News / City Life

How to prepare for eating your own weight in pigs in blankets this Christmas – solved by a competitive eater

Christmas survival, Christmas, food, Christmas dinner, pigs in blankets, competitive eating, London, Time Out
Illustration: James Clapham

Objectively, it’s probably quite nice that your friends care enough to invite you to multiple home-cooked Christmas dinners in the early weeks of December. Friends are nice! (Or so I’ve been told). But there are only so many Brussels sprouts covered in jugs of microwaved gravy you can stand before your jeans get too tight and the flatulence gets career-ending. So, how do you stomach endless plates of festive grub, day after day? We asked Randy Santel, a professional competitive eater.

‘The night before a big food challenge, I expand my stomach with a large meal that’s mostly vegetables. The next morning, I go for a brisk 30- to 45-minute walk to get the blood flowing and the food moving through me, so I’m more likely to feel hungry sooner. When it comes to the Christmas meal, my tip is to eat the meat first while it’s still warm and juicy – it doesn’t go down as smoothly once it cools. Then move on to the vegetables and carbs. “The wall” is a big mental thing that all competitive eaters struggle with. You want to eat more, but your body says no. Ultimately, it’s okay to take a break.’ 

Can’t face cooking on December 25 with a hangover? Here are 52 London restaurants open on Christmas Day.

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