As mentioned in the article The Ultimate Mindset: Win Before You Begin, “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” This is a quote from the very famous ancient Chinese General Sun Tzu in his book The Art Of War. This quote perfectly explains why strategy and planning is so important and necessary for reaching and achieving whatever goals you have in your life. Whether you want to get another promotion at your work, start your own successful company, finish a puzzle, beat your friend at tennis, or get your name on the wall at the local pub for trying all 360 beers that they serve, you need to have a strategy to accomplish that goal. If you just start the journey without knowing where you are going, how you will get there, how much it will cost, and how long it should take, you will most likely fail miserably. If you do end up succeeding, it most likely took a lot longer to achieve that goal than it would have if you had planned out and strategized your journey before beginning. This theory also applies to winning food challenges, meaning that you need to strategize and plan out how you will train for and attack your entire eating challenge. It would even be smart to plan out how you will recover from it afterwards!! If you can successfully complete a food challenge without any training or strategizing beforehand, then it was not much of a challenge, so let’s just consider it a large meal. To conquer a real challenge, you need to know what you will do to prepare your body, and you need to know the order of how you will break down and eat each of the components that make up your challenge. Consider that winning your challenge is the destination, and your strategy is basically the route that you will take to get there. When your strategy is laid out and completed, consider that the roadmap to victory!!

Another way of thinking about strategy, per Michael Porter, is that “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” Millions of people around the world have attempted at least one food challenge at some point in their life, but most large food challenges have only a few winners, if any. I have beaten some food challenges that have been attempted over 1,000 times, but you can still count the number of winners using just two hands. For many people that lose challenges, it is not because they were physically incapable of fitting the entire meal inside of them. They failed because they had either no strategy at all or a strategy that was completely wrong. By saying that they had a strategy that was completely wrong, I mean that they either had an incorrect stomach capacity training plan or they had a poor plan of attack, and they did not break down the challenge in a way that would help them achieve victory. Most of the people may have even failed both ways!! As mentioned in Man v Food’s Effect On The Restaurant World, the show inspired an incredible amount of people to attempt their local food challenge(s), but nobody taught any of those people how to actually prepare for and win those challenges. It is really difficult to be successful at something you don’t even know how to do!! During most of Adam’s large quantity challenges, he actually used a rather poor strategy, which is why he failed many of them. Thanks to, which you have obviously already found, you can now find out what you need to do to plan out and strategize both your training plan and your plan of attack for during your next actual food challenge!!

There are over 28 different types of food challenges that can be found around the world, and each particular challenge type requires it’s own unique basic strategy to win that particular challenge type. You would not approach a pizza challenge the same way that you would approach an ice cream challenge. You also would not strategize for a hot dog challenge the same way you would strategize for a chicken wing challenge. Some challenge types can even be broken down further. For example, a burger challenge is one type of food challenge, but you need to have a slightly different strategy for a multi-patty stacked burger challenge than you would while eating a burger consisting of just one large patty. You would also have a different strategy when trying a burger challenge involving many different smaller slider burgers. For every different type of food challenge that there is, we have a video that shows how to win that particular type of challenge and we also have an article that goes with each video to further explain each main point that we make throughout that video. All of those extremely helpful articles and videos can be found in our Strategies Per Challenge Type section. They are all extra instructional and super descriptive. If the article and video you need isn’t up yet, it will be eventually!!

One thing that needs to be noted regarding strategy is that the higher your stomach capacity is, the more loose that your actual eating strategy can be. If you trained your stomach so that it can fit 6 full pounds of food and you are attempting only a 4 pound burger challenge including the fries, you will more than likely win regardless of what your actual eating strategy and technique is, especially if there is a long time limit. Whether you eat the bun first or meat first, or even the fries first, you will still be able to fit everything in your stomach as long as you don’t unnecessarily drink away all the extra space. That is why preparing your body and stomach for the challenge is so very important for winning food challenges and eating competitions. You definitely need to emphasize your stomach capacity training plan and schedule when you are strategizing for the actual challenge. To help you plan out your training schedule, check out all of the articles in our informative Stomach Capacity Training section. Those articles should answer basically every stomach training related question you may have.

If your maximum stomach capacity is 6 pounds and you are attempting a 5.5 pound challenge, you don’t have very much room for error, and your strategy definitely needs to be accurate so that you can get the victory. If you are attempting a steak challenge, you need to eat as much of the steak as you can while it is warm and juicy, and then finish everything else. If you are facing a big pizza challenge, eat as much of the warm interior cheese and meats before they cool down and harden. If you don’t use a proper strategy for either of those, the meats and cheeses will cool down, harden, and become dry. Then you will have to use sauces and drinks to help get the food down. If you drink too much liquid or do anything else wrong, then you won’t have room to finish the last few bites and you will fail. You need to plan out how long each part of the challenge will take too, and you need to do your best to stick to that schedule, or beat it obviously. If you don’t, you may get behind and end up running out of time, failing the challenge. If your stomach capacity is similar to the size of the challenge, you need to spend extra time strategizing your plan of attack so that your timing and technique are both flawless.

The final thing you need to remember is that the best strategy in the world is worthless if it is not carried out successfully. If you spend a lot of time researching the different TIPS and STRATEGIES articles on this site, and then adapting the tips and advice to fit your own upcoming challenge, be sure to carry that plan out. The better you know your plan and the harder you train beforehand, the more confident you will be during the actual food competition, and confidence is king. Before even arriving at the restaurant, fully visualize yourself winning the challenge. If you know you prepared your body more than enough and that you developed a flawless strategy, all the way down to knowing exactly how you will order every component of your meal, you will most definitely DOMINATE your challenge, and maybe even in record time. Don’t ever think you can just wake up one day and decide that you want to attempt an eating challenge. If you do, it will only be an attempt, and most likely not a victory. It takes a lot of training and planning to win a proper food challenge, so definitely do not forget the importance of your training and eating strategy. If you get cocky and overconfident, you will more than likely come across a challenge that will help you remember not to forget next time. Train. Strategize. Dominate!!

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