How many dogs does it take to beat the hot dog eating champ?

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I am a meat eater, but thinking that some % of the animals killed were so people could eat to the edge of rupture in a contest makes me want to vomit. That and the wasted nutrition, do we as humans really need to let our freak flags fly in this manner?!


I expected to see a couple Labradors joyously partaking of hot dogs…


My lab used to snatch them out of the air and swallow them whole without breaking eye contact.


2 dogs will probably beat anyone.

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Given the statistical proportion of competitive eaters in the general population, even if weighted by their occasional excessive consumption tendencies, I would not consider it a significant issue.

Conventional, less visible but more common, food waste along the logistical chain from production down to the fridge stock mismanagement is many orders of magnitude worse.


Also, many competitive eaters prepare for events with a long-term cleanse of their digestive systems, usually consuming only water and yogurt, in order to stay healthy but to get . . . empty. Contrary to what you might have heard, the pros keep the food down afterward, so they certainly absorb all the “nutritive value” that these foods have to offer. PROBABLY better than most of us would, since their systems are empty and kinda starving.

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They’re hot dogs, so it’s safe to assume that not many animals were involved at any stage.


I don’t even see how that’s possible.

Jeez. I’d hate to be that guy’s colon.

(Now, to be fair, I’d hate to be anybody’s colon, or even to just, you know. . . BE a colon, but I think you get my drift.)


They have extra-stretchy stomachs. Also, we saw some of the contest televised, and Chestnut was actually winning up until the last couple minutes, at which point we walked away and apparently missed a come-from-behind “victory.”

Sure. I understand, but you didn’t “get my drift” at all.

I used to help do Kobayashi’s taxes, I got a run down on his training from his assistant so I could figure out what the hell to right off as what sort of expense. And I know a few low level competitive eaters, who’ve lost to the big names and regularly get pro grade advice. A “cleanse” of any sort is going to be counter intuitive. Even just a day with little to nothing in your stomach causes it to shrink, even a few hours can have an effect. So standard practice is to regularly eat something relatively mild and with moderate to low caloric load but with a lot of bulk to keep your stomach filled and stretched. Kobayashi mostly used rice for this, he bought it in 5-15 lb bags. Several of them per week. The yogurt, also eaten in extreme quantities is used to keep things moving so all that carb based bulk doesn’t back you up. I’ve heard some of the other guys use white bread or pasta. You stop eating early on the day of the competition, sometimes night before. So your stomach is empty, but still hasn’t shrunk. So the info on water and yogurt is not necessarily wrong, its just omitting the major detail. You’re talking quarts of yogurt eaten in a sitting, after pounds of rice/bread/pasta for days or weeks.

Kobayashi’s diet was pretty boring. Mostly white rice, chicken thighs, and veg. In increasing volumes while training for a competition. You’d see him buying 30lbs + of rice per week during training. For a specific competition he’d also start slow and ramp up. Say for hot dogs he might do 5 dogs 3 times a week to start (always Nathans). And then ramp up to 30 dogs at a stretch. Same for chicken wings, he liked the TGI Fridays and 7 eleven frozen ones apparently. Just one or two packages of 8 wings every few days for weeks. Then increasing amounts towards the end. Sometimes you’ see a recipt for like $500 bucks in cheap sushi, or 25 boxes of wings.

All of that could be written off as part of his training. As could anything appearance based (he’s a public figure, and his image is an integral part of his business etc, etc. Most creatives, politicians, tv journalists etc get the same deal). So gym, cloths, rice, hotdogs, pizza, sushi etc. All part of training or the business of being a public figure. What he couldn’t write off was all the vitamins, protein supplements, yogurt, applesauce, and weight lifter shit he needed to keep himself pooping and healthy while he was doing all this. Never spoke to him personally, though his assistant was incredibly nice. But the picture his receipts painted was entirely joyless. He sent everything in, because they weren’t sure what was going to be deductible. There was only very, very occasionally something in there that seemed to be something he liked. A bit of candy, a meal while visiting Japan, movie or concert tickets. Just 20 15lb bags of rice. 45 packages of hot dogs. ETC. A lot of people seemed kind of surprised when he popped up all super huge and body buildery. From what his assistant said it was all a side effect. If you’re going to eat 5+ pounds of rice and 20 hot dogs per day and nothing else, for a couple months at a stretch you basically have to spend most of your free time at the gym to burn off all the excess calories. That’s going to make you big. When he wasn’t training it was just white rice and chicken thighs 24/7, with the odd bit of veg, yogurt or bulk buys of multivitamins to keep it balanced.

Still he seemed to have it way, way more dialed in than most people I’ve known involved with this sort of thing. A lot of the guys giving advice to my friends who are starting out tell horror stories about the pooping. Or complain about weight gain and health problems. Kobayashi is healthy for all the work it takes, and from what we heard from his assistant was happy with a good social life (I’m a bit of a fan so I pried a little). But man I don’t think I could eat white rice and chicken thighs as often as that guys does, as much as I love those two things, without getting a little sad.


Marge: Is it safe to eat that much food, Dr. Hibbert?

Hibbert: You know, I wouldn’t have thought so before I bought a twelve percent share of this restaurant, but now, I feel a balanced diet can include the occasional eating contest.


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