In this clip from Hi Food, I’m Home! podcast (Episode 4, Holiday Eating tips), Laura Lloyd talks about how not to overeat buffet food when you’re faced with a spread.

Buffet food can be wonderful, full of colour and variety. The fun is in the choosing. So why do you so often end up regretting having piled your plate high with a mediocre couscous and wishing the fish you spooned out hadn’t mingled its flavours onto the cheese and fruit? 

And maybe you want to party without feeling that you’re on a diet and missing out, but also without gaining weight and feeling like you ate a lot and didn’t really love how you felt?

I’m Laura Lloyd, food psychology coach, weight loss life coach, and a recovered binge eater.

Listen to this audio to hear my advice on how to handle a buffet, even if it’s at work.

Listen to the full episode here.

I recommend:

🥑 Don’t attempt to eat buffet food without a strategy. 

Buffet food can overwhelm your decision-making capacity, so set yourself some parameters. It might be number of items per plateful, or if-I-have-wine-I-won’t-have-crisps type if-then protocols, or perhaps sticking to seasonal favourites and foregoing things you could have any time at all… 

You’re an adult. You know what your favourite foods are, and what your body wants to eat.

But don’t wait until you’re dazzled by colours to set yourself some guidelines.

Any decisions you make for yourself beforehand are going to help you out enormously.

🥑 Do some reconnaissance.

Buffet food is typically laid out along a table and people cluster around it, making it hard to see what’s there before you are standing in front of it with a spoon in your hand.

Look at the whole spread before you pick up a plate. Decide what your favourite things are before you join the queue.

This helps you to go straight for the food that’s ‘worth it’ for you and not get sidetracked.

🥑 Choose 3 things that are your favourite and put them on your plate.

Eat them consciously, with maximum pleasure. Go back for more if you’re hungry.

You can choose your own number – three works for me as it’s abundant enough to combat psychological pangs of deprivation thinking, while allowing space around each food so they don’t mingle too much on the plate.

If dessert is one of my favourite things on display, I have no qualms about eating that first.

🥑 Sit down to eat, if you can.

Try to separate eating and talking, for the simple reason that you don’t want to swallow the food and not have noticed it.

Food is not a ‘talking stick’. You don’t have to hold a plate to mingle and chat. Hold something else if you need a prop!


Looking for buffet food recipes?

I love Anna Jones’s cooking. 

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