A healthy (New Year) resolution they intend to keep | Inquirer Business

A healthy (New Year) resolution they intend to keep

/ 11:06 PM January 06, 2012

(First of two parts)

Those who weren’t able to follow their daily routines and struggles on television may find it unbelievable that eight months ago, these five fit and healthy-looking individuals were classified as obese and in fact, already taking medications to deal with the various health problems they were suffering from as a result of having too much body fat.

One could barely recognized them from their “before” photos, which were taken last May as they enter the Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition “camp” at Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club in Cavite.


“We are actual proof that no matter how fat and unhealthy you may be, there is always hope and that a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and to remain fit afterward need not be a wishful thinking,” said 36-year-old Art Mendoza who placed second after losing 129 lb (58.5kg) or 37.83 percent of his body weight.


The reality TV show, which was won by 36-year-old Larry Martin (who lost 101 lb or 45.8 kg, a 39.61 percent reduction), is based on the franchise that first became popular in the United States.

Participants start with a weigh-in that serves as the baseline for determining the overall winner.

Two teams

The contestants are then separated into two teams of six contestants. Afterward, those who win in the various challenges and temptations featured in each episode are given special privileges, such as a weight advantage for the next weigh-in, or full immunity from being voted off the show.

The teams are dissolved when the number of contestants has shrunk to a predetermined smaller number wherein contestants then compete against each other.

“This is not something that we did just for the duration of the show. This is a lifelong commitment we promised ourselves when we joined the show,” explained 22-year-old and third placer Raffy Tan who used to weigh 287 pounds (130 kg) but was able to shed 100 pounds (45.3 kg) when the show concluded in October.


Before the show started in May, Tan related that his doctor was already worried and had already prescribed him medications to control his high blood pressure as well as high blood sugar levels.

“However, in my most recent visits to my doctor, he said I will no longer need these medications considering my blood pressure and blood sugar levels have gone down to their normal levels,” Tan reported.

He related that like so many obese individuals they also tried, usually, beginning Jan. 1, to eat healthier and work out as well as hope that in a few months, they will see results.


“And yet, we still indulged even if we needed neither that second serving nor the extra round of drinks,” said 22-year-old and fifth placer Hazel Chua who now weighs 138 lb (62.5 kg), a 33.01 percent reduction from her former 206 lb (93.4 kg) weight.

Their predicament isn’t unique considering that in one research, it was found that only 8 percent of New Year’s resolvers who made weight loss their primary goal and have actually begun an exercise program, will reach their goals.

The rest will abandon their efforts in just a few months.


“January is typically the time of year when people think about their health, aim to make improvements and then drop everything afterward,” said 26-year-old and fourth placer Angela Chico-Lupanco, who related how Filipinos have been frantic in trying out different approaches to losing weight.

So why did they succeed when the rest struggled to even lose a few pounds?

“You have to have a mindset that this is a lifestyle change, that if you don’t do this, you might find yourself very sick one day, unable to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. You could be dead if you’re not careful. Asking for help and advice from fitness professionals and nutritionists could do a lot and plays a key role in one’s success,” related 33-year-old Eboy Bautista, who weighed 481 lb (218 kg) during the show’s first weigh-in, considered one of the heaviest Biggest Loser contestants in all of the reality show’s versions worldwide.

While he may still look big, Bautista already lost 132 lb (59.8 kg) and now weighs 349 lb (158kg). “I am still losing weight considering I learned to eat small portions every meal. I regularly visit the gym,” Bautista said.


According to weight-loss expert and Pinoy Biggest Loser resident nutritionist, Nadine Tengco, shedding unwanted weight should be a combination of eating the right foods at the right time as well as exercise.

“Between May and October 2011, the show taught the public that you don’t have to starve or go through an extensive workout in order to lose weight—just eat right, cut down on your food intake and be consistent with your exercise,” advised Tengco who is also a sports nutritionist at Philippine Olympics Committee.

She added that skipping meals, enrolling in rigid diet programs or strenuous workouts, and avoiding foods that are deemed fattening and unhealthy may have negative effects afterward.

“Trust me, these individuals tried them all. However, what became effective was the strategy of moderate eating as well as eating small portions of everything, even those rich in carbohydrates,” said Walter Co, president of Creative Bakers, the show’s official provider of fiber-rich bread products.

Meals that are rich in fiber such as bread, fruits and vegetables are essential, according to Co who explained that these foods keep one from feeling full for several hours.

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“These foods are desirable as they control the contestants’ daily calorie intake. The meals we serve them generally contain fiber as well as protein that add bulk to their diet and provide a more satisfying meal than others,” he explained.

TAGS: exercise, Health, healthy lifestyle

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