Help! Chinese buffet!

2

Replies

  • newmeadow
    newmeadow Posts: 1,295 Member
    Eyeball a 1 cup serving of steamed white rice (200 calories approx.), a palm sized serving of meat that's not batter fried and scrape off most of the gravy (200 calories approx.), a 1 cup serving of sauteed vegetables and drain off any liquid it contains (150 calories approx.) and finish it off with a one cup serving of fresh fruit of your choice which they always have (approx 100 calories). Drink the complimentary hot tea with your meal. 650 approximate calories total for a full yummy meal and there ya go. Sodium, schmodium.

    Nobody (other than kidney patients) really cares about sodium, especially for a once-in-a-while thing like a Chinese buffet. If you're worried about retaining two pounds of water weight from too much sodium when you stand on the scale the next day, delete MFP, resume your high fashion modeling career and get diet and exercise advice from Karl Lagerfeld.
  • ReBeccaO1993
    ReBeccaO1993 Posts: 40 Member
    My advice would be to eat a healthy meal before you go and just go for drinks? I can’t imagine anything being healthy there so if your not willing to make it a “cheat day” then steer away

    Good advice, I’m seeing it as a cheat day really because I don’t see it as a healthy option or an option I would choose weekly. Just want to go about it in a “smarter” way still and control what I eat when I’m there! 😊
  • ReBeccaO1993
    ReBeccaO1993 Posts: 40 Member
    My advice would be to eat a healthy meal before you go and just go for drinks? I can’t imagine anything being healthy there so if your not willing to make it a “cheat day” then steer away

    It's just different combinations of foods, there's nothing inherently unhealthful about it. There may be foods that are very calorie dense and some people may struggle with controlling their portions. But there is no reason it has to be limited to a "cheat day," I've eaten at Chinese buffets and still met my calorie goals for the day, I'm sure that others have as well.

    I’ve made a “meal” in the app and planned my breakfast and supper around it and I too will be respecting my alloted calorie budget tomorrow, so I am glad! 😊 I wouldn’t want to eliminate Chinese buffet permanently, we go monthly with work and I love it!
  • ReBeccaO1993
    ReBeccaO1993 Posts: 40 Member
    BDonjon wrote: »
    Don't panic. I don't think avoiding the buffet altogether is necessary if you exercise some self-control.

    For your main entree, there should be steamed veggies, and you should be able to find meat that's not drowning in sugary sauce.
    For dessert, every buffet I've ever been to has fruit.

    Thanks for your insight! 😃 I will definitely control myself, I’ve made a plan of exactly what will go on my plate and I’m now excited about it and a lot less panicked than I initially was. 👌🏼

    You’re right it seems ALL buffets have fruit as an option for dessert. I myself don’t consider it a dessert, but I just won’t have any dessert- just the meal itself feels like a treat 🙉🤗
  • ReBeccaO1993
    ReBeccaO1993 Posts: 40 Member
    vscott87 wrote: »
    I deal with this when dining at lunch w business colleagues. You can do it! Start with a salad. If there is sushi, I get three rolled pieces and three pieces of nigiri (the ones that just have the big chunk of raw fish on top). I take the chunk of raw fish off, add to one of the rolled pieces, and toss the extra rice. My next trip is usually green beans, the broccoli out of the broccoli/beef, and some teriyaki chicken. If there is a hibachi option, I opt for all veggies and some seafood; don’t add noodles. The sodium isn’t ideal, but I chug a nalgene of water before and after and it doesn’t make me puff as badly. Let us know how you do!

    It’s harder when the company you’re with isn’t watching what they eat I find 🙉 your plan is so organized, I can tell you’re good at this 😊 thanks for sharing! I definitely feel more ready now! I’ve made a plan of exactly what I will have and am now excited and looking forward to it 😍
  • ReBeccaO1993
    ReBeccaO1993 Posts: 40 Member
    newmeadow wrote: »
    Eyeball a 1 cup serving of steamed white rice (200 calories approx.), a palm sized serving of meat that's not batter fried and scrape off most of the gravy (200 calories approx.), a 1 cup serving of sauteed vegetables and drain off any liquid it contains (150 calories approx.) and finish it off with a one cup serving of fresh fruit of your choice which they always have (approx 100 calories). Drink the complimentary hot tea with your meal. 650 approximate calories total for a full yummy meal and there ya go. Sodium, schmodium.

    Nobody (other than kidney patients) really cares about sodium, especially for a once-in-a-while thing like a Chinese buffet. If you're worried about retaining two pounds of water weight from too much sodium when you stand on the scale the next day, delete MFP, resume your high fashion modeling career and get diet and exercise advice from Karl Lagerfeld.

