Winning with WINS: Adapting a healthy lifestyle for a happier life

Posted on Jul 13, 2021

As the old adage goes: “health is wealth”. Unfortunately, local and global statistics show that many people are impoverished healthwise due to poor diets and lifestyle habits.

In 2016, the WHO estimated over 1.9 billion adults were overweight and of these more than 650 million were obese. According to the 2018 DOST-FNRI survey, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has ballooned to over 37% among Filipino adults. Moreover, in adolescents, overweight and obesity rates have nearly doubled to 11.6% the past decade.


Obesity is not an isolated condition since it is linked to several other serious diseases as well. Two of the most alarming ones are diabetes and heart disease. Global Nutrition Report mentions that diabetes in the Philippines has continued to worsen, while ischemic heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the country.

These diseases fall under the umbrella of diet-related Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs). NCDs are diseases that are not transmissible directly from person-to-person. Heart disease, diabetes, stomach and liver cancer are NCDs linked to a person’s diet.


Despite its prevalence, diet-related NCDs can be avoided or mitigated through nutrition and exercise. Maintaining a balanced diet rich in “Go, Grow, and Glow” foods is often overlooked, especially by adults, but it is the backbone of a nutritious diet. Carbohydrates (Go) give us the energy we need to work and be productive. Protein (Grow) nourishes our bones and muscles and makes them stronger. Vitamins and minerals (Glow) keep our immune systems strong enough to fight disease.

Dr. Joy Fontanilla, Head of St. Luke’s Medical Center’s (SLMC) Center for Weight Intervention and Nutrition Services (WINS) in Global City, mentions several key dietary options to reduce the risk of diet-related NCDs.


“Food can kill, but food can also heal. A healthy diet consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fish, and lean cuts of poultry. Food with monounsaturated fat such as olive oil and avocado as well as those with polyunsaturated fat like tuna and salmon can also cut risk of heart disease and diabetes. People struggling with their weight may also look into a Mediterranean-style diet as it has been known to offer multiple health benefits,” said Dr. Fontanilla.

Besides eating the right food, maintaining a strong fitness regimen is another vital part of a healthy life. According to the Mayo Clinic, 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as running, cycling, and swimming is the minimum fitness habit that we should incorporate in our lifestyles. Strength training our muscles two times a week is also vital in keeping our bodies strong and healthy.


Studies show that doing aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes a day

can add years to your life.

While maintaining a healthy diet along with an active lifestyle may sound simple, the worsening obesity and diabetes rates as well as those for certain cancers and heart disease suggest that many could get lost finding the right path to a healthier life.

As part of its patient-centered mission, St. Luke’s Medical Center’s (SLMC) Center for Weight Intervention and Nutrition Services (WINS) is dedicated to help patients address their diet, fitness, and overall lifestyle habits. Dr. Jeff Inciong, Head of WINS in SLMC Quezon City, believes that a holistic approach to nutrition is key in this mission.


“With the proliferation and accessibility of junk food, sugary products, and even tobacco products, both children and adults can easily succumb to an unhealthy lifestyle. WINS aims to help patients who need to change their lifestyle habits before their diets can lead to serious complications. This is why our center approaches health and nutrition holistically, where we cover meal planning, fitness training, and even the cognitive aspect to help our patients permanently adapt to a healthier lifestyle,” said Dr. Inciong.

WINS is the first hospital-based weight management center in the Philippines and offers a holistic and state-of-the-art approach to fitness and nutrition through its multidisciplinary team of experts. The Center is composed of licensed dietitians, certified fitness trainers, physical therapists, licensed psychologists and cognitive behavior coaches all of whom are supervised by board-certified physicians specializing in various fields.


Among its main services include comprehensive meal planning managed by licensed dietitians and fitness training by physical therapists. Besides managing the patient’s diet and exercise, WINS also acknowledges that obesity is a mental challenge inasmuch as it is physical. This is why WINS also has cognitive behavior coaches and psychologists to help patients fully adapt to a healthier lifestyle, shed weight and keep the pounds off for the long haul.

Eating healthy with daily exercise is a simple but highly effective way to prevent many serious diseases, especially in the later years of life. However, many people struggle to adapt to this healthy lifestyle due to various challenges. With WINS, St. Luke’s hopes to deliver a holistic service to help patients address their weight problems, contributing to a healthier and more well-nourished society.

For inquiries on weight management and nutrition, please contact the Center for Weight Intervention and Nutrition Services at 8-723-0101 ext. 4744 (SLMC-Quezon City) or at 8789-7700 ext. 6022 (SLMC-Global City).