While having a large enough stomach capacity plays the major role during most longer food challenges, speed eating definitely plays the main role in most shorter eating contests. When you are attempting a large food challenge, you typically have a lot more time to work with than you do during eating contests. A majority of challenges have a time limit ranging between 30 minutes and 1 hour, while very few challenges have time limits lower than 15 minutes. It is totally the opposite for eating contests. Most contests are 10 minutes or less, and there are very few actual eating contests longer than 15 minutes. In the sport of track & field, there are sprinters and there are long distance runners, and then there are just a few people that excel at both. Sprinting takes speed while long distance running requires a heavy amount of endurance. Not many sprinters can compete in long distance races, and not many long distance runners can compete in sprinting. There are some people that can do both though, and this same concept applies to the world of food challenges and competitive eating too. There are some people that will dominate eating competitions less than 5 minutes because they are great speed eaters, but they don’t have the stomach capacity to compete in the longer events. Then there are some people that can dominate large food challenges in under 1 hour, but they cannot compete with speed eaters during eating contests. Then there are some people that can do both because they have a large stomach capacity and are also great speed eaters. Which category do you think applies to you and your competitive eating skill level?

Almost all of the Stomach Capacity Training articles apply strictly to helping you train to increase your body’s stomach capacity. You may also have read the article How To Increase Your Jaw Strength which shows you how you can train to increase the strength and endurance of your jaw and mouth muscles during competitions. As mentioned in that article, the 2 major factors involved with speed eating are having a strong jaw with a lot of endurance, and also having the ability to swallow larger chunks of food at a faster rate. The key to speed eating is to focus on swallowing rather than chewing. You need the strong jaw strength to bite the food and chew it up a few times (if even necessary), but then you have to have the ability to swallow it quickly so that you can move on to taking more bites so that you can swallow again and keep repeating the process. You will learn how to eat fast by reading Speed Eating: How To Eat Food Faster in the Eating Contest Tips section, but in this article you will learn how to train yourself to become able to eat fast, which really isn’t that hard if you follow these tips:

Practice swallowing with your head up – If you ever watch some of the top competitive eaters speed eat, you will see them holding their head up during almost the entire contest except for when they are grabbing more food. The best way to explain why you should do this is by explaining one of the first steps to giving somebody CPR (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation). Before breathing into their mouth or performing a series of firm chest compressions, you have to tilt the person’s head back to allow air to flow more freely in and out. During CPR you do not want the person’s airway blocked, and air won’t flow freely if the person’s head is down. This applies to speed eating and swallowing too. Do you ever chug liquids with your head down? Keep your head up while you are eating and swallowing will be much easier for you. Practice this during all your regular meals at home.

Practice with water first – Before practicing with food, train with water. You goal is to be able to swallow more food at one time, so practice swallowing as much water as you can. By doing this, you are able to get your throat used to swallowing more while also eliminating the risk of choking. You can do this anywhere you are allowed to drink water, which is basically everywhere. Tilt your head back and fill your mouth with as much water as possible, almost to the point where it is dripping out, and then try to swallow. You may not be able to the first time, and you may therefore need to start with a little less water in your mouth. Keep on practicing and building up until you can swallow the whole mouthful of water. Then you are ready to practice safely with real food.

Train with real food – To train your body to hold more food, practice by eating real food. To train your jaw to chew food harder and faster, you need to practice by chewing real food harder and faster. Therefore, to train your body to swallow more food faster, practice swallowing larger chunks of real food faster, but be careful.

Try softer foods first – Now that you know to keep your head up and esophagus open, and you can swallow an entire mouthful of water at one time, you are ready to practice with food. It is not smart to go straight from swallowing water to bigger pieces of steak though, so start by training with softer foods like oatmeal. Cook up some oatmeal for breakfast or as a snack, and then practice swallowing large mouthfuls of it. Feel free to chase the big bites with some water. Definitely keep water on hand either way though because the water will come in handy if you are struggling to swallow the oatmeal after your throat starts getting dry. You may have some other softer foods in your pantry too. Rice, quinoa, and other moist foods can work well also. Using foods like this help you establish great form while all but eliminating your chances of choking. Always train safely!!

After you have progressed from step to step and now feel comfortable swallowing larger chunks of food, you are ready to start training with real foods. You basically want to practice speed eating without worrying about increasing your jaw strength. As mentioned in How To Increase Your Jaw Strength, you want to do one or the other, and you can’t really do both. You can do this with any regular meal, but I prefer training with easier to chew and swallow foods like large sandwiches. Unless you are practicing for a steak challenge, really tough foods like steak aren’t great for practicing to swallow and eat faster. Those are better for training your jaw strength. The main thing that you need to do is to make sure you don’t go crazy. You DO NOT want to risk choking, and therefore you should NOT practice swallowing extra large bites. That is also why you don’t want to train at home with really tough foods. You may not want to train when you are out to dinner with your girlfriend, but it is smart to have somebody around you just in case. You can choke anytime at any meal if you are not careful, but your chances increase drastically if you are attempting to speed eat. Always have water or some other type of liquid handy in case you need it. Competitive eating is meant to be fun, and you do not want to hurt yourself doing it. Now that you are trained and ready to practice, read Speed Eating: How To Eat Food Faster.

Thanks for reading hot to train yourself to eat food faster and using FoodChallenges.com!!

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