    Thank you so much for all the info! 😊 you made me laugh with the sodium / water weight / delete the app part hahaha. That is actually why I was worried about sodium, I know it will make me retain water and thus result in a bad weigh in on Saturday. I’m still new at this, it’s my first week so I think I need to drill it in my head that my weight won’t constantly decrease and that there will be increases. 😂

    I’ve actually researched a bit and made a plan of what I will have and it amount to 600 something calories if I remember correctly. I’ve planned a restricted breakfast and supper around it and will consider it a cheat day- I’m now ready and excited for tomorrow. Thanks for taking the time in sharing your insight. 😄
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,483 Member
    Don’t look at it as a ‘cheat’ day.

    Look at it as learning how to fit occasions into your life while still keeping within your goal the majority of the time. You are going to have occasions for the rest of your life, so learning to accept them as a blip in your calorie intake early is a plus.

    Go out enjoy yourself, log what you can, then back on track the next day.

    No angst or guilt involved.

    Cheers, h.
  • Chef_Barbell
    Chef_Barbell Posts: 6,646 Member
    Nothing to add that hasn't been said except I'm going to one on Saturday and cannot wait! Yummy sushi!
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,891 Member
    edited December 2018
    I retain a lot of water after a lot of fried Chinese food so don't bother to weigh myself for a few days afterwards.

    Oddly, high sodium Thai food doesn't have this effect on me so I assume it has something to do with the friedness.
  • L1zardQueen
    L1zardQueen Posts: 8,754 Member
    My advice would be to eat a healthy meal before you go and just go for drinks? I can’t imagine anything being healthy there so if your not willing to make it a “cheat day” then steer away

    So eat and drink before you eat and drink. Pay for a buffet but don't eat. Good plan.

    OP, pick wisely and don't go crazy. Eat only the food you really like and no more.
  • Cbean08
    Cbean08 Posts: 1,092 Member
    I focus more on portion. Buffets can be challenging because you are portioning out your food onto a big plate when you are already hungry and overloaded with choices. Make a plan and stick to it.

    My buffet plans would be 1 trip, no going back for seconds. To control portions- divide your plate into 3 sections. Each tray at the buffet has a serving spoon right? 2 scoops steamed vegetable, 1 scoop non fried meat, 1 scoop plain rice. Each scoop should be able to fit into the palm of your hand. You also get to choose 1 thing you are crazy about and have to have. So, 1 chicken ball or 1 egg roll or 1 rangoon or 1 wing etc. You still get your taste but you don't get to go overboard.

    Have a plan. You can do it! Remember, the buffet isn't going anywhere. You can always go back next week and try something different. No need to eat it all in one trip.
  • nicsflyingcircus
    nicsflyingcircus Posts: 2,386 Member
    Cbean08 wrote: »
    I focus more on portion. Buffets can be challenging because you are portioning out your food onto a big plate when you are already hungry and overloaded with choices. Make a plan and stick to it.

    My buffet plans would be 1 trip, no going back for seconds. To control portions- divide your plate into 3 sections. Each tray at the buffet has a serving spoon right? 2 scoops steamed vegetable, 1 scoop non fried meat, 1 scoop plain rice. Each scoop should be able to fit into the palm of your hand. You also get to choose 1 thing you are crazy about and have to have. So, 1 chicken ball or 1 egg roll or 1 rangoon or 1 wing etc. You still get your taste but you don't get to go overboard.

    Have a plan. You can do it! Remember, the buffet isn't going anywhere. You can always go back next week and try something different. No need to eat it all in one trip.

    I'd skip the rice, get interesting looking vegetables, two meats if they had options I liked, 2 potstickers, 1 spring roll and egg drop soup.

    No way I'd be wasting (for me) calories on plain rice.

    Last time we ordered chinese at home I got double steamed chicken and vegetables, garlic sauce on the side so I could add as much or as little as I wanted, and did the above, two fried potstickers with dipping sauce and 1 spring roll, plus I shared a side of egg drop soup with my daughter. Other than the sodium, which I don't care about, the macros and calories were reasonable and just as importantly, it tasted good and satisfied my desire for takeout Chinese.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,840 Member
    As mentioned above, wings have a lot of skin, which is high in calories. Most buffets will have a steamed veggie dish, or one prepared with light sauce, plus chicken. Lean pork or beef can also be low calorie if it's not drenched in sauce. If there are boiled shrimp that's another high protein food. Or grilled tofu. Many bars also have fresh fruit.

    You're probably going to see a temporary weight gain due to the sodium in soy sauce, but don't sweat it, it will be gone before you know it. If you moderate your portion size, one meal isn't going to set you back even if you go over your calories for the day. It's the long term that counts!

