Work The Buffet Without Gaining Weight

All-you-can-eat buffets have two things that can sorely test your resolve to control weight — a lot of choices and unlimited portions. But not everyone who eats at an all-you-can-eat buffet is overweight. What’s their secret? To find out Brian Wansink sent 30 trained observers to collect information on more than 300 people who ate at Chinese buffets. The observers were also trained to estimate a person’s BMI. They found that there were differences in how thin and heavy people approached the buffet. Thinner people were more likely to check out all the food choices before deciding what to eat, while heavier people were more likely to pick up a plate and just work their way down the line. Thinner people also chose smaller plates when they were available. People who scouted the buffet and used smaller plates made fewer trips back to the buffet. Thinner people were also more likely than heavier people to sit further from the buffet and to chew each mouthful of food longer.