Kapuso actor Ralph Noriega, one of the stars of GMA-7's Super Ma'am fantaserye, admits that he was issued a “fat memo” last year.
A "fat memo" is the network's way of reminding its talents that they are gaining weight and starting to look too big on TV.
The actor—who is a regular high school student—admits, “Yes, I got the fat memo last April.
“My handler told me that if I don't lose weight, they won't give me any projects anymore.”
Not wanting to lose a job he enjoys, Ralph hit the gym and resorted to intermittent fasting to lose weight in record time.
“So, that's what I did. I went to the gym, and then started on intermittent fasting. It's not diet fasting,” he clarifies.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) had a brief chat with Ralph at the press conference of Super Ma'am held last September 11 at the Le Reve Pool Party and Events Place in Quezon City.
HOW IT WORKS. The Grade 12 student explains, “Intermittent fasting, di ba, we sleep for about eight hours?
“So, what happens is, we reverse the cycle.
“In effect, for those eight hours, we substitute eating for the sleeping.
“So, in a day, we only eat within eight hours.
“For example, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, that's the only time you eat.
“Unlimited, so you can eat anything you want.
“And then, from 6:00 pm onwards, you can't eat anything anymore. You can only have tea, coffee or water. You can't eat anything else.
“You tend to get cranky though. Nakaka-init po siya ng ulo, pero kung tiyatiyagain, effective po.
“I stuck with it 'coz I felt pressured to lose weight fast.
“I must admit that I became too complacent back then. I would go on vacations and, of course, I would always tend to eat a lot also because of that.”
Ralph admitted that he reached 190 lbs. that time.
Thankfully, he was able to trim down to 160 lbs. after a few months.
CHECK-UP FIRST. A word of caution: Ralph advises netizens to consult with their doctors first before they embark on intermittent fasting.
Metabolic rates vary, and there are people who may not adjust well to drastic changes in food intake.
He says, “I really summoned a lot of will power to lose weight, because I really wanted to work, and I missed acting as well during that time.
“I understand the network's decision why they issued the fat memo.
"Of course, who would want their talents to look fat and unsightly on TV, right?
“Eventually, I realized that it's for my own good too.”
To date, Ralph continues to follow his diet and workout regimen so as not to fall back on his old habits.
HIGH SCHOOL LIFE. In Super Ma'am, Ralph plays the role of one of the mischievous students of Marian Rivera.
Is he the same in real life?
He is currently a grade twelve, or senior high school, student at the Academia Institucion de San Pedro in Laguna.
He says, “In real life, I'm a neutral student.
“Neutral, sometimes good.
“But I can't say that I'm a very prim and proper student, because sometimes I still end up in the guidance counselor's office, or sometimes in the principal's office.
“That's pretty normal, I guess. Sometimes, I get influenced by my peers.
“I mean, after all, that's part of high school life naman, right? It wouldn't be complete if you don't go through that.”
What about his good deeds?
He is hesitant at first but eventually says, “Sometimes, I've also been helpful to my teachers, like carrying their projectors or assisting them in other ways.
“So, that's how I can say I'm a neutral student.”
What about his naughty antics?
He recalls, “Sometimes I'd cut classes, only because I'd be feeling lazy.
“And sometimes I'd sleep in class while the teacher's lecturing.”
The high school senior reminds his fellow students not to copy him.
How does Ralph balance his showbiz career and his studies, considering he's a regular student?
He says, “When I have to be absent, they inform me beforehand regarding my assignments.
“I'm thankful that our teachers and school officials understand my situation.
“Actually, they're the ones pa nga who ask me when my next show will be, e.”
As one of the cast members of Super Ma'am, Ralph fondly remembers what lead star Marian Rivera once told the show's cast.
“She said, 'We're all part of a big family here in Super Ma'am.'”
Ralph also says they have a Viber group.
“So that we'll all be connected,” he proudly shares.