eli5 how do professional eaters not die when consuming so many calories / sodium in such a short time

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Example, Joey chesnut eating 15 pounds of Big Mac in one sitting

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Barfing.

This is a short term competitive activity, not a way for doing meals in general.

It’s not their daily intake, and the stuff they are eating isn’t as “poisonous” as popular/social media wants everyone to believe when eaten occasionally by an otherwise healthy person. Even the Supersize Me dude that had McDonalds for multiple meals a day over a period of several months didn’t die. And, as someone else said, they probably don’t keep it all down for long. They shovel a bunch of junk down their gullet, accept their trophy, and then probably go find a private place to “purge” (aka, puke it back up). I mean, just look at your example – Joey Chestnut. If he was really consuming that much food on a regular basis, he’d weight at least 3-4 times what he does now, even if he spent every hour not eating in the gym working out

Eating 15 Big Macs doesn’t have nearly enough salt to kill you, or even really effect you all that much. And that many calories isn’t horrible unless it’s done all the time.