Beauty
T&C Editors Put Popular Workouts and Diets to the Test
The lowdown on top diets and workouts based on our personal experience--from the concept and the experience to how much weight we actually lost.
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WORKOUTS

Antigravity Yoga by Beyond Yoga

CONCEPT: One learns “acrobatic” moves with the help of a silk hammock. Doing this type of yoga supposedly improves blood flow, as most of the routine involves hanging upside down. It also improves your ability to stretch and builds core strength as you rely heavily on your core to follow the movements.

THE EXPERIENCE: Restorative yoga is a stress-reliever for those with hectic schedules. Anti-Gravity yoga is fun and exhilarating—at some points you are basically hanging upside down, only supported by the ropes. You might have aching limbs after the first session, but the stretch feels great and you come out of the class feeling like every joint in your body has exerted effort.

WEIGHT LOST:4 pounds in 4 sessions

THE RESULT: Lessened anxiety, more energy with daily physical activities. You feel stronger and lighter.

Beyond Yoga, Unit 316, C2 Building, Bonifacio High Street Central, Taguig; 553.3799, 0917.6299642; [email protected]; igobeyondyoga.com

Pilates, Redcord Suspension, HEAT Cardio + Core by B+B Studio

CONCEPT: Pilates combines yoga, gymnastics, acrobatics, and swimming, making it a musculo-skeletal conditioning program. The movements are systematic, dynamic, and anatomically based. Spring resistance is used instead of heavy weights, because it resembles natural muscular contraction. Because of the emphasis on posture, neutral spine, and core stability, Pilates clients are able to stretch their spine and effortlessly stand up taller and straighter.

THE EXPERIENCE: Our editor had a thorough session first with B + B’s certified trainer to determine her medical history, fitness goals, and conduct a postural and gait analysis. The first session of Pilates basics and Redcord suspension teaches you proper breathing and balance. You have a ball, a machine, and a rope that you use to follow stretching exercises and movements. The Redcord workouts were more intense with a lot of planking while suspended with a rope. Of course it is expected that a first-timer would be sore all over the next day. 

WEIGHT LOST: 11 pounds after 6 sessions; gained more muscle and toned arms and legs.

THE RESULT: The exercises progress to more difficult movements, but all in all and very noticeably at that, improves posture, flexibility, and stamina, and weight loss! The overall experience was enjoyable. It is a feasible lifetime program.

B + B Studio, 11th floor, Infinity Tower, 25th Street, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. 478.6691, 0917.865.3878

Optimum Performance Training by Sky Fitness

CONCEPT: The OPT model integrates training methods that minimize sports injury and maximize results. Before you start with the program, you have to go through an initial machine-based assessment. You go through a body scan and the assessor will ask you to mimic specific movements like flexing and squatting. The gym discourages you from just going about routines on your own; it emphasizes trainer-assisted, customized programs.

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THE EXPERIENCE: Every workout begins with a self myofascial release, which as the trainer described, is a way to loosen up/warm up muscles by directly applying pressure on them. We worked with golf balls, tennis balls, and massage sticks for this phase. (At one point, he applied pressure on my leg with the stick the same way you would attack dough with a rolling pin.) In another session, we focused on core and leg strengthening exercises. We did squats, planks, pulls, and worked with rubber bands, tires and exercise balls.

WEIGHT LOST: No weight loss after two sessions, but the trainer explained that change usually happens at one to two months.

THE RESULT: Builds endurance and power in sports games. It was customized and sports-specific. You never feel that you are doing something aimless. The trainers are knowledgeable and very encouraging.

Sky Fitness, 2nd Floor OPL Building, 100 C. Palanca Street corner Dela Rosa Street, Makati; 478.2248, 478.2249, 0917.589.7827

 

DIETS

Bon Appetit Diet

THE CONCEPT: The online subscription and on-the-go coaching program was pioneered by France’s popular dietitian and nutritionist Dr. Jean Michel Cohen. Now in Manila, the program provides meal plans, shopping lists, exercises, face-to-face coaching, and monitoring. This is a calorie-counting diet that won’t ever feel like a diet.

THE EXPERIENCE: As Bon Appetit banners itself as a lifestyle more than a diet, rapid weight loss shouldn’t be expected. Meals in the plan are so easy to make. The site has begun to include Filipino dishes and restaurants to make everything more accessible and realistic for subscribers.

SAMPLE MEAL PLAN:
Breakfast: Coffee without sugar, nonfat milk, pan de sal, cottage cheese, small banana
Lunch: Half a cup of sliced lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes salad, 3 slices lean pork tenderloin, 2 cups sautéed green beans and carrots
Dinner: Corn soup, ground pork omelet, ponkan

WEIGHT LOST: 12 pounds in 6 weeks

THE RESULT: Because the plan allows practically everything in the correct proportions and fuses easy workouts, it guarantees metabolism improvement and the ideal BMI. This is definitely the slowly but surely method.

