7 foolproof ways to outeat everyone at a buffet, courtesy of a pro eater

Americans have been known to eat 8ft pizzas, 6900lb cheesecakes, and 1100.5lb meatballs, but finding food that enormous is a rarity unless you live with Paula Deen. For a more practical way to consume huge amounts of food, there's the all-you-can-eat buffet -- the problem is you can never eat enough! Unless you weigh a quarter ton or are actually Homer Simpson at the Frying Dutchman, the buffets are ripping you off.

You're eating way less food than what it cost to get in... that is, unless you follow the advice of Matt "Megatoad" Stonie, the super-skinny #4 competitive eater in the world, who can put away food better than you and everyone you know. Heed his keys to dominating a buffet:

bowl of cinnamon toast crunch
Grant Marek

1. Don't be too hungry
That old adage of not going to the supermarket on an empty stomach holds true for the buffet. Megatoad says it's best to "not starve yourself" going in, as that can lead to having your stomach cramp up when you fill it with 10 plates of sliced roast beef. He recommends eating a light meal beforehand, like yogurt or a bowl of cereal, as they'll "move quickly". Yes, that means what you think it means.

2. Act mental
Megatoad advises against going to a crappy buffet just because it's cheaper, as you'll end up being disappointed. Once you find a place you like, ask to see the food, and "get mentally psyched to destroy it". Act like Ray Lewis used to before a game and go HAM in front of the ham.

water drop

3. Hydrate
Prepare your stomach for battle by drinking water throughout the day before you visit the buffet, as that'll keep your stomach stretched and ready to take in more food.

4. Prioritize
Once you've made it to the buffet with your inexplicably hot white dish in hand, don't go straight for the big-ticket items like carved meats. Start with soups or salad, as the "higher water content" makes it easier for your body to process (and settle in your stomach) much faster than a bowl of pasta or a big slab of beef.

Megatoad eating asparagus

5. Pace yourself
He says pacing yourself is a better idea than shoveling it in your gullet as quickly as possible. Recently, he dominated Olive Garden's never-ending pasta bowl by eating 12 bowls of pasta, eight breadsticks, and two salads at a normal clip.

Sprite can
Flickr/Photographicity<br /> <br />

6. Soda is not your friend
While he says some people swear that soda helps "settle the stomach", he can't tell the difference. And you'll likely drink more of whatever tasty beverage you're sipping on, which'll take much-needed up "belly space", aka a movie Kevin James would make about a fat astronaut.

7. Enjoy yo'self
Megatoad says you'll only truly get your money's worth "if each bite you take is worth something for you". Or you could literally do that by skipping the buffet and eating bacon covered in gold.