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The Right Way to Eat to a Healthier and Fitter You

By Posted on 6 m read

Do you feel depressed knowing that you cannot wear your one-year old pair of jeans? Or that your room mirror cannot “lie” to you anymore with your bulging waistline?

Well, if there is one thing you

Eating less IS not a guarantee to making yourself fitter.

You might think that thinking less quantities will lead to a leaner you. It might look right, but you might also be depriving your body its needed nutrients to fuel daily activities.

Neither does skipping meals a right thing to do. Because the moment you skip meals, your body feels stress and stores more glucose.

Your body, when stressed and lacking the right nutrients, stores more glucose and fats more than it needs that later on leads to excess fats in our bodies, like the ones “flowering” around your belly.

According to studies the bigger your belly is from your chest (in a normal health condition and proportion), you are more susceptible to health risks like diabetes, hypertension, hearth problems, high cholesterol, and all sorts of diseases.

Your body weight and proportion is a good indication for your health.

According to US Certified Fitness Nutritionist-Chef and Weight Management Specialist Nadine Tengco, there are THREE things you need to consider to be RIGHT, to keep you in right, healthy eating habit.

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The following are in order of importance, not to be interchanged when considering. The THREE (3) RIGHT Things to healthier eating

  1. Right Quality
  2. Right Frequency
  3. Right Quantity

Nadine Tengco, who has been known on local television as a resident nutritionist-chef int the Biggest Loser Pinoy edition, explained that if you eat the right quality of food at the right time, counting calories is to focused less. She said that many health-conscious people worry too much counting calories of the food they eat, and in turn, making them more stressful. Not a healthy way for that matter.

Thus, she stressed heavily on the the two more important facts in eating healthier.


Foods with the quality mean that it can satisfy three things: appetite, hunger and body.

There is a natural tendency for people to eat according to emotion. Normally, this happens, thus, there are “comfort” foods that unless eaten, people wouldn’t feel satisfied with their appetite.

Tengco said that foods that satisfy the appetite are usually good, in terms of look, scent, taste and feel. Unless given the good attributes of the four, some people may still feel unsatisfied with their hunger.

Second trait is that quality foods should satisfy the hunger or make you feel “busog.” Physiologically, the right way to be full, is to fill your tummy with complex carbs and protein, rather than just sugar or just any foods.

Your body needs a balance intake of carbohydrates, fats, glucose, vitamins, minerals and all other things together to make a healthy inner you.

It is ideal for Filipinos to have rice for the carbohydrates in take. This is in turn, according to studies, make Filipinos susceptible to diabetes due to high starch intake from rice. Nadine explained that we, Filipinos, have a good way of digesting rice in our bodies compared to other races. But, we just have to “manage” the way we eat.

Nadine Tengco recommended the foods you eat to have what she calls “FAB 4”. Foods rich in Fiber, Calcium, Vitamin D and Omega 3.

Eating food rich in fiber and protein take longer time to digest, thus, making you feel full, and having your digestive system busy working for 3 to 4 hours.


One interesting fact that I learned from Nadine is about resistant start.

Resistant starch food prevent excessive storage of starch in our body. Thus, excess starch goes straight out of our body, instead of storing it. Food like banana, is an example of resistant starch food, especially those with green still on the banana peals.

Here’s another trivia that I learned from Nadine Tengco, that cold rice “bahaw” is healthier to eat than hot rice.

She said that recent studies show that cold rice is resistant starch since the starch in rice crystellize as soon as it is cold which your body, specifically the digestive system, when automatically detected flushes the starch to the colon then flushes out of your body.

“Ang BAHAW… bo-how’ (instead of bow).  *wink*


Nadine Tengco further explained that eating on time means eating the RIGHT food after every three to four hours, whether hungry or not. This makes eating a regular part of daily routine, even at the midst of a busy schedule.

She said that eating at the right time makes the body metabolism faster so that the body will not store excess intakes. Eating every three to four hours will also, psychologically, make us feel fulfilled and not deprived from food.

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Lastly, the right amount of quantity.

According to research, it is recommended to just eat one (1) cup of rice during a meal. But normally, Pinoys, with all the unli-rice promos and easy access to rice at home, take in two (2) cups on an average every meal.

And when I personally saw how the RECOMMENDED one (1) cup of rice look like, it is barely, four (4) spoons of rice. What a heartbreaker right?

So, if you think, it is the size of the cup you see in canteens or food joints, sorry, it is not.

Plus, she said that Filipinos normally eat more rice than vegetables and meat. Which shouldn’t be the real case if you want a healthier life. Nadine Tengco added that in terms of volume, you have to eat more vegetable than meat and rice.

It is logical that if you eat the right quality of food at the right time, you won’t be overeating yourself, since you’re most likely satisfied with the first two requirements – your appetite and hunger. Thus, these THREE RIGHT things to bear in mind are according to importance.

She stressed on the importance of keeping a healthy diet, with less salt, sugar and definitely, no to artificial flavoring, preserves and additives (specifically on artificial “dieting” components).

Here is a sample recipe that is both good in quality and quantity. A recipe that you wouldn’t feel shortchanged in terms of volume, look, scent, feel and more importantly, taste.


Vegetable Chow Fan

  • 1 cu Vegetable Chow Fan = 120 cal vs 1 cup rice = 205 cal
  • Savings = 85 cal per cup


  • 1/2 tbsp Canola oil
  • 3/4 cup Chinese cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/4 chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • 1/8 chopped carrot
  • 1/4 cup sitao chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup chopped sayote
  • 1/4 cup malunggay leaves
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1 cup cooked turmeric brown rice (see below on how to do it)
  • 1/2 sesame oil
  • 1/4 garlic powder
  • 1/4 onion powder

Tumeric Brown Rice

  • Soak, wash and rinse rice well before cooking
  • Add 1/8 tsp ground tumeric to 1 cup uncooked rice
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of water per 1 cup of uncooked rice


  • Saute garlic and onions in canola oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add sayote, sitao, cabbage and carrots and saute for 3 minutes.
  • Add bell peppers and malunggay and saute until tender.
  • Add rice, garlic and onion powder mix well.
  • Add sesame oil and saute for another 2 minutes.

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Personally, I feel relieved not to be counting calories everytime, making you feel so paranoid of the things you eat. You tend to be more busy counting calories than just enjoying your food.

What’s more interesting about what Nadine Tengco said is that many ingredients are very much available. That we do not have to think of so “complicated” and “hard-to-find-ingredients” recipes just to prepare a healthy meal. Many of which like Luyang Dilaw (Turmic), Malunggay and other vegetables that are very rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, are very much available for us, Filipinos.

Makes me wonder how many Filipinos overlook the abundant resources we have to cover our plate with healthy meal, instead, we look for fancy meal instead.

And for me, who is also looking of ways to be fit and healthy, I am also researching on ways to eat right.

With proper diet and exercise, it is possible to be healthier and fitter.

How’s your diet? Do you have a special regimen you can recommend?

Post a comment below or tag me on Facebook, Google + or Twitter so I can also share it here. Or if you other questions, you can post it here.

I would love to hear your stories.

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