Participants at a fun run in Quezon City cool down with light exercises.
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Beyond Go, Grow and Glow: An expert's take on nutrition
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - July 17, 2019 - 12:37pm

MANILA, Philippines — It's Nutrition Month this July and we've got just the information you need to keep yourself healthy and get that body you've always dreamed of.

Philstar.com sat down with Registered Nutritionist Dietician Timothy Ting to find out what exactly nutrition is and what you can do to achieve your #FitnessGoals, not just this Nutrition Month but all-year long.

What is nutrition?

Before jumping into diets and exercise, it's important to understand what we really mean when we talk about nutrition.

Sure, most of us have learned about the three food groups Go, Grow and Glow when we were in elementary school, but nutrition is more than just that.

According to Coach Tim, nutrition is the science of how the body digests or metabilizes food and how it uses it.

It is a holistic concept that includes enhancing the quality of life, our productivity in the workplace as well as also managing our health.

In recent years, nutrition has also come to deal with the psychological aspect of our bodies, with how we talk care of our bodies affecting our brain.

"It's basically what you put in your body. You are what you eat," Coach Tim said.

Nutrition also includes ergongenic aids, substances, foods, or training methods that enhance energy production, use or recovery.

But they are mostly used by athletes for a competitive advantage.

"They usually get a bad rap for being 'illegal', pero there are some very common performance enhancers like caffeine na usually ginagamit naman talaga across the board for all sports," he said.

At present, Coach Tim says, nutrition is becoming a big thing in the country.

"In the Philippines, it's an emerging trend. Nutrition is booming," he said.

(Mis)understanding nutrition

With basically all information on the internet available in the palm of our hands, it's easy to have misconceptions when it comes to nutrition.

Coach Tim enumerates some of the common misunderstandings he encounters with his clients.

1. Doing too much, too soon

In the world where everything is almost always available instantly, it is not uncommon to become impatient for results when a person gets into dieting and exercise.

However, it is irresponsibile to expect drastic results immediately.

"All of a sudden, they want to go from zero to a hundred," Coach Tim said.

"That's the reason why most diets fail... People think you have to go all at once to get results, which is not the case," he added.

2. Taking information from the internet without question

With today's technology, just about anybody can type in diets or exercise plans on an internet search engine and immediately be presented with more than a handful of information.

However, these popular diets and exercises on the internet should be taken with a grain of salt.

"Different kinds of diets have [different] results... People try to see nutrition as a cult, you have to subscribe to one style to get results," Coach Tim said.

"Use it as tools, but don't just stick to one," he said.

3. Crash dieting

While crash dieting may give you immediate results, it isn't the right way to go if you're looking at long-term fitness and nutrition.

"It has its place... if for example you have a wedding in one month and you don't care aobut what happens to you after that," Coach Tim said.

"[But] it's more of people trying to be super impatient, they try to get fast results," he said.

"Di ganun yung diet eh."

The right way to nutrition

So what exactly does an average person need to do to remain fit and healthy like their favorite athletes? Coach Tim gives a few tips that anybody can follow.

1. Prioritize nutrition

It is important to put time and effort into working towards your goal. If staying healthy becomes a priority, it will be easy to achieve your goals.

"Ang trato mo dun sa fitness mo is like an important meeting," Coach Tim said.

"You need to carve out time and make exercise and nutriton as priorities in your life," he said

2. Make habits of diet and exercise

Sometimes, you may lose motivation when it comes to following your diet and exercise.

When your activities become habit, it will be easier to fellow even when you run low on inspiration.

"You don't have to rely on motivation all the time," Coach Tim said.

3. Set tangible goals

It is easy to become frustrated when it takes time to see results from your diets and exercise.

Setting tangible goal that you can easily control, like disciplining yourself to eat vegetables once per day or walking a certain distance daily for exercise, will help in wokring towards a long-term goal.

"Instead of focusing on an outcome goal, do more of process goals... Ang maganda kasi is that you can control them," Coach Tim said.

4. Consult physicians when you want to try diets

There are a lot of diet plans readily available with a click of a button, but Coach Tim says it is better to be safe than sorry by consulting a physician when attempting to try a diet.

"I think the body is resillent enough to give you warning signals once you're doing it wrong but... I wouldn't recommend people try out a diet [unsupervised], especially if it's something that's overly restrictive," Coach Tim said.

"Some people may have undiagnosed medical conditions that can make a diet harmful," he said.

5. Give yourself proper information

It is always important to be knowledgeable in everything you want to pursue, especially when it comes to taking care of your body.

"Discern what you need to do. Educate yourself," Coach Tim said.

Coach Tim is the founder of the Tim Nutrition Clinic that offers 1-on-1 nutrition coaching for both athletes and non-athletes alike.

Some notable athletes who work with Coach Tim are the UP Fighting Maroons, UST's CJ Cansino and the NU Girl's volleyball team.

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