Celebrity doctor Victoria “Vicki” Belo likens weight watching to protecting a bank account: Keep an eye on the deposits and withdrawals to maintain your ideal balance. But unlike in a bank account, a fat deposit is not as welcoming as cash.
A pioneer in medical enhancement, Belo admits that chocolates are a staple in her diet, even for breakfast. On the other hand, her daughter, Cristalle Belo Henares, doesn’t eat breakfast.
However, the mother reveals that Henares picks on wafers to get a sugar rush.
“I stopped the wafer,” maintains Henares.
Being in the beauty business, both have to set an example of well-being. Belo is the head honcho of the Belo Medical Group, the first accredited cosmetic surgical center in the country, and a TV personality. Henares is the managing director of the family businesses, Intelligence Skin Care and Sexy Solutions, a glamorous fat-reduction clinic.
“We love sweets, but if we keep indulging then it becomes unhealthy. So we balance it by doing detox and exercise,” says Belo. “We love to dance and to keep our bodies moving.”
Bored with repetitive weight training and afraid of bulking up, they vary their workouts. Belo does Bikram yoga, which is done in a heated room. It induces sweat and supposedly burns 900 calories in 90 minutes. She also does classical Pilates, a total body conditioning exercise that focuses on abdominal strength. When she wants to give her tush a lift, she takes Plana Forma, which combines ballet barre exercises, yoga and Pilates.
Henares takes to suspension classes such as aerial silk and anti-gravity yoga, wherein one holds poses while dangling from fabric; Vegas strip and pole dancing for grace and expression; and boxing and plyometrics for endurance.
Both are always looking for new workouts that would challenge them and break the monotony of routine. They recently added Core Kinesis to their routine.
Core Kinesis is a studio that has kept itself under the radar for reasons of privacy. Its roster of clients is impressive—Eman Pineda, owner of Adora; model Georgina Wilson, actresses Ruffa Gutierrez and Anne Curtis, retail mavericks Ben Chan and Miguel Pastor, designers Charina Sarte and Rajo Laurel. There are home users such as CEO Katrina Ponce Enrile and retailer Ronald Pineda of Folded & Hung.
“This gym is an exclusive training facility. There are no walk-ins. The clients need to book their schedules,” says trainer Angelo Yabut.
The Kinesis system is composed of cables, pulleys and handles that are attached to machines. Their position determines what muscles are being exercised. The intensity of the workout is increased by moving farther from the mechanism or adding tension to the rope. A basic 30-minute workout consists of walking on the treadmill to stimulate blood circulation, easy stretches, then 20 minutes of squats and lunges with coordinated arm movements, torso rotations and big stretches.
“You’re not just exercising one muscle group, as in weights. This machine provides multi-joint exercises. You can lunge and do flies. When you balance on one leg, you’re involving the core muscles, the legs, the arms and the shoulders,” says Yabut. “There are 1,800 exercises that are all based on natural human movement.”
Because of the upper body moves independently from the legs and buttocks, strength imbalances are easily detected and corrected. Since most exercises are done standing up or balancing on one leg, the abdominal muscles are recruited, thereby building core strength. Unlike traditional weights, which limit the range of motion and shorten the muscle for bulk, the Kinesis machine provides an extensive range of motion and improves flexibility.
Henares has been getting results from Yabut.
“I was beginning to look bulky, especially on TV. But not here. The workout is fast because it gets your heart rate up. He knows my objective is to lose weight, so he targets the biggest muscle, which is the thigh. There are lots of lunges and squats. When I go to pole dancing, I feel stronger and I can hold on to the pole much longer. Exercises with rotational movements from the trunk help shape my waist.”
Yabut says Henares’ balance has improved “There are many exercises where you stand on one leg. She can do them without getting off balance.”
Core Kinesis has been effective for getting the curvy silhouette. Says Belo, “For a woman, this workout improves the posture, makes the waistline smaller, and firms up the breasts and butt. You’re moving many parts simultaneously so you get a full-body workout. There are findings that you burn more calories when you do more than one movement. You do squats while lifting up. You use your core and butt to balance. This makes my waistline smaller. I haven’t lost weight but my muscles are more taut.”
Belo’s trainer Via Medalla observes that her client has gotten stronger and increased her endurance.
