9 Ways to Eat More for Less at Buffets for Kiasu S’poreans

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An overwhelming abundance of variety and a sensory overload; just as you get mildly hooked on the fragrance of the chicken rice at the beginning of the snaking buffet line, you catch a whiff of the irresistible Peking duck from the live carving stall, and above all, the clinking of plates as customers pile on their dishes.

It is almost hard, to not get clouded by the many seemingly harmless token dishes that would no doubt hinder your way to achieving buffet nirvana. Pasta noodles and pizzas, as polished as these Italian cuisines might sound, they take up one of the most real estates in our tummy. We’re here to save you from the grips of these buffet restaurateurs, whether you’re at an upscale international buffet that costs over $100 or just a brunch porridge buffet, we’ve got you covered.

greedy chinese tourist
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Hydrate Plenty BEFORE the Big Game

hydrating
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Keyword: before. And with water. We’re creatures known to be prone to hiccups just after a bite of food, proper lubrication of your gullet helps in facilitating food moving down. Water also stretches the capacity of your stomach, by the time you be feasting, you’ll be able to stomach (no pun intended) so much more food! Stretched stomach = bigger capacity, no rocket science here.

Skip past the First Few Items of the Buffet Line

If you look closely the next time you’re at the buffet, you’ll see right at the front segment of the restaurant that delicious but seriously-risky-for-your-wallet carbohydrate dishes are plentiful. Loaded with deli meats and colorful garnishes, the underlying thick cut of dough of the pizza is the demise of all of our appetite. Buffet restaurants would always aim to fill the customers’ bellies cheaply, and starches and vegetables are exactly the perfect culprits for that, keep your eyes peeled! It’s a game of psychology, don’t say that we didn’t warn ya – you heard it here first from us.

Hydrate Moderately DURING the Buffet

drink moderately
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You’d be tempted to gulp down the soda that you’ve so happily filled with the large cups that they oftentimes provide at buffet restaurants. No, it is not a mistake that they’re huge. Beverages, no matter how expensive they might seem, have an extremely low-cost price, just take how inexpensive a liter of soda is. As tempting as it may seem, satisfying your thirst with that half a glass of OJ could translate to one less plate of goodies you could otherwise devour. Soda is not your friend. Not today.

Sample Everything. First.

sampling everything at the buffet
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If you’re anything like me, an insatiable carnivore, you’d be familiar with diving head first into the meat section and basically sweeping everything off the buffet line right off the bat. While that isn’t entirely a bad thing because well,meats are high-value dishes, if you ever end up with a plate heaped full of a REALLY bland slices of beef, chicken meats so dry its almost chalky and just bits of meat that simply don’t taste as good as it looked, you’re done for (I’m being oddly specific here). Moral of the story, on your first round at least, always try a little of everything before going balls to the wall. What’s the hurry? It’s a buffet after all!

Also: Don’t Starve Yourself Before the Buffet

starving
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Guilty as charged, I mean, it only makes sense right? The hungrier you are, the more you’re able to eat. Wrong, apparently. When you don’t eat for an extended period of time, your stomach actually shrinks, and well, you won’t be able to eat as much as you’d want. Eat as per normal, have a decent size meal and you’ll be as just ready for the feasting and beasting later on.

Pace Yourself, Chew Before You Swallow

chewing
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We’re back to basics now, and for the same principle. Chew so that your digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard and long to digest your food, food gets moved along your digestive tract for faster, you have more space for more food. Yada yada. Indigestion of food can cause heartburn, bloating and belching, all of which you won’t want to experience as you feast.

Choose Dishes That You Don’t Normally Prepare at Home.

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I am too, guilty of not sampling the uncertainties. Afterall, the ones we are familiar with are the dishes that we know would taste good though not necessarily the best bang for your buck. Crab sticks and frozen sausages just to name a few, are food ingredients we’d always indulge in that we know aren’t the best for value, in comparison to ‘higher-value’ ingredients like marinated meats and seafood – basically food items you wouldn’t get to eat every day. It’s like being blinded by the glorious sight of bacon strips and toasts at a breakfast buffet, forsaking the real good stuff like expensive sausages and smoked salmon slices. Case in point, go for the premium.

Take a Walk

brisk walking off buffet
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Nothing feels better than to unbuckle when the food coma strikes – or what you really need is just a walkabout to alleviate the tension in your belly. Sometimes a steady walk is all you need to get back into the game, take it easy on yourself! Pace your bites. Remember, you’re in it for the long run, not the sprint of gobbling down so much food at once.

Having the Killer Mentality. *Ehem* for Food.

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Enter the battlefield with a killer mentality. *Cues Eye of the Tiger* never is not an option. Well, in this case, eat as many plates as you can. Think you’ve hit the wall? Use the strategies we’ve suggested above and you’ll be eating more than you paid for!

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