The reason Adam Richman left Man v. Food

Adam Richman starred in the hit Travel Channel show Man v. Food for four years, competing in food challenges across the country that seemed impossible — until he finished them, anyway. But Richman walked away from the highly-rated show in 2012, leaving many fans scratching their heads and wondering what reason he could possibly have had for leaving. After all, how many people actually get paid to eat massive amounts of bar food? 

After Richman left Man v. Food (which was rebooted with new host Casey Webb in 2017), there were rumors that he had quit because of health problems, and others said that the host had become depressed. But it turns out that neither of those rumors is the real reason Richman left Man v. Food. The truth behind the host's exit was a little more subtle. 

Adam Richman hated doing certain challenges

Competitive eating is demanding on the human body, but Richman didn't stop because he was gaining weight. In fact, Richman went through a lot to make sure his body could handle the challenges. He would work out ahead of his food feats to boost his metabolism, make sure to stay hydrated, and would often do cleanses after completing a challenges (via The Guardian). 

Instead, he said that he simply had stopped enjoying the competitions, especially the ones that involved eating spicy food. "I don't miss the physiological feeling after having a spicy challenge and having that much food in you," Richman said in an interview (via BBC). Richman bemoaned the excessive use of spice in dishes he ate, saying that too many chefs used hot pepper extracts to make their food spicy, rather than relying on whole peppers that would keep a dish balanced. "I could give you a chip, buddy, and you could put ghost chili extract on it, and it instantly becomes a deathly hot dish. But there's no artistry in it," he said.

Another type of challenge he stopped looking forward to? Those that involved eating vast quantities of starchy foods like potatoes, breads, and fried foods that make you fill up fast. Some of the challenges also ruined his appetite for some formerly favorite foods, like oysters. After he downed 15 dozen of the mollusk for a challenge in New Orleans, he said he just lost the taste for them altogether (via Mirror).

Adam Richman wasn't excited by Man v. Food anymore

All good things must come to an end, and though Man v. Food may have started out as a dream job, eventually, Richman was simply ready to move on. "The simplest way to put it is to say that the spectacle diminishes over time," he said, explaining that as a producer, his priority was keeping things fresh for his audience. Once he realized he no longer could, he decided to move on. 

"I now seek to explore, to learn and to share what I've learned about food, places, people and travel itself and make that information enjoyable and accessible to everyone," he said in a 2012 Facebook post, also announcing that he had hung up his "competitive fork." 

What did Adam Richman do after Man v. Food?

After he left Man v. Food for good, Richman got a new show on Travel Channel called Man Finds Food, but it wasn't without controversy (via Earn The Necklace). 

That's because he posted a weight-loss photo on Instagram using the hashtag #thinspiration, a term that's commonly used by the Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia (pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia, respectively) communities on the internet, which are often populated by young women with eating disorders who encourage the same self-harming behavior in others (via GoodTherapy). 

When some of his followers pointed out the problematic history of this term, Richman totally lost his cool. He responded with expletive-laced comments, including one that encouraged a follower to self-harm (via The Guardian). 

It was a little strange, considering how he'd had to deal with vicious rumors about his own health over the years. "You have that sort of percentage of sick people who almost wanted to believe that [illness] happened to me," he said, yet he didn't hold back when it came to wishing ill on followers who were trying to point out how problematic his social media post could be.

Due to his outburst, the Travel Channel delayed the release of Man Finds Food for a whole year. 

Weight gain and weight loss may not have had anything to do with why Adam Richman left Man v. Food, but it seems like they're two topics the host can't escape.