How to beat the Breakfast Buffet

You’ve made it to your Summer holiday and it’s time to relax and unwind. The month of August is here and 2017 is flying by. There is nothing better than checking into a hotel and catching up on some much-needed R&R.

So how do you play the breakfast buffet? What is your strategy to not go over the top every morning when you go down to the buffet and see all that amazing food?

Below are my four best tactics to not lose the plot at a breakfast buffet:

1) Avoid pastries at all cost

Pastries (pain au chocolate, croissants etc) are a no brainer when trying to keep the weight off on holiday. They must be avoided. The average croissant has a good 420kcals of goodness attached to it and that is before you add jam or butter to it. Whilst pastries may be a lovely treat to have occasionally with a coffee, having it as part of a full breakfast is just going to push you over with calories too quickly.

2) Look for the protein

The first thing to do always is look for what proteins are available at the breakfast buffet. How is the egg situation? What fish are available? Is there any decent cottage cheese or Greek yogurt? Once I’ve discovered the different options, I then make up my plate. Normally I get scrambled eggs with some tomato added in and some smoked salmon or mackerel to accompany the eggs. Be careful you don’t get carried away with “add ons” at the egg station. If the chef is using 3 eggs to make up your omelette maybe ask for one egg to be just egg whites. Avoid the cheese that they like to throw into the mix too.

3) See cereal as a last resort

I never understand people that go down to breakfast buffet and go straight for the cornflakes or granola. Surely, you’ve had enough cereal back in London over the years that you don’t need to run for this at a buffet. I know what you are thinking, ‘It’s low in calories’. Some cereals might be, but the mueslis and granola are not only calorie dense, they are packed with so much sugar you will be doing cartwheels for the next two hours! If you are going to pick a cereal, look for a whole grain or one with low sugar content.

4) Order a cappuccino or low calorie hot drink

Yes, that’s right. Get some caffeine into you. A cappuccino is enough of a treat for me to have on a holiday and it’s got less milk and calories than a latte. Why waste the calories on fruit juice when there is more nutritional benefit and less calories in a whole fruit? Hot drinks also serve a purpose of filling you up for longer and take more time to drink. Here is an example of a typical Pete Gaffney holiday buffet:

Plate 1: 2 egg omelette, with tomato and red onion with roughly 60g of smoked salmon and if there is avocado available then halving it with a spoonful of cottage cheese.
Total calories= 460kcals

Plate 2: Small bowl of fruit with Greek yogurt drizzled over the top.
Total calories= 260kcals

Drinks: Semi skimmed large Cappuccino
Total calories = 60kcals
2 glasses of sparkling water
Total calories = 0 kcals

Breakfast 780kcals.

This is a big meal and will stop me from snacking until Lunch around 2pm. My target for holidays is to stay under 2800kcals/day. (This is based on my BMR and energy expenditure to remain around 82kg). Now of course you could forget everything I’ve written about above and just go for it – waffles and pancakes and the full works! You may want to just let your hair down. Just be prepared to put in the work once you get back to London!

Enjoy the Summer