Which Diet And Workout Best Fit Our Health And Fitness Goals
Like in all things, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to health and fitness. One will have to tailor-fit one’s diet and exercise regimen to the kind of goals that one wants to achieve.
We ask AXA Philippines’ Health and Nutrition Adviser (HANA), to answer our burning questions on what kinds of diet and workout best fits us, depending on what we want to achieve for our health and body.
Q.: “Dear HANA, I want to lose weight. I’ve been trying to eat less and less everyday but I just feel weak and hungry. What am I doing wrong?”
A.: It’s easy to just say “go on a diet” and eat less or skip meals. But if you eat less, you’re also eating less of the nutrients and minerals that you need to stay healthy. This is why well-rounded diets are more sustainable to lead to a leaner and healthier body. One of the most popular weight loss diets is the Ketogenic diet. It’s about reducing carbohydrate and upping fat intake so that the body burns the fat as fuel. Very straightforward, right?
For lactose-intolerant people, try the Paleo Diet. It works on the theory that you should eat the same way that hunter-gatherers ate before, so no processed food and dairy. Over the years, the Paleo diet has been linked not only to sustainable weight loss, but also to impressive health benefits.
For the more environmentally conscious, you can hit two birds with one stone by following the vegetarian diet. It’s about avoiding all animal-based food to achieve a low-fat, high-fiber diet. Studies over the years have shown vegetarians to not only have a lower body weight, but also a longer life expectancy and lower risk of hypertension and some types of cancer
But if you really want to speed up weight loss and even help burn fat, exercise. Experts suggest interval training like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to aid in weight loss, since you burn more calories when you work your muscles hard and push your body to use up energy.
Q.: “Dear HANA, I want a beautiful, toned body! I want washboard abs, I want strong legs, I want sculpted arms. You know, the kind of stuff that would look nice on my Instagram feed! What diet do I need to follow?”
A.: Building your body is all about discipline and hard work. And when it comes to building muscle and strengthening your body, you can’t just run the treadmill at the gym and expect to look nice—the kind of workout you do is very crucial. Weight training is probably the best and most efficient way of toning as it causes micro tears in your muscle fibers, which then help tone your body by building lean muscle mass. Think squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and resistance training with lighter weights in higher repetitions.
But it’s not just the weights; you would need to load up on protein if you want to achieve the best results. According to studies, you need up to 1.6 grams of protein for every kilogram of your body weight. And you can get a bulk of this protein from whole foods like fish, lean meat, and eggs. Throwing in protein shakes are also great to make the difference.
Q.: “Dear HANA, I’m not really interested in getting thinner. I just want a healthier life and a healthier body. Work has been very stressful and has been pushing me to stress-eat. And I know that the bad things I put in my body are starting to affect my work—I’m more sluggish, I am tired all the time, and I’m scared I’ll take after my parent’s heart problems. My relatives also have a history of diabetes! Scared! What will happen to my kids if I don’t live long and healthy enough? What should I do?”
A.: If you want a longer and healthier life, many scientific studies have found that the Mediterranean diet is probably the “best” diet plan out there. It’s based on the eating habits of southern European countries where there are more people who live past 100. It’s about eating fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and food from natural sources, and is a great way to cut down on saturated fats that have started to eat up our eating habits.
If you’re the kind of person who likes their carbs, the Okinawa diet is also a nice alternative. Instead of fish and seafood, it’s more of getting your protein from plants and focusing on complex carbs in the form of potatoes, squash, and soybeans.
Both the Mediterranean and Okinawan diet have been found to be linked to good heart health and prevention of diabetes. But if you’re thinking about your future and your kids’ future, it’s always nice to invest on things that will protect you from unforeseeable circumstances and emergency situations. Especially if you’re worried about all these diseases that might debilitate you, health plans ensure that if everything else fails, you are still financially prepared for your medical needs.
And just like finding the right diet and workout for you, you have to find the right products and the right providers to match what you need and want in securing your health and future.
AXA, one of the largest and fastest-growing life insurance companies in the country, has a number of health insurance products for different kinds of needs. There’s Global Health Access, a comprehensive health solution that provides world-class medical coverage in the Philippines and any country in the world. It grants up to P150 million worth of extensive medical coverage, wherever you are in the world.
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They say getting health insurance is always the first step to being a responsible adult—and that’s very true. Not only are you training yourself to be more responsible about your finances, but you’re also securing your body and your health from the things that you can’t foresee. At least now, while you’re still at the peak of your career, you can afford to secure yourself and your family in the future.
Keep your fitness goals clear and make sure you’re prepared for what life has in store for you. If you want to start your journey to a healthier and more secured life, you can check out these health insurance plans from AXA Philippines here.