How to Handle Buffets, Potlucks, and Parties in a Balanced Way!

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Hi there! I hope you’re having an amazing day so far… thank you for being here. My hope with this post is to give you some actionable tips you can go practice/use the next time you head to a buffet-type situation.

picjumbo.com_IMG_0081When we’re working on eating intuitively (and moving away from the strict diet mindset) it can seem IMPOSSIBLE to navigate situations with tons of food options. It becomes the all or nothing; you either eat EVERYTHING and feel stuffed, or eat nothing and go home feeling deprived.

It doesn’t have to be like that, though.

Tips to Balance at Buffets:

  1. Go into it with the intention that you’ll feel better when you leave than when you got there. 
    If you go in with the mindset of, “I always overeat then feel stuffed and guilty,” you WILL LEAVE like that!! You’ve got to start switching your mindset. Tell yourself you’ll make decisions and choices based on what’s going to leave you feeling great.
  2. Tell yourself you can have whatever looks and sounds great.
    If you go in telling yourself you can’t have certain options, then you could end up wanting to rebel against those rules, and “going all out” on all the food in front of you only to feel bloated and uncomfortable. Go in with the mindset that you’re ALLOWED anything you could possibly want! This takes that pressure to be “perfect” off of your shoulders.
  3. Sit down to eat. 
    Do your best to find a place away from the food table where you can sit down to eat.
    If you stand by the table and hover over it while eating it’s a lot harder to listen to your hunger cues; a lot harder to know when you’ve had enough.
  4. Go to the party/buffet feeling content.
    By this I simply mean try not to show up famished. Have some healthy fats or an apple before you head out the door so your stomach isn’t rumbling when you get there. Some clients that I work with (email me at if you want a free consultation!) say they “save up” all day until a big party. This, truly, only leads to chaotic eating habits with food… like shoveling as much as you can into your mouth without even tasting only to end up thinking: How did I eat all that?! Why am I not satisfied?! I feel like I need more!
  5. Eat with a sense of calm.
    If this is an exciting party (baby shower, engagement party, big birthday, etc) then it can feel crazy, loud, and fun. I suggest waiting until some of the hugging, cheering and yelling dies down so you can eat when it’s quieter and more relaxed. This will FEEL better for your stomach, and help you listen to your body more mindfully. Which of course means you’ll feel even better when you’re done eating than when you STARTED.

— What do you think about these tips?! I’d love to hear your thoughts so comment below! Are you going to use any of these?

Have a WONDERFUL day!!

P.S. Make sure to sign up for my free, Sunday morning emails (plug your name & email in below) to receive in depth tips & strategies + the free 3 Day Intuitive Eating Challenge!!

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About Eat Work Play Balanced

Abby is a certified health coach who knows how difficult it can be to get out of the diet cycle and mindset. On the Eat Work Play Balanced blog you'll find tips, strategies, and info that can help you transform your relationship with food to find balance! *Disclaimer-I am not a doctor, and do not treat or diagnose women with eating disorders.

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