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These amazing women did the Cohen diet, lost weight, got pregnant, and …


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Cohen mommies with their adorable ‘Cohen babies’: (From left) Imelda Acidera, Cheryl Alcantara, Love Del Rosario, and Dr. Angel Bandola, Cohen’s Lifestyle Centre Philippines executive director. Photo by Rhoy Cobilla, InterAksyon.com.

Their journey goes beyond shedding off those extra pounds. Cheryl Alcantara, Love Del Rosario, and Imelda Acidera have proven that not only can they have the self-discipline and the determination to achieve their ideal body, but also to fulfil their dreams of getting pregnant again, and being their best, healthiest self.

According to Dr. Angel Rodriguez-Bandola, obstetrician-gynecologist at UP General Hospital and St. Luke’s Medical Center, and Cohen’s Lifestyle Centre executive director, weight loss is the “cornerstone” of obesity-related fertility.  Dr. Bandola said that every 0.1 unit increase in the waist-to-hip ration of women decreases he chances of conceiving by 30 percent per menstrual cycle.

This occurs due to the “imbalance in hormones leading to problems in ovulation, fertilization, and implantation.”  Obese women who do get pregnant are also more vulnerable to pregnancy complications such as miscarriage, stillbirths, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes.

Cohen Program 101
What exactly is the Cohen Lifestyle Program? Before you dismiss it as just any fad diet, the program is a rapid weight loss and wellness solution that is nutrition-based and works around a person’s unique blood profile. The program has originally helped women lose weight, conceive and have children, and maintain their ideal weight after birth.  The program doesn’t require exercise, injection, or pills. Clients have lost up to 8 to 10 pounds a month after taking on the program.

“Cohen mommies” are those who credit the program for their successful pregnancy after undergoing the program.  As Dr. Bandola said, their mission at Cohen’s Lifestyle Center Philippines is to help people adopt a lifestyle change, and to become better, happier versions of themselves.  It has also been a great blessing to be able to let these women experience motherhood, and retain their figure after giving birth.  Here are three mothers who had their own children through the program.

Cheryl Alcantara: Wish for another child, granted
Cheryl Alcantara said her seven-year-old daughter has wanted another sibling of her own ever since the girl was four, and would even wish on Santa Claus as well as tooth fairies.  Cheryl herself had wanted another baby (her last one), to complete her family.  For her, this should be done at 35 years old, so the baby wouldn’t have such a huge age gap from her last child.

And baby makes four for Cohen mommy Cheryl Alcantara and her family. Photo by Rhoy Cobilla, InterAksyon.com.

Alcantara, whose work is related to finance, had some successful officemates who did the Cohen Diet, and she admired their discipline—both men and women alike.

When she enrolled in the diet program, Alcantara ate generous portions of vegetables, proteins, beef, fish, a lot of seafood and crisp breads. Sugar came in controlled portions and mostly in the form of fresh fruits.  Alcantara explained that the Cohen diet comes in stages but rapid weight loss is expected.  True enough, Alcantara lost 18 lbs. in one month.

On her everyday lifestyle changes, Alcantara said she practiced BYOB (or Bring Your Own Baon) if she had to eat at restaurants, or at the workplace.  She narrated that she used to eat everything, and was a “trendy” kind of eater, with her being first in line for the newest foodie items.  “Ako yung nauuna kapag J. Co,etc.,” she said.  “Yung cronuts, ‘di ko na naabutan.” 

Alcantara said her biggest challenge during the program was discipline.  Her support group, which consisted of her husband, friends, officemates, and even her eldest daughter, all helped however.

“Whenever I’d have food, my daughter would ask if it’s Cohen-friendly,” narrated Alcantara.  Alcantara said that whenever there would be food sharing in the office, she’d be the one distributing it for the sake of being part of the community, and for camaraderie, since she couldn’t eat the food.  During the program, Alcantara also did some Zumba and walking with her husband.

Eventually, all of Alcantara’s sacrifices were rewarded: she finally conceived! That time, she had lost 51 pounds in six months through the Cohen program, with her period finally regularizing.  Even if Alcantara is over 35 years old and more prone to complications, she was also cleared of hypertension and gestational diabetes.

In losing weight, Alcantara said that her motivations made a whole world of difference, since this time, the reasons were so much more than, in her own words, having a “balik alindog” kind of body, since what she wanted was another child.  Alcantara’s advice to women who may really want something is that if you really want it, put your heart and mind into it, and the universe will really conspire for you to achieve it.  She added that you also have to prepare yourself emotionally and mentally for what you would have to undertake.

Even if the Cohen program wasn’t cheap, Alcantara said that it was a whole lot cheaper compared to consulting a fertility expert or doing in vitro fertilization.  The benefits also came with the good health she achieved.  “I feel good,” said Alcantara.  “My skin also looks better.”  Alcantara added that she needs to eat more now since she is breastfeeding.

