1. Do not fill one plate and sit down to eat, rising again to get seconds. This is how they delay you so that your brain catches up with your stomach. Go through every bar / station and fill multiple plates, making several trips if necessary to gather all the food you want to try. You want it all to be in easy reach without having to rise again.
2. Speaking of delays, if they’ve set out Crab or Shrimp, likely you have to crack it or peel it yourself. This goes for fruits or any other food they make YOU prep at your table. If you’ve followed step one and gathered all the food you want, then before you start eating, shell, peel, or prep the food. Cracking and shelling crab, or peeling shrimp or fruit: It’s all meant to slow you down! Don’t let them do it!
3. Do not assume that you should use the plate, bowl and/or utensil they have thoughtfully provided you with. By thoughtfully, I mean, they thoughtfully found a way to slow you down or make you take less. Those tiny tongs designed to pick up one shrimp at a time… Pshaw… find a good slotted spoon somewhere. Those tiny dessert cups don’t hold enough for a taste test. Go get a soup bowl for your Ice Cream Brownie Sundae with cool whip and sprinkles you know you are dying to make.
4. Speaking of dessert: Eat it first.
5. Do not drink too much. Beer, Wine, Water, Soda, Tea… it’s alllll going to fill up your stomach. Only sip something to drink if you need to help you chew faster. “May I get you a refill ma’am?” “No, you may NOT fill me up on liquids so that I eat less of the good food I paid for.”
6. Small Portions of EVERYTHING!There are dozens upon dozens of foods to try! This is your chance to eat them all! Take a small portion of everything to get in as many food experiences as possible. That being said, beware foods that don’t go well together. Very acidic things with creamy things tend to curdle your wame.(cream of broccoli soup and cranberry sauce; Pineapple and milk; Marinara and pudding)Avoid bad combos.
7. Always be on the lookout for ways that Buffets try to manage your meals. Don’t eat cheap filler foods. Don’t let them slow you down so you fill up. Don’t let them mess your mind on portion size with tiny dishes. Don’t let them delay your full enjoyment of an ALL YOU CAN EAT buffet. Buffets don’t just set out food and hope you don’t eat too much. There is psychology going on at a Buffet! CONSTANT VIGILANCE!
8. Posture: Sit up straight, it keeps your ribs outta the way of your stomach. Also… Don’t get up and walk around… that takes time. Just stand up… bounce up and down some to settle things. I find a light bouncing on the toes works real well. Almost like stretching exercises.
For the really sneaky among us:
9. Try to get a seat in a corner or out of the way place. They are less likely to refill your drink if they have to seek you out AND, if you’ve thought ahead, you have napkins your purse. (If you don’t carry a purse cause you are a man, bring a backpack, or a willing woman) You can sneak a few of those tasty muffins in your purse for later! Wrap them up in the napkin and slide them into the purse. Much easier to do if you aren’t in the main paths. And, you don’t need to sit close to the buffet if you’ve followed my instructions from above anyway.
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