There's a difference between "extreme eating" and "competitive eating." Competitive eating involves chowing down on as much of a "featured food" as possible within a time limit (hot dogs, shrimp, meatballs, pies, pizza, wings, corndogs, etc.), with the hope of a cash prize, trophy, and/or sponsorship. Extreme eating is usually done for a t-shirt, your name on the wall, and the cost of the meal.

There are a few competitive eating contests this summer in Illinois, most notably the spaghetti eating contest in Forreston on July 23rd, but my focus today is on the places around Illinois that offer you that chance of a t-shirt and your name and/or photo on the restaurant's hall of fame. Ready to overindulge for bragging rights?

Here's a few places to try, courtesy of OnlyInYourState:

Overstuffed Sandwiches: Head for Lucky's, 3472 N Clark St, Chicago. This challenge is so epic that it was featured on Man v. Food. You will eat 3 overstuffed sandwiches and have one hour to do it. No word on what the prize is, other than free sandwiches.

Breakfast from Hell: This one, at the Windhill Pancake Parlor, 3307 W Elm St, McHenry, is called the Iron Man Challenge. You eat a dozen-egg omelette, covered in chili and more cheese. You get to also eat a huge portion of fries and biscuits.

Big, Ugly Sandwiches: This one is featured at the Fat Sandwich Company, 502 E John St #2, Champaign. The Big Fat Ugly Sandwich challenge comes with 2 rolls and 4 cheeseburgers. Also, double cheese steak, chicken cheese steak, gyro, bacon, sausage, mac n cheese bites, mini corndogs, pizza bites, chicken nuggets, jalapeno poppers, fried mushrooms, hashbrowns...and other stuff. No word on the prize for completion...perhaps they'll mail your dignity back to you at a later date.

Beg for Death: (Not the actual name of the challenge, but I figure begging someone to kill you afterwards MUST be the result of partaking). Next time you're hungry, and in Chicago, make tracks to The Fifty/50, 2047 W Division St, Chicago. The only way to describe this challenge is "totally insane." The challenge arrives on a platter loaded up with 30 buffalo chicken wings, onion rings, a baked potato, smoked ribs, a PB&J slider, pulled pork slider, crab cake slider, turkey burger slider, 5 strips of bacon, and 50 ounces of beer. For dessert, I suppose you could go with a "wafer thin mint."

Check out Illinois' other extreme eating challenges by clicking here.

Want to see a guy take on a massive omelet? Of course you do.