Eating Low Carb At A Chinese Buffet


I ate at Ming’s Chinese Buffet and Grill today, which is just your typical small Asian buffet chain.

I love a good challenge. πŸ™‚ Obviously, lol.

Eating low carb at a buffet requires a bit of discipline. Okay, a LOT of discipline.

But if you walk in knowing you intend to make good choices, there are plenty of low carb foods you can eat on a Chinese buffet.

Of course, even if you think you’re making good low carb choices you still may screw it up. Which is exactly what I did today, lol – At least I think I did! I’ll share what I learned, and show you what I ate…

My Low Carb Meal (& Screw Up!) at Ming’s Chinese Buffet

I started with a plate of Baked Crab, broccoli salad and a big slice of fresh cucumber. I’ve had the broccoli salad before so I know it’s just raw broccoli & mayo. Nothing fancy. πŸ˜‰

Chinese Buffet : Low Carb Foods

That looks fine, right?

I thought so. πŸ˜›

It turns out it’s not real crab (which would be almost zero carb), but rather imitation crab – which has a surprisingly high carb count!

My next plate was from the grill in the back – just steak & mushrooms with “soy sauce only, please.” This one was definitely safe…

Eating Low Carb at Chinese Buffet

The sushi rolls were calling my name. And in all honesty, I planned to eat them. 😯 But I did not. I ate the yummies on the inside and left the rice rolls. πŸ™‚ That’s a WIN for me, lol.

How To Eat Sushi on a Low Carb Diet (lol)

That spicy tuna & cream cheese… Mmmmm! πŸ™‚

Then I went back for more baked crab. Again, not realizing it was loaded in secret carbs. lol, oops!

Chinese Buffet : Low Carb Food Choices

I didn’t finish it all, thank goodness (the crab).

This was my table when I got done. I pretty much just picked around a bit at all the different foods until I was quite satisfied.

My low carb meal at the Chinese Buffet & Grill

The trickiest part of eating out is logging your foods in your tracking app. Especially at a buffet when you’re just guessing and noshing. πŸ™‚ I use MyFitnessPal with the Net Carb hack, and just did the best “guesstimate” I could.

I have no idea how to add “a tiny bit of spicy tuna” or whatever. πŸ˜›

Tracking Low Carb Meals


Even with the imitation crab screw up, it was still a relatively low carb meal. I’ll know better next time! And now you’ll know better before you go. πŸ˜‰

My advice: stick to the real seafood on the buffet like boiled shrimp, peel & eat shrimp, crab legs. And the cook-to-order meat & veggies from the grill.

I’m pleased I passed on all the fried foods, the sugary donuts, the dishes drowning in sweet glazes, and all the other bad choices on that Chinese Buffet. My resolve is stronger than I realized!

Next time I’ll stick with the grill in the back. They usually have shrimp, chicken, steak, zucchini, onions, mushrooms and all sorts of delicious things you can have “stir fried” in soy sauce.

If you do find yourself in a “buffet situation” and later realize something was much higher carb than you realized – or you choose to eat a higher carb food – just log it. Always track your meals regardless. Then for the next three days… eat super clean: very low carb, all real food, super simple meals. πŸ™‚ *cheers*

Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler


About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
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6 Responses to Eating Low Carb At A Chinese Buffet

  1. Dianna says:

    Most restaurant and Deli Broccoli salads are made with a special dressing that is Mayonaise based but also includes SUGAR. The only really safe version is one you make at home. But your restraint in the face of the overflowing Buffet is amazing!

  2. Teresa Johnson says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your food choices, I had pretty much thought I would never go to a Chinese buffet again, thanks for showing me ways to navigate I appreciate the heads up on the imitation crab meat I put some in my salad the other day, I had no idea it was so high in carbs Please keep posting you are truly helping me I’m glad I finally got the chance to say so!

  3. Dorle says:

    Hi Lynn ,
    If we going ou to eat Chinese, I ask vor a Manager Special Roll , this a a sushi without rice,
    Salmon or Tuna wrapped in a long slice of cucumber with some carrots lots of avocado and cucumber. Next to no carbs and super yummy. Or if they can’t fix this one I just ask for sushi without rice.
    Also I found out when I started this eating habit ( don’t call it diet ) imitation crab or lobster meat is loaded with carbs… Not fair because the fish it is made from ..Pollak..
    Is one of the best fish you can eat NO MERCURY… and so hard to find.
    Have a wonderful weekend and keep up the great job.

  4. Lynn Terry says:

    Lesson learned! πŸ™‚ I hope that proves helpful for you anytime you find yourself at a Chinese Buffet. There are plenty of great choices. I will make it a point to go back when I’m in the mood to eat more, and share even more options. πŸ˜‰ *cheers*

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