He has lost 53 kg
After being diagnosed with high blood pressure as a result of being overweight two years ago, Operations Manager Bryan Lim, 28, was determined to lose weight.
“The only way was to lose weight or take medication to keep my blood pressure up,” he says. “I didn’t want to be on medication for the rest of my life.”
The heaviest weight was Mr Lim, who is 1.8 m tall, 161 kg.
Growing up, he was on the heavier side and found it difficult to do simple tasks like climbing stairs. Because of his size, he sometimes received judgmental looks and unkind remarks, but he got used to them.
“I was chubby and extremely unhealthy, and I have binge eating,” he says, adding that he tried many times to lose weight but that his weight “kept bouncing back”.
In September last year he was looking for a gym when he came across F45 Downtown East Singapore in Pasir Ris.
He initially opted for more cardio-based classes for weight loss and went to the gym at least five days a week in the morning.
Within 10 months his weight increased from 153 kg to 100 kg.
It wasn’t easy at first. “I was very heavy and unfit, so it was pretty hard (to hold on) during training,” says Mr. Lim. “I would take a break because I couldn’t keep up with the pace and intensity.”
He has registered for the 45-day F45 Challenge, in which the members want to achieve goals they have set themselves with the support of the trainers and other gym visitors.
Not only did Mr. Lim emerge victorious from the challenge, he also lost 17.7 kg and 4.6 percent of his body fat. At this point he weighed 107 kg.
Keep the pounds away healthy
When it comes to losing weight, experts say there is no one-size-fits-all method.
Dr. Naras Lapsys, a nutritional consultant at The Wellness Clinic, says what works for one person may not work for another.
Consistency is important, he adds.
“The most successful weight loss (process) is one where you are willing to make permanent changes to your diet and lifestyle,” he says. “If they are too radical or too strict, they are unlikely to be sustainable in the long run.”
Mr. Yusuf Kay, fitness trainer at TFX Millenia Walk, shares the same opinion.
If you want to lose weight, you should use every opportunity to get around, such as doing housework or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
He recommends a varied exercise program rather than sticking to some type of exercise like cardio or weight training.
He also recommends doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts at least once a week, as this is the most effective way to burn calories during and after your workout. It is also the most effective way to keep your metabolism elevated for an extended period of time.
Proper diet goes hand in hand with exercise, he adds. “Instead of minimizing your caloric intake, make better food choices that meet your nutritional needs … It’s not about eating less, it’s about eating the right foods.”
Here are some healthy weight loss tips from Dr. Lapsys.
1 TIME RESTRICTED EATING CAN HELP
Time-limited eating like intermittent fasting can be a powerful weight loss tool, says Dr. Lapsys.
“Basically, it limits the number of hours a day a person can eat all of their food – and for many people, they end up limiting their calories,” he says.
However, it is important to choose an optimal eating period to complement your lifestyle.
For example, fasting during strength training can affect the results of your workout.
2 EXTREME DIETS CANNOT BE SUSTAINABLE
Consuming too few calories cannot be sustainable and can lead to a higher tendency to have binge eating afterwards.
It can also cause a person to sleep poorly, have low energy levels, lose focus easily, and lose muscle mass, which can affect exercise performance.
While the amount varies from person to person, one should ingest no less than 1,200 calories a day.
3 BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU EAT
Although Dr. Lapsys does not recommend any special diet, it is important to choose foods with high nutritional value.
He recommends eating more whole foods and cutting down on processed foods.
4 ALCOHOL IS HIGH CALORIES
Alcohol can affect your total calories and your ability to lose weight.
At seven calories per gram, alcohol has almost as many calories as fat, which has nine calories per gram.
In comparison, a single gram of carbohydrate or protein has four calories.
5 SLEEP ENOUGH
If you are sleep deprived, you are likely to be eating more to maintain your energy levels.
Dr. Lapsys says lack of sleep can affect hormones and hinder weight loss.
He continued to go to the gym and now weighs 100 kg.
In addition to exercising, Mr. Lim adheres to a clean diet and keeps his caloric intake between 1,800 and 2,000 calories daily.
He eats whole foods and eschews sugar and processed foods like fast food and ice cream.
Changing your diet and lifestyle is the hardest part, he says.
The way to lose weight has been full of ups and downs for him.
Before taking classes at F45, Mr. Lim had gone to other gyms but had no motivation to keep up his fitness routine.
Extreme dietary changes are also unsustainable, he says. “I used to go on a very strict diet for a few months before returning to my old eating habits.”
With the support of his trainers and other fitness attendees, Mr. Lim has now found that staying fit and leading a healthy lifestyle is more comfortable.
In addition to taking classes together, he and his friends from the gym also go for a run outside of the class and eat together every month.
His transformation has spurred his family and friends towards healthier lifestyles.
For example, his mother and younger sister have started slow jogging and lifting light weights for resistance training.
Mr Lim says he can finally go to the Uniqlo clothing store and get a matching shirt.
“It’s been a long time since I went to a regular clothing store and bought clothes because I was so tall and always had to buy them online,” he says.
She has lost 20 kg
A day before the breaker opened in April last year, 34-year-old officer Jenna Goh rushed to Watsons at the last minute.
She wanted to buy a yoga mat.
Ms. Goh, who is 1.65 m tall, weighed 80 kg and led a sedentary lifestyle.
She worked in the office from nine to five and ate extensively with colleagues and friends three to four times a week.
She says, “I thought if I had this weight when I had to go to the office, if I was working from home, I’d be bloat.”
Instead, she bought her yoga mat, found exercise videos online, and did 30 to 45 minutes of body weight training every day while on the breaker.
Ms. Goh, who was always aware in her youth that she was taller and taller than her peers, says she gained weight after starting to work.
But the breaker era gave her an opportunity to change her lifestyle.
During this time of strict measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, she could not go out to eat with her friends – which made it easier for her to eat healthier.
At the end of the protection period, she had lost 15 kg.
She also had a wake up call to take care of her health after a friend who had led a similar lifestyle was diagnosed with diabetes in 2019.
“She made me aware that this doesn’t just happen to the elderly or to people with a certain lifestyle. We are also at risk, ”says Ms. Goh. “I didn’t want to get to the point where I had to drastically change what I eat and how I live.”
Even though the circuit breaker days are over, Ms. Goh has continued to watch what she eats.
She prepares her own meals to keep track of her daily caloric intake, which she has capped at 1,800.
She tries to cut out sugar, for example by drinking black coffee and eating fewer desserts, and piling three times as many vegetables as rice on her plate with meals.
In July last year, she started taking fitness classes at the Athletics house after her pals urged her to try new gyms with them.
Although she was hesitant at first, she found that she could keep up with the training because she had trained on her own.
Ms. Goh, who works from home, takes three classes a week, usually for weight training, to tone her body and build muscle.
On the days that she is not attending classes, she walks for 30 to 45 minutes on a treadmill and tries to clock at least 6,000 steps a day.
By December last year she had lost about 20 kg. Since then she has kept her weight at 60 kg.
Whenever she wants to give up, Ms. Goh remembers how far she has come.
“After taking something off back then, I don’t want to go back to the state I was in because it took so much effort to get to that point and it’s so easy to put it back on.”
Her motivation also comes from her friends.
“My friends are the ones who hold me accountable,” she says.
Going to the gym allowed her to get in touch with them as they now mostly work from home and see each other less.
Ms. Goh’s success in weight loss has encouraged her to try new things. She is learning to swim and is looking forward to other activities such as Latin dance.
“This trip opened me up to new things or things that I used to feel too big for,” she says.
“Weight loss is no longer the main reason. It’s more fun to learn new things.”