When looking for the best way  to lose weight, the common go-to solution is always dieting. And usually, dieting means  starving one’s self. But is this the most effective, not to mention healthy, way to do it?

For those of us planning to go on diet, we should be reminded that there is more to dieting  than just cutting rice at dinner or skipping meals altogether.

PhilCare’s medical experts recommend calorie counting as the most effective way to manage weight. With the advent of technology, calorie calculators are now more accessible. Online, there are numerous sites and apps that one can go, to help you compute the amount of calories you need to take, in order to either lose, gain or maintain weight based on your height and weight requirements . There are also information online on the amount of calories that is present in the common and ordinary food that we eat daily.  So this means that we have no excuse in saying calorie counting is difficult.

However, this is a tedious process and may present as a shocking lifestyle change for some, and doctors are well aware of that fact. “Calorie counting is ideal but doctors understand that some people might find it difficult to follow, so we give them alternative choices,” Dr. Yasmin Dela Cruz said, PhilCare’s Clinical Management Director.

To address this, doctors also recommend decreasing the amount of food you eat for dinner and staying away from fast food diners in addition to calorie counting. “You should never skip breakfast and lunch because they are the most imporant meals of the day. Instead, you may opt to skip rice for dinner, or choose alternative carbohydrates like bread or pasta or just take a salad for dinner.” said Dr. Dela Cruz.

And Filipinos really need to watch their weight.

PhilCare recently conducted the PhilCare Wellness Index, the first its kind in the Philippines, featuring a comprehensive study looking into the nutritional, physical and psychological aspects of the Filipinos’ knowledge, attitude and perception on health and wellness. Based on the study, Filipinos are lax when it comes to their health because they actually believe that they are healthier than they really are. Case in point, the index showed that almost half or 46% of Filipinos are actually overweight or obese.

The survey results were gathered through 1,200 Filipino respondents in Metro Manila and key cities in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The survey questions include how often they eat breakfast, the amount and regularity of their fruit and vegetable intake and the kind of proteins they consume, and if they regularly take in sweets and processed or junk foods.

As the survey results revealed, 54% of Filipinos believe they are healthy having ideal weight in relation to their height.  However, their Body Mass Index (BMI) results  says otherwise.  Results show that only 45 % fall within the normal category of the Asian Body Mass Index range while 8.6 % fall below the average BMI.

By taking these results into careful consideration, we could still improve on our nutritional habits just in time for that body beautiful we all want to have for summer.