With competitive eating contests on the rise, cash prizes are inflating and the competitors are performing on an international stage. Like any sport, competitive eating has rules, safety precautions and strategies. So before you try to wolf down 50 hot dogs or 200 doughnuts, do your research. It might save you a stomach ache or two. Read on to learn more.
Expand your stomach by drinking gallons and gallons of water, but not in one sitting because that can lead to water poisoning and you can die. You don't need to have a large stomach in order to stretch your stomach. Some of the world's top competitive eaters weigh less than 150 pounds.
Feast on low-fat, high-fiber and water-filled foods like cabbage, celery and pineapple. Theses foods take longer to digest. The more you have in your stomach, the more it stretches. The more your stomach stretches, they more you fit in during a competition and the more likely you are to win.
Train your brain to ignore messages from your stomach. Practice denying your stomach the pleasure of relaxing when it is full.
Find your competitive eating strategy. Most professionals dunk their food in water before eating it. In hot dog or hamburger contests, some separate the meat from the bread, eat the meat and then squish the bread into their mouths. The idea is to make the food smaller before it goes down the hatch so that more food fits in the end.
Drink water as you eat. It helps lubricate your throat and helps you swallow when times get tough. Try not to drink too much though. Water also takes up space in your stomach.
Ignore your taste buds. Competitive eating is not about tasting the food. Chew the food just enough to mash it up and then swallow it down.
Keep up the pace. When you slow the pace down, your body starts to rebel and it gets harder to keep going. If you want to win, push yourself to stay with your eating rhythm.
Tips & Warnings
- Many believe the less fat you carry around your stomach the easier it is for your stomach to grow. It's called the "fat belt theory."
- Expect to feel sick to your stomach after the competition. Whether you win or lose, once the adrenaline has dies down, your body starts to recuperate and your stomach will ache.
- Only attend events that are held in a controlled environment with medical professionals on hand.
- Don't starve yourself before a competition. Starving makes your stomach shrink, which is the opposite of what have trained your body to do.
- Before you enter a sanctioned competitive eating event, you must be at least 18 years old.
- Although no medical studies have tried to prove it, medical physicians warn that competitive eating may lead to obesity, stomach pains or even diabetes.
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