Last Minute Diet Doubts

16 Jan
I got the inspiration to write this post from a friend. And if you’ve contemplated about starting a weight loss diet, you could easily relate to her case. Here’s what happened. In the beginning of this year, she is sooooo pumped up and motivated to get into top shape and look super lean. So, she told me about it, we chat, and I helped her to formulate a diet plan. She told me that she’ll start on this diet in a week. Then, it struck… Read more

Personal Training Info & FAQ

01 Oct
Charges
  • Personal Training – $100 per session (single session) or S$80 per session (minimum purchase of 10 sessions)
  • Online Training – S$25 per week (minimum purchase of 10 weeks)

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m a girl and I just want to be lean and fit. I don’t want to be bulky and masculine. Is your personal training services suitable for me?

I get this a lot. It’s a MYTH that ladies will get muscular if they weight train. The truth is, women don’t have the natural testosterone and genetic make up to be as muscular as men. Instead, you can expect to be stronger, leaner and sexier while still looking feminine if you weight train. And yes, I do tailor training programs for ladies too.

Personal Training For Women Singapore

Do you offer group training?

I don’t offer group training. However, I do offer buddy training, where I train you and a friend of yours at the same time for $120/session (total).

What exactly is online training?

Online training is where I will create a diet and training plan customized for you and guide you through it. I will also track your progress and make tweaks in the program along the way. Throughout the program, you could also ask me anything relevant to training, dieting and fitness in general. This training method is only recommended for intermediate trainees who have at least a few months of training experience under their belt.

I hate diets and I love food. Must I really go on a strict diet to see the results I want?

I love food too! However, nutrition is just as important as training if you want to see results in your physique. That being said, you don’t need to adhere to a strict diet to get results. Instead, I will provide guidelines. These guidelines will tell you what you should be eating most of the time and what foods to eat only occasionally. Lastly, eating healthy should be a lifestyle, not a temporary diet. If you take the first step to start eating healthier, soon it will become a habit and you won’t even feel like you’re on any diets.

Have questions which are not answered here? Just fill up the form below and ask away.

Click here to return to the main personal training page.

It’s Cutting Time!

21 Mar
Bulking time is over and now it’s time to refine my physique to it’s best condition so I could display it’s beauty both in front of the camera and onstage. The last time I was on a cutting phase was in preparation for the Mr Kuala Lumpur 2010. I learnt so much during my dieting phase that I thought to myself, “If I knew everything I knew about dieting at the end of my Mr KL prep before I started the diet, I would have been so much leaner”. Well, now it’s time to see if that statement is true or not. So far, the results have been pretty fantastic.

cutting diet



I’ve improved since the start of my diet, but I still need a few weeks more of dieting. Click on this link to view my before photos – Before and After. My before photos might look better because of better lighting but look at my chin and you can tell that I’ve shed off several pounds of fat.

My weight is now 76kg, down from 82kg since I started cutting four weeks ago. The reason I’m cutting is (maybe) for Mr Kuala Lumpur 2011 and most of all, for several photoshoots coming up real soon. Certainly everyone would prefer to see chiseled abs on the photos rather than a belly, right? Err.. Right?? I hope so.

The best part of my diet and training plan is that I don’t feel hungry, don’t get cravings, my strength levels are up and I’m still losing weight, which is a good indication that a large proportion of the weight I’m losing is fat, not muscle.

Here’s my current cutting diet.

Meal One – 2 scoops of whey, multivitamins, 6g fish oil, 2 caps Magnum Heat, 3g Nutrifirst CLA, 1g L-Carnitine

Meal Two – 8 egg whites with 3 yolks, 2 scoops oatmeal

Meal Three – 1 canned tuna mixed with olive oil, broccoli, 2 caps Magnum Heat, 3g Nutrifirst CLA

Meal Four – 1 chicken breast cooked with olive oil, broccoli

Meal Five – 1 canned tuna mixed with olive oil, broccoli

Pre-Workout – 3 caps Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE), 4 caps Magnum A-Bomb, 2 caps Controlled Labs Blue Up

