Not everyone is cut out for competitive eating, but if you're up to the challenge, a pizza eating contest can be a great way to win cash or prizes, while enjoying one of your favorite foods. Of course, the simplest way to win a pizza eating contest is to eat quickly! But there are some more specific tips you can use to help increase your chances of coming in first place.
Choose Your Toppings Wisely
Not all contests will let you choose your toppings – some contests will require you to stick with certain toppings. But if you do have a choice, choosing strategically can help ensure success.
Veggies are lighter than meats, and it will be easier to eat more of them without getting full as fast. However, don't choose veggies that you hate – it doesn't matter if a pizza covered with onions is the lightest thing on the menu, if onions make you gag.
If you're required to choose a meat topping, try to avoid saltier meats. Go for ham or chicken, if they're available. Yes, you may love pepperoni or bacon, but the high salt content will make you thirstier, and you'll have to stop more often for drinks. Speaking of drinks, stick with water, if you can. Soda will fill you up faster.
Ask for Square Slices
Even if you're normally a pizza purist who prefers the traditional triangular slices, go with square slices in a pizza eating competition. That way, you won't need to make it through a piece of chewy crust with every slice you grab.
Grab the pieces that have no crust attached to them first. They'll be warm and soft, and you'll be able to go through them quickly. Then, with the middle out of the way, you can get down to the more difficult business of eating the chewier edge pieces.
Train Your Jaw
Those crust pieces may be your undoing, if you're not prepared for them. Eating a few of them, when you're enjoying a pizza at home, may not seem difficult, but eating a lot of them in short order can be tough on your jaw.
Train for this hurdle before your pizza eating competition by getting your jaw muscles prepared for the challenge. You don't have to gorge yourself on pizza crusts for days or weeks to do this – a simple way to practice is by chewing multiple pieces of gum at one time.
Of course, the most important thing you can do is show up to the competition hungry! A hearty appetite is your best tool in any pizza eating competition.
To start training, check out companies like Original Italian Pizza Pa.