Sometimes you go too far, and take one too many extra helpings, letting that third piece of pie do you in. The price you pay could be simply a bulging stomach, which you can alleviate by undoing your belt, or if you’re extremely unlucky, you might be kept up all night with a bad case of heartburn.

Would you believe that there are some people out there who actually court these kinds of digestive disasters?

The men and women of Major League Eating (it’s a real thing) take part in eating contests that defy the imagination as to the amount of food a single human being can stuff inside a solitary stomach, and the speed with which that person can do so. Here are some of the most successful eating competitors around.

Takeru Kobayashi, Hotdogs


Takeru Kobayashi, a skinny guy from Japan, is one of the most loved hotdog-eating champions out there. He rose in the ranks of speed eaters at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island, New York, where he wolfed down 50 hotdogs in 12 minutes. Currently, he is the Guinness World Record holder for Most Hot Dogs Eaten in Three Minutes. Just be sure you never invite him to your barbeque, because he’ll probably hog all of the best chow for himself. He also holds eating records for bratwurst sausages, lobster rolls, grilled cheese, cow brains and other assorted culinary delights.

Joey Chestnut’s Hotdog Eating Record

Joey Chestnut

Mr. Chestnut was just the man to go up against Kobayashi and beat him. He shattered the previous record with 59.5 hotdogs to become the champ. Since then, Chestnut and Kobayashi have battled for the record, not without some controversy and disputed counts. Right now, according to the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE), Chestnut holds the official record with an amazing 68 hotdogs swallowed in 10 minutes (he beat his own record). We’ll see how long that number lasts.

Richard LeFevre Devours 24” Pizza Slices

Richard LeFevre

If you’re a big fan of pizza, you know what it feels like to eat one too many slices. Richard LeFevre knows what it feels like to eat 7 ½ extra large Bacci pizza slices. That’s a lot of bread and sauce, in case you were wondering. LeFevre doesn’t hold back when it comes to stuffing his face with food. In another competition, he managed to consume 247 pickled peppers in eight minutes. Richard, who is in his mid-60s, has no problem showing up the youngsters. His years have simply given him more eating experience than the competition.

Patrick Bertoletti Tackles Blueberry Pies, Hands Free

Patrick Bertoletti

In addition to his record for eating 47 slices of 16” pizza in 10 minutes, Patrick Bertoletti likes to get down and dirty and plow his face into the occasional blueberry pie. The International Federation of Competitive Eating has him down in their books for his no-hands pie eating record (meaning he can only use his mouth to shovel the food in). In 2007, Patrick ate 9.17 pounds of blueberry pie in eight minutes, without using his fingers or his hands. That’s like eating a large baby in the time it takes to boil a pot of tea. Good thing he’s not a cannibal (we’re assuming), or there would be a lot of nervous mothers out there.

Sonya Thomas Gobbles Down Turkeys, Hotdogs, Oysters, and More

Sonya Thomas

Sonya Thomas doesn’t let the boys push her around when it comes to eating. She has more than 20 competitive eating records to her name. You’d think she might be a little obese, considering how much she eats, but this Korean American is actually quite skinny and small. She has been a hotdog eating champion, as well as a recorder breaker for chicken nuggets, clams, Vienna sausages (8.31 pounds in 10 minutes), chili cheese fries and whole turkey (5.25 pounds in 10 minutes). It seems she can eat pretty much any man or woman on the planet under the table, no matter what’s being served.

Eric Booker Needs More Than a Baker’s Dozen

Eric Booker

Eric Booker should have been a cop. He can eat as many doughnuts in a single sitting as an entire police squad could manage in an entire day. We’re talking 49 glazed doughnuts in eight minutes, according to the IFOCE. But Eric, who tops the scales at 400 pounds, doesn’t limit himself to baked sweets. He has also made a dent on the competitive eating circuit with burritos, onions, peas, matzo balls and a variety of other edible products. It looks like he’s got all of the basic food groups covered, in massive quantities.

Jason Conti Always Eats His Green Beans

Did your mother always tell you to eat your green beans? For some kids, that was always a battle, but our guess is it wasn’t much of a problem for Jason ‘Crazy Legs’ Conti. He must have taken his mother’s words to heart, because he managed to tackle 2.71 pounds of green beans in six minutes. Crazy Legs is known as a great entertainer in the world of Major League Eating. He’s even made an appearance on ‘Late Night with David Letterman,’ where he sucked down a heck of a lot of oysters. We can’t wait to see what he’ll devour next.

Cookie Jarvis and The Grapes Of Wrath

In addition to holding records for French fry eating, Cookie Jarvis, who once weighed more than 400 pounds, was able to pop in over eight pounds of grapes in 2005 in 10 minutes. We’re not really sure what that did to his digestive track, but we know that’s a heck of a lot of grapes. Jarvis also holds the record for ice cream consumption, pasta and chicken wings, and other foods as well. If you own a restaurant, you’re going to lose some money when this guys shows up at your all-you-can eat buffet.

Bob Shoudt Sure Likes His Fries Curly

Bob Shoudt

Bob Shoudt, who hails from Philadelphia, ate 39 Krystal Hamburgers in two minutes. That’s an incredible feat. What’s even more incredible about this guy is his capacity to go after the side dishes. He ate 7.9 pounds of Curley’s French fries at the Curley’s Fries Eating Championship in 2010. How long did it take him to eat all of that starch and grease? Bob got the job done in 10 minutes, flat. Wonder if he saved room for dessert?

Tim Janus Takes No Prisoners When It Comes to Burritos and Sushi

Tim Janus

Could you eat almost 12 pounds of burritos in 10 minutes? Tim Janus can. He can also destroy 141 pieces of sushi in six minutes, or given another six minutes, four pounds of tiramisu. Tom, who is known as “Eater X” to fans of Major League Eating, is no slouch when it comes to mealtime. If you think you can top 72 tamales in 12 minutes, then feel free to give Eater X a challenge for his money. Otherwise, you’d better just stay home, and watch these events on television, from the safety of your couch.

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