How to Eat More

Make room for the good stuff

By Lessley Anderson

Getting full after your first helping of Thanksgiving dinner is nearly as bad as getting bounced out of a bar at happy hour.

To find out how to eat more, we talked to Melvin Heyman, a gastroenterologist at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California–San Francisco, and Crazy Legs Conti, currently ranked 11th by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, and star of the documentary Crazy Legs Conti: Zen and the Art of Competitive Eating. Though we do not recommend the unhealthy practice of stuffing oneself, here are some things to consider if you plan to.

Limber Up

Thanksgiving dinner is an incredibly sedentary activity. If you can build up a light sweat beforehand, what Conti calls “cardio before carbs,” you’ll be hungrier and mentally sharper for the challenge ahead. To train for eating competitions, Conti goes to the gym and stays in shape. Just don’t wear spandex to the table.

Avoid the Mashed Potatoes

The fattier the food, the longer it will take to break down in the stomach during the first phase of digestion. The less break-down, the less room for new foods to come in. Most fatty? “Often it’s mashed potatoes, because sometimes people put sour cream and butter in them,” says Heyman. Save mashers until the end, along with anything else swimming in butter or cream.

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