  • beaglady
    beaglady Posts: 1,362 Member
    A lot of the buffets have marinated chicken thighs on skewers. They’re usually skinless and a sensible choice, even if they have a sweet sauce.
  • felixg1109
    felixg1109 Posts: 172 MFP Moderator
    I will go to a chinese buffet today. In general chinese buffets are the most easiest ones for me. Normally there are a lot of options without fried things. I don't take rice or fried things and just go for the "vegetables wokked with chicken". Seafood is great for that too. If the buffet has a mongolian station (you can choose raw ingredients and they will be cooked in front of your eyes) you can perfectly choose all the ingredients and tell the chef to spare a bit of oil. Doing this you can eat even more than most of the other guests by using fewer calories. Which makes it a good thing because you don't feel left out of the group ;-)
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,961 Member
    AmyC2288 wrote: »
    Personally I wouldn't be worried about the fat and sodium as much as just keeping the calories in check. Avoid things with breading (egg rolls and crab rangoons) and sweet sauces (General Tso, Sesame Chicken...). Look for steamed options and lots of veggies. I would go for chicken & broccoli, egg drop soup, shrimp & greens beans... They also typically have fresh fruit options so I would likely get some of that. Also, right before leaving maybe eat a small healthy snack and have a glass of water so you aren't SO hungry when you get there.

    Hope this helps!

    Egg rolls and crab rangoon aren't breaded. They are made with wrappers. They are high-calorie because they are deep-fried, not because they are "breaded."
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,961 Member
    I would have a small serving of a few of my favorite things, and have a piece of fruit for dessert (unless they have steamed buns with sweet bean paste, because I love those).
  • AmyC2288
    AmyC2288 Posts: 386 Member
    AmyC2288 wrote: »
    Personally I wouldn't be worried about the fat and sodium as much as just keeping the calories in check. Avoid things with breading (egg rolls and crab rangoons) and sweet sauces (General Tso, Sesame Chicken...). Look for steamed options and lots of veggies. I would go for chicken & broccoli, egg drop soup, shrimp & greens beans... They also typically have fresh fruit options so I would likely get some of that. Also, right before leaving maybe eat a small healthy snack and have a glass of water so you aren't SO hungry when you get there.

    Hope this helps!

    Egg rolls and crab rangoon aren't breaded. They are made with wrappers. They are high-calorie because they are deep-fried, not because they are "breaded."

    LOL thanks for the clarification :lol:
  • Cbean08
    Cbean08 Posts: 1,092 Member
    Cbean08 wrote: »
    I focus more on portion. Buffets can be challenging because you are portioning out your food onto a big plate when you are already hungry and overloaded with choices. Make a plan and stick to it.

    My buffet plans would be 1 trip, no going back for seconds. To control portions- divide your plate into 3 sections. Each tray at the buffet has a serving spoon right? 2 scoops steamed vegetable, 1 scoop non fried meat, 1 scoop plain rice. Each scoop should be able to fit into the palm of your hand. You also get to choose 1 thing you are crazy about and have to have. So, 1 chicken ball or 1 egg roll or 1 rangoon or 1 wing etc. You still get your taste but you don't get to go overboard.

    Have a plan. You can do it! Remember, the buffet isn't going anywhere. You can always go back next week and try something different. No need to eat it all in one trip.

    I'd skip the rice, get interesting looking vegetables, two meats if they had options I liked, 2 potstickers, 1 spring roll and egg drop soup.

    No way I'd be wasting (for me) calories on plain rice.

    Last time we ordered chinese at home I got double steamed chicken and vegetables, garlic sauce on the side so I could add as much or as little as I wanted, and did the above, two fried potstickers with dipping sauce and 1 spring roll, plus I shared a side of egg drop soup with my daughter. Other than the sodium, which I don't care about, the macros and calories were reasonable and just as importantly, it tasted good and satisfied my desire for takeout Chinese.

    Personally, I'd skip the rice too just because I don't like it that much. But I didn't want OP to think they have to avoid carbs so I put it out there. I'd probably rather have a second meat option than rice. Or if for some reason there are roasted potatoes, then I'll go for those.
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,961 Member
    AmyC2288 wrote: »
    AmyC2288 wrote: »
    Personally I wouldn't be worried about the fat and sodium as much as just keeping the calories in check. Avoid things with breading (egg rolls and crab rangoons) and sweet sauces (General Tso, Sesame Chicken...). Look for steamed options and lots of veggies. I would go for chicken & broccoli, egg drop soup, shrimp & greens beans... They also typically have fresh fruit options so I would likely get some of that. Also, right before leaving maybe eat a small healthy snack and have a glass of water so you aren't SO hungry when you get there.

    Hope this helps!

    Egg rolls and crab rangoon aren't breaded. They are made with wrappers. They are high-calorie because they are deep-fried, not because they are "breaded."

    LOL thanks for the clarification :lol:

    Thanks for taking it in a good spirit. :smile: