According to guitarist and musician Diamond Darrell, “Music drives you. It wakes you up, it gets you pumping. And, at the end of the day, the correct tune will chill you down.” That viewpoint is very powerful and meaningful for just about anyone who enjoys listening to music. There is a song or music type that goes along with every single mood or feeling that you experience. No matter who you are with, where you are at, what you are doing, or why you are doing it, you have and will always have music accompanying you, whether you are actually listening to it or just singing it yourself. The right music genre can be very motivational for you, and it can help drive you through any type of situation, no matter how difficult that situation may be. It also can really help you maintain focus while eliminating all other distracting thoughts. In the words of musician Bob Marley, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” If you watch an eating contest in person, or just simply watch a video on YouTube, you may notice that at least a few of the competitive eaters are listening to music through their own personal headphones, in addition to the music that is most likely playing loudly during the actual competition for all of the spectators in attendance. I personally listen to “pump up” music during almost all of my eating challenges and contests. We don’t listen to music just for fun and enjoyment though. Listening to music serves many different purposes that can help you win your next food challenge or eating competition.

Reasons That Music Helps You Win Eating Competitions

It helps you establish an “eating rhythm” – Just like beverage preferences, eating styles, and most other eating related habits, every competitive eater has their own unique music preferences that they like to listen to while they are competing, and I’m sure you have your own personal preferences too. Almost all eaters do share one common theme though regarding music choices, and it is that they all listen to songs that help them establish an upbeat rhythm while eating so that they can set a quick pace and stick to it, following their own playlist of songs. Nobody ever listens to slow and somber music!! I personally listen to pop music because it helps me get in a dancing mode. That is why you may see me rocking back and forth and moving around during most of my food challenges. Even when sitting down, I am still semi-dancing along with my music. There are some times where I will actually time my bites based on the beat of the song I am listening to!! Whether you listen to heavy metal, rock ‘n’ roll, pop, rap, or even reggae music, use the rhythm of the music to help you get “in the zone” and in your own little “eating rhythm” so that you can steadily keep a consistent pace and crush your competition.

It helps you maintain focus and drive – By wearing personal headphones and listening to your favorite music, you are eliminating exterior distractions such as the conversations going on around you and everything else that is not directly related to you winning your eating challenge. Use the music to help you get “in the zone” and focused on dominating your challenge, using the eating strategy that you planned out beforehand. By wearing headphones, you are indirectly letting spectators know that they should not bother to ask you any questions or communicate with you during the challenge. When you are lifting or exercising at a public gym, do you ever go up to people wearing headphones and just start talking to them? No, you don’t!! You would be more inclined to speak to them if they weren’t wearing headphones though. Whether you can actually hear them or not, they will think you can’t, so they won’t bother you with questions that can easily be answered later after the challenge is complete and your headphones are off. Use the music to help you zone out all exterior distractions and focus on winning. Maintaining laser-like focus will help you carry out your uninterrupted pre-planned eating strategy!!

You eat more when your mind is distracted from the food – Many big studies have been done about how music, television, and other distractions affect your eating habits. All studies agree that you naturally eat significantly more when you are out with a group of friends, watching television, or listening to music, and not focusing on the food that you are eating. If you are trying to lose weight and monitor your portions, it is recommended that you eat in silence by yourself. You will be satisfied much quicker since your mind is focused on the meal and not other distractions. Since you are doing the exact opposite and trying to eat a lot, listen to your favorite music so that you keep your mind from being focused on the food, which will cause you to experience that “full” feeling later. Keep your mind distracted by the music and avoid that “full” feeling for as long as physically possible!!

It helps keep you “pumped up” and excited – It will be much more difficult to win your competition if you are in a dull, somber mood and not really excited to be taking on the challenge. It is proven that you definitely perform at a much higher level when you are pumped up and excited to be doing something. You will surely be excited for your first few eating challenges without needing any exterior motivational help, but you may experience dull days every now and then after you have been competitive eating for a while, and the “newness” wears off. This same concept relates to working out too. You will have some days where you just can’t wait to get to the gym, and there will be other days where you have to force yourself to go workout. As actor Woody Allen famously quoted, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” On days like this, you need to use music to pump you up and get you excited!! Show up to your scheduled event a little early so that you can get your headphones on and the music started. Let the music flow through you and get you excited to dominate your challenge!! You should also have that “pump up” playlist on while you are traveling to the event. Have you ever forced yourself to the gym, just to have one of the best workouts that you have ever had? This will happen for you with eating challenges too!! Once that music is going and you are pumped up, order your challenge and get set up. Then maintain your excitement by continuing to listen to your “pump up playlist” throughout your challenge and get the victory!!

It keeps you from suffering from “paralysis through analysis” – Especially if you are a beginner who has not really witnessed or seen many very large food items before, when the actual challenge meal you will be facing comes out of the kitchen and you see it for the first time, the massive size of it may initially frighten you. You may have looked at twenty different pictures of the challenge online and know exactly what to expect, but seeing the actual challenge meal in front of you is completely different. I have witnessed over 200 different challenge meals since starting in 2010, and there have been many times where the first word out of my mouth after initially seeing it was “Sh*t!!” It is very crucial for your success that you do not let that initial sight of the challenge decrease your confidence or allow your mind to start wandering and worrying about whether you will win or not. If you start doubting yourself before even beginning the challenge, you will most likely fail and you will not perform anywhere close to your highest level. As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” According to WikipediaParalysis Through Analysis refers to “The state of over-analyzing (over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.” If you start over-thinking whether you will win or not and many other distracting thoughts, you will “think” yourself out of winning the challenge. You will spend so much time thinking and worrying, that you will not ever carry out your initial strategy, and you will either “hit the wall” or run out of time before finishing the challenge. Keep your music playing and stay both calm and collected. Remember that confidence is king and that you need to know you will win, and not just think you will win. Use your music to help you stay focused and maintain your pre-planned eating strategy. Let your focus on the music keep your mind off the massive amount of food sitting in front of you. Worrying is not going to help the situation at all, and it will only hurt you. Every completed large challenge starts with just a few small bites. Continue biting, chewing, and swallowing while focusing on pushing forward, and that mountain of food will be gone before you know it. Don’t think… EAT!!

As you can see from the points mentioned above, music can play a very major role in helping you win your next food competition. If you don’t already have one that you use while exercising or doing cardio, spend some time putting together a playlist of songs that you know will help motivate you and keep you pumped up during your entire competition. Many large food challenges have a one hour time limit, so it would be smart to make the playlist total at least one full hour so that you don’t have to mess with it during your challenge. You may even choose to put  certain songs at certain parts of the playlist so that they are played at crucial parts. If you know you will start feeling full around twenty minutes in, put two or three of your favorite songs around that time on the playlist to help keep you going strong. Remember that the playlist can obviously be changed later on. You may even want to make one strictly for eating contests that lasts only ten or fifteen minutes, with the hardest songs playing first to help you through your shorter contets. Just like you probably do while exercising, or even while working, use music to help you through your eating competitions. You will be happy with the results!!

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