Healthily Ever After

By Christian Jay B. Quilo

Illustrations by Enrico P. Santisas

Being healthy is beyond looking a certain size or shape. It’s a lifestyle, one that entails discipline and commitment. We’ve all had our (failed) attempts at trying a better lifestyle but it’s not easy, to say the least. If you’re planning to go at it again, here are some practical tips to help you increase your chances of keeping it up this time around.

Learn to cook.
It’s so easy to go to the nearest convenience store or fast food drive-thru for a quick meal. But aside from being costly, it’s also not good for us. Learning to be kitchen-savvy will diversify your options and save you money.

Take it slow.
Crash diets are not sustainable. You can start by eliminating sodas this week, and then fast food the week after. It doesn’t have to happen overnight or over two weeks, because it won’t.

Don’t deprive yourself.
Let’s be real here: There’s nothing wrong with the occasional slice of Meatlovers or a six-pack of McNuggets—it’s just all about moderation.

Try alternatives.
If you love sisig, try a tofu version. If you love buffalo wings, try cauliflower. There are so many restaurants in Cebu that have created “cheat” food that are healthier but just as good; or as aforementioned, try making it yourself!

Grab a partner.
It’s easier when you have a buddy in this journey. Think of it as being each other’s cheerleader. It won’t be so lonely. You can experiment with food and exercise together, and talk each other out of buying that large bag of chips.

Get into a routine.
If you’re the type who plots things out ahead of time, you can make a meal plan or schedule your time for exercise. When you have a routine, the process becomes smoother and seamless.

Set goals.
Reasonable ones, of course. What exactly do you want to come out of this? “To be healthy” seems a bit vague. Do you have a certain weight you want to reach? Or a certain physique you want to achieve?

Go for a physical activity that you genuinely enjoy.
One misconception about working out is that it must always involve hardcore stuff like lifting weights or running on a treadmill, but it’s not limited to that. There’s sports if you’re the athletic type or yoga if you prefer something more meditative but will still sweat you out.

Drink a lot of water.
This seems like the most cliché health tip thing you’ll ever hear, but for good reason. Aside from hydration, drinking water also helps flush out toxins, aids in weight loss and improves complexion.

Get enough sleep.
These days, all-nighters — whether it’s because of work or a Netflix binge sesh (don’t even try to deny it) — is a common habit. Erratic sleeping habits can mess up your daily routine. Get a good eight hours in every night so you’ll wake up energized and ready for the day.

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