To complement their workouts, they both do a three- or five-day detox program designed by Nadine Tengco, the official nutritionist of “The Biggest Loser Philippines.”
Called the Ultimate Sexy Solution, it is a program that includes a soup and salad and five anti-inflammatory detox juices and some non-invasive slimming procedures.
The day begins with a glass of warm water with lemon. The breakfast and midday meals consist of juices for energy. Lunch is zucchini pasta, pad Thai or coconut ceviche with another juice. The afternoon snack is a “Fat Flush” drink with flaxseed. There’s a pre-dinner drink and a cleansing vegetable soup at night.
Tengco’s juices are formulated to calm the system, remove gas, stimulate the bile and cleanse the liver. Unlike popular cleansing juices which are constituted mainly of fruits that are high in sugar and carbohydrates, Tengco’s juices contain only 10 percent fruits and 90 percent herbs and vegetables.
“It’s yummy! You can stay on this diet because you look forward to drinking the juices,” exclaims Belo. “It cleanses you. If you’ve been eating meat and whatever, your body needs to rest. Most people go into a fast. Since your body needs nutrients, Nadine makes a combo of fruits and vegetables which have so many enzymes and phyto nutrients.”
Belo explains a phenomenon that has baffled doctors: It’s difficult to lose weight—and keep it off—when hormones are working against you.
“Our lives are hectic. We work, work out and keep late nights so our bodies are on stress mode. It secretes cortisol (a stress hormone). Do this all the time, and you get fatigued.”
Cortisol regulates proper glucose metabolism and insulin release to maintain the blood sugar levels. It also triggers inflammatory response. However, in our nano-second lifestyle, the body’s stress levels are constantly triggered and barely return to normal. Extended levels of cortisol can result in weaker immunity, more fat deposits and bad cholesterol.
“With higher levels of cortisol, you increase insulin resistance. You don’t utilize the sugar too much. Sugar is absorbed so quickly that you get repeated insulin surges. This promotes Type 2 diabetes and accelerates the conversion of calories into body fat,” says Belo. “The anti-inflammatory diet will calm you and detox the liver. It’s all very healthy with these live foods.”
Belo drinks the anti-inflammatory juices to jumpstart her weight loss.
“The Thais are slender even if they eat a lot because they use herbs and spices which increase their metabolism,” explains Belo. “The juices area made of ginger, lemongrass, cilantro, basil and cayenne pepper which help increase the metabolism. Cinnamon is an appetite suppressant. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. Lemon is a master cleanser.”
When singer Regine Velasquez took to the fast, her immune system got stronger.
“Everybody in her house was getting sick except her. But when she stopped the diet, she got sick,” says Belo. “If you’ve got a bloated stomach, this will go away because a lot of it is either gas or constipation. I retain water because I tend to eat a lot of sweets.”
Belo says her skin gets itchy initially at the start of the detox. After three days of cleansing with juices, the levels of her uric acid (waste product from the breakdown of substances in certain foods) drop. “Other diets don’t allow you to work out because they have less calories and you have less energy. I have so much energy when I do this cleanse.”
Henares likes the raw food part prepared by Cravings. These help her satisfy her cravings while doing the juice program.
Although diet and exercise are the important elements to keeping the unwanted inches at bay, Henares and Belo still use non-invasive procedures to improve body tone.
Sexy Solutions introduces the Quad Sculpt, which combines all the modalities of the other slimming machines. “It has lipocavitation, which uses low-frequency ultrasound to burst the fat cells, lymphatic drainage to drain the fat out and radiofrequency and laser diodes for tightening,” explains Henares.
“I wanted to see how good the detox diet was in combination with this machine,” she says. Henares lost one pound and five inches in two days. “I didn’t cheat.”
Ultimately, Henares values discipline, and how fitness puts structure into her life and makes her feel more productive.
“No. 1, don’t let go. Be conscious about your body, keep the fitness level up and be in tune. No. 2, feed the brain and seek your passions. Advocacies should feed your heart,” says Henares. “Once you let it go, it’s hard to jumpstart again.”
For the Ultimate Sexy Solutions program, contact 0917-8605120, 8405588, or visit them at Suite 912 Medical Plaza Bldg., Amorsolo corner Dela Rosa Sts., Legaspi Village, Makati City.