If you’ve ever felt like a hero for downing two burgers, fries and a milkshake at Five Guys, you might want dial it in after seeing what these monsters can put away. Competitive eating — they call themselves eaters — can be split into two main divisions: for time, and calories in a day.
You’re probably more familiar with speed eating contests, since they pop up every now and then, and usually involve hot dogs. The goal here, is simply to eat as many of whatever the food of choice is, within the time cap (or to eat a set number of items faster than the other guy or girl.) Some competitions — these events are taken very seriously — stipulate that eaters must not vomit for a certain amount of time after finishing (if at all.)
And if right now you’re asking yourself, what’s the point? we’ll remind you that there are very little tangible results from most sports. Competitive eaters apparently train for contests, practicing hand-eye coordination drills and strategising to minimise the time between swallowing and chewing.
The calories in a day challenges live mostly on YouTube, and if you’re not careful, you can spend hours literally watching people eat massive amounts of food and become miserable. Sounds like a waste of time, but there’s something addictive about it. Check out the challenges below, and if you’re feeling up for it, give them a go. We’ll stick to Five Guys for now, though.
Takeru Kobayashi vs Giant Bear
Not only is this one of the first videos every uploaded to YouTube, it’s also one of the most ridiculous. Here, legendary Japanese competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi takes on an actual bear in a hot dog eating contest.
Kobayashi eats 32 eggs in one minute
This is exactly what it sounds like. Arguably the world’s greatest competitive eater, this time Kobayashi downs 32 hard-boiled eggs in one minute.
Matt Stonie vs Joey Chestnut
Two of the biggest names in competitive eating, Chestnut and Stonie, go at it here, during the 2013 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Notice how competitors dip their dogs in water before eating them to soften them up. We won’t tell you who wins or how many dogs they get down, but loosen your trousers, because you’ll feel full just watching.
According to competitive eater Yasir Salem, some of the key factors to a successful eat include:
1. Having plenty of water on-hand for lubrication
2. Wearing comfortable clothing
3. Standing, not sitting
4. Regulating breathing
5. Staying in shape
6. Avoiding condiments during competition
7. Exercising jaw muscles regularly
8. Getting yourself on video to analyse technique
9. Staying focused (eating is a mental game)
10. Eat, eat and eat more.
When it comes to eating as many calories as possible in a day, the mental game goes up ten-fold. When you have time in between to convince yourself that you’re really not hungry, cramming down another 5,000 calories seems impossible, at least it would for most people.
We’re going to leave it here, since it’s hard for us to understand how a person can start their day with 30 Krispy Kreme donuts, and still be alive by the time lunch rolls around. If you think you’ve got what it takes to be a competitive eater, show us, we’d love to see.