The Original Power Couple: Diet + Exercise

Justinne Lou Go, RND

In the previous week, I talked about what it really means to have a “beach body,” — by achieving one’s ideal body weight. And achieving that isn’t just about cutting back on carbs or justifying your binging by “exercising more than you eat.” Like halo-halo and ube ice cream or lechon and puso (did that make sense?), you can’t have one without the other. The only way to achieve a healthy, ideal weight is with the ultimate power couple that is diet and exercise. No shortcuts, no tricks, just sheer commitment, discipline and determination.

Diet

My first article on this column was about the definition of “diet.” I talked about how there isn’t just one diet that everybody can follow because we’re all biochemically unique. Thus, the nutrition management of an individual must be personalized. What works for a Victoria’s Secret model may unlikely work for you. Why try to be a Kendall Jenner when your body’s optimal shape is of Kim Kardashian’s?

So, first things first, embrace your shape. Second, work on achieving and maintaining an ideal weight ultimately for health reasons. Because when you feel healthy, you will feel great and that is the secret to happiness. We all actually have some idea of what a healthy diet should be, but let me just share the basics with you:

 

1. Balance

The only thing people probably remember from basic nutrition taught in school is the concept of the food groups called Go, Grow and Glow.

Go represents starchy carbohydrates such as grains and starchy vegetables as our source of energy.

Grow pertains to proteins which build and repair muscles and cells. And definitely, it also has a huge role in maintaining our immune system.

And the most important, Glow which represents fruits and vegetables.

These still hold true and the reason we need to make sure these food groups are present in every meal is because each group has its specific function in our bodies. Making sure these food groups are well-represented in every meal helps us get enough energy and nutrients throughout the day.

2. Moderation

Just because something is healthy, it still doesn’t mean that you can eat as much as you want. A special exemption for vegetables, of course, because nobody really eats too much vegetables. Change that mindset into unli veggies instead of unli rice!

3. Variety

There are people who don’t mind eating the same things over and over again every day or every meal if they like something. Folks, we were made for diversity and creativity. Get the most out of life by trying something new once in a while and expanding those taste buds. But really, the main point of eating in variety is because there is no one superfood to “solve it all.” We especially need vegetables in variety to get the most complete nutrient profile from our food. Basically, eat the rainbow! And trust me, you most likely wouldn’t need multivitamins if you do.

Vegetables and fruits come in different colors for a reason; they all contain specific, unique sets of phytonutrients, which are potent antioxidants in our body. But remember, always choose whole over juice or smoothie.

4. Adequacy

How would we know if we’re actually eating enough to get enough needed nutrients for the day? Well, there are general guidelines but like I’ve mentioned previously, we all have our own specific needs, which can be determined by your nutritionist. So, approach one (pick me, pick me!) if you want to know how much of each food group you should really be eating.

Exercise

Of course, one cannot achieve that toned Baywatch body without exercise. Because, eating less and cutting calories can’t burn fat at all. There’s no other way but to move it; sweat!

Aside from burning fat and gaining muscle mass, depending on the type of exercise you do, exercise offers more benefits than what you see on the scale. Some of these benefits are:

* Better sleep
* Faster metabolism
* Stronger immune system
* Healthy, glowing skin (because detox!)
* Regular bowel movement
* Better mood

If you want to achieve that healthy body weight the right way, this is the only way to go. Anything else will be unsustainable and unrealistic. If that’s not enough, I heard this is one of the most effective ways to heal a heartbreak, too. It’s all about taking care of our bodies and treating it right! Everything else will follow — overall well-being and a happier life!

My next article will be talking about the “healthy plate model” as an easy guide to achieve all the basic principles of a healthy diet, and more. So, keep posted!

Email: justinnego@gmail.com
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