• Thomas Twombly

Katina Eats Kilos: Professional Eater and Entertainer

Katina Eats Kilos (Katina DeJarnett) is a professional eater, YouTuber, avid traveler, and former bodybuilder originally from Spokane, Washington.

 


Credit: Katina Eats Kilos

 

If you follow the competitive eating scene, you have probably seen Katina before. If you haven't, let me fill you in. She takes on MASSIVE eats, including going to restaurants to take on their challenges, often winning prizes for her efforts. She is also known for being incredibly nice, upbeat, and passionate (yes, I said it again).


She currently clocks in at over 100+ food challenge wins and 320,000+ loyal YouTube subscribers, charmingly nicknamed the Kilo Crew.


She is also no stranger to spicy food challenges and has even taken on the HOTTEST gummy bear in the world.

 


 

Are you wondering how Katina got started on her epic food journey? So were we.


We talked to Katina recently to learn more about her epic food challenge career, travels, and more.


Let's get to it!

 

FCN: Hi, Katina! Thank you so much for talking with us today. How did you get into competitive eating?


Katina: I started my professional eating career in 2019 after dieting down for a women's physique bodybuilding show. Leading up to the show day, I was dieting pretty hard to get as lean as I needed to be and watched a lot of eating channels on YouTube. The more I watched, the more I thought, “Wow, that looks doable!” After finishing up the show feeling a bit too “small” compared to the other gals, I decided to bulk up! And what better way than food challenges!


I bought a cheap $90 camcorder off of Amazon and headed to my local Fatburger to film myself challenging their small “pay-to-play” XXXL Kingburger challenge. I remember feeling hungry for more when I finished the challenge and so I decided to keep trying bigger and bigger local challenges in my hometown of Spokane, WA!


FCN: Who is your biggest inspiration in competitive eating?


Katina: I suppose I should say, Randy. Haha, but honestly when I was first starting out, I got most of my inspiration from watching the editing style of Beard Meats Food and Nathan Figueroa. I loved how much work and craft they put into editing and filming their videos, and on top of that, they are both incredibly skilled eaters!


Editing is one of my favorite parts of doing what I do (aside from getting to travel the globe and meet incredible people), so I have a lot of respect and admiration for people who take just as much pride in their editing. I have a long way to go before I reach either Beard or Nate’s level, but it is a level of craftsmanship that I always strive for and keep in mind when producing my videos.


FCN: How did Katina Eats Kilos become your nickname?


Katina: Back in ye olden days of my bodybuilding and fitness career, I was actually a personal trainer and an attempted “fitness influencer.” My screen name at the time was Katina Lifts Kilos since I dabbled in not only bodybuilding but CrossFit as well. They use kilos in many of their workout descriptions to cater to the Olympic Lifting community


When I transitioned from lifting to eating, it seemed only natural to sub out “Lifts” for “Eats” since now I was challenging kilos of food!


FCN: You have participated in bodybuilding competitions in the past. What was your favorite cheat meal?


Katina: I never really “cheated” on my bodybuilding diet. I had very low calories the closer I got to the show, so I stuck to my plan pretty religiously. As gifted as folks think my genetics are to stay lean, I really had to stay on point to continue losing weight. Even then, I got stuck a lot! But one of my favorite meals that I would eat every day was my nightly “casein ice cream."


It was just a blend of chocolate casein protein powder, 1 tbsp. of peanut butter, and 1 tbsp. of sugar-free pudding mix, all mushed together with a bit of water and thrown in the freezer for a bit. It always felt like a treat!


FCN: In November of 2021, you took on a food challenge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that directly supported veterans. You mention in the video that you are in the Air Force. Can you give us one of your most memorable experiences from your time in the military?


Katina: Ahh, yes! I was active duty Air Force from 2015-2018 and transitioned to the Washington Air National Guard at that point to finish up my college degree at Gonzaga University. When I was active duty, I worked as a missile maintainer for the CALCM system but had an opportunity to deploy to the Abu Dhabi area on an OCN detail. For those unfamiliar with the military jargon, that just means that I sort of supervised workers as they did tasks on the air base.


On our days off, we had the opportunity to travel off base. I did all sorts of fun touristy things around Dubai, including going to the top of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. I also got to visit a rad theme park called “Ferrari World,” which has one of the fastest roller coasters on the planet! Pretty cool stuff!


 

FCN: What is something funny/embarrassing that happened to you during a food challenge?


