Eating competitions have been gaining popularity every since the early 1900s. Back in those days, pies or pasties were typically used to measure how fast (and how much) one could consume.

The first competition that received media attention was Nathan's hot-dog eating competition, which started in 1916. The rules are simple: Eat as many hot-dogs as you can in 10 minutes! The current world record is from 2018: Joey Chestnut ate 74 hot-dogs in 10 minutes. Here is the video if you're curious:

By the way, Joey Chestnut won pretty much every year since 2007, except in 2015, when Matt Stonie broke his streak. He ate 62 hot-dogs, while Joey Chestnut ate 'only' 60.

My fascination with food challenges started when I discovered Randy Santel on Youtube. I was flabbergasted by the amount of food he could process in such short time periods. But he's living the lifestyle one could only dream of! Traveling, eating, winning prizes and making money whilst at it! He spurred the growth of many other competitive eaters on Youtube, which we all get to enjoy now! Randy also creates his own food challenges from time to time, which other competitive eaters are happy to take on!

In terms of Youtube subscribers, Joey Chestnut is not in the top 10 competitive eaters, but I am going to include him in this list as the honorable 11th mention. Because... Euhm... He ate 74 hot-dogs in 10 minute for God's sake!

Now don't be fooled and assume these people just stuff their face as fast as they can without preparation. It takes a ton of training to eat enormous portions in a matter of minutes. Also, keep in mind, not all challenges are races against the clock. Sometimes it's just a matter of eating a giganteous portion without racing others.

Let's get going!

10. Molly Schuyler

Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr7o6DHaB75JwjoC1fIksKA

"Master of unrealistic consumption - yet still human" is how she describes herself. Molly is an absolute machine. With her, it's not just about the amount. The speed at which she consumes food is nothing short of legendary! Where she stores all this food is a mystery until this very day!

Most popular video at the time of writing:

9. Leah Shutkever

Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0dlQ2xYj2kw7BiE1HAygLw

Leah is the UK's No.1 Female competitive eater (she is from Worcestershire) and holds multiple Guinness world records! She easily consumes meals that are over 5000 kcal and still manages to stay fit all year round. She achieves this by sticking to a strict bodybuilder's diet, apart from her food challenges.

She also trains a lot to stay in shape. noticeable performances are her Mexican meal at the Mission Burrito restaurant and the cheer amount of Jaffa cakes she can process!

Most popular video at the time of writing:

8.Zermatt Neo

Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZlUAff0s1IbMJlIDrw3TKQ

Another super-fit competitive eater with a six-pack! Neo is from Singapore and ... A PERSONAL TRAINER! His most noticeable performance is also his first performance. His friend knew he never had enough and signed him up for "Ramen Champion", where he comfortable ate 11 bowls or ramen in 20 minutes and won the championship. A new talent was born and is now on Youtube!

Most popular video at the time of writing:

7. Raina Huang

Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFahBOND03FOwD3FXNLeaBg

Let's be fair, she doesn't look like a competitive eater. But don't be fooled. The Chinese IS a match for other competitive eaters. Giganteous males who easily carry twice the bodyweight even.

In her first competition, she devoured a 4 pound burrito in just 6 minutes. Her strengths are pho and ramen challenges.

Most popular video at the time of writing:

6. Beard meets food

Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc9CjaAjsMMvaSghZB7-Kog

BeardMeatsFood, a.k.a Adam Moran is the nr. 1 male competitive eater in the UK. He is relatively new to Youtube (2015), but his challenges are never short of mind-boggling. Most noticable mention is probably the Yorkshire Pudding Eating World Championships. He is also... a personal trainer! We are seeing a trend here.

Most popular video at the time of writing:

5. Randy Santel

Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMJlGrPk73l9U6qahc8D_gA

3... 2... 1... BOOM!

Randy Santel's channel is where it all started for me.

I was completely oblivious to the existence of the world of competitive eating. I typically watch Randy when I'm eating myself. He definitely knows how to build an audience. Most of his challenges have a huge gathering of spectactors who cheer him on from start to finish. Randy knows how to entertain a crowd!

What's interesting is that Randy wants to become the no.1 dietician on Youtube. Experiencing first hand what it takes to lose weight, he will always advice from experience. After his tours, he typically goes on a strict diet combined with an intensive exercise regime.

Also, he eats burgers like a madman - takes of the top, eats the meat without anything else and then eats the rest. So check out some of his burger challenges, if that doesn't infuriate you!

Most popular video at the time of writing:

4. Erik the Electric

Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6huXz0F6-7KA7-mW0jdejA

Erik probably comes first in the sheer amount of food he takes on in his challenges. His appetite is insatiable. As a teenager he suffered from anorexia and became dangerously underweight. Thankfully, he is cured from that and in pristine shape now!

His most famous accomplishment is his 100K kcal in 4 days challenge.

Most popular video at the time of writing:

3. Skippy62able (a.k.a. The L.A. Beast)

Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDZESjYAwh-ws7ZSZZ8DKeg

The L.A. Beast is not like the other competitive eaters. Sure, he does take on vast quantities of food with ease, he also does crazy eating and drinking stunts. For example, drinking Pepsi that has expired 20 years ago, eating the hottest peppers in the world, drinking a gallon of Tabasco and mixing Red Bull with milk! Oh, and he does take requests!

