How to Survive the Holiday Buffet


Tropical paradise. Relaxed days by the pool. Languorous swims. All add up to the resort getaway. And with most resort holidays comes... the buffet.

Buffet breakfasts, lunches and/or dinners, are favourite offerings at hotels and many feel pressure to compromise on healthy eating to ‘get value for your money’.

When we eat at a buffet, we often adopt an ‘all you can eat’ attitude to ‘get our money’s worth’. But when you're paying $25 - $65 for the pleasure of gorging yourseld, are you really spending your holiday money in the best way? 

Beyond kiddywink years, many adults happily indulge in a buffet, even to the point of being uncomfortably full. But is feeling bloated, stuffed and uncomfortable any way to go on holidays? Can ‘eating with our eyes’ at a buffet can lead to consuming more than we should at any one meal?


Holiday buffets often mean we consume more of the less healthy delights than if we dined at an a la carte restaurant. Does a buffet lead us to overeat purely because there is food in front of us?

Multiple studies like this one have demonstrated that adults consistently eat more when portions are bigger. It’s important to have a ‘break’ and enjoy occasional indulgences, you are on holidays after all!

But from a practical point of view, it’s a good idea not to completely abandon a sense of mindfulness and portion control.

So when faced with the holiday buffet, why not try a few savvy tips to keep you feeling in control around food and happy. 

1. Stick to one plate

Returning again and again to the buffet can blur the number of platefuls you actually consume. One full plate is generally good value! Take the opportunity to sit, enjoy and really savour every flavour, taste and experience. You’re on holiday!

2. Go 50/50

Follow a half/half rule at the buffet –A simple strategy for if you’d like to try absolutely everything, divide your plate in half, and dedicate one half to taking little samples of each dish you’d like to try, and devote the other to vegetables, salad and/or fruit (depending on which meal you’re having).

3. Pick and choose treats

Save indulgences for after dinner - This includes cocktails and desserts. It’s less likely to make you feel sluggish during the day, when you want to be your most active self.

4. Choose foods that make you feel good

Keep up the protein, low-GI wholegrains and healthy fats – Choose lean sources of protein with each meal and snack, such as fresh seafood, eggs, beans, chicken, lean cuts of red meat, low-fat dairy; healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts and avocado and wholegrains like wholegrain bread, brown rice or oats, to keep you energized and satisfied in between meals.

About the author

Lucy Carpenter is a lover of all things health and nutrition which is just one of the reasons she is an intern with The Nude Nutritionist. She is a 3rd year Nutrition & Dietetics student who has also completed a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Metabolism and Psychology at the Uni of Sydney. Wow! When she isn't studying and getting creative in the kitchen, Lucy can be found doing yoga, ballet, horseriding and hiking out in nature. See why we like her so much? Check out Lucy's foodie inspiration on instagram by following @onehealthybeing. 

Lyndi Cohen