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3 Tips to Manage Diet, Exercise, and Health in Pageantry

As they say, heavy is the head that wears the crown – or at least, aspires to wear one. Each year, 2.5 million women join one of the thousands of beauty pageants held in the United States. Pageant competitions inspire many young women to prioritize their diet and exercise routines.
Representing your state, or possibly even your entire country, is not just about being someone that others want to look like; it’s essential to be someone that others can look up to.
Today, pageantry is evolving, looking beyond external beauty and considering a participants public speaking skills,  confidence under pressure, and how staunchly they fight for their chosen advocacy. Balancing these demands with the physical pressures and public scrutiny of pageantry can be stressful, causing some to neglect their overall health.
But while the physical component of the competition exists, there are a few healthier ways to adjust your health routine to ensure you’re not only looking, but also feeling your best as you enter your next pageant.

Simple substitutions

As a pageant looms closer, some contestants abstain from entire food groups, shunning solids or even avoiding drinking water on the big day. These haphazard weight loss methods could take a toll on your body. Fortunately, there are simple ways to lose weight naturally when you pay more attention to your diet.
Swapping out added sugars and adding proteins and fibers to your meals can greatly help. If you find yourself hankering for a cookie at those pre-pageant rehearsals, consider alternatives like grapes, mangoes, and berries – their high fiber content helps suppress appetite, but they’re still sweet enough to put cravings to rest.
Another tip is increasing your protein intake: Greek yogurt, eggs, and beans are versatile and easy to add to your favorite meals. Plus, protein supports fat loss by helping you maintain muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat.

Balanced workouts

When it comes to your training program, a balance between cardio and strength training is vital. You want to be trim without compromising muscle tone. As many pageant participants know, a runway walk requires extreme muscle control, mainly if you don a gown or an unwieldy national costume – in heels, no less!
This is why Miss Universe Catriona Gray prepared for the 2018 pageant with a routine involving weight lifting and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Research has found that HIIT burns 25% to 30% more calories in a 30-minute session compared to running and biking – meaning less is still more. The best part? Quick HIIT sessions also save you precious time, freeing up more hours to attend to other pageantry errands like fittings or Q&A training.

Overall health changes

Getting caught up in the physical preparation for a pageant is easy, but there’s more to it than just diet and exercise. The hours you spend getting adequate sleep and enjoying downtime are just as valuable as the ones you spend at the gym. Regular quality sleep promotes a healthy glow and gives you the energy to power through those busy days.
Incorporating short breaks helps you to sit with your thoughts and evaluate your mindset to see how you can better think like a queen. For example, pageantry may make you feel like you need to be 100% perfect at all hours of the day, but it may be essential to accept that there are moments where you may fall short. You could stumble from your diet or miss a workout or two – but accepting that you had a bad day and getting back on track is far more inspiring than punishing yourself with unhealthy weight loss methods. After all, the true measure of a beauty queen is her ability to lead by example.

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