5 Filipino Dishes that Help You Lose Weight

Guest blog post by Ron Leyba
eat taho to lose weight

Taho is just one of the many delectable Filipino foods that have been found to help you lose weight. Photo by Ace Reston Flickr Creative Commons

More and more people are trying to lose weight, even in the Philippines.  Studies show that there are about 24-27 out of 100 Filipinos are severely overweight, and this keeps on going higher and higher as years go by. This is mainly because of the ingredients used in our Filipino foods and recipes. It’s no surprise, then, that most Filipinos can’t help but accept the fact that they are getting bigger and bigger; despite the known health threats that they will face if they give in to their cravings.

I am entirely aware that Filipino cuisine is indeed irresistible. Depriving yourself from eating such things would seem like the end of the world, and this is a sad thought for many. Most Filipinos are torn between a indulging themselves or to lose weight. If you are one of them, don’t worry. There is hope!

The truth is you don’t have to deprive yourself from enjoying Filipino dishes so that you can lose weight. There are a number of Filipino dishes which satisfy your taste buds and still help you lose weight.

Top 5 Filipino Recipes to Lose Weight

Bicol Express

I have read many articles that suggest eating spicy foods can boost your metabolism and promote weight loss. This is because of the fat burning effect given by Capsaicin, which is found in chili pepper. This spicy Filipino dish is loaded with chilies that not only fire up your mouth, but also get you to lose weight.


This popular vegetable stew from the Ilocos region is made from boiling vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables and seasoned with a bit of bagoong (fish or shrimp paste). Aside from the known vitamins and minerals given by vegetables, it contains fiber, making it ideal for people to include this dish in their weight loss programs.

Ginisang Kamatis

Made primarily of tomatoes, this Filipino dish is a great source of lycopene. Health experts say that tomatoes are indeed low in calories, making them ideal for anyone trying to lose weight.

Sinigang na Tilapia

Tilapia is one of the fresh water fish found in the Philippines as well as in several parts of the world. According to the USDA’s Nutrient Data Laboratory, this type of fish contains 128 calories per 3.5 oz. serving, making this particular Filipino dish is great for someone looking for a weight loss diet.


You would always see vendors selling taho along the streets of Metro Manila. Taho is a well loved Filipino dish made from soy beans, sweetened with syrup and topped with tapioca. It’s usually eaten for breakfast, as a snack, or dessert. Introduced to the Filipinos by the Chinese, taho is a rich source of protein. Studies also show that soy contains compounds that help people lose weight. This can explain why Chinese are able to keep their figure. Taho has also been found to lower blood pressure, reduce sugar level, strengthen your body, and improve your skin.

So there you have it: 5 fantastic Filipino dishes that will help you lose weight. As you can see, there is no need to deprive yourself from enjoying the authentic taste of Filipino dishes, even on a strict weight loss program.

Ron Leyba is a Filipino blogger and optimizer. Check out his blog where he shares great Filipino dishes and recipes.

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  1. yes. i love taho. i asked the vendor that pass by here in our community every morning to add more syrup onto my cup :)
    and, yes, the ginisang kamatis…it can go along long way when it’s on our table.

  2. oh i love eating dinengdeng, i once had a helper who taught me how to cook it properly. it is one of the menus i serve on the family table.
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  3. I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content for you? I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write regarding here. Again, awesome weblog!
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  4. Yum, all these recipes sound wonderful. As I’m always watching my weight I might give them a try, although I’m not sure you can get all the ingredients in the U.S.

  5. Wow. I’m not sure that it’s comforting to know that other nations have obesity problems. Well, I’ll take comfort knowing that in several European countries this isn’t so!

    I’ve not heard of most of the ingredients in the recipes but we have several international food stores within a 30 minute drive so I will likely give one or two of your recipes a try.

    Perfect timing. I have that eternal 10 pounds to lose!

    Patricia Weber, LinkedIn Group BHB

    • Thanks for dropping by, Patricia! Very glad to know that you’re open to try some of our local food here. For all it’s worth, you’re lucky to be losing only 10 lbs. I have to get rid of 25 according to my trainer in the gym. *sigh*

  6. Nice to know about the food that help weight loss. Everybody has problems with obesity. Thanks for sharing the post. Hope, you will share some of the recipies as well.
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  7. Lived in Manila for threee monts about twenty years ago and loved Filipino cuisine. Don’t remember what the different dishes were called but they were delicious!

    Don’t have a weight problem – on the contrary. The BBC has a post where you calcultate how much body fat you have – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18770328 – turned out in my case if all human beings had as little body fat as I have humanity would weigh 862 million tons less:-) Those of you who don’t if you are over weight or not can check on the link:-)
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    • Thanks for sharing the link, Catarina. I tried the calculator and I’m so happy that as far as the scale is, I’m not overweight. It made me feel so relieved. I’m showing this to my trainer at the gym. :)

  8. Susan Cooper

    These dishes sound awesome and the fact that they can help me take off a few pound is even better. I am getting back to regular exercise and watching my calories after a trip to France so this post is very timely indeed. Thanks for sharing.
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  9. These dishes sounds delicious! Obesity is a very big problem all around the world! I love taho, and I would like to try the other 4 dishes.
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  10. Nice post! This is a nice post. Health is wealth but over healthy is cures. I am fat. Now I am looking for slime. I like you post very much. May I help to you? Please give me suggestion. Thank you posting
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  11. I’ve noticed that lot of Asian cuisine is made with health in mind. Looks like Philippines too have their own delicious dishes that also help weight loss. Interesting choice of dishes!
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  12. Donna Spears

    Taho is my favorite and I ate it every morning. Taho is good to eat when it is early in the morning. By the way I never thought that spicy foods may help to lose weight. Well, I think this is good news for me.
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  13. I miss Taho! Gotta have some tomorrow for breakfast. Very informative post!
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  14. Adeline,
    Your dishes sound tempting, especially since we are all always thinking about keeping our weight down. That taho looks the best. I think I have eaten something similar for breakfast in Chinatown in NYC but I don’t remember the syrup on it. Would love to find a Fillipino restaurant here in South Florida.


    Dr. Erica
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