How Regine Velasquez lost her stubborn "plateau" pounds

IMAGE Noel Orsal

For her Silver anniversary concert last November, Regine Velasquez (main photo) wanted to lose some more weight... fast! So, she sought the help of Sexy Solutions nutritionist Nadine Tengco (inset), who personally created the Anti-Plateau diet, which— get this— allows you to eat white rice!


Celebrity nutritionist Nadine Tengco has been behind the weight-loss success stories of several celebrities.

Among them is Asia's Songbird Regine Velasquez, who surprisingly lost more of her post-baby pounds in time for her Silver anniversary concert last November.

Nadine, the resident nutritionist of Sexy Solutions by Belo, has successfully concocted a diet plan that fits the needs of clients undergoing the weight-loss brand’s Ultimate Sexy Solution program.

This is what Regine started to follow in the last five weeks before her concert, and has ultimately made her over 20 pounds lighter.

It included a series of non-invasive slimming procedures, simple workouts, and a special diet plan called the Anti-Plateau.

"Anti-Plateau kasi ito iyong diet that beats iyong sinasabi nilang ‘wall,’” Nadine began to explain at a press conference held on November 20, at Cravings restaurant, Il Terrazo, Quezon City.

"Kasi, if you notice Regine, hindi ba mula noong nanganak siya she lost a lot [of weight] already? Kita niyo naman noon pa lang na pumayat na siya."

After giving birth to son Nate Alcasid in November 2011, Regine had a 37.2-inch waistline, which was remarkably decreased overtime after trying out a variety of diet plans and doing regular yoga exercises.

Nadine continued, "But when she came to us, she wanted na mas pumayat pa before the concert.

"And I had only six weeked, no, bale five weeks lang to work on her. Kasi nga, gusto niya iyong last week before ng concert, e, pahinga na siya.

"And looking at her then, alam mong may ipapayat pa siya. Payat na siya coming from her old weight after giving birth, pero puwede pa, may ipapayat pa.

"Kasi sa totoo lang, her body, parang nag-stop ang body niya, e, from reacting doon sa old diet na ginagawa niya.

"Iyon iyong wall or plateau weight na sinasabi. Plateau kasi flat, so parang nag-flat na ang weight niya, na-stuck na doon."

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At the time Regine met Nadine, she weighed around 165 pounds.

THE ANTI-PLATEAU DIET. So what is this Anti-Plateau diet all about?

It is basically an anti-inflammatory diet or one that fights off bloating, inflammation or “pamamaga.”

“Ang inflammation kasi or iyong pamamaga, iyan ang one of the reasons bakit nagiging obese.

“Kapag may chronic inflammation, pipigilan niyan ang body mo from accepting iyong efforts mo to lose weight.

“Kahit mag-less carbs [carbohydrates] ka diyan or huwag kang kumain ng matataba or magpaka-vegetarian ka, hindi rin magiging effective.

“Kahit may results iyan na konti, hindi mo pa rin mare-reach iyong goal mo na weight because nag-plateau ka na, e, so dapat pigilan mo muna iyong inflammation,” explains Nadine.

In a span of two to three weeks, clients will undergo a strict diet that allows and restricts certain types of food.

It encourages the use of anti-inflamatory ingredients, such as turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, basil, pineapple, and others that are rich in omega-3.

Meanwhile, common allergens like wheat, gluten, dairy, preservatives, and commercial meats pumped with growth hormones are restricted.

This diet is best recommended for people who have a target weight and are having a hard time losing the stubborn "last few pounds."

YES TO WHITE RICE, NO TO SALAD GREENS. Aside from its targeted benefits, the Anti-Plateau diet is very unique because unlike other diets, it encourages people to eat white rice instead of carbohydrate substitutes, like wheat bread.

And its not just any kind of white rice... but leftover long grain rice or “kaning lamig!”

Nadine Tengco explains this oddity: “Nakakataba ang kaning lamig, di ba, sabi?

“Actually, hindi. Actually mas nakakabuti, mas nakakapayat pa iyon.

“Kapag niluluto mo iyong kanin, e di nag-e-explode iyong tinatawag na starch, so nare-release iyong sugar, di ba?

“Pag ni-leave mo siya para mag-cool down, iyong part nung rice parang nagki-crystalize, may parang nagfo-form na crystal doon.

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“Ang tawag doon restistant starch.

“Iyong pangalan, because it resists digestion, hindi siya nakakataas ng calories, hindi siya nakakataas ng sugar. Diretso siya sa colon para ilabas na parang fiber.

“Ang kabutihan pa nito, hindi lang siya parang ordinary fiber.

“Kapag nandoon siya sa colon, meron siyang sine-secrete na enzyme para i-reverse niya iyong the way the body metabolizes fat.

“Usually, kapag kumain kayo ng carbs tapos nag-exercise kayo, ang unang mabu-burn ng katawan mo iyong carbs.

“Kapag meron noong enzyme na iyon, dahil kumain kayo ng resistant starch, it will burn the fat first, so iyong stored fat mo, mawawala.

“At ang isa pang maganda dito, meron siyang tinatwag na second meal effect, para pag kinain niyo siya sa breakfast diretso ang effect niya sa lunch

“Kaya nga sa Japan, merong tinatawag na The Banana Diet, kung alam niyo iyon na popularized ng isang Japanese celebrity

“Dahil ang slightly green bananas— hindi po iyong hilaw, ha, iyong slightly green lang naman, iyong green iyong dulong gano’n— mataas siya sa resistant starch.

