Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Article on Obesity in Malaysia in The Straits Times 15 Oct 2012

The Straits Times carried an article on obesity in Malaysia on 15 Oct 2012.
Some interesting facts drawn from the article:

From figures obtained from the article:
In 1996, only 5% of malaysians were obese
By 2006, 14% were obese
By 2012, 15% were obese in a country of 28 million people.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Why some people do not lose weight after doing exercise or spending time in the gym

For friends who read my earlier posts, the exercise I only performed in my first 2 months of weight loss is actually walking, starting from slow walking for only 10-15min to brisk walking for sometimes up to 1.5 – 2hrs. I am really glad I did not start with jogging or even did my work-out in the gym. This is the reason why.

Fat Burning During Exercise

To burn fat and lose weight, aerobic exercise is preferred. However, it must not be high intensity. The reason being – when you exercise too hard or become breathless during exercise, the energy, which facilitate your movement, is drawn from glycogen in your liver and muscles, not your fat stores.

In the first 20min of exercise, the body burns sugar from the glycogen stores. The next 10min it is a mixture of sugar and fats. Only after 30min does the body burns proportionately more fat (50% from fat).  Hence if your objective is fat burning, you should exercise not hard but long.

More than 90% of our population do not exercise regularly, that is why obesity is a growing concern around the world. Studies have shown that the minimal aerobic threshold to shed fat demands continuous movements of at least 30min carried out at least 3 times a week. If you intend to lose fat but ‘could not afford’ the time, or is thinking 1 day a week in the gym is enough, you must  be kidding yourself. Even if you are exercising high intensity for 1 hr but with 20min break in between, the greater fat-burning effect will not kick-in, as the process will be reverted to burning sugar rather than fats.


To start exercising is tough, to start out the wrong way is even tougher. You may be overweight and have been going to aerobic classes in the gym or jogging in the park, panting like mad. It is time to try out something that is effective for many. Many instructors have a formula that advocate havimg a training heart-rate of 60-70% of the maximal heart rate (220 minus your age). However at that kind of rate, the unfit majority will reach their anaerobic threshold, and the body will burn mostly protein and sugar. The optimal intensity of exercise for fat burning is far lower at 50-60% of your maximal heart rate. It could even be a little lower if you are obese and just starting on your exercise regime after many years of sedentary lifestyle.

What exercise to do?

If the exercise I did is brisk walking for 2 months and losing more than 20% of my weight, and if many people also achieved weight and fat loss (but perhaps not as much as me) through brisk walking, it might be a good idea for you to do it. In my earlier posting, I mentioned where and when I do my walking – at my convenience. You could do it near your workplace, where you stay, a park near you, just anywhere you like. It will be no harm to you, at no cost to you and will only benefit you, not me.

Initially you can start by 10-15min, three times a week, and then build up to 45min more intense brisk walking at least 3 times a week. Once you reached that stage, I am sure with the effects on you, and the energy you actually get after exercising, automatically you will progress to daily brisk-walks at even longer period of time. Of course that is when your own time permits.  Perhaps you have started doing exercise after your work hours, but at some point in time, you may see yourself switching to early morning.  But just bear in mind, your fats do not just appear magically overnight, it is stored gradually over the weeks, months, years. Similarly, your exercise intensity and duration should be a gradual build-up. Progressing too rapidly will result in fatigue, muscle soreness, increased cardiac risk and becoming a de-motivator.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Resources: Books I Read (Apr - Jul 2012)

During the last three months, I could have easily borrowed over 60 books from our National Library. For some of them I have already put up a blog post and did a little review. Going to the library to find out things which I need is easy, and there are simply too many books out there all vying for my attention, and its free.

Where is the library?

Address: 100 Victoria Street National Library, Singapore 188064
6332 3255 (phone)

View Larger Map

How many books can a person borrow?

Each visit entitled me to borrow up to 12 books. That’s how I can borrow so much in three months.

What did I read?

Books on healthy living, nutrition, healthy eating, weight-loss, vitamins & minerals, making bread, healthy recipes, motivation books, social media – facebook & twitter, blogging, google & google apps.

List of books I read so far

Book Title
Cathy Wong
Family Guide to Health
Martine Podesto
Michael Bosworth
Serena Star Leonard
Kent Sasse
Joel Comm
Peter Kent
Joel Comm
Eric Giguere
Jim F Kukral
Direct Selling Woman Alliance
Robert Bly
Jon Smith
Ian Marber
Howard Rankin
Rachel Laferriere
Paul M Gross
Michael J Losier
David Zinczenko
David Zinczenko
David Zinczenko
Ian Banks
Clara Shih
David Peck
The 8-day Internet Wonder
Edwin John
Andrea Gardner
Jonathan Gabay
Philipp Lenssen
Steven Holzner
Jason Rich
Dennis L Prince
Laura Maya
Bob Garfield
Bart Weller
Marcia Yudkin
George Lois
Scott Mitchell
Sean Mc Manus
Janice Redish
Scott Mc Nutly
Evan Bailyn
Evan Bailyn
Amanda Ursell
Sara Rose
Jack Lalanne
Joe Fitzgibbon

Note: All books listed are available in public libraries in Singapore. Those with links are also available in Amazon.

To search for the book in any library in Singapore, copy either the title or the author’s name and find which branch it is available. Or make a reserve for the book.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Exercise - A tip on how to swim effortlessly without feeling tired

To add a variety to my current exercise regime, I went for two swims this week, something which I didn’t do for more than 10 years.

In my younger days, though I learnt both the crawl and the breaststroke, almost 100% of the time when I swam, I only used breaststroke. Why? Because this is something which I can do effortlessly while doing multiple laps and without tiring myself out.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Weight Loss Journey - Who wants to be a Fortune God?

A series of photos of me depicting my weight loss journey, before and now.

Weight loss is a journey, and if you have experienced that, you will know the process is not a straight line depreciation, it could be like falling stock prices, just that the fluctuation is not so drastic and once you reached your pre-determined weight goal, you may want to review it. For me, I am happy to hit a weight that I have never weighed since 18 years back.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Other Resources - Books I Read - Google Apps Hacks

A book by Philipp Lenssen. Elaborate on the whole suite of Google Apps, inclusive of Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Gmail, iGoogle, Google Maps, Google Earth, Picasa, You Tube, Google Video, Blogger and Google Analytics. A good read, especially if you are a Blogger user looking to enhance SEO.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Funny Advert - Potato is Not Fattening

Another vintage advertisement from 1977.


Weight Loss Resources – Book I Read – Weight Loss For Men The Practical Guide To Healthy Living And Weight Loss

A book by Dr Ian Banks. This is a weight loss book that contains detailed explanation of how the body work, what happens if you are seriously overweight, and many tips on what to do about it. Also includes a section on how it improves your sexual life .

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Funny Advert - Eat Sugar to Overcome Fat

Came across this 1970 vintage advertisement for sugar.

If there are 146 reasons why sugar is ruining yourhealth, I guess I can go without sugar or excessive sugar.