Getting More Than You Bargained For at the Buffet?

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

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Wow!! My friend, and mentor, Jill Coleman just hit me over the head with something. She said:

“One thing that I think gets missed a lot in the health/fat loss/physique discussion is quality of life. We tend to ask, ‘What will work?’ instead of first considering, ‘What will I enjoy?’ And contrary to what you might think, ‘what you enjoy’ is probably not stuffing yourself and eating to your heart’s desire.“

Oh my gosh! Right? So right!!



Every single one of the “diets” out there WILL work if they result in you taking in fewer calories than you burn.

The question should not be – which nutrition plan should you follow.

The question should be – which way of eating is conducive to your lifestyle?

Which exercise program are you actually going to do because you enjoy it?


…and, while we may think it’s freedom to eat whatever we want, whenever we want, in whatever quantity we want, that’s simply not true!

Do you remember how crappy you feel when you overeat?


I certainly do!!

I used to do that every time my family went to a buffet. I literally could NOT walk out of a Golden Coral without feelingScreen Shot 2015-07-25 at 5.37.50 PM sick. I never intended to start out that way. I always began with a salad. Always. Then I just wanted a l
ittle of this, a little of that, a little more of something else, and I couldn’t possibly leave without getting dessert – plus, it was just a little. A little piece of carrot cake and a little sliver of chocolate cake, and some ice cream, and maybe a cheesecake square… I wasn’t hungry. Far, far from it. But I HAD to have dessert because it was there.

I’m not exaggerating! Either of my kids, or my husband, could confirm this behavior to you.



What to hell? Why? If all of that food is available, we think we need to:

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For some reason, we feel like we need to, “get our money’s worth”. If we don’t stuff ourselves, we feel like it, “wasn’t worth it.”


It took me a long time, and a lot of hard work, to get out of that mindset. I stopped going to buffets for a very long time!!


Whether I stuff myself, and get sick, or I eat enough to satiate myself, I got my money’s worth!! I don’t need to set some record in eating a week’s groceries in one sitting!!!



– and I did then but this does take conscious effort

– I KNOW that I don’t need all of that food.


I don’t like feeling stuffed.

I don’t like heartburn.

I don’t like being uncomfortable and bloated.


Eating like that is not fun.

It’s not what I want to do.


….and if I don’t eat chocolate cake today because I ate hickory bourbon chicken and I’m really not hungry, I can have it tomorrow if I want, or the next day, or the day after that.


Here’s a story I shared with Jill. This happened just last night and shows how far I’ve come in my journey to embrace moderation. Last night my husband and I went to Panera Bread for dinner. He got home late and the restaurants around here fill up quickly on Friday nights. This is close to home and we both like it. I ordered a strawberry poppy seed chicken salad (not because I “had to” but because I truly love that salad!). I also ordered a piece of carrot cake since yesterday was our wedding anniversary (and I love carrot cake). I ate half of it. My husband asked if I was going to eat the rest (he doesn’t like it so we weren’t sharing). I said, “No. I’ve had enough.” I wrapped up the cake and brought it home.


Today I saw it in the refrigerator. There is absolutely NO reason that I need to eat that cake. We’re not celebrating. I’m not punishing myself and I have zero guilt about eating cake yesterday.

The entire piece of cake was 99 cents and yet I felt a pang of guilt as I threw it in the trash. That’s ridiculous!!! If I had eaten it, since I’m not really in the mood for carrot cake today, it would have been purely out of guilt. That would have been MORE ridiculous!!


Likely, if I were to drive to Panera right now, I could buy another slice. Carrot cake still exists in the world.  I’m sure of it!!!!

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  1. Hahaha …. been there done that!!!!!!!!! Ate just for the joy of eating and the fact that I could! But boy did I pay the price. I like the moderation idea. We think it’s taking something away, but it’s actually enabling us to enjoy more fully the parts that we’ve eaten and the parts we’ve stayed away from. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Exactly, Melanie!!! I love the way you put it. “It’s actually enabling us to enjoy more fully the parts that we’ve eaten.”

  2. So true. I know when I eat sugar I will feel lousy and sleepy. But now and then, I do it anyway. Arghghgh!!!

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