From swimsuit competition to the fitness competition, proper diet and exercise is the key to looking great and feeling great on stage. Proper nutrition is essential to any pageant diet.
However, the word “diet” can frankly seem a little intimidating. Luckily, you can diet without dieting! Here are 15 ways you can kick-start your pageant diet – without actually having to diet!
15 Ways to Diet Without Dieting
1. Drink water
If you’re not already drinking plenty of water a day, you’re already falling behind! Despite the nutritional benefits of drinking water. Drinking plenty of water is also great for radiant, glowing and healthy skin. Drinking more water means a drop in calorie intake, which ultimately leads to weight loss. (Read: Hate Drinking Water? These 6 Foods Will Help You Stay Hydrated)
But, be careful not to over do it! Drinking too much water too quickly is dangerous. This can lead to water intoxication or “water poisoning,” which occurs when a person drinks so much water that the body loses a balance of electrolytes.
2. Embrace apple cider vinegar
Ever heard of the benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar? New medical research suggests that drinking apple cider vinegar can not only support weight loss but also help acid reflux, improve diabetes and lower blood pressure.
Miss USA 2016, Deshauna Barber, told USA Today in an interview, “I like apple cider vinegar. Every now and then, I take a shot of apple cider vinegar, add a little water and wipe my face with it. That’s a really good cleanser as well if you don’t want to do a full skincare routine.”
3. Bye-bye, Chick-fil-A!
Don’t just say goodbye to Chick-fil-A, ditch all fast foods. Fast food is high in salt, fat and other ingredients that are bad for your body. We all love fries before guys, however, in this case, it’s best to leave them all together.
Skipping the fast food line and simply bringing healthy options with you on the go can help to reduce your fat and calorie intake, causing you to naturally lose weight. (Read: 10 Gross Facts About Fast Food (That Will Make You Avoid It Forever))
4. Start early in the morning, before you eat your breakfast
You gotta’ get down! What do I mean? Starting your day early with stretching and light exercise before you eat helps to kick-start your metabolism. (Read: How to Speed Up Your Metabolism and Lose Weight)
Even if you’re not a morning person, getting up and getting down first thing when you wake up will give you more energy throughout the day. You will look and feel amazing!
5. Save the sugar for your boyfriend
Ditch the sugar if you want to get ready for your next pageant or just live a healthy lifestyle. Now, of course, you don’t have to ban sugar from your life completely, but cutting back significantly is essential. (Read: 10 Days to a Sugar-Free Lifestyle)
So, just say no to that Unicorn Frappucino, and save the sugar for your boyfriend. (Or your family if you’re too young to date!)
6. Eat more
Yes, eat more! Okay, don’t eat larger portions, but eat more frequently! Eating small, balanced meals and snacks actually boosts your metabolism. So, if you want to loose weight, eating once or twice a day is not only bad for you, but it actually will cause your metabolism to slow down and cause you to gain weight. (Read: How Many Times Should You Eat When Preparing For a Pageant)
Eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus healthy snacks such as fruits, nuts and vegetables in between will help you on a journey to a healthy lifestyle and a healthier you! (Read: Pageant Week Nutrition: Keeping Your Energy Up With Snacks and Meals)
7. Don’t skip breakfast!
If you should be eating more, then why would you not eat breakfast? It’s the most important meal of the day, after all. (Read: How Eating Breakfast Can Help You Lose Weight)
Eating breakfast is essential to a healthy lifestyle and a healthier you. Don’t skip breakfast! Eating first thing in the morning after a good stretch and/or workout does what? You guessed it! Boost your metabolism! That is the magic phrase, if you haven’t caught on yet! (Read: Top 10 Breakfast Foods for Pageant Weight Loss)
8. Close the kitchen
Close the kitchen, yes your kitchen! Eating those late night tacos may sound super yummy, but your body needs that time to process the food it has eaten that day.
Setting “closing hours” for your own kitchen will help curve those late night munchies and mindless snacking.
9. Start a food diary
Dear Diary, today I ate… Starting a food diary or a food journal is a great way to keep track of what you are eating and a great way to practice accountability. Did you eat your breakfast today? Did you drink lots of water? Writing it down makes it real, and when it’s real, it works! You’ll be able to monitor your calorie and sugar intake more effectively and be more motivated to make small changes to your daily diet to reach your goals organically.
10. Go for the grain
Opt for eating foods that are natural grains instead of refined grains like white bread, cake and cookies. You’ll be adding much-needed fiber to your diet, which will fill you up faster.
11. Walk it out
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park in the back of the parking lot at work. Walk to the other end of the shopping plaza instead of driving. Walking more throughout the day will help you burn more calories and ultimately help you lose weight. (Read: 4 MUST Know Workout Moves For Walking In Heels On Stage)
12. Trim your portions
I’m sure you don’t need all of that, do you? Has anyone ever told you that your eyes are bigger than your stomach? Well, they’re right! Trimming your portions by 10 -20% can help you cut back and lose weight without having to give up Taco Tuesday. (Read: A Pageant Girl’s Guide to Portion Control – Daily Fit Tip)
13. What do you mean, protein?
Add protein to every meal and snack you have throughout the day. Not only does protein help build muscles to make you a lean, mean, pageant competing machine, but it also helps curb hunger longer. (Read: What You Need to Know About Protein for a Pageant)
Try low-fat yogurt, a small portion of nuts like almonds, natural peanut butter, eggs, or lean meats like turkey breast. This will help you feel satisfied sooner so that you are less likely to overeat.
14. Work it out
Adding exercise to your daily routine is a great way to diet without actually having to diet. You will feel great, have lots of energy, and who knows, you may even fall in love with working out! (Read: The Best Workout Moves to Build a Pageant Body)
15. Focus on healthy, not on numbers
A lot of times, girls want to diet to loose a certain amount of weight with a specific number. Well, if you’re going to diet without dieting, then focus on creating a healthy lifestyle and stop focusing on the numbers.
Doing some of the small things mentioned above, like drinking more water and eating less sugar, can help you practice healthy living so that you are always prepared for your next pageant and don’t have to think about dieting. (Read:10 Tips to Get Healthy Before Your Next Pageant)
Remember, when dieting or not dieting, be sure to consult a healthcare professional to make sure that you are getting proper nutrition for your specific body. There is no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to what works for you and your body. (Read: What is a Healthy Body Fat Percentage for a Pageant Girl?)
Also, remember that a long healthy life is more important than winning a crown, so stay away from unhealthy “crash diets” and trying to quickly lose a large amount of weight in a short amount of time. The way to a healthier you is through hard work, determination and making health part of your lifestyle! (Read: 5 Reasons to NEVER Crash Diet for a Pageant)