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How to train for competitive eating: tips from expert speed eaters - Box Appetit

| by Drew Middleton

furious pete, competitive eating, speed eating, pizza

From hot dogs to chicken wings, 'speed eating' is a competitive sport in which people eat huge quantities of food in a set time for glory, gain or world records. Welcome to the wild eating tips and training tricks of competitive eating experts. 

We've all seen Man v. Food, right? American comedian Adam Richman grew a global fan base by taking on the most testing eating challenges across the USA.

The gut-busting trials included eating 180 oysters in one sitting, a 22-inch 10 lb stuffed pizza and a gigantic bowl brimming with ghost chilli pepper chicken wings - all with strict time limits. Ouch! That's a speed eating intro for you.

The Major League Eating organisation hosts over 70 competitive eating tournaments each year with one of the most famous being Nathan's legendary Hot Dog Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn. 10 minutes. As many wieners as physically stomached. $10,000 to the winner. Now that's a mouthful.

competitive eating, hot dogs

This year, ESPN - who live streams the event - shed light on past winners Matt Stonie (2015's champion with 63 hot dogs eaten) and Joey Chestnut's (2016 champion and world record holder with 70 polished off in 10 minutes) training for the big occasion, with some very interesting diet regimes.

competitive eating, matt stonie

Matt Stonie's typical Competitive Eating Training Day

8am: Protein shake, water and coffee

10am: Small amounts of water and a sports drink

11:59am: An energy drink

12pm: 60+ hot dogs for lunch

1pm: Rest and digest

joey chestnut, competitive eating

Joey Chestnut's typical Competitive Eating Training Day

5am: Yoghurt

6am: One gallon of water in 20 seconds

8am: Liquid amino acid

9am: Coffee

11am: Espresso

12.40pm: Hot dogs

These are professionals, and similar to most sporting athletes, they put their bodies at serious risk to health problems further down the line:

"Eating champions expand their stomachs far beyond normal size" - Time.com


This ritual has become the norm with so-called 'speed eaters' who eat larger and larger amounts of food prior to competing, punching through their satiety reflex; that being the full feeling you experience when your brain tells your body you can't stomach any more.

Japanese eating king Takeru Kobayashi is famed for this technique. He also exercises immediately after to keep away any unwanted fat bloating from his midriff. We guess you don't become the holder of six Guinness World Records for eating hamburgers, pizza, spaghetti and Twinkies without a spot of pain and gain. 


Eating challenges took their toll on Adam Richman though, who admitted to putting on weight after 49 Man v. Food contests and in April 2015 explained to The Independent "I've been vegan for three months"Meat-free or not, it's clear that Adam's now opted towards a 'lifestyle filled with healthier choices' after the show stopped. Coincidence?

Despite this, he shared with the BBC that "health concerns did not stop Man v Food" but that the challenges were psychologically tiring despite training and he "wanted to do other programmes"


All in all, speed eating is an event to be admired. Reactions like "How in the world did he demolish a 10 lb burger with six sides of cheesy fries and a extra thick freak shake?" wouldn't be heard anywhere else. Leave it to the experts, would be our advice.

MORE: Lionel Messi's secret diet has been revealed!

MORE: 18 of the best sarnies Britain has to offer!

Feature Image: Furious Pete YouTube

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