I do a lot of performance coaching around nutrition and I like to help my clients figure out ways to implement ideal strategies in the real world – while traveling, at client dinners, in restaurants, etc.  When it comes to having to choose a meal from a buffet I always coach people to:

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for buffet.jpegTake a “dry run” to scope out their options before going through the line with their plates
  • Decide what they want their protein, grain, and fruit/veg to be
  • Factor in whether they’re planning on having dessert
  • Take much less than you think you’ll eat.  You can always go back for more, but with excess food on your plate you’re more likely to “clean your plate” and over do it.

So I was intrigued when I read an interesting blurb in Nutrition Action Healthletter that cited a study in which observers watched restaurant buffet goers and found the following:

Diners who were overweight were more likely to

  • serve themselves immediately (rather than browse the buffet)
  • choose a large plate
  • sit facing the buffet
  • use fork rather than chopsticks
  • sit without a napkin on their laps
Apparently, the napkin acts as an anchor.  Who knew.  I’ve now got a few things to add to my recommendations…