By: Anna Karmela So, M.D
"YOLO" the young would say, short for You Only Live Once. To live this one life, we only have one body that cannot be replaced, exchanged, or bought. We only have one body to live and be contented with for the rest of our lives. Thus, YOLO cannot be used as an excuse to abuse our body with gorging cakes and lechon while sitting down for work without breaking a sweat in a week. If we want a body that works until our golden age, then this is the plan:
Good body = good physical health = balanced, nutritious diet + rest + physical activity + sleep + rest
I am not going to say that this is easy. I am also not going to fat shame, thin shame, or fit shame at anyone. We have different body structures and different perceptions on how we want our body to look like. However, if you want a new body, you can act to achieve it. A classic example is my husband. He is a natural ectomorph who can eat a load and would not gain a pound. Such conditions may not be a problem for us and a lot of people would dream of having such case, but not for him. He was thin but he overcame what is "natural" of him and developed the "macho" body he wanted. With regular work out and healthy diet appropriate for the body, he triumphed what he was aiming for. Now that he has the body he wanted to have, he still struggles a lot for he has to sustain a high caloric intake and painstakingly lift weights. I was also an ectomorph not until the magic of eating a handful of doughnuts became muffins on my waist. This year, I am starting fresh and will not allow myself to be indecisive on my diet. Here are a few tips and tricks that I have learned and may work for you too:
1. Be conscious of calories. Cardaba Bananas or Saging na saba is just 81 calories, if boiled. If cooked as banana fritter or Turon, it becomes 175 calories.
2. Use fitness applications. I personally endorse MyNetDiary since it is easy to use. First, it keeps track of my calorie intake without computing it manually; and second, it adjust the allowable calorie intake (depends on one's goal).
3. Look up "HIIT cardio workout" videos on the web for people without spare time and money. Save the high intensity interval training videos in your phone and do it at the comfort of your home daily. It will only take 15-20 minutes. No hassle in commuting and waste time in travelling. No need for costly gym outfits and membership fees.
4. Plan your meals to control your calorie intake. Your workplace canteen may not offer healthy options and buying fast food products will do no good as well. Better bring your own packed lunch. Take this for example, if you aim for a 1,500 calorie diet and you buy a fried chicken meal consisting of fried chicken (thigh) + rice + gravy, then it is a 610-calorie meal already. That leaves you with only 890 calories divided for breakfast, dinner and snacks.
5. Every meal is an opportunity for a healthy diet. If you ate a lot during lunch, do not wait for the next day or the following week to restart your diet. Continue your diet and scrimp for the rest of the day.
As stated in the bible, "What you reap is what you sow", if you fail to take care of your body now, your body will fail you in the future. But if you maintain a healthy body now, your body can stay healthy and young for a long time.