Katina: Hmm, I can think of loads of stuff! But I think I will go with a challenge Randy and I did while in Turks and Caicos. The challenge involved eating a bunch of sliders and onion rings pretty quickly. We had just gotten back from a sunset cruise that offered unlimited rum punches, so I was a bit...buzzed. Hehe. Anyways, I ended up live-streaming the challenge on Facebook and almost immediately choked on an ice cube when taking a drink of water in between bites of a slider. I panicked, thinking it was food, and spit the food out. It landed in my ranch dipping bowl, but it sort of looked like I “reversed," which is the PC food challenge term for “threw up."


At the time, we thought it was funny, and those that were there in person thought it was hysterical that I kept using the ranch to keep getting the food down, but those who watched on the poor video quality of the live stream thought I had barfed on camera and had eaten it. I ended up having to take the live video down because I got so much flack for it, but I still think it's pretty darn funny, and gross!


FCN: What is your dream food challenge? If you have already taken it on, how was your experience?


Katina: My dream food challenge was always the 72oz Big Texan Steak Challenge in Amarillo, Texas. I remember watching it as a youngster on Man v. Food and various travel shows. It was just so darn iconic and well known! I also just REALLY love steak! I ended up getting my chance to take on the challenge in June of 2020 while driving cross-country. It was in the heat of the COVID pandemic, so I was the only person taking on the challenge in the restaurant at the time. This is a SUPER rare chance since people come from all across the world just to take on the challenge.


There is a table on a stage that seats around 20 people at a time, and there is a huge timer that can be seen by the entire restaurant. Instead of sharing the spotlight, I had the stage all to myself and had a blast shocking the curious spectators as they walked by. The restaurant was tons of fun, the food was very tasty, and it's still is one of the most memorable challenges I have ever done! It is also my most popular video on YouTube and has opened tons of doors for me in my career.


FCN: What is your strategy for taking on food challenges? Could you break it down for us?


Katina: In the hopes of not sounding too cheesy, I have always used foodchallenges.com strategies when preparing for food challenges. There are tons of nuances, so I recommend that folks start there when looking to get into challenges for the first time. The website not only broke down training methods step by step in an easy-to-understand way, but it also helped me map out which challenges I wanted to take on as it contains a global database of all the food challenges that exist worldwide.


FCN: You met and collaborated with Randy Santel in 2020 during a food challenge tour in Alaska and began dating him shortly after. What is your favorite team challenge with Randy?

Do you have a memorable moment from a food challenge tour with him?


Katina: Awww, we sure did! Although we shared our first smooch after taking on the Team “Garbage Can” Pizza Challenge in Nenana, Alaska, in July of 2020, a more recent challenge in March of 2021 sticks out as one of my favorite team challenges with Randy so far. It was the 5ft Richie Cheesesteak Challenge in Spring Hill, Florida. It was a buzzer-beater of a challenge, and Randy REALLY helped carry the team as I struggled to get the crusty bread of the cheesesteak down.

Credit: Randy Santel


We both really gave the challenge our all, and I ended up dunking the bread in water in a desperate attempt to win. We both HATE dunking, which is why neither of us really do competitive eating competitions, we prefer to enjoy the food. Randy really took one on the chin by joining me in dunking the bread to get the win. We ended up finishing the one-hour time limit challenge in 59:58 to win groovy t-shirts, groovy hats, and $100 cash!


Both of the challenges I mentioned were buzzer-beaters (in Alaska AND Florida), but Randy showed a huge amount of character by not giving up hope. It can be easy to mentally check out of a challenge when you think you are defeated, but he is always right there with me when it comes to being too stubborn to quit!

 

FCN: Thank you, Katina, for taking the time to talk with us! What are your plans for your YouTube channel and competitive eating? Is there anything exciting that you would like our readers to know?


Katina: Thanks so much for this awesome interview! My YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok should all remain fairly consistent for now. Randy and I have pretty big plans to conquer as many nearby stateside challenges as possible while he finishes up his dietetics internship at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, WI. Once he finishes up this spring, we plan to do as much international travel as possible, which I think will make for some really fun and adventurous new content for viewers! We are both so jazzed to showcase new challenges, countries, and food groups for everyone to see and to really broaden the horizons beyond the typical burger challenge!


For now, though, I would like to thank all of your readers for keeping food challenges and both professional/competitive eating alive. It is their interest and viewership that keeps this “sport” relevant and helps Randy and I support small businesses and mom and pop restaurants around the globe! Ya’ll are the best! Cheers!

 

You can follow Katina and become part of the Kilo Crew on her YouTube channel, TikTok Facebook, Instagram, and website.


Follow us: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Want to help support Food Challenge News? Visit our Patreon.