Here's How Competitive Eater Joey Chestnut Prepares for Dozens of Hot Dogs

He currently holds the record for eating 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes.


Competitive eater Joey Chestnut is a legend, having won the Nathan's Hot Dog contest 14 times. He's even set the world record for devouring 76 franks in 10 minutes. And while the event goes down only once a year, there are months of training leading up to it. 

According to Insider, who spoke with Chestnut following his latest win, the world's No. 1 eater (yes, this is a real ranking) starts dieting and cleansing his body by taking two days to consume only water and lemon immediately after the competition. By April, with just two months until the big event, Chestnut ramps things up with weekly practice sessions using the same flashing lights and speakers found at the real Coney Island experience. 

"With the contest, it's amazing because there are people yelling at you and an MC and music," Chestnut told Insider. "But with practice, sometimes it's really, really hard to get excited to eat, so I work really hard to take every practice seriously." 

He also focuses on mouth exercises to get himself prepped to make his mouth and throat stronger for competition, per the report.

"Every practice, I record it and I try to push a little bit harder and figure out what I can do differently," he continued. "You can only practice so much. If I practice too much I start gaining weight, and if I start gaining weight then I start slowing down. So it's a weird double-edged sword. You have to love to eat, but you can't eat so much that it becomes unhealthy."

As one might expect, the aftermath of eating such a large quantity of food is tough. Chestnut likens it to after-Thanksgiving bloat "except really, really bad." Somehow, despite the trials both the sport and hot dogs put him through, he still loves them.

"Runners, they look like they're going to die at the end of a marathon but they still love to run," Chestnut said. "And I love a good hot dog."


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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.