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Eating Out on a Diet

Restaurant Advice: Buffets & Take Out
Buffets can be dangerous, especially when desserts are involved.
Buffets can be dangerous, especially when desserts are involved.
Mobil Travel Guide


When you're eating on the road, you can find yourself in many dietary dilemmas. Here are some tips for when you're forced to eat at buffets or take-out places.

A buffet is an invitation to overeat, so it can be a very dangerous place for people trying to lose weight. Don't take a buffet as a challenge to get your money's worth by overfilling your plate. Instead, survey the buffet offerings and come up with a plan. Choose the foods most interesting to you, and leave the rest alone. Focus on vegetable-based dishes without sauce or fried accompaniments. Take small or modest amounts; don't heap your plate. And if you go back for seconds, take only the lowest-calorie foods. Choose only one item for dessert.

Best bets:

  • Broth-based soups.
  • Baked, grilled, or broiled meat, fish, or chicken.
  • Peel and eat shrimp.
  • Baked potato.
  • Tossed salad.
  • Sauteed vegetables.
  • Nonfat frozen yogurt, sherbet, or fruit ice.

Waistline expanders:

  • Fried meat, fish, or chicken.
  • Buffalo chicken wings .
  • Cream soups.
  • Creamy coleslaw, macaroni salad, potato salad.
  • Croissants.
  • Cake, pie, cheesecake, ice cream.
  • French fries or potatoes and gravy.

Take-out Food

Whether you're traveling or just pressed for time, you can satisfy your hunger and still eat healthfully by getting take-out foods from a supermarket or delicatessen. To keep your fat cells empty, choose salads smartly, focus on vegetables without creamy sauces, and choose fruit for dessert. At the bakery counter, choose a bagel or roll -- particularly one that's small and made from whole grains -- rather than a Danish, cinnamon roll, donut, or croissant.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.