Well I have recently been on holidays for two weeks to Vietnam and Cambodia.
During this time we stayed in some terrific hotels and they all had some level of buffet breakfast.
These ranged from the standard Western fare for breakfast like coco pops, corn flakes and other packaged cereals, toast and loads of baked pastries, eggs a few ways, some bacon and some fruit. Some of the better ones had traditional offerings of their native foods, a selection of cold meat and salads.
Starting off the day was never going to be an issue or is it?
Just imagine you have had a long year and you eagerly await your holidays, You have arrived at your exotic destination. The following morning you arrive at the buffet breakfast eager to get your day started and you see a huge variety of food. Everywhere you look tables are groaning under the sheer weight of all these delights.
Some of these foods you would never dream of eating at home but the minute you step into the breakfast dining room you turn into Gustav from Willy Wonker. Everything you see you are putting in your mouth and on your plate; chocolate donuts, pastries, croissants, sugary coated cereal. Sure you also get some of the fruit just to give a healthy element to breakfast. You go back to the buffet over and over until you are so stuffed you really can’t take another bite.
This sends your blood sugar into an absolute frenzy by increasing how fast your blood sugar rises just due to sheer volume of food. The cells which would normally deal with the sugar cannot absorb all the extra glucose you have running around. Your pancreas produces insulin to transport the glucose from your blood stream to the cells. Some of the sugar is used immediately as energy and the rest is stored as fat for later use.
Over eating can also cause a biological changes in the body and can lead you to more food cravings and can change the signals to your stomach about hunger.
What can you do?
- Eat good amounts of protein as protein will help keep you fuller for longer and balance your blood sugar levels
- Ditch the sugary treats- ask yourself do you need 3 chocolate donuts for breakfast!
- Chew- I know I bang on about this but chewing initiates the whole digestive process and the longer you chew the more the food you are eating gets broken down and it becomes easier for you to digest. It also gives your brain time to catch up with your mouth.
- Wait 15-20 minutes before you go back for seconds. This gives you time to really assess your level of fullness.
- Take it easy on the simple carbohydrates – they are generally not very nutritious and you burn them off pretty quickly
- Include vegetables into your meals – try having a vegetable omelette or if your buffet has it some vegetable combination
- These are all simple tips to get the most out of your holiday buffet breakfast so you can enjoy your holiday, not gain weight and give your digestive system a well earned holiday as well.