The discipline however has remained, with Alcantara who still avoids fast food.  “Now when I eat in a fast-foods restaurant [after the Cohen program], I realized how oily it is, and full of preservatives.”

She also said that she eats just like she did during her Cohen program, and that any weight gain is also manageable.  As for her wardrobe, she bought clothes that fit better, and even started wearing heels.

Love Del Rosario: Conceiving the natural way
On the other hand, Love Del Rosario, 32, a data quality manager, said that she tried the Cohen Diet mainly at first, to lose weight.  It was her husband who showed her the article about the Cohen diet in a newspaper.

“I was hurt at first,” she said. “Are you telling me I have to diet?” she then asked her husband.  Since she didn’t really feel the weight gain, Del Rosario said she dismissed it at first.

Del Rosario then remembered that when she was with her family at Universal Studios, Singapore however, and she couldn’t stand the heat as she was walking around.  Del Rosario later found out that she had PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), due to hormonal imbalance, and which caused difficulties in conceiving.

Del Rosario talks about her story, which involved being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Acidera (left-most) and Alcantara (middle) have also experienced struggles with their weight, and conceiving, which they overcame when they went through the Cohen program. Photo by Rhoy Cobilla, InterAksyon.com.

Del Rosario initially thought that the Cohen Diet as a fad kind of diet.  After listening to her husband’s advice, she attended a seminar to know what the diet program was about.  Her purpose was not to conceive initially, since she already had a one-year-old child. It took three years, two infertility specialists, and several work-ups before she got pregnant with her eldest, since Del Rosario was obese and diagnosed with PCOS at the time.

Del Rosario lost 70 pounds of weight from five and a half months of being on the Cohen diet. “[Being on the diet] was not easy, but it got easier,” she said.  She said that sometimes, it got boring.  “Hindi na ko makatingin sa repolyo ngayon,”she said.

After being on the Cohen program for some time, del Rosario’s period got delayed, and that was then that she suspected that she was pregnant. This came as a huge surprise for her since she never expected to get pregnant without a fertility work-up.

Del Rosario said that her second pregnancy was easy, thanks to the Cohen diet.  Post-Cohen, she can exercise control now when it comes to eating.  She plans to go back to the Cohen diet and has also learned how to cook healthy meals.  “Maganda yung support ng center,” she said. “They teach us recipes to cook for Cohen.”

Del Rosario advises women to give the Cohen diet a chance.  “It works,” she said.  “It worked for me. It is also grounded on scientific facts [so it’s not just any fad diet].  But it also starts with the mind. You have to decide.”

Del Rosario said that with her new baby, she is more active and spends more quality time with her older child because of the healthy benefits of the Cohen diet.  “It’s made me a better mom because my health is better,” she said.  “I am a better person.”

Imelda Acidera: Experiencing life’s welcome surprises
Imelda Acidera on the other hand, has experienced motherhood four times.  When she turned 40, she was gaining weight, and thus enrolled in the Cohen program.

Acidera shed 32 pounds in four months, and got pregnant eight years after giving birth to her third child.

A new mom at 40 years old, Imelda Acidera lost 32 pounds on the program and got pregnant with her third child, 10 years since she gave birth to her second child. Photo by Rhoy Cobilla, InterAksyon.com.

During the program, Acidera recounted how she did a shopping spree, and even did a fashion show.  “Nagkalimutan kami ng asawa ko, at ayun, nabuntis ako uli,” she narrated.

Her newest baby has a 10 year gap with her third child.  Acidera said that she got so shocked with the pregnancy but considered it a blessing.  “Even when I am already a senior, I will still be enrolling a child in college,” she said laughingly.  Acidera said that she welcomes this new challenge.

Acidera said that she has resumed the Cohen diet after breastfeeding.  For maintenance, she has also added exercise.  She said that once you finish the program, it’s already wired for you and what you’re eating.

“Masasanay ka what to choose for your body,” she said.  You will also know how to bounce back, even if you may have overeaten at one time.  “The Cohen program is a training program for the rest of your life,” she said.

Now, Acidera said she knows what and what not to order, and can’t imagine ordering something like French toast with all the works, because it is too sinful.  Acidera said that now she knows what food to choose and has been more conscious of eating habits, saying that she has acquired a more acute sense of taste, which is why she enjoys each bite more.

• Cohen’s Lifestyle Centre Philippines is located at Suite 808 The Infinity 26th St. Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.  Visit their website at http://www.cohenlifestyle.com.ph or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CohenLifestylePhil.

It’s literally life after the Cohen Diet as these woman are now new moms. From left, Dr. Angel Bandola of the Cohen’s Lifestyle Centre in the Philippines with clients Imelda Acidera, Love Del Rosario, and Cheryl Alcantara. Photo by Rhoy Cobilla, InterAksyon.com.

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