Healthy Food Choices

When IT consultant Jacky Teo goes out for lunch, he steers away from fried food, gravy-covered rice or high-calorie meals. Instead, he chooses healthier alternatives like brown rice with vegetables or soup-based dishes.

Mr Teo did not always eat this way — he used to consume dishes like Nasi Briyani or Naan without much thought. The 38-year-old’s diet transformation when he joined Lose To Win™ (LTW), a structured weight-loss programme by HPB that includes weight management workshops by nutritionists as well as group exercises by trained instructors.

Before LTW, Mr Teo exercised regularly — weightlifting on Fridays and running every Sunday. However, he found himself gaining weight in recent years, as a result of not watching what he ate.

Jacky Teo before the LTW Programme
Jacky Teo, before LTW Programme

Eager to reduce his Body Mass Index of 27 to within the healthy range of below 23, Mr Teo signed up for LTW. He found the different exercises and weight-loss tips attractive.

During the eight weekly workout sessions, Mr Teo tried out different exercises, including Zumba and Thai boxing, which he enjoyed. He found the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) — a series of intense exercises including push-ups, burpees, jumping jacks and squats, interspersed with rest periods — so useful that he adopted it into his weekly exercise routine, to boost the intensity of his workouts.

Through the workshops on eating smart, Mr Teo learnt tips such as how to classify food according to their calorie content, which helps him to decide what he should avoid.

Bowl of nuts on a wooden table

“I pay more attention to what I choose to eat on a daily basis,” says Mr Teo, who snacks on chestnuts or almonds instead of waffles and pancakes between meals.

Besides the fitness and nutrition classes, the workshop on breaking the mental barriers to weight-loss also gave Mr Teo useful knowledge to spur him on. He started tracking his progress and setting goals, which he reminds himself of whenever he feels low on motivation.

“Every week, I saw my weight coming down so I felt more motivated to stay on track and do what I’m supposed to do, eat what I’m supposed to eat,” says Mr Teo.

At the end of the 12-week programme, Mr Teo weighed 71kg — 6.3kg less than before. To him, this was only the beginning of his journey to get fitter.

Jacky Teo after the LTW Programme
Jacky Teo, after LTW Programme

“[LTW] was like a stepping stone … [but] my healthy lifestyle is not going to end after the programme,” says Mr Teo. “I have to be disciplined in maintaining this lifestyle.”

Months after LTW, Mr Teo continues to practise what he has picked up during the programme. He has lost another 3kg since.

“After losing weight, I feel happier… more confident and lighthearted,” says Mr Teo. The boost in mental wellness and self-esteem, alongside a healthier body, has helped him to better handle stresses at work — from tight deadlines to demanding customers.

“Losing weight has given me the positive mindset to conquer every challenge that comes my way,” he adds.

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