“How can I lose weight effectively…without making myself miserable?”
This is the question that bugs millions of people daily and everyone has an opinion about it.
Yet most people don’t really know a good answer, and that’s why a huge industry exists around weight management – from slimming centers to diet supplements to fad diet plans… someone is always hoping to profit from customers who want a quick fix for their weight issues.
For those who prefer to do their own research on weight loss, the Internet is stuffed with information on a thousand types of diets and meal plans.
Pick up any food item at the supermarket, read the label and you can find out how many calories or kilojoules it’s worth. Yet we are no wiser, because we don’t really know what it means when a box of cookies is said to have “200 kcal per serving”.
In late 2012, when I finally got fed up with my ever-expanding waistline, I studied the weight-loss methods out there for several weeks, examining all the perspectives and diet plans.
Armed with curiosity and skepticism (developed from a decade of press journalism), I discovered that there was so much information floating out there, equaled by the same degree of confusion from the general public.
From zero-carbohydrate diets to eat-all-the-fat-you-want diets, they either sounded ridiculous or too good to be true to any rational person.
And you’re right. Our common sense knows better!
There are many short-cuts to losing weight, but they often come attached with a dismal price to pay.
For many people who go on fad diets, the consequence may be as mild as an immediate rebound to their original weight, to developing life-threatening conditions such as anorexia.
You may have also read about how many people have gotten health-scares or actually died from taking dubious slimming pills.
On the other side of the scale, are people who reject any health advice and just eat whatever they like.
What struck me through my research and my conversations with friends is that most people don’t really know what a healthy diet and lifestyle entails.
Heck, I thought I knew given my youth as a budding athlete, but I was equally ignorant until I began this journey of weight management at the age of 36 in 2012.
It’s amazing really, that we can go through many years of formal education, remember all sorts of mathematical formulae, different languages and scientific concepts. Yet we have little to no idea about how to maintain our bodies and understanding the impact of every meal we consume.
We are constantly being preached to by schools, government health ministries and fitness gurus to get healthier, but I believe there has been a massive failure getting the correct message across.
Otherwise, the world wouldn’t be facing the current levels of obesity, especially in developed societies.
The promise of this book
Now let me declare that I am not an expert nutritionist, sports scientist or physiologist.
Much of what you read here, you can find easily on the Internet or at the local library.
But only after sifting through deep layers of marketing pitches, boring government sites, widespread misinformation, general hubris or excess detail. Who can be bothered to do that?
Well out of desperation and curiosity, I did just that, extracting the simple, basic truths that our forefathers have known for centuries.
Somehow in the past century, as we became more educated and better fed, we forgot about the basics of good nutrition and healthy living in pursuit of “the good life”.
Let me assure you that losing weight effectively does not require you to spend big bucks, pop dangerous pills, exercise every single day like a maniac, nor does it require that you starve yourself throughout the day.
What you need is just a little determination (OK, make that a lot of determination!), patience, simple math, and the assurance that you can still enjoy delicious food while bringing your waistline down for good.
Now you may think this is impossible because you’ve tried losing weight so many times but the results never lasted for long.
That’s because you were probably doing it wrong and you didn’t even know why.
I also assure you that excluding any pre-existing health issues (illness, pregnancies, medical exceptions), just about anyone can lose a significant chunk of the excess weight on their bodies and keep it off.
I am confident of this because I have seen how people have successfully lost weight by trying the common-sense techniques that I’ve written here.
My friends have lost anything from 5kg to 14kg within six months by merely eating healthily and watching the intake of sugary drinks and snacks.
Some of them had read earlier editions of the book, others went through much trial and error, only to realize they just needed to stick to the basics of eating right.
One thing to note – I do not promise that you can look like a svelte or rippling supermodel after you’ve lost the extra kilograms.
All of us have a healthy and ideal weight range that we should be in, and our different body shapes will also determine the final outcome of any weight management program.
The idea is not to become gaunt and sickly-looking like many people who over-do their dieting.
Instead, the objective of a proper weight-loss program is to get to a healthy body shape, stop the unstoppable weight gain that plagues many of us, and to reduce our risk of heart disease and other obesity-related illnesses.
This book was originally written for my friends living in Singapore, so you’ll see local Singaporean dishes mentioned throughout. Nevertheless, the advice and methods here are universal, and will help anyone in any country.
Shall we get started?