Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to gather with friends and family and feel grateful, but let’s be honest: It’s really about stuffing your face with loads of turkey, stuffing and pie.

This year, however, things are gonna be different. Because this year you’ve got advice from a host of competitive eaters, including Joey Chestnut, the nine-time Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest champ who once consumed nine pounds of turkey in 10 minutes to win a competition.

As this holiday makes it amazingly easy to consume lots and lots of great food, he and other top-ranked eaters gave us these tips for making the most of a Turkey Day buffet.

1. Eat normally the day before.
It’s a rookie mistake to fast in the days prior to a gorge-fest. Eat regularly until the morning of the competition, er, buffet.

2. Limit alcohol intake.
Much as we all love them, beer and wine take up valuable space in the stomach that could be used for food. Drinking also can cause an “athlete” to lose focus on what’s important—eating!

3. Dunk your food.
All champion eaters use the dunking technique. Whether it be hot dogs, meatloaf, wings, chips or deviled eggs, food goes down easier when it’s wet. The fact it offends fellow diners is just a bonus.

4. Remain standing.
Sitting compresses the stomach and reduces its ability to expand. An erect torso facilitates speedy swallowing. Stand behind the couch or at the buffet table for easy access to food… and to hide your ever-growing stomach.

5. Psyche out the competition.
Casually ask other buffet goers if they’ve put on weight. This will make them self-conscious and more likely to pull back on the food intake, leaving more for you. Note: Made Man does not endorse the use of this technique on your wife or girlfriend.

6. Get, umm, inspired…
…by watching this video of Chestnut going to work in the aforementioned turkey-eating competition. Dude throws down.