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New Year’s health resolutions

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Medicine Cabinet — Reiner W. Gloor

I wish you a belated happy new year in this, my first column for 2016. May you enjoy good health in the new year, which is probably one of your wishes at the onset. Many of you may have made resolutions to enroll in a diet program and work off all the weight gained over the holiday season.

I did not make such a resolution to avoid having to say I broke a promise later on.

Those of you who are on social media and the Internet get bombarded with product ads to control your weight, with promise that you will lose X number of pounds by following a certain diet.

I think your health care professional (HCP) will confirm that many of these programs do work — temporarily. Once stopped you gain back all you lost. I have many friends experiencing this. As HCPs advise, the best way is to eat a balanced diet in many moderate portions. Take your time eating, chew well and savor the bites. Drink moderately and avoid the sugary drinks. This should be accompanied by regular exercise. This way you can avoid unnecessary and expensive gym programs and diet plans. A 20-minute brisk walk three times a week is usually considered sufficient, but better results are achieved if it’s done more frequently.

Losing weight is a great goal but it might be best to approach the problem with the aim of being healthy above other motivations. It would be best to find and establish healthy habits all throughout the year with the goal of becoming fit and strengthening our immunity.

One of the easier things to do that might trick your mind into eating better is to switch your big plates for moderately sized plates and to stick to smaller portions. Half of your plate should also be filled with vegetables, preferably just steamed and very lightly flavored if you must. Keep carbohydrates to only one-fourth of your plate serving.

And if you are scheduled to go to a party or a gathering, you do not have to worry. You can keep to your diet by eating meals or snacks low on carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, cheese, and nuts before going to a party to curb hunger pangs. This way, you can remain in control.

Of course, it helps if partners and friends follow the same routine. This gives support and reduces the temptation to indulge.

You may be interested to know that the Department of Health (DoH) launched a new Web site in early December called Hospital Advisor (hospitaladvisor.doh.gov.ph) which is meant to make it more convenient for everyone to search and find hospitals and medical centers in your respective communities. There are improvements planned to make it even more user-friendly.

It is reassuring to see that the DoH is moving towards being more patient-centric, with PhilHealth also expanding its benefits. We still have some ways to go until we achieve full Universal Health but we are on the best way to get there.

I wish you all good health throughout the year.

Log on to www.phap.org.ph and www.phapcares.org.ph.

E-mail the author at reiner.gloor@gmail.com.

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