Your love for pizza is unquestionable; you can finish one large Hungry Howie’s pizza by yourself. But, can you be a competitive eater? If you are up to the challenge, a pizza eating competition can show you and your friends how much you love pizza.
Considered an actual sport, with not one, but two major leagues, eating competitions are proof that you can never have too many pizzas. Train like a champion to win the ultimate pizza eating contest of your dreams. With these tips, you will be ahead of the competition and closer to the winner's spot.
How to Prepare for a Pizza Eating Competition?
Like with any other sport, you need to train and prepare your body for the challenge. A few weeks before the competition date, start training your stomach, mind, and eating techniques to reach their ultimate potential.
Work on your jaw strength
To win an eating contest, you need to eat fast. If you want to eat fast, you must be able to chew fast. Your jaw has muscles, and just as you strengthen the muscles in your abs, you have to work on your jaw muscles to win.
Start by chewing gum on a regular basis. As you go, you can increase the pieces of gum you chew at a time. The more you can chew, the harder the exercise will be and the more strength you will be gaining. Think of each piece of gum as an extra pound on the dumbbell - the more you add, with the more resistance, the more muscle you build.
When the competition gets closer, you want to switch out your gum exercises with actual food. Start practicing fast eating with pizza - this way, you can train your jaw to chew on real pizza, not just gum.
Stretch it out
Your stomach. Yes, if you want to have any chance of winning a pizza eating competition, you must stretch out your stomach. Start by eating high-fiber foods with low-calories; this includes lettuce, cabbage, watermelon, grapes, and steamed vegetables.
The reason why you need to train with high-fiber foods is that they are the ones that help you feel fuller faster and longer, so you can train your body to push through the feeling of fullness and keep eating. The more you train with high-fiber foods, the more you will be able to stretch out your stomach to avoid that feeling of fullness.
If you haven't already, choose a pizza eating competition to see what kind of pizza will be used for the challenge. Once they have picked a pizza style, you must start eating the exact pizza they will utilize in the competition. By eating the correct food, your body will start getting used to it.
Also, if you start eating the food in advance, you can see how your body reacts to it. If you feel too full too fast, then you need to stretch out your stomach more. Plus, you can continue to work on your jaw strength by eating the actual food you will be eating at the competition.
What to do the Day Before the Pizza Eating Competition?
Some athletes have a set routine for the day before a big competition. You should know what yours will be, too. What you do the day before a pizza eating competition can make a huge difference and can be the reason you win or lose the challenge.
Have a last super meal
While you may think you shouldn’t eat the night before an eating competition, the truth is the absolute contrary. At least 22 hours before the game, you should have a super meal, which essentially means you must eat as much as you physically can in one long seating.
Of course, drink plenty of water, and make sure this max-out meal is low in calories and high in fiber. The best meal you can have is a massive salad. Just make sure you don’t eat to the point where you feel sick or experience any discomfort.
Get some sleep and water
About an hour after you finish your super meal, start drinking water to speed up digestion. A good tip is to add lemon to help the process. Make sure you drink plenty of water and have a good night of sleep before the big day.
Memorize the competition rules
Take some time to study the rules. The last thing you want is to be disqualified because you broke a rule. The rules of the contest usually rule out if you can or can't do these common practices:
- Dunk your food – which means dunking your food in water before you eat it
- No rules – which means you can eat your food however you want
- Picnic eating – which means you have to eat the food the way it’s supposed to be eaten
The Day of the Pizza Eating Competition
After many training sessions, jaw strengthening exercises, and stomach stretching techniques, the competition day is finally here. Follow these steps if you want to win a pizza eating competition with no problem.
Start with non-solids
The morning of the contest, stay away from any solid foods. Instead, have a protein shake or a high-fiber morning juice that will be enough to warm up your stomach without making you full. Go for a quick cardio exercise before the competition; this will make you feel hungrier.
Find the right pace
You have practiced before, but nothing feels like the actual competition. If you want to win, you have to find the right place. Ideally, you want to start by eating as fast as you can, and once you’ve passed that initial energy rush, continue eating at a fast-paced rhythm that feels comfortable to you.
Attack from the inside out
Start eating the pizza from the center out, leaving the crusts for last. By eating the cheese, sauce, and proteins first, you can eat them when they are still fresh, warm, and tasty. Plus, the inner portion of the pizza is also the heavier part of it.
Hungry Howie’s Pizza Eating Competition Tips
Of course, every pizza eater has secret techniques to eat more and more pizza. Hungry Howie loves pizza, and over the years we have developed a few tips that can help you win this competition.
Technique #1: Go up and down
This is something you should try while you train to see if it helps you. If the competition rules allow you to, stand and move around. Use gravity to your advantage. Pick up a slice of pizza, and after you bite your portion, tilt your head up while you swallow and then immediately tilt it back down. This will help you swallow faster and speed up your eating.
Technique #2: Push it down
If you are starting to feel full, don’t despair. Move around a little bit to rearrange the food in your stomach. Another good tip is to push your food down literally - gently push your stomach down to push your food lower and give you more space for pizza.
Favorite Eating Competitions Across the US
If you feel like you are ready to try a pizza eating competition, these are some of the most popular ones in the United States:
5 Boro Pizza Challenge – New York City
Oozefest Pizza Eating Challenge – California
World’s Hottest Pizza Eating Contest – New Mexico
Family Festival Pizza Eating Contest – Long Island
12-Pound Pizza Challenge – Wisconsin
28’’ Pizza Challenge – Virginia