Still sticking to your New Year’s resolution to lose weight, but still craving the wonders at your local Chinese buffet? Well, there are ways to do both.
Moderation is an important part of eating healthy. While the temptation at a buffet is to eat as much as you can in order to maximize your dollar, there are options available that will allow you to stretch your buck without stretching your belt.
It may seem obvious, but despite most buffets offering unlimited drink refills you should choose a glass of water over a fountain drink when trying to be more health conscious. Soft drinks fill you up quickly with empty calories and overload you with sugar.
Secondly, if you’ve got the skill you should eat your meal with chopsticks. Eating with chopsticks will slow the meal down and allow your stomach plenty of time to send signals to your brain that you’re full and don’t need to go back for a second helping. They also trap less oil and sauce on them than a fork, which will reduce your consumption excess sauces.
Here are a few items (in no particular order) you eat to survive the buffet without having to spend hours at the gym the next day.
1. Hot and sour soup / wonton soup
Not only are these soups about 80 to 100 calories a serving, but they’re also a great way to suppress some of your appetite. Hot and sour gives you extra vegetables to enjoy, while wonton soup allows you to sample a few dumplings.
2.Veggie spring rolls
When grabbing one of the delicious rolls to complement your meal, choose veggie spring rolls over fried egg rolls. Like the soup, veggie rolls clock in around 80 calories. Choose the non-fried variety of spring roll if the option is available to you.
3. Chicken with broccoli or honey chicken
These dishes have lean strips of meat which are great sources of protein. They also have lighter sauces, which cuts back on calories. Plus, broccoli is full of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B-6, fiber and potassium. This option gives you a little more substance in your meal while maintaining a reasonable calorie count, around 400.
4. Baked fish fillets
Baked fish fillets are a great choice for any person concerned about watching calories. Weighing in around 200 calories, baked fish is also a great source of protein. You can add extra vegetables to your serving to increase your vitamin intake.
5. Steamed rice
If the rice is steamed (not fried) and the portion size is reasonable, you don’t have to take rice of your menu. Brown rice is your best bet, since the fiber makes it more filling than white rice, but white rice isn’t a bad option. Half a cup of cooked brown rice has about 110 calories and 2 grams of fiber.
6.Shrimp with lobster sauce
This dish contains seafood that’s lean and high in protein. The sauce is generally broth-based thinner than many other Chinese dishes. You may consider adding extra steamed vegetables for a boost in vitamins and nutrients.
7. Mushroom with oyster sauce
A clever, and low calorie, way to add a bit of flavor to your meal is to add a topping such as mushrooms with an oyster sauce. Button mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D, iron, fiber and potassium. Mushrooms in a light oyster sauce are a great way to add flavor and texture to a dish.
8. Fortune cookie
One of the most enjoyable parts of a Chinese dining experience is the fortune cookie. You don’t have to forgo the classic after-meal treat because it clocks in at a mere 30 calories.