into the parking lot of the buffet place and I was almost feeling a little panicky. But at the same time, I was feeling okay about it. Again, weird. I kept telling myself, "Yep, you can do this. You don’t have to stuff yourself silly. You can just have a couple of things and that will be enough. It’s okay if you just sit there while your husband continues eating. You are going to be just fine."

Well, 17 WW points later (I actually logged everything, but somethings were just an estimate), we were finished. But, I didn’t stuff myself. I did okay. And I did end up just sitting there while my husband finished and I was okay with that. I didn’t feel the need to eat just because he was eating, you know what I mean?

My first trip up to the buffet, I selected two crab rangoons, about half a cup of fried rice, one piece of sweet and sour chicken (without the sweet and sour sauce because I don’t like it), one small piece of General Tao’s chicken, one small piece of honey chicken (I just needed a taste – a bite- of each), about a cup of green beans (these are actually my favorite thing about a Chinese restaurant) and one dumpling with hoysen sauce.

I decided that I could go back for round two because I really didn’t have that much on my first trip. So, the second plate had about another half a cup to three-fourths of a cup of green beans, one more small piece of General Tao’s chicken and one more small piece of the honey chicken, about a tablespoon’s worth – literally – of those tiny, little, thin Chinese noodle things (I’ve never tried them and I just wanted a bite), about a tablespoon’s worth of lo mein noodles, which I actually didn’t even finish because I didn’t really like them, a coconut macaroon and a couple bites of bananas.

I actually didn’t finish eating all my thin, little Chinese noodles or the green beans or my rice, I listened to my stomach, which was telling me I was full. Oh, I also drank nearly the whole pot of tea I ordered. I just love the tea at Chinese restaurants.

I felt okay. I felt good. And, I actually felt proud of myself. I didn’t overeat at the buffet. Every other time I have been there, I have gone through the line probably four times. Not kidding. Granted my plate is not heaping every single time, but nonetheless, I usually make at least four trips, which usually includes one plate full of desserts. Again, not kidding. 

I did end up going over my WW points for the day, but only by three. I was pleased. I didn’t beat myself up over it. I didn’t pig out. I ate what I felt was normal. Seriously, I felt so good about the whole thing. And the best part, when we were done, for the next three hours, my husband and I shopped – this meant lots of walking (not fast paced walking, but better than sitting for three hours, righ?). And, we are about half done with our Christmas shopping. We are way ahead this year. Woohoo for us!

3 thoughts on “Managing the dreaded buffet

  1. One of the reasons paid buffets are hard for me is that I am thrifty and I want to get my money’s worth. That being said, I don’t eat at them often, and have cut down eating out a great deal altogether. I have been much better behaved when I do eat out, not returning to the buffet line 3, 4, or 5 times like I used to. And…I feel so much better afterward if I restrain myself. Family or work potlucks are much more difficult for me because everybody brings their BEST recipe, so you know almost everything will be DIVINE, and who wants to pass on divine! 😉 I did do okay on Thanksgving, but the Christmas baking & snacking has already done damage!


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