Is overeating better than dining and dashing?

By Mike Pomranz
Updated September 17, 2018
Credit: Photo by sarahlouisephotography via Getty Images

Beyond simply being sporty, elite athletes have also built a reputation for the size of their stomachs. For instance, Michael Phelps is probably known just as well for how many calories he ate while training as for how many Olympic medals he won. So you’d probably consider it a mixed blessing if you saw Michael Phelps wander into your all-you-can-eat restaurant with a hungry look on his face. That scenario may sound silly, but it’s extremely similar to what recently went down at a sushi joint in Germany: The restaurant had to ban a local Ironman triathlete after he ate a “not normal” amount of Japanese cuisine.

Former bodybuilder Jaroslav Bobrowski was reportedly asked to leave the somewhat ironically-named eatery Running Sushi in Landshut, Bavaria, a couple weekends ago after the restaurant claims he ate almost 100 plates of sushi during one of their all-you-can-eat sessions, according to Germany’s The Local. “He eats for five people. That is not normal,” the owner was quoted as saying.

Running Sushi’s all-you-can-eat deal sounds pretty damn good even if you don’t plan on gobbling down 100 plates—around $18.50 per person. The site Eater suggests that the restaurant tries to boost its profit margin with alcohol sales, which added to the owner’s frustrations since Bobrowski only drank tea during his epic 100-plate visit. Even though the triathlete had visited Running Sushi previously, this time around, they drew the line.

“When I went to the checkout, I wanted to tip, but the waiter did not want to accept that,” Bobrowski was quoted as saying. Instead, he was directed towards Running Sushi’s owner and chef who told him that “I'm banned from now on because I'm eating too much… I was stunned.”

Apparently, part of Bobrowski’s eating abilities comes from what many may consider an odd diet. The Local says that he fasts for 20 hours at a time, but then eats as much as he wants until he is full.

According to the German-language site Passauer Neue Presse, Bobrowski’s story began to go viral after a simple Facebook post. From there, he became a bit of a German phenomenon. A TV crew reportedly even filmed his apology to the restaurant. “The whole hype is a double-edged sword,” he said. “I was approached by strangers who wanted to take a selfie with me.” Indeed, sometimes athletes become more famous for how much they eat than for their actual athletic accomplishments.