Intra-Workout – 20g Xtreme ICE BCAA & Glutamine blend

Post-Workout – 1 1/2 scoops of Magnum Quattro, 1 small apple, 2 caps CEE

Meal Six – 2 scoops Optimum Nutrition Casein

Total Calories – 290g protein, 85g carbs, 75g fat, 2180 kcal

As for my workouts, I don’t have a rigid written workout plan as I had. I do have my workout cycle planned out, which is

Day 1 – Chest & Biceps

Day 2 – Shoulders & Abs

Day 3 – 45 minutes cardio

Day 4 – Back & Triceps

Day 5 – Legs & Abs

Day 6 – Rest

So what exercises am I performing for each workout? Here’s the thing. I’m using what bodybuilders call “instinctive training”, which means going to the gym just knowing which body parts you want to train and just choose the exercises at that time itself. However, I think that the name “instinctive training” is stupid. Firstly, what instincts do we have? If we follow our instincts, we will run away from the gym. Which instinct would tell you to go to the gym and put yourself through an hour of torture?

What I’m trying to say is, if anyone goes into the gym empty-headed, as a human, our tendency to be lazy will make us just do less. So to prevent that, you must go in with a goal. For me, I always tell myself,

“You must push your chest to the limit!”

“Train til’ your abs hurt!”

“Blast those legs!”

Other than that, you should set some parameters for each workout so that there may be variations, but not too much. Such parameters could include number of sets. For me, I perform 12 to 16 sets per body part. And there must be a balance of compound and isolation movements so that I stimulate enough muscle and at the same time, target my muscle specifically enough. And I always include supersets and drop sets. My parameters could be too hard/easy for you, depending on your training level and experience. Know your body, and set suitable parameters for yourself.

So, what have I learnt since my last cutting diet in the past year?

1. Limit cardio.

I don’t like cardio that much. Not on a low-carb diet at least. From my workout schedule, you could see that I perform cardio once every six days. Oh, and the cardio I perform is a slow walk on the threadmill with a very high incline, which burns an ok amount of calories, but targets fat instead of glycogen storage. Anyway, quite a number of friends (and no, they are not just gym rats. They are competitive bodybuilders) told me that their pre-contest cardio routine is pretty light but they are still able to get ripped. As of now, I found out that it’s pretty true!

2. High-fat diet

I first stumbled upon this high-fat weight loss diet in a dieting guide written by the guys from Scivation. Turns out that fat actually buffers food digestion, making the food you consume time-released and therefore, creating less spike in insulin. Also, it really helps with the hunger. If you reduce your carbs enough, your fat intake can still be high and you’ll still lose weight. My main source of fat is olive oil, which is full of good monounsaturated fats.

3. Have cheat meals

Ok, this is NOT the best advice you can get if your sole goal is to lose weight. But it’s the best if you want to make your diet bearable and not mood-depressing. Before this, I have re-feeding days. Every week, I have a clean high-carb day (300-400g carbs) to restore my leptin levels. Now, I have SUSHI!! Mmm.. yum! I loooovvve sushi. If I could, I would have sushi everyday. Sushi restaurant owners, if you’re reading this, please approach me for sponsorship!! Cheat meals have a psychological effect that makes your diet not feel like a diet. And if you spend that weekly cheat meal well, it’ll help your social life too. Besides, with this high fat diet, my cravings are not that bad so my carb intake is still less than 300g during my cheat meal day.

4. Form habits

If you do the same thing everyday for a week, you’ll almost automatically do it for the next few weeks. Eat meals at the same time, go to the gym at the same time. Hold it in there for a several days. Hold back the urge to laze and drift away from your routine. Soon, you won’t even need to try.

There you go. Another update of my progress. Any questions about losing weight? Email me at Fabodylous@gmail.com.

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Seven Bad Weight Loss Advice People Will Give You

12 Mar
I probably mentioned it a dozen times but never explained it – don’t listen to generic, stereotypical, generalized advice about losing weight/building muscle given to you by someone who doesn’t particularly train, diet or read about the matter. Some friends that I’ve advised to do so replied, “But Wee Kiat, it makes sense!”. Well, most of these advices make sense because the person giving them hasn’t thought about them deep enough. And most of these people have never been through a diet themselves. No, “I eat only once a day” is NOT a diet. Their only source of weight loss knowledge is called the TV and THAT can be very very misleading and commercialized.

weight loss advice

Eat Lots of Fruits to Lose Weight
fruits

Fruits have a very highly-propagated image of being a healthy, somewhat perfect food. PARTIALLY true. Yes, they do have their share of vitamins, but when you’re aiming to sculpt your body, your main concern should be your macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fats). And honestly, fruits have plenty of fructose, which is a carbohydrate, which you should limit in order to lose weight. I’m currently cutting now and the only fruit I’m having is an apple post-workout.

