Eat Your Money's Worth At Any All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

  My name is Nick, and I'm an all-you-can-eat-buffet-holic.


  Pre-Meal Planning


  Do Not starve yourself ahead of time. One classic dinner buffet strategy is to skip breakfast and lunch so that you're starving in the evening. If you try this method, you'll usually find that your stomach can't handle the shock of going from “help, need food” to “12 pounds of beef” just like that. Eat a normal breakfast and a light lunch earlier in the day and you'll keep your metabolism in top form well into the night.


  Load up on carbs beforehand. Doughnuts, toaster pastries, and anything else where ingredient #1 is carbs will help ensure that you're hungry and able to stomach a lot by dinnertime.


  Clear the runway. Make sure you pay a nice long visit to the bathroom not long before your visit to the buffet. You're going to need every last square inch of those intestines.


  Break out the fat pants. Don't even think of showing up to the buffet in pants that actually fit you. You want two sizes above normal at a minimum. Sweat pants work great too.


  Don't plan to drive home. Pretend you're going out for a night of heavy drinking. Give someone else the keys, or know the number for a cab. You don't want the thought of any physical activity creeping into your head during your meal-a-thon.


  Get there early. The food will be fresher if you show up ahead of the crowd. Fresher food is tastier, so you'll enjoy eating it more.


  Bring a book. What, you had other plans for the evening? No way, Jose. Get there ahead of the crowd and plan to stay until closing. You'll want to take a long break or two, so bring something to keep yourself occupied while your fork is empty.


  Attack That Buffet!


  Sit close, but not too close. If you can seat yourself, don't pick a table too far from the action. Even a little bit of walking will contribute to your fatigue levels. At the same time, don't sit two feet from the food stations because all those smells will hit you at once and wreack havoc on your olfaction.


  First stop: meat. The ham, beef, and chicken will likely be tucked away in the far corner from where you're seated, but that should be your first target. Soups, breads, pastas, and rice are simply road blocks intended to fill you up quickly and save the restaurant money.


  Your beverage of choice: nothing. Drink as little as possible. Liquids take up space in your stomach that could be better used for food. If you must, pour yourself a half glass of water and take a sip after every plate – just enough to cleanse your palate for the next round.


  Second stop: meat. Seriously, load up on meat if you want your money's worth. At full-service carving stations, let the carver keep loading your plate until it's full of dead animal. Don't be tempted to shove some mashed potatoes on the side to fill the gap in that plate.


  Third stop: meat. Or maybe seafood. Just don't fall for those generic-looking white fish fillets you'll sometimes see. They usually taste terrible and are cheaper than tender slices of beef.


  Fourth stop: something else. If you're still eating after downing a few pounds of pork and poultry, you're probably close to breaking even. Feel free to sample some of the other wares. Bread should still be a no-no because it's dirt cheap and will fill your tummy faster than you can say “I gotta puke.”


  Take a break. Now is probably a good time to break out that book and pause for a bit. Avoid the temptation to down a mug of soda. The only digestive aid you should use right now is time.


  Fifth through ??? stops: victory! Once you've gotten your money's worth, it's time to celebrate your win. Grab a brownie, smother it with ice cream, toss on every topping in sight, and top it all off with a big slice of roast beef. Mmmmm.


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