“Parang katulad siya ng kanin kapag pinalamig ninyo.”

Nadine also reminded that this rule is only applicable on the same day or overnight cooling.

“Hindi counted iyong sinangag niyo, tapos pinalamig niyo ulit.

“Kailangan iyong unang luto lang kasi kapag ininit niyo ulit, sasabog na iyong crystal na iyon, so mawawala na iyong effect.”

Finally, Nadine also advised to still practice portion control when eating white rice.

“At hindi ko sinasabing porke’t pwede ang kaning lamig, e, pwedeng five cups, ha. Portion control pa rin.”

Aside from wheat products, salad greens— which are common components of most diet plans— are also omitted in the Anti-Plateau diet.

According to the Sexy Solutions information kit: “Raw vegetables and salad greens are temporarily omitted because they cause temporary stomach distension, bloating, gas, and flatulence because of their high fiber content. After the 2-3 weeks plan, you may resume eating your favorite salads.”

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GOLDEN RULES. While the complete Anti-Plateau diet menu is not available to non-followers of the Ultimate Sexy Solution program, Nadine has a some simple rules reminders if you want to recreate the diet at home:

1) The following food products are absolutely NOT ALLOWED:

- All alcoholic drinks, colas (even if they’re sugar-free), diet teas, sports drinks, packed or bottled fruit juices, instant powder drinks, anything with gluten or made with wheat and wheat by-products, all dairy products, all raw salad veggies, brocolli, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumber, mushrooms, processed and cured meats, commercial meats or poultry or eggs that are not free-range or hormone-free, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, soy and tofu, oils and shortenings, margarine and lard, ketchup, fish sauce (patis), oyster sauce, prepared salad dressings, pancake syrup, white and brown sugar, all artificial sweeteners, MSG and all artificial preservatives, candies, cookies, cakes, donuts, gelatin except real agar-agar, pastries, pizza, processed food, and smoked or pickled foods.

2) Eat within one hour of waking up to stabilize your blood sugar.

3) Strictly eat every three to four hours, regardless of whether you’re hungry or not, even if it’s not time for lunch or dinner yet. Observe the standard three full meals— breakfast, lunch, and dinner— and suffice the odd hours with light snacks.

4) Dinner should be no later than 8:00 PM. However, a very light after-dinner snack can be eaten at least two hours before bedtime.

5) Take at least 20 minutes to eat your meals, as it takes about that time for the brain to recognize that your stomach is already full.

6) Drink eight ounces of any of the allowed beverages every two hours. Included in the list are black, green, and herbal teas; fresh juices or shakes from allowed fruits banana, lemon, lime, mango, papaya, pineapple, and pomelo; distilled, mineral, or purified plain water; and homemade flavored water (water infused with a slice of lime or lemon, or pandan or tarragon leaves).

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7) Eat carbs with protein at all times. Allowable carbs are basmati rice, bihon, black rice, flat glass or phoa noodles, glass vermicelli or sotanghon noodles, red rice, rice noodles, rice paper (used to make Vietnamese spring rolls), quinoa, and white long grain rice. Allowable proteins are bangus, blue marlin, carp, cod, dory, eel, flounder, free-range eggs and chicken or turkey, fresh salmon, gindara, hormone-free lean beef, lapu-lapu, mackerel, mahi-mahi, red snapper, sardines, scallop, sea bass mussels, shrimp, sole, squid, swordfish, tilapia, tuna, veal, and lamb.

8) Never eat fruits alone, and eat only fresh— not canned— fruits.

9) Eat starchy carbs for breakfast and dinner and eat non-starchy vegetables/carbs for lunch. Allowable sweeteners and condiments include apple cider vinegar, braggs aminos, coco sugar, coconut aminos, muscovado, and stevia.

10) All methods of cooking are allowed, except for deep-frying. Allowable fats used to aid cooking are almond milk, canola oil, flax oil, olive oil, rice milk, and sesame oil. Allowable herbs and spices are all spice, anise, basil, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, cardamom, chives, cilantro, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, dry mustard, fennel, garlic, ginger, kasuba, leks, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, oregano, pandan, paprika, parsely, peppercorn, pimiento, red pepper flakes, rosemary, sage saffron, sea salt, sring onions, sumac, tarragon, thyme, and turmeric.

11) All vegetables must be cooked, as eating raw vegetables within the diet phase can cause stomach distention, which can lead to bloating. Allowable vegetables are onions, squash, alugbati, ampalaya, ampalaya leaves, beets, bell peppers, bok choy, camote tops, carrots, celery, chayote or sayote, dahon ng sili, eggpant, garlic, green papaya, kangkong, leeks, malunggay, mustasa or mustard greens, okra, parsley, patola, sigarilyas, spinach, spring onions, tomato, upo, and zucchini.

12) Always follow the 1/3-2/3 rule when eating grains and noodles. For every 1/3 cup of cooked grain or noodles, mix 2/3 cup of vegetables.

13) Practice the Divided Plate technique, wherein 1/4of your plate should contain protein, 1/4 with starch, and the rest with vegetables.

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