Competing for the Miss America crown is a gruelling process. The contestants are expected to meet very high standards as their body types are scrutinized, and preparing for a competition takes months of hard work and dedication. All of that and you have to fend off the advances of one now president of the United States.
No one knows this better than Allie Curtis (the pageant preparing bit not the Trump stuff). She was crowned Miss Rhode Island in 2015 and then went on to compete for the 2016 Miss America crown.
When Curtis started to prepare for the Miss Rhode Island competition in January of 2015, she had just finished a semester in Washington DC, a time when she said she was "eating (her) way through one congressional reception to the next." Even though I've never competed at a pageant, I can definitely relate to eating my way through stress.
Throughout the course of eight months, Curtis lost 18 pounds and reached a 12.5 body fat percentage (16-25 percent is ideal for women looking to achieve an optimal fitness level). The team at Insider managed to speak with the beauty queen about the diet and workout regimen that got her there.
To achieve her accolade-receiving body, her diet consisted of three meals and three snacks per day - and not a whole lot of variety - that averages out to consuming 1200 to 1300 calories per day. The average for a woman is 1600 to 2000 calories a day.
She said she typically started the day off with a Greek yogurt or a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries. Lunch and dinner were usually similar to each other - a protein like salmon or chicken paired with steamed vegetables and sometimes rice. Other times, she'd have lettuce wraps.
The snacks which Curtis ate between every meal were anything from a handful of unsalted cashews to a piece of fruit or a protein shake made from water and protein powder. While extreme, the results of her endeavours are clear to see from the pictures below.
This wasn't just the result of good food though, Curtis worked just as hard in the gym getting her ideal body. Curtis worked with a trainer to ensure that she was staying healthy throughout all of her preparation for competitions. She said that getting ready for pageants is a complex process which requires a delicate balance that can be tough for some contestants to maintain. She stresses skipping meals or taking supplements wasn't ever part of the plan.
"You really need to make sure you're getting what you need to function but still be healthy, but not overeating or doing anything that's going to derail you from the competition body."
Curtis' trainer developed multiple different workout plans throughout her eight months of preparation for competitions. She said this variety ensured that she was continually challenged and that she was enhancing different muscle groups throughout the whole period.
Curtis said that leading up to and on the day of the Miss America swimsuit competition, she was eating regularly and not skipping meals or taking supplements, a risky habit that some beauty queens swear by. Danergous as if they follow a plan like Curtis', they risk health problems as their caloric intake is very low.
In the months leading up to the Miss Rhode Island competition, Curtis said she was allowed one cheat meal per week - without any limitations. Even on the day of the Miss Rhode Island pageant, Curtis allowed herself to indulge in frosting - her self-admitted weakness - after the contestants were treated to cupcakes.
Once it was crunch time for the Miss America pageant, she had to buckle down and eliminate all cheat meals. But even that didn't stop the contestants from ordering Domino's the night the swimsuit competition was over, Curtis said.