To increase your stomach capacity so that you can win your food challenge or eating contest, it is definitely recommended to use an increased amount of food AND water during your training regimen. Along with an increased amount of food typically comes an increased amount of calories though, so you need to be careful while training to not gain excessive amounts of weight. Gaining excess fat can not only potentially harm your health and figure, but it can also decrease your optimum performance level during your challenges & contests. Most active competitive eaters are aware of a concept developed years ago called the “Belt Of Fat Theory.” There is some scientific jargon involved, but the theory basically states that the more body fat you have around your waist and midsection, the more restricted your stomach muscles are from expanding to their maximum potential. Larger individuals with high amounts of stomach fat are not able to eat as much because all of that stomach fat restricts their stomach muscles from really expanding so that more food can be consumed. The “Belt Of Fat Theory” explains why the best competitive eaters today are fit and in shape, without a lot of body fat around their midsection. This also explains why very large individuals are not able to eat a lot in one sitting, even though there is a very common misconception that they can. This theory works for both men and women, which explains why there are some 110 pound females today eating more than their giant 350 pound male competitors. To be an elite professional eater, you need to maintain great physical health and fitness.

By reading Stomach Training Tips For Hardgainers, you learned that people with high metabolisms looking to gain muscle weight are able to eat a wide variety of high calorie foods during their stomach capacity training sessions. Since their goal is to gain weight, they get to have a lot more fun with all of the training options that are available to them. For people who do not have extremely high metabolisms that are prone to gaining weight, like me, we have to be very conscious of what foods we train with. If we have too many calories consistently for any period of time, we will gain excess stomach fat. The extra calories don’t just go away, and therefore they get stored as stomach-restricting body fat. While we cannot train with extra large deep-dish pizzas and all-you-can-eat pasta buffets, there are still many options that we can choose from. Many of these options are fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber and filled with quick digesting water. Here is a very solid list of lower calorie foods that competitive eaters train with to increase their stomach capacity while limiting excess weight gain:

Lettuce, Salad, Spinach, Cabbage, and Other Leafy Vegetables – The choice is up to you, and you can even choose multiple options, but these leafy vegetables are all extremely low in calories. No option is significantly better than the others, and it really just depends on what your preference is. The cabbage can be eaten raw or cooked depending on your preference. Along with the low amount of calories, there is a low amount of taste. To be able to enjoy whichever option you choose, you may need to add a low calorie or zero calorie sauce or salad dressing. Just remember that a bowl of salad drenched in high calorie salad dressing isn’t exactly the best option. One drawback to eating leafy vegetables is that it takes a lot longer to eat lettuce because of the texture. Remember when you are at the grocery store that it will take quite a bit of these options to reach a point that is beneficial to increasing your stomach capacity. You may have 1 pound of bricks and 1 pound of feathers, but know that it takes a lot more feathers than bricks to equal that 1 pound, so choose wisely.

Steamed Mixed Vegetables – While it would take forever to eat a large amount of raw broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and peppers, it takes significantly less time to eat them when they are cooked or steamed. The added moisture and softness allows them to be eaten and swallowed much quicker. Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, and brussel sprouts all have a few more calories than the leafy green vegetables mentioned above, but they have a lot less calories than fruits, and more flavor than salad and cabbage. You may use a small serving of butter or cheese while cooking the mixed veggies, but don’t go overboard. You may be better off eating the veggies with low calorie sauces such as Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, Sriracha sauce. and mustard. Some may be included, but do not focus mostly on vegetables such as potatoes and corn because they have a high amount of carbohydrates. Eating five pounds of corn and potatoes would have a very high amount of calories. If you are financially able to, it may be easiest to buy many different bags of frozen mixed vegetables at the grocery store and cook them all together at home. That is what I usually do when training at my home.

Watermelon – This is option #2 for me, after the cooked mixed veggies mentioned above, because it is one of the lowest calorie fruits and also one of the least expensive too. Watermelon can be very delicious depending on whether it is in season or not. I typically buy a large enough watermelon to weigh around 10-12 pounds after removing the rind exterior. Seedless watermelons are loaded with water so you are able to get the stomach expanding benefits without a really long period of discomfort after training. It makes a great max out meal!!

Cantaloupe & Honeydew Melon – These are also popular fruits that are used by eaters to increase stomach capacity that are relatively inexpensive and lower in calories than many other foods, and quickly digested.

Grapes – There are many competitive eaters that train with grapes, but grapes are one of the more expensive AND caloric fruits that are available, and therefore not really the best choice. If you do train with grapes, make sure to chew the grapes and do not swallow them whole, which can definitely be a serious choking hazard.

The options above are all the easiest lower calorie foods to buy in bulk and conveniently eat large amounts of quickly. Training for your event should not be an extremely time consuming event, and therefore you should choose foods that are convenient. It will take some time to prepare whichever foods you choose, but some take longer than others. You can use fruits such as pineapple and grapefruit, but it will take many different ones to total up to a large amount to train with, and therefore be very time consuming. Along the same lines, you can eat apples, plums, and oranges, but it takes a lot of those fruits compared to preparing just one big watermelon. There are other vegetables too such as asparagus and green beans that can be thrown in with your other mixed vegetables, but the ones mentioned above are the most widely used and easiest to prepare. Buying pre-sliced fruit is an option, but with the added convenience comes a much higher price tag, so be sure to consider that.

If you are lucky enough to live near one, you may consider going to an all-you-can-eat salad bar buffet. Some grocery store salad bars have this option (more often in the USA of course) and some do not. These are very convenient and really cheap compared to the price you would have to pay for everything you ate separately. Combining different fruits and vegetables rather than just eating 1 particular food is a preferred method by many people because you are able to experience multiple different flavors which helps you eat more. You may want to try eating salad or cooked mixed veggies along with some fruits. That will also save you more calories than if you just ate the better tasting sugary fruits. These fruits and vegetables mentioned above are digested more quickly than other solid foods and are therefore great options to be used during your max out meal 18-22 hours before your competition. In today’s world, some fruits and vegetables can be more expensive than the others, so please check out the Stomach Capacity Training On A Budget article if you are concerned about that issue. Focusing on lower calorie foods when training will help you reduce your chances of gaining weight and excess body fat so that you can stay in shape and at the top of your game. If you know of a particular food that I have not included which should be on the list, comment below and I will get it added above for everyone else.

Thanks for reading about lower calorie stomach training foods and using!!

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