Confessions of a food addict-turned diet junkie

For a long time, I was in denial.

It started with a dosage of one pack of potato chips daily. And after a quick promotion at work, with the stress shooting and workload piling up, my cravings fired up faster than my body could handle. Each night became a medley of junk food, soda and fast-food ice cream. The pounds crept up due to one pack of potato chips daily. After that, there was no turning back.

In a matter of months, I transformed into this wiggly, gelatin-like, overweight mass. Everyone was telling me how big I was, but I refused to believe it.

Worse, I was hooked. Stress and food became my body’s fuel, the building blocks of my everyday existence.

How I bounced back is a long story involving capsules, slimming teas and coffees, yo-yo diets and a lot of wasted clothes. But how does one curb food addiction? First things first, I accepted it and like any other addiction, I had to go through rehab:

a daily regimen of diet and exercise.

Here’s a list of the diets I have tried and the corresponding results, if any. Know that sticking to one diet is better than trying all of these consecutively. But I hope you gain something from the lessons here and use it to curb your food addiction too, and hopefully, lead you to living a healthier lifestyle.


The Juju Cleanse diet lets one's body be in an alkaline state. Since I was addicted to food, I needed to detoxify my body from my daily dose of junk. This was the perfect way to jump-start my diet.

What it is

Juju Cleanse is a juice diet made from vegetables and fruits. Some people find this unacceptable (What? No solid food???) but Juju Cleanse is not an everyday thing. One can give his or her body a break with either a one-day cleanse or a three-day cleanse.

Why cleanse?

Cleansing enabled me to get rid of the “trash” in my body and start on a “blank slate” tummy. After a day of cleansing, I was able to rid my body from cravings for fatty and calorie-laden food.

I also found comfort in the fact that the juices allowed my body to be in an “alkaline state,” as opposed to acidic. According to their website, we function well when our interior bodies (tissues and blood) are in alkaline state. Unfortunately, most food we eat (and that are readily available) are acidic, where fungus, bacteria and yeast thrive.

How I fared

I braced myself for a bad-tasting, vomit-inducing experience. Surprisingly, the juices tasted good!

It didn’t taste like grass at all. My favorite was my second drink (to be consumed at 10 a.m., as was written in my juju cleanse kit), the spicy limonada, which had a nice zing from the cayenne pepper.

During my cleansing day, I went out shopping with my fiancé, which didn’t turn out wise. I felt weak later in the day. As indicated in the website, cleansers are encouraged to stay home and rest.

If you plan to cleanse, it’s best to schedule it on a weekend.

Weight loss: None. I browsed through blogs and some attested to losing almost three lbs. after a three-day cleanse.



Obviously, starvation is never a good way to lose weight, unless you’re in a reality show for model wannabes, where fainting spells are de rigueur.

But because we need the energy to function in our daily lives, calorie-counting for me is the best way to shed that unwanted weight and in a healthy way.

What it is

NUIU (pronounced as “New You”) is a diet program, involving gourmet, calorie-counted meals, with the right portions and the fat, salt and sugar content controlled.

I simply called up NUIU and they computed my BMI and deduced I should be ingesting only 1,400 calories per day to lose weight.

The food are delivered every night in microwaveable containers, complete with notes on which food you will eat for breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner, and whether it’s for reheating or not.

Why calorie-count?

Calorie-counting won’t make you miss out on the food that your body needs. NUIU’s meals are complete with protein, carbohydrates (yes, there’s brown rice, pasta and bread, even cookies!), fruits, and vegetables.

How I fared

The first day, I had a hard time since I commuted to three different places in Manila, so I felt kind of woozy mid-afternoon. I texted NUIU and asked if I can drink tea (without the milk and sugar of course) to keep my grumbling stomach in check and they said yes.

During the succeeding days, I got used to the portions and I started to look forward to the meals since they change their menu every day.

Weight loss: Success! After 10 days, I lost 5 lbs. (That included breaks in between. I begged off weekends because I often went out dining with my family anyway. But of course, I was a picky, intelligent eater).


Diet # 3: PALEO OR CAVEMAN DIET Fruits and tea are part of the Paleo or Caveman Diet. Come to think of it, no caveman was overweight or even slightly chubby during the Paleolithic era. They were muscular, burly, with abs to boot.

This is the inspiration of the so-called Caveman or Paleo diet, which prescribes a diet of unprocessed and organic foods.

What it is

This includes a diet of lean meat, organ meats, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and nuts—presumably what cavemen ate.

Dieters are not allowed to eat dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, potatoes, and processed oils.

Skip the salt and any drinks, except water, coconut water and organic tea.

As cavemen did not live sedentary lives, dieters are also required to move a lot and exercise. This is the diet that CrossFit, an elite fitness program imported from the US, is promoting. They encourage gym-goers to complement their strength-training with a reduced caloric intake.

How I fared

As someone who’s not well-trained in the kitchen, I had a hard time with this diet. Fruits and vegetable salads? No problem. But unprocessed and organic meats? I was too lazy to shop and prepare my own meals.

I ate whatever was available at home. I was lucky if there was tinola, or nilagang baka. Otherwise, I opened my trusty can of tuna (which is processed food, so yes, I cheated).

Since grains are not allowed, I bid my favorite brown rice a temporary farewell. The thought made me swallow hard and wet my lips.

I exercised every day, with either a 40-minute or 60-minute workout using the elliptical trainer.

Weight loss: I finally quit my Paleo diet after six days and I lost two lbs. Not bad, huh?

Website: Weight loss tips

To end this piece, I leave you with a few tips to help jump-start your weight loss this 2013:

1. Quit junk food. It’s addictive, especially sugar (I was once addicted to milk teas!). You don’t need junk food to starve. Just quit the bad stuff (pizza, burgers, chocolates) and eat healthy (vegetables, lean meat, and fruits).

2. Drink lots of water.

3. If you love coffee like I do, order it with non-fat milk (or soy milk), without sugar.

4. Avoid stress and get enough sleep every day.

5. Avoid night-outs with friends. Alcohol is the culprit to those bulging tummies.

6. Stock up on fruits, almonds and whole-grain biscuits. You’ll need those when you feel like munching on something.

7. Count calories. You can use an Apple app or browse the Internet for the calorie equivalents.

8. Find an exercise that won’t bore you to tears. Try zumba or boxing! Exercise four to five times a week.

9. Lastly, stick to your diet. You will be tempted to finish that slice of cake, order a frappuccino and relapse. Close your eyes and imagine your sexy, healthy body in a few months’ time. Call a friend to help you resist the temptation. Remind yourself why you are dieting. Resist! Succeed! Happy dieting! —KG, GMA News