The single largest mistake that amateur competitive eaters make when first starting out is attempting too large of a food challenge too soon in their career. No matter what recreational activity or sport you compete in, losing is not fun, and it can be very discouraging. There are some people that could have potentially been great competitive eaters, but they made the mistake of attempting too large of a challenge too soon, failed the challenge, and therefore got discouraged and quit trying altogether. To be successful, you must start slow and build up your eating capacity and endurance. It is very rare that an amateur first starting out is ever able to beat a true professional eater in an eating contest. Like mentioned in other articles though, some people are just genetically predisposed to being able to eat more than others. Most professionals have spent years competing, training, and building their stomach capacity into what it is today. Many professional eaters after a few years of competing can eat twice as much as they could when they first began in the same amount of time, and they can eat the amount that they originally started at in just a fraction of their original time. To see how many hot dogs and buns Joey Chestnut ate during his very first Nathan’s qualifier back in 2005, compared to the 69 hot dogs that he can eat now in the same amount of time, read Elite Eaters Are Made Not Born. There is also some great information related to this article that I just don’t want to repeat, so please read that before you continue.

When I first began my eating career in 2010, I had to train before each and every event so that I could be ready to defeat each of the food challenges that I attempted. If I did not train at all, I definitely would not have been successful. After a few victories, I started to get cocky and thought I was better than I really was. My most memorable example of this was The Tenderloin Challenge at BrewTop Pub & Patio in Kansas City, Missouri. I thought that I would be able to defeat it easily, even without preparing for it, and I was completely wrong.


It ended up being bigger than I expected, and as you saw if you watched the video, I really struggled to finish it at the end. I had to sit down for about 10 minutes afterwards to make sure I kept it all down. You typically don’t learn by winning, but that challenge really put me in my place and it was a long time before I let that happen to me again. With that being said though, I can eat much more now than I could back when I first started. For example, my 4th food challenge ever back in 2010 was The Stellanator Burger Challenge at Stella’s Bar & Grill in Omaha, Nebraska. I struggled to finish the 4.5lb challenge successfully in 25 minutes, and then had a pretty rough time attempting to go out and party afterwards. I went back 40 food challenges later and beat the challenge in 7 minutes and 26 seconds, and then went out and partied like I had not even eaten dinner. Your body will adapt and your stomach capacity will increase, but it won’t happen in just 1 month, and for some people depending on their genetics and body type, it may take over 1 year to get to the level they want to be at. The human body does not respond well to rapid changes, and sometimes the exact opposite reaction from what you were wanting will occur if you try to change your body faster than it can physically adapt to those changes. If you gradually increase your capabilities and don’t try to bite off more than you can chew, you will be able to consistently take steps forward rather than taking steps back. You will safely have much more fun too!!

While watching the video above, I’m sure that you noticed how terrible the video quality and production was. In the beginning, I taught myself how to edit videos and filmed them all myself too. Things are a little better today, and I am sure you noticed that too if you have seen any of my recent videos. Make sure you wake up every single day better and smarter than you were the day before, and you will reach your goals. It took a long time for my stomach capacity to truly increase, just like it took a long time for my videos to get better. If you are willing to put forth the effort required, then your stomach capacity will increase too. Just make sure to train safely using the tips throughout this section, and build up your stomach capacity gradually so that you don’t get really discouraged, hurt, or suffer from overtraining. Also, be sure to build slowly so that you don’t gain any excess body fat. In regards to building your stomach capacity & endurance, slow and steady definitely wins the race.

Thanks for reading about how true stomach expansion takes time and using FoodChallenges.com!!

To go back and view other Stomach Capacity Training articles, click here.