Follow a Balanced Diet
balanced diet

Firstly, what on Earth is a balanced diet? Is it a diet which you juggle with your hands while balancing an egg on your nose? Ok, don’t worry, that’s as much sarcasm as I could possibly squeeze out of my fingers while they are typing. But seriously, I heard this when someone who knew nothing about losing weight saw me eating only chicken breasts and broccoli, couldn’t stand seeing me just eating that and told me how “unbalanced” my diet was. So I asked him, “What is a balanced diet?”. And he said, “You should have rice, fruits, noodles and add some variety in your diet”. Well, that, my friend, is not a weight loss diet. That’s an Asian diet! And the only reason an Asian guy will tell you that is not because it’s the best advice to lose weight, but it’s because Asian food is so gooooooood and hard to give up. In short, if you want to lose weight, something’s gotta give. And if you want to lose weight, you have to consume less calories than you burn. Therefore, your diet is actually “out-of-balance”.

Girls, Don’t Weight Train Or You’ll Look Like A Guy
Normal testosterone levels in men are 200-1200 ng/dl while 15-70 ng/dl are normal in women. As you can see, men’s testosterone levels are significantly higher than women’s. If we look at the median or mid-range testosterone levels in men and women, men = 700 and women = 42.5. So on an average, men have 16 times more testosterone than women! And have you seen plenty of guys who weight train their ass off and has just a slight bit of muscle? Now, if those test-filled guys can just build that tiny amount of muscles with so much more testosterone, how about you ladies? So to say, it’s far-fetched to assume that a lady can be too masculine by weight training. If you look at the physique of IFBB Pro Bikini competitor (yes! They have such a category now!) Nicole Nagrani, it is curvy, perky, feminine and yes, build on a combination of weight training and cardio. Plus, weight training increases post-workout metabolism and metabolism in the long run, which burns fat a lot effectively than cardio.

nicole nagrani

Nicole Nagrani

Do Lots of Cardio If You Want to Lose Weight
Again, partially true. The problem is when someone does ONLY cardio without and high-intensity training. Here’s the problem with doing ONLY cardio. One of my interviewees, World natural female bodybuilding champ Lilian Tan told me that when she first started training, she did only cardio, and lots of it. Her weight went down significantly, but when she took a bodyfat test, her bodyfat levels stayed the same! Now, I know most of you girls are not aiming to be bodybuilders but if you think about it, losing muscles instead of fat will make you smaller… but still fat. Plus, you’ll be weaker and because your metabolism is lower, you’ll gain back the weight faster than you lost it.

lilian tan bodybuilder
Lilian Tan

Simple (very simple) explanation why you lose muscle if you just perform cardio:

Your body adapts to your needs. When your workouts are mainly high-intensity workouts, your body builds up strength for it. Body fat? Not really needed because workouts are short. Fat, after all, is stored up energy, ready to be used for long periods of energy expansion. On the other hand, long and low-intensity workouts doesn’t require much muscle. In fact, your body would burn muscle to lower your metabolism so that it can last the entire cardio session (if it’s long enough). AND it’ll store up bodyfat so you’ll have enough energy.

Supplements Are Dangerous
supplements

Actually, this is cause by a stigma that protein supplements will actually blow your muscles up to a huge unimaginable size against the user’s own will. Well, I kinda wish, actually. But no, not at all. Whey, as defined by Wikipedia, is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. And if you think about the point of supplements in the first place, which is to synthesize/filter out the good nutrients from food, make them into a concentrate without the unwanted nutrients, supplements aren’t supposed to be bad after all. Think about it, a scoop of whey has the same amount of protein as 3.5 eggs, minus the cholesterol and need for cooking.