He describes what he does as "I like to do all the crazy and seemingly impossible tasks that the average human being would never even consider doing." - My favorite challenges are the spicy ones.

Most popular video at the time of writing:

2. Furious Pete

Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCspJ-h5Mw9_zeEhJDzMpkkA

Furious Pete, a.k.a. Peter Czerwinski also combines fitness with competitive eating. Just like Erik the Electric he suffered from eating disorders as a teenagers, but bodybuilding has helped him tremendously to overcome it.

How do all these competitive eaters stay so thin and lean? Exercise and, ironically, diet! Furious Pete exercises daily and eats up to 9 meals per day! And it's not 9 junk food meals.

His most noticeable performance is subjective, but in my humble opinion, that would be drinking 750ml of olive oil in 1 minute.

There's also a documentary about Peter called "The Story of Furious Pete" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6546522/)

Most popular video at the time of writing:

1. Matt Stonie

Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd1fLoVFooPeWqCEYVUJZqg

In terms of Youtube subscribers, Matt Stonie takes the crown and leaves the competition far behind. With over 11 million subscribers, he is the absolutely nr. 1 that will be hard to ever beat.

Matthew Kai is ranked nr. 3 in the Major League Eating and he is the only one who was able to beat Joey Chestnut in Nathan's Hot Dog Eating challenge.

Stonie weights less than 60kg but possesses the ability to eat absolutely massive piles of food. What baffles me the most are the challenges that consist of just 1 type of food. Examples of such challenges would be the '350 packs of pop rocks', '1620 french fries' and the '324ft fruit by the foot' challenge.

Matt Stonie is the public's favorite. He typically uploads only 1 new video per week, but they never fail to entertain and blow your mind!

Now you may be wondering, how does Matt Stonie stay in shape? The dude weighs 60kg?! Like many of the previous competitive eaters: tons of exercise and a proper diet when not doing challenges. This is what Matt Stonie had to say about it in an interview for mashed:

It really just comes down to diet and watching what you're eating after a contest. But I'm definitely in the gym five times a week doing cardio or weights. I've made this my full-time job, and I spend a lot of time taking care of myself.

Matt Stonie's net worth is estimated at $5 million, a large chunk of that coming from his Youtube channel.

Most popular video at the time of writing:

And last but not least...

Joey Chestnut

Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC87PITJ9ndKIIVwcZZMLOag

Joey Chestnut holds over 44 eating contest records and holds over 50 Guinness World Recors. He is best known for winning Nathan's hot-dog eating competition, year after year. His Youtube channel only started growing recently, his videos these days are noticeable better quality than a few years. He's even doing quarantine challenges at the time of writing! Joey Chestnut's net worth is estimated at $900K according to 'celebrity net worth'.

Most popular video at the time of writing:


Feeling tempted to do a food challenge yourself? Randy Santel has a database of food challenges on his website, along with tons of strategies and a comprehensive overview of people active in the world of competitive eating. Check it out: https://www.foodchallenges.com/ - Who knows, you might be on this list soon! :)

Stay fit and hungry!

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satan003 avatarLevel 28
satan003

Wonderfully written, and thanks for introducing us to these people

ICANHAS avatarLevel 28
ICANHAS

Thanks, these challenges are so entertaining to watch

tachophobic avatarLevel 6
tachophobic

Great writeup

diogenesjunior avatarLevel 14
diogenesjunior

Good read. Interesting how food challenges make random people of the internet hungry.

d0nut avatarLevel 28
d0nut

Been following Beard for years. Epic

explorersue avatarLevel 9
explorersue

I am blown away by these people! I'm a raging foodie myself, but cannot imagine EVER putting away that much in one sitting! It's great that most of these guys have a strict exercise regimen.

1 reaction
Staaan avatarLevel 19
Staaan

Yup, they all do.

But they take their cheat days very seriously! :)

Lance avatarLevel 4
Lance

LEAH SHUTKEVER looks smokin'

Aaron avatarLevel 4
Aaron

Wtf is that thing Joey Chestnut is eating in that last video... That looks RANK!

Nerissa avatarLevel 4
Nerissa

I thought Matt Stonie was the only one doing this

Staaan avatarLevel 19
Staaan

Test

Musa avatarLevel 5
Musa

Raina so tiny, how she do it

RebeccaElizabeth avatarLevel 5
RebeccaElizabeth

Those cheesey fries omfg, I puke when I see the pic

zerocool avatarLevel 17
zerocool

I am impressed with the determination they show when eating some enormous pile of food in one take. I don't think I could do it.

Nedez avatarLevel 11
Nedez

Common! give me a break! How do they do this? 64 hot dogs in 10 minutes? I'm not sure if I should be impressed or scared. Never invite people like that to your house when you're about to eat unless you wanna empty your kitchen. I mean it's super impressive making a game out of eating and seeing people doing the unimaginable. Great stuff!

1 reaction
tachophobic avatarLevel 6
tachophobic

It was 74, not 64

Not that that matters lmfao

Lady_Indigo avatarLevel 13
Lady_Indigo

I watched a few of these videos. I have to say I am both flabbergasted and amazed at this. I look at a meal and gain pounds. I could not imagine some of these feats. Very cool content.

1 reaction
hurtswhenpee avatarLevel 9
hurtswhenpee

They do exercise

And maybe they throw up afterwards, hard to know for sure

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