Six-month membership (P2,970), Team Cohen Philippines, bon-appetit-diet. belletoday.com.ph; teamcohenphilippines.com 0927.4209303 

Eat Clean Detox Plan by The Sexy Chef

THE CONCEPT: The seven-day full vegan plan is designed to promote weight loss, flush out toxins, and shed off unwanted water retention with meals that include powerhouse veggies, nuts, flaxseeds, whole grains, and detoxifying juices from the popular Juju Cleanse.

THE EXPERIENCE: The food was surprisingly good. The portions were quite decent. The afternoon snacks were always a treat I looked forward to. The challenge? The fact that you had to stick to a specific meal when you had all these events to attend, some with fabulous food. The editor had to decline foie gras two days in a row, which was painful!

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SAMPLE MEAL PLAN:
Breakfast: Warm lemon water and banana pancake with muscovado syrup
AM Snack: Carrot juice
Lunch: Miso soup and vegan sushi
PM Snack: Carrot sticks with Boursin cheese
Dinner: Black bean and corn chili and garden salad with lemon vinaigrette

WEIGHT LOST: 6 pounds in 7 days

THE RESULT: Our editor felt lighter, more energetic, and more confident! Since the body gets a “restart” after the cleansing, clients are expected to have reduced cravings for junk food and moved to eat healthier.

The Sexy Chef, 721.7399, 0917.799.2433; [email protected]; sexychef.ph 

South Beach Diet by Delicioso

THE CONCEPT: The diet is all about choosing the right carbs and the right fats. It has three phases ranging in intensity. The first phase is the strictest and usually lasts two weeks. Phase two lasts until the goal weight is reached and the final phase lasts for the long haul. It is based on blood sugar levels and necessitates stability.

THE EXPERIENCE: Our editor finished phase one of the diet, which basically means sugar and carbs were totally off her meals. What she liked about it though is that it encourages snacks between meals and dessert after dinner. The meal portions were plentiful and delicious. They make you feel full even just halfway through them.

SAMPLE MEAL PLAN:
Breakfast: Smoked salmon and cream frittata
Lunch: Stir fried chayote, gelatin
Snacks: Peanuts
Dinner: Hot and sour soup, pork curry over cauliflower, gelatin

WEIGHT LOST: 6 pounds in 7 days

THE RESULT: More than a diet, the South Beach is more about having a healthier eating lifestyle for the long run. The fact that it has phases (the third one is designed for maintenance and allows the intake of more kinds of food) makes it a feasible lifetime plan.

Delicioso Personal Chef and Professional Caterers deliciosophilippines.com; 738.9881, 502.6581, 0917.822.3354

Dukan Diet

THE CONCEPT: The program is based around eating high-protein foods while severely limiting all carbohydrates including fruits, starchy vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Unlike the Atkins diet the emphasis is on sources of protein that are low in fat. It comes in four phases, the first one being the strictest and the last one as the ongoing lifestyle phase.

THE EXPERIENCE: The diet, which can feel like you’re consuming a whole lot of oat bran as much as protein, requires at least 20 minutes of exercise daily, but even without it, our editor lost a lot of weight on week one. She did not experience fatigue or headaches, which is what usually happens when I go on a diet. The meal portions by Delicioso were also quite generous, so she felt full throughout the day.

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SAMPLE MEAL PLAN:
Breakfast: Hardboiled egg, yoghurt, coffee
Lunch: Salpicao
Snacks: Yoghurt, oatmeal
Dinner: Roast chicken

WEIGHT LOST: 8 pounds in 14 days

THE RESULT: The rapid initial weight loss motivates enough to stick to the plan and eventually make it a lifestyle. The last phase called Stabilization is a treat, allowing you to eat whatever you want for six days, as long as the seventh day is protein-only.

Delicioso Personal Chef and Professional Caterers; deliciosophilippines.com; 738.9881, 502.6581, 0917.822.3354

NUIU Life Cuisine

THE CONCEPT: NUIU Life Cuisine provides MSG-free, healthy gourmet food. It establishes strict personalized nutrition guidelines based on one’s health and needs in all meal plans. Highly personalized, each plan varies depending on one’s health and target weight. Meal plans are designed on a 30-day rotation.

THE EXPERIENCE: Our editor liked NUIU a lot because they were very thorough and personalized. They did blood tests and a urinalysis to determine how healthy she was and how to customize her diet depending on how many pounds she wanted to lose and the time frame needed to lose them. A nutritionist would always text and call to check on her progress.

SAMPLE MEAL PLAN:
Breakfast: Chicago Omelet
Lunch: Grilled pork chops with lumpia vegetables
Snack: Fish kebabs with Swiss onion dip
Dinner: Cheeseburger salad with honey Dijon dressing
Dessert: Flourless peanut butter cookies

WEIGHT LOST: 7 pounds in 14 days

THE RESULT: They emphasize and encourage a complete lifestyle change and not just a quick fix to lose weight. She would have lost more if she exercised and didn’t have to attend two work-related events.

NUIU Life Cuisine, 553.1888, 0917.528.3283; nuiu.ph

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