Another thing I noticed is that some people don’t think it’s “natural” to take supplements and actually take pride in being able to build muscle without them. About the “natural” part, let’s just say that if you know what goes in your other processed food, supplements will seem a lot more “natural”. And whenever someone told me that they intend to train without supplements, I tell them to go ahead and try working out without them. Few weeks later, they either give up trying to get in shape or they’ll ask me for recommendations of what supplements to get. Nuff’ said.

You Should Miss Meals to Lose Weight
Ouch! If you believe in this advice, your body is really gonna punish you with less energy, lower metabolism and fluctuating weight. Seriously, this is not just ineffective, it’s also dangerous. Hunger actually puts your body in an emergency state, making it hold back fat. Read this previous post to find out more – The Right Way to Lose Weight.

Avoid Fats
fats

I seriously hate the media and food producers who propagate that fat is bad for the body. A study which I stumbled upon once showed that study participants who ate a high-fat, low-carb diet used more fat for their energy needs, as opposed to the control group who took in a high-carb, low-fat diet. In short, your body adapts to the food you give it. Give it fat, it’ll burn fat. Plus, fat doesn’t increase insulin release in the body, which is the enemy of fat loss and it fills you up, so you don’t go hungry while on a low-calorie diet. In fact, I’m currently on a cutting (weight loss) diet and my fat intake is 80g per day, which isn’t low. Your dietary fats should come from vegetable oils (especially olive and canola oil) and nuts, not junk food. These fats will the be fat that will not clog your arteries and improve your cholesterol profile. Oh, there’s one fat which you really should avoid. If you see “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” or “trans fat” on the label, don’t eat it, at all! I’ll explain next time. Promise.

Alright, now that you have the skinny on some common weight loss misconceptions, check out this guide to weight loss – How to Lose Weight Fast.

And for future weight loss articles, click here to subscribe to Fabodylous!

The Right Way to Lose Weight

13 Oct

I have this friend of mine, and he *grasps hair* is the most stubborn friend one can ever get. He’ll come to me and say,

“Wee Kiat, I’m serious now. I really want to lose weight. Tell me how.”

“Are you really sure? Will you do whatever it takes?”

“Yes, just tell me and I’ll do it.”

“Ok, first, you need to eat six meals a day…”

“WTF!! You don’t make sense man. Most people will eat less, maybe once or twice to lose weight. How can eating six times a day make me lose weight?”

“You see, I know you’re gonna say this already. Why did you even bother asking me for advice again and again?”

To those who think like this friend of mine, I’m sorry, but the “common sense” method of losing weight (eat less, burn more calories, create a caloric deficit) doesn’t make sense if you take every biological factor into consideration.

I’ve seen this MANY MANY times!

The other person (usually a girl) will go “Hey Wee Kiat, I’m eating only one meal per day, and I jog sometimes, why am I not losing weight?”

And I go, “You need to eat more often, up to six times a day to lose weight, and jogging alone won’t help. You need to weight train.”

“Hellooooo. I’m trying to lose weight, ok? Not build muscle! Why must I weight train?”

Sigh. Life isn’t easy.

Here’s the explanation of some basics of losing weight –

Why Must I Eat More Often When I Wanna Lose Weight?
Short explanation: Your body will not want to burn fat if it’s in a state of hunger. The body will usually go into this state after 4 (or maybe fewer) hours without food.

Long nagging explanation:
You see, the body has many priorities, such as survival, immunity system, reproduction capabilities, building muscle, burning fat and staying lean, etc. And from that list, survival rates as the highest priority among them all. Guess which priority is at the bottom? Building muscle and burning fat. So you see, until you ensure your body that it’ll survive and it’s free of illness, it won’t even care about building muscle or burning fat at all.

Now let’s think, what type of body can survive the longest without food? The answer: A body with loads of stored up calories (fat) and very slow metabolism (low in muscle mass) – which is exactly what we DON’T want!

So how does this relate with eating more often? Well, if we eat more often, our body won’t be so concerned about survival, because it knows that you’re giving it supplies (food) every few hours. Thus, it won’t bother keeping fat levels high and muscle levels low. This will make it easier to burn fat.

So THAT’S why eating one meal a day is the worst thing you can do in trying to burn the fat!

