How to properly eat at a buffet

I am a self-proclaimed expert on many things. Really. Like, I am really good at critiquing movies, I am really good at forgetting what my mom just told me to do, and I am really good at wasting a lot of time on the internet. I’m also super good at making lists of things I’m good at, but then I would be wasting time on the internet and I’m pretty sure my mom just told me to do something. Anyway I have recently come to decide that I am also really good at buffets. Now, don’t get ahead of me here on the eating jokes. Because they’re coming. It’s just that as I get to know myself better, I realize that I have a system for everything. And my buffet system, well it’s pretty boss. I will share it with you now.

Related: If you want to fee bad about yourself, read about what a week’s worth of groceries looks like in other countries


Depending on the type of buffet, you should already know what to expect. Your first course of action is to decide what you’re craving. Begin this before you ever leave the car. Don’t bother pretending you aren’t that hungry either, because you are an American, it is a buffet, and you would be lying.


As your underpaid server takes your drink order, survey your options. Don’t even pretend to sit down. Kindly order a diet coke (for kicks and giggles) and then make your way into Canaan-land. You will likely see a salad bar: ignore it. I know, I know. “But I really like salad.” No. You don’t. It is a waste of space and a buffet is no time for pretenses. If you absolutely must, grab a handful of shredded cheese and baco-bits. Then, move on. You see, Buffets are all about maximizing your potential. The more efficient you are with your stomach space, the more moderately enjoyable food you can shove down your gullet. God bless America.


Start filling up your fist plate. Do not grab a small plate, as it is a joke and abomination to the buffet gods. Take only full-sized plates, and put only full plates in front of you. Do not take any food that you do not want. If it is in your nature to take broccoli because you feel you must, be free; you musn’t. If you want to cover your plate in macaroni and fried jalapenos, please do. No one is judging you, no matter how much it feels like they are. Another tip: if you’ve always wanted to try something but didn’t want to end up with an a la carte ox tongue, now is your chance. Branch out! But only if you want to.


Once your plate is towering higher than Aunt Gina’s wedding cake, go sit down. If you’ve missed something, no worries. Seconds are not a sin. (Well actually, they might be, but whatever.) Eat only what you feel like eating. If the pork roast is dry, leave it. If the fried rice is bland, spit it at the table next to you. The most important thing about this step is to pace yourself. If you like the mashed potatoes, great. But don’t eat a whole plate. You’ll regret it when you see the chocolate pudding and cool whip. Once you have contented yourself, breathe. Sit for a moment and get a second wind. You will need it. If desired, repeat steps 2-4.


Step 5 is easily the best part of a buffet: dessert. Sometimes if I’ve already eaten or something, I skip right to the soft- serve machine and soggy apple pie. Dessert is much like the main course, only better. Use caution here, and read all the signs. You never know what is actually Splenda. If there is ice cream, get it. If there is fruit, skip it. Although the plates and bowls at the dessert table will likely be small, get a large one. there is no use trying to satiate yourself with one ounce of ice cream and half a cookie. Use the same rules as mentioned above in regard to pacing yourself.

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Now, it may seem like a lot, but I promise, you will never feel more like you are about to explode if you do it right. And since that can be the only logical explanation for an eating establishment in which there is no limit to your intake, eat wisely. Perhaps health experts would say “avoid buffets because they are death traps from Satan!” But to you, fine people of the most obese nation on earth, I say: “vive la buffet!” or “Buffet wisely!” or “Holy cow I am so stuffed I can’t breathe.”  Maybe someday, you can be as accomplished as this guy.

That is all.

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