Some thoughts on the diabetes issue in Singapore

We were discussing about food choices in the office and my colleague said to me “You’re lucky to have high metabolism.”

I said, “What? I don’t have a high metabolic rate. In fact, I gain weight easily.”

He looked surprised and I showed him a photo of what I used to look like five years ago.

It has been four and a half years since I cleaned up my diet, lost 10kg, and even wrote a simple e-book about how “Anyone Can Lose Weight“. I decided to lose weight largely out of vanity and frustration, but it was only later that I realized how beneficial it was to my health and preventing diabetes.

This month, our Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about the diabetes epidemic in Singapore during the National Day Rally. Singapore has the second highest rate of diabetes in the developed world, and it is a big problem. And from Channelnewsasia:

Today, diabetes affects one in nine Singaporeans and among those over 60, three in 10 have diabetes. The onset of diabetes is also getting younger with each generation – overweight teenagers can now succumb to what was previously termed “adult-onset” or Type 2 diabetes, the most common form.

Last year when the spotlight began to focus on the diabetes problem, I dropped an email to the minister in charge and offered to provide feedback and suggestions. He routed me to another team in the health ministry and they sent me a thank you email to close the conversation without any further action.

Oh well, I’m not a “professional” expert on the topic, nor am I a doctor, so to our civil servants, what good would I be to the fight against this disease in Singapore?

Nevertheless, I’d like to share some thoughts on how the country is currently dealing with diabetes and offer some pragmatic suggestions.

Continue reading “Some thoughts on the diabetes issue in Singapore”

Fenix 3 is a better smartwatch than most

The Apple Watch is about to be launched this month and there isn’t much excitement in Singapore because the country is not in the first launch wave. Enthusiasm over Android Wear has waned with the lack of compelling new models and there have been no improvements in battery life.

In the meantime, most people don’t know that Garmin has actually launched a pretty good smartwatch in the form of the multisport Fenix 3.

It’s just a pity most people won’t know about the Fenix 3 because they think a smartwatch ought to look like an Apple Watch, Moto 360 or Pebble. And when you tell people this is a “fitness watch”, they may give you the leery look since they associate the term with hardcore fitness freaks.

Continue reading “Fenix 3 is a better smartwatch than most”

The first steps to losing weight

I’ve written plenty on weight loss and weight management over the past two years but something still bugs me constantly – it is so difficult for most people to get started because their minds are filled with so many misconceptions or excuses.

On the other hand, I’ve also seen some friends or acquaintances actually lose weight effectively. No, not all of them read my e-book “Anyone Can Lose Weight” but the book did come in handy for some. All these people did was to clean up their diet with healthier choices and a little exercising. No miracle cures involved.

So how can you fall into this camp of successful fat-busters, instead of wallowing in continued defeat and self-pity? I’ll make this post short so it’s easy to remember, and forgive me for being blunt, but I’m sure you’ll understand my point.

Continue reading “The first steps to losing weight”

Thoughts on Fitbit and activity trackers

I recently started using a Fitbit Zip activity tracker because I was intrigued by this whole idea of doing 10,000 steps a day to keep fit. At S$78 (before the Challenger member 10% discount), it’s not cheap but it’s not expensive either for a tiny pedometer that comes with Bluetooth wireless capabilities and built-in user account.

To be clear, it’s not like I need a pedometer, because I already jog regularly two to three times a week and I watch what I eat most of the time. I weigh myself daily now with a Fitbit Aria scale that logs my weight to my personal account and I can always study my weight variations anytime on my phone or PC.

But once you pique my curiosity and it involves tech and fitness, I just have to try it out to gain an understanding of what other people are raving about. Continue reading “Thoughts on Fitbit and activity trackers”

Guide To Dieting in Singapore

cakes cakes
Dieting in Singapore – you can have your cake and eat it you know. Just know how many calories are in each slice. (About 100kcal)

When I first started counting my calories this year to lose weight, I got quite a few responses from my friends. Some feigned mock horror, others said they couldn’t be bothered as it was a chore.

To amuse myself and to annoy my Facebook friends, I posted regularly on the horrors of high calorie content in our local foods, and what do you know, some of them started calorie counting too. Sadly, most gave up after a while.

Anyway, in the past four months (Jan to Apr 2013), I’ve dropped about 5.5kg from the time I swore to change my diet. On the bright side, I can see my jawline again, most of the spare tyres around the tummy and chest has disappeared and my waistline has contracted by over an inch, reversing a 15-year trend.

The bad part is now most of my usual work and casual clothes are now baggy and I have to buy new clothes.

To some people that isn’t a bad thing at all.

Update 2015: Some friends have asked me to share my diet plan and other tips. I’ve compiled them into a handy ebook “Anyone Can Lose Weight” which shares everything I’ve learned over three years of dieting and exercise. Below are excerpts from the book that you can buy and download on any device you own. Continue reading “Guide To Dieting in Singapore”