Why Must I Weight Train When I Want to Lose Weight, Not Build Muscle?
To my cardio-loving ladies out there who do not weight train, how is your day? Please don’t hate me for saying this but I have to – your efforts could have been more efficient if you weight trained. You see, weight training in short increases muscle mass and therefore, increases metabolism, making it easier to lose weight. Plus, it gives ladies the ‘healthy’ look instead of the skinny look after losing the fat. As for men, need I say more?

And again, ladies, don’t worry about becoming bulky because you don’t have the testosterone level to become so.

So what’s the lesson for the day?

Never expect someone who is your friend to take your weight loss advice seriously. Clients who PAY for it will take you seriously because they PAID for it. What comes free, is never appreciated.

So appreciate me and click here to subscribe to my blog for more free advice! 😉

Click here for a complete guide of how to lose weight fast!

Biggest Loser Asia Season 2

27 Sep

What better way to motivate a group of people to shed off the pounds and inspire people across Asia to start their weight loss journey other than a televised competition and of course, a huge load of cash – US$100’00 to be exact?

Well, that’s exactly the point of The Biggest Loser Asia! Other than advertise sponsors, increase television ratings, sell products, of course. So, speaking of The Biggest Loser, Season 2 just started! I could only catch the auditions because I was in a rush to somewhere else. However, the auditions itself did touch me deeply. Seeing these people who are looked down upon by society because of their nasty genetics just makes me wanna blog more about weight loss. And just fyi, these people were telling experiences of how their weight has bogged them down in life to the judges. Some of them cried while telling them.

And I noticed something else too. The fattest people are from Malaysia! Malaysia Boleh (Malaysia can)! Oh wait, this is not a good thing. But hey, it signifies how good Malaysian food is! And fyi again, I’m back home in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for this week and mmm… yum, food is definitely so much better than in Singapore. Cheaper too! And yes, The Biggest Loser Asia is held in Putrajaya, Malaysia for this season.

There was a Malaysian lady who auditioned to be on the show. And she was the heaviest person to audition at 250kg! Keep in mind that most of the people who auditioned (who are already supersized) are in the vicinity of 110-180kg. This lady shadows all of them. Unfortunately, she didn’t make it onto the show, perhaps because of health and safety reasons. But hey, weight loss companies, quick, find her! Bet she’ll be great publicity for you guys if you could help her shed the pounds! Plus, you’ll save a life. 🙂

Now, let’s go on to the contestants of the show. Here’s the info of the 16 contestants on this season’s show. The ones tinted blue are already out of the show.

Hmm… do you noticed something wrong here? This is Biggest Loser ASIA and a white guy is kicking the Asians’ asses! Come on guys! WTF!!

Here’s some other photos from the first episode.


Yea, flex it big boy!


And oh! I want to talk about the hostess of the show, Marion Caunter. Isn’t she sooo super duper pwetty? I met her at Malaysian Idol when I was 15. Very pleasant lady. Took me awhile to be brave enough to ask her for a photo. This was at the Malaysian Idol after-party. I got in because my church member eventually won the contest. And yes, I was 15, with no muscles, no sense of grooming and no social skills, so keep your expectations low.

Here’s Marion with a fat kid.

LOL!!

Click here for a complete guide on how to lose weight fast.

Click here to go to the Biggest Loser Asia’s official website.

The Secrets to Achieving Your Dream Body

06 Sep

A lot of bodybuilding, weight loss and fitness websites or blogs talk about exterior factors that influence changes to our body – diet, training, supplements, recovery and maybe even steroids. But the “secrets” that I’m going to explain below will not involve any training, dieting or supplementing. It’s about the underlying reasons that make the real difference between a champion and a wannabe. They don’t apply just to bodybuilders, but anyone who wants be the top dog of their sport.

Let’s get on with the secrets.

#1 Consistency

This week – 6 meals everyday, 5 workouts per week. Next week, same. Following week, same. Next month, same. Next year, same. It might be easy to read the words, but following them is another thing. After months or even years have passed, the difference between the consistent trainer and inconsistent one will show, big time. Three-time Mr Olympia, Jay Cutler contributed his success to consistency, saying that not everybody should do it, not everybody could do it, but he does. And that’s why he is Mr Olympia (as of now).

As for most of us, bodybuilding or training isn’t our number one priority. We have our work, family or studies to take care of. Once one of these priorities needs attention, we skip meals and workouts and become inconsistent. Yet, there are ways to work around it. When I was working as a sales executive for a broadband company in Kuala Lumpur, I used to keep a tub of mass gainer and a shaker so I can use it to replace my meals if I have to rush to meet a customer, a bag with a change of clothes and a pair of shoes so I can go straight to the gym right after work.

#2 Pain Threshold

When do you stop during a set of exercise? When it starts to feel challenging? When the pain sets in? Or when every fibre in your target muscle has no more strength to twitch anymore? The ability to forgo comfort during those last reps in a set everytime you hit the gym will determine your progress in the long term. But everyone is scared of the pain, especially the gruel of squatting and the sense of helplessness when the weights are crushing your every joint and muscle. The secret is to convince yourself before a set, that the pain you’ll feel is just temporary and it’s a prerequisite to a better body. Feel the torture for an hour a day, and you’ll appreciate the comfort you feel for the rest of the day. 🙂

#3 Resistance to Temptation

Unfortunately, to build a great body, the effort doesn’t just stop in the gym. Almost 24/7 we must watch what we do, what we eat and how much we rest. And while doing that, we’re tempted by many things around us, especially the strongest temptation of all… food! Well, here’s the thing – no one is immune to temptations, but the one who can resist it the longest will benefit the most. So if you want to get that body of your dreams, it’s eat clean and nutritious food, sleep early, train to your limit, repeat.

#4 Love What You’re Doing

It’s no secret, but an ignored fact that when one loves what he/she does, that person does it better than if he/she is forced to do so. So when you eat, sleep, train, try to always have some company with you (ok, maybe not always for the sleeping part). And joke lightly about what you’re doing, be proud of the fact that you’ve made the decision to transform your body into something greater and wear appropriate clothes that will allow you to flaunt your hard work!

So you see, these secrets are not shortcuts to success. Instead, they are deep changes that one has to make in himself to morph his body into the body that he has hoped for. And yes, they apply to the ladies too.

Train hard!

How To Lose Weight Fast

11 Aug
Index
Part 1: Getting Started
Part 2: Motivation
Part 3: Preparing for Diet
Part 4: Diet Essentials
Part 5: The Diet
Part 6: Supplements
Part 7: Training Programme
Part 8: Tips Galore!

So there you go! Everything you need to know about losing weight, all here, divided up into eight sections. Actually, I want to include one more section. It’s a Q&A section! So for those of you who have questions about losing weight, email me at fabodylous@gmail.com and I will answer them here!

If you want more tips on how to get that dream body of yours, support us! Fill in your email at the subscription box on the right side that looks like this –
how to lose weight fast

With your continuous support, Fabodylous will bring you more tips and guides, whether it’s about losing weight, building muscle, enhancing your performance and everything in between!

Thank you for your support and train hard! 😀

How to Lose Weight Fast: Part Eight: Tips Galore!!

10 Aug
Sooo… I know you guys looove tips. So here’s a dozen of them to help you accelerate your weight loss progress!

#1 Say ‘No’ to Junk Food

Say goodbye to McDonalds and Burger King and say hello to home cooking. This should be a no-brainer but people still think that if they go to the gym they can eat whatever they want. WRONG!

If you seriously want to shape up for the summer, you need to kiss all fast food joints goodbye. Not only are these places loaded with calories but also the fat content in them is enough to stop your heart instantly.

If you haven’t watched the movie Super-size Me, you need to go rent it today and watch it. If you don’t get sick watching that movie and seeing for yourself that McDonalds’ french fries can last well over three months without sprouting any mold, then you honestly don’t have all systems firing in your brain.

#2 Cook at Home as Often as Possible

When eating out you never really know how your food is prepared. Therefore, your best bet is to prepare and cook your own food. When you eat out many of the foods you are ingesting are cooked in butter or other fattening ingredients, which is exactly the stuff you want to stay away from. Plus, it’s hard to find places that serves specifically chicken breast or egg whites when you need them the most.

Your best bet for cooking at home can be anything from grilling your foods, steaming your foods, and even baking your foods.

#3 Concentrate on Lower-Glycemic Index Carb Sources

The Glycemic Index measures how fast a certain food increases blood sugar. In short, the lower the Glycemic Index for a food, the slower it gets into your system, the longer it’ll last and less insulin it’ll spike – which means less fat storage. It will also

-keep you full for longer
-increase sensitivity to insulin
-prolong physical endurance
-reduce blood cholesterol levels

#4 Choose Water as Your Preferred Drink

When at restaurants, I’m sometimes afraid that ordering water as a drink will make me seem cheap (Honestly!). But it’s for a good reason. Even though in liquid form, sodas and other sweet drinks can easily ruin your diet. And don’t think that fruit juices served in restaurants are by default sugar-free. Unless stated, they probably have lots of sugar, enough to shoot your insulin levels sky-high.

#5 Make Lists and Notes of Everything

Giving attention to detail really matters! Big time! I did not notice so many things I did wrong for my previous competitions until I decided to write everything down for my Mr Kuala Lumpur 2010 prep. Even if you’re not competing and just losing weight, this could boost your progress. Write what you should be eating each meal, what exercise you should be doing for which days, what supplements you should take at what time all on A4 sized papers and paste it somewhere you can see often. Having a shopping list helps you control your budget and impulse buying too!

#6 Realize That There is No Shortcut

Having hope is good. But hoping for something that wouldn’t happen is deluding yourself. If something that promises you easy gains in muscle and fat loss with minimal effort in the gym and in the kitchen, it’s probably not true, especially if it involves money. This is especially true for supplements with unbelievable claims. The sooner you realise that muscle is gained and fat is burned with hard work, the faster you’ll reach your goals.

#7 Workout with Someone With More Experience

Many people think that they train hard… until they train with someone who trains harder than them. The same goes for dieting. When I was just starting my bodybuilding journey, I thought I was the most hardcore kid in the gym. I was. But that was because my gym was filled with uncles and aunties who came in just for a jog and their kids who follow them. Then when I started training with some friends whom I knew were into bodybuilding too, I made great gains because I know how much harder I must train to attain such gains.

Phil Heath (right), although being a prodigy in every sense of the word, admitted that he didn’t know how hard he had to train when he turned pro until he trained with the reigning Mr Olympia, Jay Cutler (left).

#8 Aim to Maintain Muscle Mass While Losing Weight

Remember, losing weight means losing fat, not muscles. This is why the weight loss diet is a high protein diet. The more muscles you lose, the harder it’ll be to lose fat because your metabolism will decrease. That’s why when a guy is skinny-fat (low in muscle and has some fat), I would recommend him to gain muscle first then lose the fat, because with the muscle, it’ll be easier to lose fat. To maintain muscles, always weight train heavy, consume a high protein diet (like the one I recommend) and don’t let yourself become hungry, ever.

#9 Know the Difference Between Hunger and Cravings

If you’re hungry, you want food. If you’re having cravings, you want that double-topping, melted chocolate-covered triple flavour ice cream with a cherry on top. So, don’t use the excuse that you’re hungry when in fact, you’re actually having a craving.

#10 Eat Fruits in the Morning

Contrary to some belief, fructose (fruit sugar) has a low glycemic value and does not spike insulin as much as other sugars. In fact, it’s complex carbs. BUT there’s one problem with fructose. Fructose can only be stored in the liver and once that storage is filled up, it’ll turn into fat. So, if you want to have fruits, have them in the morning when your liver glycogen storage is empty.

#11 Get Enough Sleep

Not getting enough sleep will make your body more resistant to burning fat. Getting enough sleep will provide a better hormonal environment for your body to burn fat. Try getting at least 8 hours of nocturnal sleep (night sleep). And yes, naps have shown to help too.

#12 Don’t Fall for the “Healthy Food” Trick

Some supermarket “health foods” aren’t as healthy as they seem. The most common is yoghurt. I remember reading a label that says “99% fat free”. And it has more than 10% of sugars. WTH?! That will kill your diet faster than the fat content! So, remember, read the labels yourself to judge if the food is suitable for your diet. Or better still, go with the usual unprocessed meat and vegetables.

Happy dieting! 😀