Retrofit Blog


December 22, 2014
Don't overeat at the buffet

Buffets can pose a real challenge to weight loss due to the unlimited choices and portions offered. But we've got you covered with 9 proven rules specifically designed to prevent you from piling your plate too high. The more you abide by these 9 rules, the better off you'll be.

  • SET THE STAGE. Before you leave your home or hotel room, make a commitment to yourself that you will watch your portions and stay focused on your long-term goal of weight loss! Think about how much temptation you've managed to resist this season and how much it has paid off.
  • SNACK FIRST. Avoid arriving to a party or gathering hungry. Take the edge off by having a protein + produce snack before you go like an apple + a tablespoon of almond butter.
  • SCAN THE SPREAD. Survey the entire buffet before filling your plate so that you don't find yourself wondering if you are missing anything, which might make your return for another plateful. Aim to only visit the buffet line once.
  • PICK A PLATE. Use a small plate as a cue to help take smaller portions. (Oversized dinnerware may make normal portion sizes appear smaller than they actually are.)
  • CHOOSE HEALTHY FOODS FIRST. A recent study from Cornell University found that the presentation of buffet food can dramatically influence the nutritional quality of your meal. In the study, 75 percent of diners loaded up on the first food they saw. When the buffet started with the least healthy options, most diners took 31 percent more food overall.
  • DIVIDE AND CONQUER. Aim for the Balanced Plate (50% fruits and veggies, 25% lean protein, 25% whole grains), and eat the filling produce first.
  • SPACE YOURSELF. Try to sit as far away from the buffet as possible. The farther you are from the food, the less likely you will be to get up for more.
  • BE CHOOSY. Eat what you love, pass on what you like.
  • GO FOR SLOW. Make sure to savor each bite instead of thinking what you'll eat on your next trip to the buffet. Slow your pace by setting your utensil down between bites. By slowing your pace you can more readily recognize satiety and avoid overeating.
  • FILL IT UP? Pay attention to how you feel, and stop when your hunger gauge is at 3/4 of a tank.
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Amy Margulies Retrofit Registered Dietitian

Amy is the Lead Registered Dietitian at Retrofit and a Certified Diabetes Educator. She has been educating about healthy eating for nearly 20 years. She helps clients find realistic ways to improve their overall health while successfully managing their weight.

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