Raina Huang, a renowned Californian competitive eater and internet sensation with over 4.5 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube (under the handle @rainaiscrazy), just closed out a two-week foodie adventure around Bangkok. 
During her time here, Raina showcased her talents by devouring dishes at lightning speed. She conquered 30 burgers at Burger King, ate the most expensive pho in Bangkok at Pho Hono, polished off 2.5 kilograms ramen in 5.5 minutes, scarfed a meat mountain at Jodd Fairs, slurped three kilograms of noodles in 14 minutes, shoveled down 5 kilograms of pad kaprao in 19 minutes, and demolished three kilograms of chicken and rice in 15 mins. She also has an impressive spice tolerance, having taken on the level 10 spice level of at the tourist hotspot Phed Mark.  
“I had no idea that there were food challenges or competitions back then, so when I entered I finished a four-pound burrito in six minutes with no training at all. It was just something I did for fun, and when I uploaded the video online, it received a ton of views. I thought, ‘Well, I guess this is a thing, and people like to watch me eat, so I'll just keep on researching,’” Raina tells BK, who has been competitive eating for more than six years.
It might seem like a dream gig, but it doesn’t come easy. Raina has to prepare for these challenges, and doesn’t eat for an entire day until she tucks into the food. 
“In the first two years of doing this, I easily gained 20-30 pounds, so I had to learn to control my eating and work out even more,” Raina says. “These challenges are my form of practice and training. I don’t rigorously train or have a strict schedule but I do like to walk a lot and swim. I drink a lot of water, and that helps. The more water I drink, the more my stomach expands, and when the water is out, I can replace it with food. My limit is a gallon within two minutes.”
We accompanied Raina on one of her food challenges, giving us a firsthand glimpse into the world of competitive eating and the weird world of internet stardom. Her preparation involves a lot of walking, so before the challenge, she walked for 2.5 hours in Bangkok’s scorching heat, holding weights in both hands. 
“When I finish a challenge, I definitely feel accomplished, but when I first started and failed a challenge, I felt terrible. Now I just accept it for what it is, and if I can't finish it, I don't want to push myself to the point of being sick. If I know I can't accomplish it, I simply let it go,” Raina tells BK.
Tackling as many plates of chicken and rice as possible in 10 minutes, she consumed three in the first minute without slowing down. She was in the zone. Her technique included bringing the plates up to her mouth and drenching the rice with soup to wash it all down. With each plate disappearing at rapid speed, she finished the ten minutes with twenty empty plates.    
“I just do it because I enjoy it a lot. Nowadays, I enjoy experiencing different cultures and showing people different parts of the world, and it shows in my videos that I truly enjoy doing it,” Raina says.

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