NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Competitive eaters compete in the men's division of the Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Joey Chestnut won the men's division by successfully tying his own world record by eating 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes; he has now won the competition six years in a row. Photo Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Competitive eaters scarf down obscene amounts of food in a very short time frame. And barring an unfortunate reversal of fortune – a euphemism for exactly what you think – they keep it down. It’s unhealthy, to put it mildly, and you’d think their bodies would reflect that. You’d be wrong about many of them.
The top professionals treat competitive eating as a sport and train accordingly, both in the gym and at the table. So they’re surprisingly thin and in shape; a few are downright ripped.
Tailgate Fan takes look at some of the biggest eaters with the slimmest bodies, and wonders what exactly we’re doing wrong.
Tim “Eater X” Janus (Photo Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Tim “Eater X” Janus
Ranked as the second best Major League Eating professional, “Eater X” hales from New York, New York and was named the 2004 Rookie of the Year after putting away four pounds of tiramisu in six minutes. Known for the painted masks he wears during competition, this 165-pound eating champion once said, “I’d eat anything. One of my goals is to eat everything in the world. I’d eat a roll of pennies. I hope we make contact with beings from other planets. I’d eat an alien.” In addition to his eating accomplishments, Janus won the World Burping Champion in 2012 by the World Burping Federation for a continuous burp lasting 18.1 seconds.
Sonya Thomas (Photo Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas
With over 20 world records under her belt, the 105-pound Sonya Thomas from Alexandria, Virginia is an accomplished consumer of jambalaya, oysters and fruitcake (just to name a few). Thomas’s nicknames include the “Black Widow” and “The Leader of the Four Horsemen of the Esophagus.” For a decade, Thomas has used her slender frame to her advantage; her stomach has more room to expand inside of her during competition. As part of her training, she adheres to a strict one-meal-a-day diet and a walking regimen of over two hours per day, five days a week.
Matt “Megatoad” Stonie (Photo Credit: Simin Wang/AFP/Getty Images)
Matt “Megatoad” Stonie
A mere 21 years old, “Megatoad” is a college student majoring in nutrition and the fourth highest ranked competitive eater in the country. Tipping the scale at 120 pounds, the aspiring dietician holds the world record for eating the most birthday cake, gyoza (a Japanese dish of ground meat or vegetables in a thinly rolled dough, sometimes called a pot sticker) and deep fried asparagus. When not competing or training, Stonie adheres to a strict healthy diet. He also exercises regularly.
On April 20, 2013, history was made at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. In her debut with the Major League of Eating competition, 27-year-old Miki Sudo ate 40 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and buns. Now that her rookie year is more than halfway over, the 125-pound eating juggernaut says on her Facebook page, “I’m new to this. I still don’t know what I can do, but I’m having a hell of a time figuring it out.” According to ifoce.com, “At this time, Major League Eating has retained to services of a notable Madison Avenue branding consultancy firm to advise the league on a suitable nickname that best highlights Ms. Sudo’s considerable talents.”
Juliet Lee (Photo Credit: Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images)
The Lovely Juliet Lee, once a chemistry professor at Ninjing University, has been eating competitively since 2006. On Memorial Day 2009, the 105-pound Lee put away 23 dozen clams in six minutes. Now a hair salon owner in Germantown, Maryland, the lovely Julie Lee wears a size 0 and normally buys clothes from the junior section at department stores. “Exercise is a big part of my overall healthy lifestyle, she mentioned in an online chat with the Washington Post. “Most of my diet is fish, fruit, and veggies. I don’t normally eat the type of food in my daily life that I eat in competition – then I really would be huge!”