No off-season for Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco
It seems like yesterday when Karen Ibasco was crowned Miss Earth 2017. A university instructor by profession, she outshone all the early favorites to take a surprise win. She enjoyed an incredible reign, visiting different parts of the world and raising awareness on her advocacy — energy conservation.
She recently passed on the crown to her successor Miss Earth 2018 Nguyen Phuong Khánh of Vietnam. However, Karen’s clean eating and diligent training habits haven’t faltered.
Here’s how she stays fit.
Philippine STAR: What keeps you motivated to stay fit?
Karen Ibasco: My motivation comes from wanting to have a good life. And to achieve that, I have to take good care of myself. Having a fitness routine is very important, but you have to be consistent.
What workout routine has worked best for you?
I work out with my coach, especially when I’m training and preparing for pageants. I focus more on full-body workouts. We do functional workouts. For pageants, we focus on specific parts of the body to enhance shape, but not make it too muscular. I don’t follow a specific workout. I don’t have a specific diet, but I eat healthy and I eat clean. I don’t do paleo or keto. I avoid fatty foods and too much sugar. When I want to lose weight, I lower my carbs intake, but I still eat kamote, saba and brown rice. I just avoid white rice as much as possible. I avoid fast food, sugar and fat.
What are some of your staple foods?
Steamed kamote, chicken breast and steamed fish. I also love egg whites. I don’t like red meat so much because I was food poisoned before so I was traumatized.
How do you manage your fat intake?
As much as possible, I avoid it.
What’s the secret to your incredible core and leg development? This seems to be your forte.
What I do for core is I do different workouts with my trainer, Bench Ortiz. For legs and glutes, we do deadlifts and squats. We also focus on glutes because not all people have it and because it took me so much time develop it. It’s one of my gifts/assets. You can say I’m genetically blessed in that aspect.
How often do you train in a week?
I train four to five times a week when I’m competing. I’m always in the gym. Now, I just make time even though I’m busy. Sometimes it’s two to three times a week.
What’s the one food you can’t live without and how do you handle food cravings? Staple cheat meal?
I can’t live without sweets. I love sweets — cakes and ice cream. And these are the hardest food items to let go when I’m competing. It’s hard, but there’s no way for me to incorporate it into my diet.
How’s your diet now that you’re not competing?
When I cheat, I make sure to run or work out. I convert food into energy.
How do you balance your fitness regimen and your work?
I used to be a university instructor and Physics major as well. I guess what’s important is to make time or do it intentionally. You’re always going to have overtimes, but at least keep your weekends free or work out whenever you have free time. At St. Luke’s, we had a gym upstairs so I worked out despite not getting enough sleep, and as much as possible I eat right. Of course, sleep is one of the things I can’t compromise. Sleep and hydration are very important. I recommend six to seven hours of sleep.
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