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Professional eater returns home to Wisconsin after global food tour

Known on social media as Katina Eats Kilos, Milwaukee resident Katina DeJarnett says professional eating is harder than you think

Katina Eats Kilos sits infront of a food challenge that includes burgers, chicken
Professional eater and Milwaukee resident Katina DeJarnett. Photo courtesy of Katina Eats Kilos

At The Kitchen restaurant in Sussex, professional eater Katina DeJarnett recently tackled one of Wisconsin’s biggest breakfast challenges.

Six eggs, one pound of hash browns, five slices of toast, eight breakfast sausages, four large cajun sausages, six slices of bacon, a country fried steak, biscuits n’ gravy and six huge chocolate chip pancakes.

She ate it all in less than 45 minutes.

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DeJarnett, a Milwaukee resident, is known to her 640,000 YouTube followers as Katina Eats Kilos. In August, she returned to Wisconsin after a global food eating tour. She toured Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Cambodia before flying to Europe with her partner and fellow professional eater Randy Santel.

Together, the two ate roughly 360 pounds of food over 56 challenges.

At a Brussels taco joint, DeJarnett had a crowd that was standing room only. She ate a five pound “GigaTaco” in less than 18 minutes.

Achieving that level of food intake takes practice, DeJarnett recently said on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Morning Show.” She trains by eating a bulky, low calorie meal like a salad, with a two liter bottle of soda. She calls this tactic “stretching the stomach.”

She also practices pacing herself, so she eats fast without choking.

“Winning is not worth choking over,” she said. “If you think, ‘I’ve eaten my whole life, so eating food quickly will be no problem,’ wait until you get nervous.”

Many of her YouTube subscribers want to know how a 5-foot-2-inch person can complete challenge after challenge. But the most common questions are about the bathroom.

“A lot of people ask if we get sick on purpose after challenges. That is obviously a no,” DeJarnett said.

More important to the former bodybuilder than completing a challenge is balancing the work with a healthy lifestyle. To balance the caloric intake, which can rise up to the thousands for a single challenge, she has a strict exercise routine.

DeJarnett walks daily and trains in the gym five days a week. She has completed marathons and squeezes in cardio, too.

Her next eating challenge is scheduled for 2024. After more than 15 months away from home eating her way around the globe, DeJarnett said it is time to diet.

DeJarnett hopes people understand she is a “professional eater” rather than a “competitive eater.” The challenge is her versus the food rather than her versus other people, such as in the famous Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York.

Despite the importance of training and experience, DeJarnett says the biggest key to her success is quite simple, “Be really, really hungry.”