According to Ed Grabianowski of HowStuffWorks, competitive eaters can train for a contest by training their brains to ignore the feeling of a full stomach. However, the International Federation of Competitive Eating does not recommend training ahead of time due to the health risks of stretching the stomach.
Grabianowski describes two methods of training the brain to ignore a full stomach. The first involves repeatedly filling the stomach with large meals. This stretches the stomach muscles and helps prepare them for the strain of an eating contest. The second method is called water training, which consists of drinking an entire gallon of water in 30 seconds or less. The water also stretches the stomach muscles, making it easier for the stomach to handle large quantities of food.
Training by stretching the stomach muscles is very unhealthy, according to Grabianowski. Eating large meals too frequently or drinking large quantities of water can perforate the stomach lining. Drinking a gallon of water in 30 seconds can also result in water intoxication, which can be fatal. Too much water in a short amount of time dilutes the electrolytes in a person's blood, which can result in a loss of heart, muscle and brain function.