The Not-So Starving Student – Buffet Tips

Despite carefully controlling portion sizes, sometimes the option of buffet is too tempting to pass up. Having recently booked my trip to Las Vegas this Fall, I’m sure to visit a handful of top-notch buffets on the Vegas strip. Regardless of which buffet you’re feasting at, there’s some fundamentals to the art of buffeting. You might have even heard of questionable tips from friends and family about the best way to approach buffets that offers the most value and enjoyment. Here’s a page from the experts and will help demystify common misconceptions. Note: the following message is 0% scientifically proven and 100% from experience.

Don’t starve before the marathon
When you starve yourself before a feast, you’re doing yourself a disfavor in the buffet game. Not only is this unhealthy but it reduces the capacity of your stomach to store the additional food. Eat a light breakfast if you’re heading to a lunch buffet or grab a small portioned lunch if you’re planning on dinner buffet.

Stay hydrated
Given the variety of cuisines offered at buffets are often savory and salty, it’s critical that you stay well-hydrated before the feast begins. Water helps to dilute the seasoning you’re consuming and improves digestion.

Leave the grease for last
If you’re drooling at the first sight of bacon, onion rings or fried chicken, you might be tempted to start out with the classic comfort food. However, if you’re a seasoned buffet goer, you’d know that heavy grease helps hasten the onset of food coma. What does that mean for you? It could mean packing in less of the buffet dishes offered. If those are the items you’re craving, saving them for last might make your post-buffet experience more satisfying.

Lunch > Dinner
The last trek I made to Las Vegas involved a series of dinner buffets which offered a greater gourmet selection, but also lowered the post-meal satisfaction. Staying bloated until midnight might be a great idea for student night-owls, but biologically, the stomach is then forced to function at odd hours and thus produces unpleasant effects. Giving yourself ample time to digest a heavy meal may improve your buffet experience in the long-run.

Start small
The expert buffet goer knows the digestive system has its limits. Depending on your comfort zone, you may want to feast in several rounds. Your first round should involve a series of spoonfuls of your favorite dishes. Similar to taking a multiple-choice exam, you want to consider all your options, weigh them, and use the process of elimination in round two. Once you have narrowed in on your favorites, your round two will be that much more enjoyable.

Post-meal walks
For the average person, buffets are a strain on our digestive system. Particularly if you’re a carnivore. To help your body kickstart the process and reduce bloatedness, take slow, relaxed walks following a heavy meal.

Xin Xu is a post-graduate health-science AU student, aspiring clinician, globe-trotter, parrot-breeder and tea-connoisseur.

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