It's no secret that a trip to the Chinese buffet can wreak havoc on your diet. If you are overweight or obese, you are even more likely to overeat at a Chinese buffet. Don't write off Chinese buffets just yet, though. If you approach the buffet correctly, you can have a healthy meal without compromising your enjoyment. Here are some tips for your upcoming lunch or dinner trip.
It's All In The Rice
Chinese food is synonymous with rice, but how much is too much? A "serving" of rice is one-half cup. At a Chinese buffet, it is so easy exceed this amount, especially since you have no way to accurately measure the correct amount. For a rugged estimate, spoon out enough rice to comprise the size of a cupcake.
From a weight loss perspective, not all rice is created equal. Don't be fooled by the peas and carrots in the fried rice; this preparation method can pack as much as 40 grams of fat and 1,500 calories per serving! Opt for either white rice or brown rice; both varieties have fewer calories and no fat.
Steam It Up
Dieticians recommend filling up half of your plate with vegetables. Chinese buffets offer a wide array of vegetable-based dishes infused in a variety of sauces, including Hoisin sauce, sweet and sour, and soy sauce. Unfortunately, many of these sauces are high in fat, sugar, sodium, or all of the above.
Load up your plate with steamed vegetables instead. Steamed vegetables are fiber-rich, low in calories, and high in antioxidents and nutrients. Chinese cuisine incorporates a lot of different vegetables, such as mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, peas, green beans, bamboo shoots--the list goes on and on. Take advantage of the veggie diversity in Chinese cuisine for a significant dietary boost.
Meet Your Meats
If you are on a diet, you are probably well-versed on the healthy and unhealthy proteins. Chicken, fish, and tofu frequently receive the dietary thumbs-up, leaving beef and pork sidelined. This is not always the best advice, however. First of all, dieticians once (and sometimes still) demonized beef and pork as unhealthy protein choices, but both cuts are often just as healthy as fish and chicken.
At a Chinese buffet, the way that the protein is prepared is quite possibly even more important than the protein choice itself. For example, the well-loved General Tso's Chicken, which incorporates fried pieces of chicken in a rich sauce, is high in fat and calories. In tofu dishes, the tofu is frequently deep-fried. And fish? Popular choices, like crab rangoons and tempura, are high in fat and empty calories.
If you resolve to eat healthy before you even step foot into a Chinese food buffet, you are much more likely to leave both satisfied and on-track with your diet. Do your research and have a game plan. On the same token, give yourself a little room to "cheat"; indulge in your favorite dish, but do so in small quantities so that your harmless indulgence does not escalate into a diet sabotage. If you're ready to eat, visit a restaurant like Ginger Beef Restaurants Macleod Trail today!