Not so long ago I lucky enough to spend 13 days on a cruise ship around the Pacific Islands. It was a fantastic experience, I met some incredible people, everything was done for me, I didn’t have to worry about a thing and there was this amazing all you can eat (almost all day long) food and dessert buffet. Even for me, a healthy and fit person ‘all you can eat’ buffets are a scary/exciting place, my natural impulse is to stuff myself and try everything. Not such a great idea as 13 days of this could lead to a new wardrobe to cater for my expanding stomach if you know what I mean. So, rather then fall victim to my impulses and urges I thought I would use the experience as inspiration and put together some simple rules and behaviour identifiers to help you when it comes to ‘all you can eat’ buffets and avoid the dreaded buffet blow out!
As you can imagine I noticed some very interesting behaviour at play, in this blog we’ll look at some of that mind chatter that influences peoples choice when it comes to ‘all you can eat’ buffets so you can recognise it when you are triggered and can make decisions free of the situation. In the coming blogs we will look at the ‘good food’ choices, the 1 plate rule and what’s really on your plate.
Mind chatter…. My personal favourites:
- You feel like you’re going to miss out if you don’t try everything… No you’re NOT! This is the problem the mind faces when it has to much choice, think of it as sensory overload. The best way to get past this is to walk the length of the buffet, take a breath and think about what is worthy of going in your body.
- ‘It’s all you can eat,’ I have to get my monies worth… Stop right there! Calories are far more expensive then dollars when it comes to weight management and health. The only time money and food should ever go together is if you’re talking about quality and service. Buffets are usually cheap and often the quality of food isn’t that great, it’s made for mass production and not for ‘getting your monies worth.’
- You’re on holidays – you don’t do it very often, you can deal with it when you get home… Just because you’re on holidays doesn’t mean you should throw all your hard work out the window. I think this is one of the most seductive lines you mind will give you when you are trying to reason with it. Limit yourself to 1 ‘not good’ food choice per buffet experience, it’s giving yourself a ‘win/win’ situation.
- Everyone else is indulging, why can’t I? You’re right, they probably are! However, as you are in control of your impulses you are going to be able to enjoy the rest of the day or night because you have not put yourself in a food coma. Best of all you’re not going to have to deal with the ‘inner bully’ of guilt for over eating.
These four points really just scratch the surface of emotional eating, if you would like a little more information I also came across this great article: