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10 Reasons Why You’re Still Fat After CNY

Don’t you just love the positivity of Chinese New Year, where adults sit in a corner and curse the government with such, vile, passionate anger while children sit in the other corner, smiling, laughing and socialising with their smartphones.

With families indulging in reunion steamboat dinners and jars of pineapple tarts, kueh bangkits, and other new year goodies lying innocuously on tables, it is the time of the year when worries of getting fat ring the loudest. Slimming salons offer themed discounts and enticing promos in a bid to capitalize on low-esteemed Singaporeans, while nutrition companies cash in on the clueless public with their variety of pointless and ineffective slimming products.

It’s probably the most exciting festive season for the majority of Singaporeans, and there’s no reason you should forgo the pleasure of digging into orgasmic snacks due to fears of putting on additional weight. Losing your fat is actually a really straightforward process that is not only fun, but cathartic as well, a process where most of the work is done in the kitchen rather than the gym. I’m not saying that physical exercise isn’t required at all (I’m sorry), but the media and fitness magazines have painted an unnecessarily grim picture on how we should go about our weight goals. Whether you believe what I’m about to say is totally your choice. I am neither going to force you to believe in me, nor sue you should you disagree with me, because firstly, you’re entitled to your wrong opinion, and secondly, my name doesn’t start with Lee and end with Hsien Loong.

What I’m going to be doing, as the title suggests, would be to debunk 10 common nutrition myths that are not only false, but are also contributing to the increasing waistlines of Singaporeans and people around the world. I’ll explain why you should consume more fats if you want to burn fat, why Coke Zero is actually worse than regular Coke, why counting calories is an exercise in futility, why you should eat at least five times a day, and why you should stop eating salads for lunch and dinner. Forget about your fitness magazines and online tips. You guys want to know what exactly caused you to become fat, and that’s what I’m going to tell you. And rest assured I’ll not be sprouting bullshit, because my YouTube channel’s name doesn’t start with Six Pack and end with Shortcuts.


Before I begin detailing the misconceptions, it’s important for you to know the difference between losing weight, and losing fat. Many of ya’ll are confused between the two terms, thinking that they are interchangeable. At the end of the day, what everyone is aiming for is to lose their fats.

Weight, since we’re at it, is not a good indicator of how healthy a person is. A bodybuilder with huge muscles could very well be severely overweight based on the BMI index, but is he really unhealthy? Likewise, a tall guy might be within the healthy range, but he has a body fat percentage of 25. Is he really in good shape?

body-composition

When people say they want to “lose weight”, what they really meant was for them to “lose fats”. Many weight loss companies and fitness articles will help you lose your weight, but not your fats. The weight lost, which is usually water weight anyway, will shoot right back up after a short period, and you’ll foolishly sign up for another package just so you can re-achieve the earlier ‘results’.

weight-loss-vs-fat-loss1

Weight loss = loss of muscles, water, and fats.

Like I said above, fat-loss is a relatively simple process to understand, and whether you succeed or not really comes down to your food choices. Be prepared to be enlightened.

1. Stop F***ing Counting Calories

It’s hard to walk by a food place in Singapore without someone bringing up the topic of calories. I often hear moms, teens and working adults wondering if their plate of food contains more than x amount of calories. While calories do have a role to play in fat gain, it is one that is minor and indirect. Calorie-counting is scientifically a futile exercise that many people think would help them shed their fats, but in fact, it goes much deeper than that.

You see, a calorie is not just a calorie. Many people treat calories like a one-dimensional value, but that’s simply not the case. Imagine yourself eating 1000 calories worth of chocolate and 1000 calories worth of broccoli. Do you really think you’ll end up equally fat?

The human body is a highly complex biochemical system with elaborate processes that regulate energy balance. Different types of foods encounter different biochemical pathways, some of which are inefficient and cause energy (calories) to be lost as heat. Different foods and their macronutrients have different effects on our brains and hormones that control our eating behaviors and hunger levels.

According to Authority Nutrition:

  • Protein calories are less fattening than calories from carbohydrates and fats, because protein takes more energy to metabolize. Whole foods also require more energy to digest than processed foods.
  • Increased protein will also lead to a severe drop in appetite and cause automatic fat loss without the need for calorie counting or portion control.
  • Studies show that refined carbohydrates lead to faster and bigger spikes in blood sugar, which leads to cravings and increased food intake.
  • Low-carb diets consistently lead to more weight loss than low-fat diets, even when calories are matched between groups.

As you can see, it’s a deadly error to see calories for what they appear to be, a bunch of numbers. The sources in which the calories come from are the ones you should ultimately be concerned about. Can you imagine being obese if you eat about 4000 calories worth of broccoli per day? You’ll probably get sick, but not overweight.

While calories are nonetheless still important, being overly conscious of them is a practice that simply isn’t worth the time. Stop being foolishly led to believe in low-calorie trends and diet plans. They don’t work, and I’ll explain why throughout this article.

Summary: The first thing you look at when observing a nutritional label shouldn’t be the calories because they’re a poor indicator of whether something is healthy or not.

2. STOP your useless fat-free diet. Fats don’t make you fat; You need plenty of it to lose your fats.

yoghurt_nonfat_my

Avoid at all costs!

 

One of the most blatant and stupid nutritional lie the mainstream media has ever spread to us is: “Fats make you fat”. It sounds logical on paper, right? I mean, the more fat you eat, the fatter you get?

Bullshit.

Ask yourself, why are people getting fatter and fatter when low-fat or no-fat foods are arriving on our supermarket shelves at unprecedented rates? Low-fat diets, low-calorie diets, low-almost-everything diets are everywhere, yet our waistlines are getting larger and larger?

  • Certain amounts of fat are necessary for proper hormone production. If your hormone production is off, so will your metabolism. How are you going to burn off your fats now?
  • If you feel tired and lethargic all the time while on a diet, chances are you’re not consuming enough fats. Fats are great, consistent sources of energy that sustains our energy throughout the day and slow food absorption to better regulate it. That is also one of the reasons why people almost never follow through on their ‘revolutionary diets’, because you’ll probably feel like shit throughout school or work and feel discouraged completely.
  • Proteins, which I’ll be talking more slightly later, are useless without fats. Sure, egg yolks might contain an obscene amount of cholesterol, but eating them in moderation will not only throw your cholesterol levels below the recommended daily threshold, the fats inside the yolks will also help your body access all that protein you have consumed in the whites, or any other sources to be honest.

However, not all fats are created equal. While polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are fine, trans fat is a huge no-no and you should have little of it as possible. We’ve been told in our science classes that saturated fats are unhealthy and promote cholesterol, but I personally believe that it’s another big fat lie. A 2012 study done in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that there wasn’t enough proof to link saturated fat to either heart disease or stroke. For those who are doubting this claim, the analysis involved 21 studies and 350,000 people. If that still isn’t credible enough to you, do a quick Google and there are numerous studies out there that will tell you the same thing.

With that being said, here are some tasty sources of healthy fats:

  • Avacado!
  • Fatty fishes (they contain a high amount of omega-3 fats)
  • Nuts
  • Virgin Olive Oil
  • Eggs
  • Peanut Butter
  • Tofu

Your idea daily fat intake should be 20-30% of your total calorie intake. And because 1g of fat is equals to 9 calories, divide your previous answer by nine. For guys, that should work out to be about 55-76g based on your average 2500-calorie a day diet. For the ladies, that should work out to be about 49-73g based on your average 2200-calorie a day diet.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see people with their jaws hanging. Most people trying to lose weight aren’t even consuming 20g per day, and you guys think that your supposed low-fat diet is supposed to help you burn your fats? Fats actually bring about a multitude of benefits that your science teacher and nutritionists who “wants the best for you” have conveniently left out. But some of you might ask, doesn’t fat make me put on more weight? My love handles, my thighs, my arms, aren’t fat responsible for all my self-esteem issues?

This brings me to my next point.

Summary: Stop avoiding fat. Fats DOES NOT F***ING MAKE YOU FAT! You need more of them to burn your existing ones. 

3. Sugars Are The Ones Making You Fat

According to Margaret Floyd, a certified nutritional therapy practitioner, your blood sugar levels increase too quickly when you eat something sweet. As a result, your pancreas secretes the hormone insulin to take the excess sugar out of your blood. Insulin is a fat storage hormone. It stores that extra sugar first as glycogen, and then as triglycerides (fat) once glycogen stores are full.

When insulin is activated, its partner hormone, glucagon, can’t operate. Hence, the stored sugar can’t be mobilized back into the blood for energy use. These two hormones are constantly dancing with each other and cannot be present in the blood at the same time. So either your body is in an energy-burning/mobilizing state (glucagon), or your body is in an energy storage state (insulin).

In fact, the fat in a sweet treat helps slow down that sugar spike, and thus reduce the insulin surge, mitigating some of the ill-effects of the sweet. This is why the whole fat-free dessert thing is such a bad idea. Not only are you mobilizing a ton of insulin, you’re also removing the one thing in there that could slow that process down.

The digestion of fats also triggers your satiation mechanism. This is why low-fat diets are doomed to fail and such an exercise in fierce willpower. Your body is never satisfied without fat, despite the number of calories (one more reason why calories aren’t the be all and end all).

Unlike bread and pastas that get converted to sugar quickly in the blood, sugary foods inspire overeating and binging because they don’t satiate. They don’t make you full after insulin finishes its job of storing your extra sugar as fat. As a result, your blood sugar levels fall, and guess what you crave now?

More sugar.

Also, please be aware of a recent marketing trend in which you’re told the product has “no sugar added”. Yes, the product has no sugar added, but big f***ing deal. The product itself already contain a lot of sugar to begin with! This is just clever use of the English language on the advertisers’ part, twisting words and taking advantage of double meanings, so please do not fall for this.

I personally went a week without consuming any soft drinks or desserts, and the very next time I tried them, I almost puked. It tasted horrible. The amount of sugar, the amount of sweetness is just disgusting. I often see people claiming similar effects after a few weeks or months, but I was surprised to feel so horrible only after a single week.

Common foods that you probably didn’t know contain a lot of sugar:

  • Ketchup (Most contain more sugar than Coke… let that sink in)
  • Breakfast Cereal like Honey Stars and Koko Krunch (they’re actually junk food, so for parents, please stop feeding your kids these junk)
  • Salad Dressing
  • Yogurt (ironic isn’t it?)
  • Dried Fruits
  • Packaged Meals
  • Jam
  • Packet drinks (What you drink is more important than what you eat nowadays, especially during the Chinese New Year period)
  • Packet Green Tea (yes, green tea), Ice Lemon Tea etc. are all unhealthy… check the nutritional labels

Summary: Eating fat doesn’t make you fat. Eating sugar makes you fat. Eating fat makes you fuller faster and longer. Eating sugar leads to a sugar crash which makes you hungrier faster and vulnerable to craving for more sugar, which in turn makes you fatter. Avoid low-fat options at all cost, it’s just a marketing gimmick to fool the misinformed.

4. Coke Zero (and other diet sodas) actually poisons you while making you gain more weight.

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Source: Coca-Cola India (http://vimeo.com/111614972)

I’m sure you guys have heard your parents or grandparents wanting Coke Zero or other diet sodas because “they’re healthier”. I mean, 0 Calories, 0 Sugar, 0 Fat, what else could you possibly hope for? I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but unfortunately, Coke Zero is just as bad.

The primary difference between Coke Zero and a normal can of Coke is that the former contains, as mentioned previously, no calories and sugar. But why does it still taste like regular coke? If you directed your attention to the ingredient list, you would find something called “aspartame”, a deadly artificial sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than sugar.

Aspartame is accountable for 75% of adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration), and the most common reaction is a migraine or a headache. Seizures and deaths are the more fatal ones arising from the consumption of the artificial sweeteners. (I myself always, without fail, get a headache after drinking Coke Zero; not from regular Coke tho.)

Aspartame is also a type of excitotoxins, a class of chemicals that overstimulate neuron receptors. Phenylalanine, another component that forms the sweetener, is responsible for altering your mood if eaten in excess, which is true in the case of aspartame, making you feel moody and depressed. A study done by the Arizona State University, which was published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition, determined that Aspartame causes brain damage by leaving traces of Methanol in the blood. In fact, one aspartame researcher noticed that, when cancer cells were exposed to aspartame, they became more mobile and their spread became more enhanced.

The longest ever aspartame study spanning 22 years and conducted by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital from Harvard University found that aspartame consumption increases the risk of blood cancers. A new study observing over 60,000 women found that diet drinks containing aspartame consumed at a rate of two or more per day increased the risk of heart related illness by 50%. This is added to the list of studies that have already shown that aspartame causes fast-paced kidney decline, brain and neurological damage, and increased rates of leukemia, lymphoma, and more. Another study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine determined that long term consumption of Aspartame leads to an imbalance in the antioxidant/pro-oxidant status in the brain. The Washington University Medical School also published yet another study outlining a possible connection between aspartame and brain tumors.

If you’re still thinking of how such a poison could help you lose fat, you really deserve to stay fat. Aspartame will simply stimulate your appetite and make you even hungrier. What this means is that not only are you consuming more foods that I bet are sugary as heck, you’re also ingesting all the dangerous chemicals that you probably can’t pronounce from your diet sodas.

It is extremely frustrating to see people getting tricked time and time again by something that’s simply too good to be true. How can something that contains absolutely no calories and no sugar (other than water) be good for you? The ironic thing is that many people who are diabetic or have high blood pressure are the ones thinking that Coke Zero and other diet sodas are the healthier option when they should be avoiding them at all cost.

Yet, diet sodas and Coke Zero are still being marketed as a healthier option that supports calorie and sugar restriction. It is astonishing how people could think that drinking any form of sodas, even the ‘healthier ones’, can help them in their quest to lose fat. Aspartame is a nasty piece of work, and if you guys know anybody who is consuming any form of artificial sweeteners, share this article with them and force them to stop immediately.

For a more detailed explanation on just how dangerous aspartame, which was banned twice by the FDA by the way, take a look at the video below:

Summary: Ignore artificial sweeteners at all cost. Even regular coke is better than Coke Zero. It’s merely a matter of short-term or long-term damage.

5. Drink At Least 8 Cups of Water Per Day

In the midst of our hectic lifestyles, most of us will forget to drink at least two to three litres of water per day.

Water helps your liver metabolize body fat effectively, and for those who are carb-loading, it’s essential to allow your body to store glucose as glycogen. From a more common-sensical perspective, some believe water makes you feel full and thus less likely, or able, to eat. Water washes away the sodium from our high-salt diets (I’ll elaborate more about in my next point), allowing you to look and feel less bloated. If you crave for six pack abs, this is one of two steps you have to follow.

The other is to stop listening to Mike Chang.

Summary: Water helps you to feel fresh and is a catalyst to making you look good.

6. Sodium Makes You Heavier, Not Fatter

Source: AP File Photo

Source: AP File Photo

In Singapore, most of our meals are high in both sugar and sodium. While cutting sugar is still a manageable task, finding less salty alternatives is almost an impossible mission, considering how many of us are forced to eat out. However, does consuming more sodium actually make us fatter like what sugar does?

Again, we’re back to the concept of losing fat instead of losing weight. Many people have the wrong impression that salty foods makes them fat, and I don’t blame them. After all, foods like burgers, pizzas, and chips etc. are all stereotypically known to make you fatter.

However, sodium per se is a crucial electrolyte and shouldn’t be made the scapegoat of your poor dietary habits. Eating foods with high salt content only causes an increase in “water weight”, which is why we typically feel bloated after a McDonalds meal. The increased water retention hence gives the illusion that one is ‘fat’ when in fact, the scales will dip back to normal once the salt are used up in your system.

But why do salty foods still make you fat? Well, more often than not, those foods also contain a high amount of sugar. The tomato sauce on your pizza is the perfect example.

Some might argue, “Hey, when I cut down on my sodium intake, I became lighter!” Unfortunately for them though, the results are only temporary. As discussed previously, salt has more relevance to your water weight than your body fats. The only way you’re going to see sustainable long-term results while staying healthy, is if you drop your body fats instead of the minor water pounds.

Salt, however, can have pretty nasty effects if you take too much of it. They are pretty well documented, so I’m going to save us a few minutes here. The recommended salt intake varies from country to country, health agency to health agency, but the general consensus falls around 4-5g per day. Just remember not to get them from the wrong sources though.

Summary: Sodium has literally nothing to do with your fats. They just make you look bloated temporarily. It’s the sugar from your typical salty foods that are making you fat.


By the way, did you know that sodium is ever-present during your “before-and-after” fitness shoots? Models will usually take the ‘after’ shots first, and then stuff themselves silly with plenty of chips, fast food (just salty food in general) and chocolate milk to appear bloated before taking the ‘before’ shot… in poorer lighting and less flattering angles I might add. This practice will not only provide a distinct contrast, but allows one to get back their physique after the salt is gone.

The following photos are taken just a five hours apart:


7. You Should Be Eating At Least Five Times A Day (Those Who Are Telling You Not To Eat After Evening Just Wants To See The World Burn)

 

Everyone should be eating at least five meals a day instead of your usual breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cut back on your portions during those main meals but add in a two or three smaller meals throughout your day. Doing this will increase your metabolism so that you’ll continue to burn fat effectively throughout the day, provided you stick to a healthy meal plan.

Your body needs fuel constantly, so it’s beyond stupid to even suggest that you should stop eating all of a sudden. The British Medical Journal reviewed the results of various studies on the topic of night-time eating and weight gain and concluded that there is no link between eating at night and weight gain. The American Dietetic Association agrees and emphasizes that it’s not the timing but the amount being eaten that can cause weight gain.

However, people do get fat when they eat at night because they don’t consume enough calories during the day, another reason why low-calorie diets are just plain useless. They are too hard to maintain in the long run and brings your metabolism rate down, resulting in you storing more fat than what you initially started off with. People are always asking why I can keep slim despite stuffing myself with food every few hours, but they don’t realize that they have already answered their own question. Never go three to four hours without eating anything, because you’re just going to end up reaching for a quick snack laden with sugar after a long and famishing day at work or school.

Summary: Eating regularly helps you burn fat quicker, and you now know not to take fitness tips from someone telling you to stop eating after 7pm.

8. Salads are just a big, big marketing scam in the name of “organic goodness” that works as well as the acting on MediaCorp… Unless…

I might look indifferent on the outside, but I’m screaming on the inside when I pass by all these fancy salad bars and boutiques that are always fully seated and drawing large crowds. The salad movement have even spread to some heartland food courts and school canteens, and people still join the long queues even though there’s nothing free at the end of it.

I don’t blame you for thinking that salads help you lose fat. After all, ‘fitness experts’ and ‘nutritional writers’ are always introducing new low-calorie varieties that supposedly helps you lose forty pounds of fats in forty seconds. I might be exaggerating when making that remark, but I certainly am not when I say that salads doesn’t make you lose very much fat at all.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the salad itself. The vegetables and fruits in it each have a long list of benefits that will help greatly with your well-being. However, there are two severe misconceptions about how one should eat their salads that are preventing you from losing your love handles.

Firstly, why bother eating a salad if you’re going to add the dressing? The amount of sugar and preservatives each of them contains pretty much ruins the point of eating a salad. You’ll be better off eating a complete meal that not only matches the “nutritional content” of your Thousand Island, but also helps you lose fat more effectively.

Oh, and don’t bother with your “or-else-it’ll-taste-bland” excuse.

Secondly, salads are not meant to be eaten as a proper meal (i..e lunch/dinner). I frequent diners regularly, and I have not encountered one that lists their salads anywhere near their list of main courses. That’s because they’re not meant to be eaten on its own. You either eat it for your morning break, afternoon break or supper. And if you decide to be a rebel, you can choose to eat it with a complete meal for your lunch and dinner. After all, we need two servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

By not getting the right amount of calories, carbs, sugar (I know) and sodium among other things, you’re actually badly hurting yourself, both in the short and long term. Sure, you might feel a sense of satisfaction for blindly jumping on the bandwagon, but I can assure you that you’ll soon feel miserable and binge mercilessly on comfort food.

If you are already not getting the right amount of nutrition, do you really expect your body to magically burn your fats away?

Typical salads, especially the low-calorie, low-fat nonsense options people usually choose, themselves do not contain the required amount of nutrition to be constituted as a proper meal. As mentioned in my previous point, we should be consuming these ‘light meals’ throughout the day so we’ll feel full, refreshed and thus won’t end up reaching for the nearest can of cookies.

For your own sake, please stop. Stop paying an exorbitant amount of money to abuse yourself. The salad movement is a really ill-advised one, and there are plenty of other alternatives out there that cost way cheaper, taste way better, and most importantly, way healthier.

Summary: Don’t bother with salads. They’re not worth the time, the money, nor the taste. When even Mike Chang is telling you to avoid salads, you know you’re doing something wrong.

9. Protein Isn’t Just For Gym Rats

Although protein shakes and high-protein meals are usually associated with athletes and bodybuilders, you might want to consider them as well.

Increasing your protein intake will result in increased metabolism, which would allow you to maintain your muscle mass as well as to burn fat more effectively throughout the day. People rejoice when they’ve dropped a kilo or two out of the blue, but they don’t realise the ‘phenomenon’ occurs because they are losing their muscle (mass), with fats taking its place. Since muscles weigh more than fats, it’s not surprising to observe a drop in weight when losing the former.

The fat-burning effects of eating more protein were confirmed in a straightforward study published in the American Journal of Physiology. One group was fed a high-protein diet of just over one pound per pound of body weight per day, while the other group consumed an amount closer to the lower recommendation of the recommended dietary allowance. The group eating the higher-protein diet burned the most fat.

A high protein diet also helps you tame hunger, decreasing the frequencies of your hunger pangs. I’m not going to lie, I was skeptical about all of this at first, but after my O-Levels, I decided to bulk up a little to cope better on the soccer field. I bought myself 10kg worth of protein powder and paired it with a high-protein diet consisting of six meals a day. Not only did I get from 52kg to 58kg in about a month, my body fat percentage, which was already relatively low to begin with (11%) due to genetics, dropped further to about eight percent. I did not feel the need to snack on junk food at night, nor did I crave for sugar. I just felt so good throughout the day.

Unfortunately, the moment school started, I dropped down to 56kg and my body fat percentage shot up to about 17%. My cravings were back, resulting in me ingesting large portions of junk food everyday.

So in short, protein helps increase your metabolism rate, burn fat, maintain your muscle mass, and fill you up so you won’t feel the temptation to feast on snacks with high-sugar content.

According to Donald Layman, Ph.D., a professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of Illinois, he recommends boosting your protein intake to between 0.45 and 0.68 gram per pound (i.e. 1-1.5g for every kilo) to preserve calorie-burning muscle mass. That would work out to about 80-120g of protein everyday for someone who is 80kg. Some fitness experts suggest upwards of 3g for every kilo, which means a 56kg guy like me would require about 185g per day. However, the latter is more suited for a bulking-up context, but in any case, a three-digit protein intake per day is what everyone should be aiming for. Most of us barely even hit the recommended daily amount of 50g.

Here are some great sources of proteins that will help you reach your protein target:

  • Protein shakes (please do not replace a proper meal with protein shakes or any kind of fancy sounding meal shakes for that matter)
  • Chicken (very affordable in Singapore)
  • Red Meats
  • Tuna/Sardines/Salmon (yes, sashimi counts as well, although be careful about the cholesterol levels)
  • Eggs (remember to eat the yolk)
  • Chocolate Milk, Yogurt (watch the sugar though)
  • Beef Jerky
  • Tofu

Summary: Protein puts fat loss on autopilot.

10. You have to exercise. If you don’t, you deserve to be fat; Forget about your commercialized exercise machines, they don’t work.

Now now now, before all you self-righteous people start yapping away, let me explain myself. It is technically possible to lose your fats without any serious exercise at all. After all, the battle with fats is one that is decided in the kitchen.

However, exercising is the quickest pathway to losing your fats, while staying healthy and feeling happy at the same time. There are many different kinds of exercises to help burn them away, from HIIT (high-intensity interval training), to brisk walking, to playing sports or simply climbing the stairs. Not everyone can jump straight into a certain type of exercise, but the most important thing is to get some form of movement. Finding a sport you love can give you some purpose and direction in life, and the fun and struggles will ensure you remain positive and energized throughout the week. It is a great way to unwind and relax after a long day of work or school, and it certainly does no harm to your fat-burning journey. It all comes down really to how determined you are to achieving your goals. A lack of exercise can be pretty unhealthy and dangerous. If you’re embarking on one of those no-exercise diet plans and it doesn’t work, you only have yourself to blame. Not your mirror, and certainly not your camera.

And there’s no need to tell us on Instagram that “you’re sooo fat”.

Speaking of exercising, please save your money and avoid buying those ‘miraculous’ exercise machines you see in shopping malls all the time. Do you really think standing on top of a vibrating machine can really shape your body or help you lose fat? ‘Scientific evidence’, if it even exists in the first place, can easily be manipulated nowadays. Scientists, likewise, can be bought as well.

Singapore is a country that’s runner-friendly. You can practically see people jogging in every part of Singapore, even in the industrial areas. If you need to run, don’t splurge on a treadmill. Pull on your big boy pants, a pair of trainers, and get out of the house. Need to work on your abs? Just get a yoga mat, there’s no need for a three-hundred dollar contraption. Want firmer thighs and toner arms? Go the gym and grab some weights. It won’t make you ‘big’. Most of these ‘innovations’ appeal to us emotionally by offering us shortcuts, and us being humans, we tend to favor the shortest possible route to achieving our targets. While some of them do work, most are effectively cheap marketing ploys.

Summary: Forget no-exercise diets, and forget spending a fortune on exercise machines. They’re all too good to be true.


So, How Exactly Do You Lose Fat?

Well first off, I would like to take this opportunity to say a big, fat “you’re welcome” to everyone who had read this article. I genuinely hope ya’ll find this article useful.

Anywho, the main message I hope you guys can take away from this article is to stop listening to what the media is telling you to do and go back to what you were doing before. Many people I knew looked perfectly fine before they put on fat due to poor eating habits encouraged upon by ‘fitness experts’ coupled with decreasing self-esteem. Successful marketing relies heavily on the “scare-and-appeal” technique, in which the advertisers presents you with a problem, scares you with easily-misquoted or manipulated results/statistics/actor in a doctor costume, and conveniently presents you with a solution (i.e. their product).

The diet industry is an industry worth nearly $800 billion, so why would they want to teach you the proper way to burn off your fats when they can ‘help guide you’ and bill you along the way with ridiculous slimming packages and all sorts of rubbish diet plans.

My recommendation is really simple. Avoid sugar, not completely (or else you’ll faint), but below 25-35g per day as recommended by the World Health Organisation. Eat plenty of fats and protein, drink 8 cups of water per day, and get your butt of your couch for some exercise. That’s it. Many Singaporeans have weight problems because they have been misled by the media, and I hope this article has debunked some of the myths you guys have been clinging dearly on onto.

Remember, you don’t need to diet, you just need to CHANGE your diet.

Before I go, let me wish you guys a Happy Chinese New Year once again, and I wish you the best of luck and prosperity for the year ahead!

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Know of any other misconception that I did not mention above? Let me know in the comments section below!

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  3. I thoroughly enjoyed that article, and your humour, thank you for that.

    First of all, I would like to say that I agree with most of what you wrote. Many claims riding on “science says” are often utter bullshit that people use to their marketing advantage. However, many are also often misguided convictions based on one or two “groundbreaking” articles that are misinterpreted or exaggerated. What to do? Even Science is fickle. It was only recently that the US government retracted their stance on the impact of high cholesterol animal foods such as seafood, eggs etc, on blood cholesterol levels – ie none. Having said that, while the debate is still on whether or not cholesterol leads to heart disease, current international guidelines still recommend using cholesterol levels as one of the risk factors for predicting heart disease. And yes, we know that trans fat is responsible for that.

    While your recommedations about protein are true, perhaps you may want to add that the method of cooking is just as important as the food content. Really, some people can be really dumb and think deep fried fish and deep fried chicken are good protein options.

    Also, while I’m not a health junkie and I love baking and eating sinful desserts, I do enjoy a salad now and then, even as a main course! Provided it has enough proteins and maybe a pinch of carbs. Healthy salad dressings can come in the form of a basic oil-vinaigrette combination, or jazzed up with flavored oils, vinegars and fruit juices. Throw in some quinoa or cous cous and you could get a pretty filling meal. I do believe in eating in moderation and balancing the food groups.

    Overall, I applaud your enthusiasm in sharing your convictions and I hope you never lose that. But as a physiotherapist who have had to tell obese people that they need to lose weight and these are the steps blah blah..all too often I’m just talking to a wall so really, I’d say that metabolic diseases stem from the weakness of the mind and loss of self control (Refer to the Health Belief Model). But, I must point out, that there are true metabolic diseases for which changing your diet and exercising still does not help to lose fat – such as hypothyroidism. So while your statement about not exercising and deserving to be fat may apply to the masses, it may be hurtful and demoralising for those few individuals.

    In any case, well written article and even more impressive given your age. Sounds like you could pursue a career in healthcare! Or politics. Heh.

  4. Pingback: Debunking The Economical Rice Myth | Lhu

  5. It’s terrifying, sad and horrible how most people fall for what is advertised. Media is always misleading. How people wish it weren’t.

    Apparently all these low-fat products do worse because they replace the fat with sugar. And like you mentioned, sugar is worse than fat when it comes to losing fat.

    I’ve learnt quite a lot from this. Thanks. ;) I’ve never been on a diet (not planning on it because it’s too troublesome for me), but it was an interesting read. (I dislike soft drinks so that’s one thing I don’t have to worry about)

    • The most scary thing of all is probably how the MAINSTREAM media and the ‘credible’ magazines/sources that are spreading all them lies. I admire people who can completely factor out soft drinks in their life for a considerable period of time. If people stop drinking soft drinks, I believe that 50% of the battle is already won when it comes to fat loss. Thanks for your comment btw and I’m glad you enjoyed it :)

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