After sending her five-year-old daughter off to childcare every weekday morning, Ms Soh Hwee Wee heads to the gym for her daily workout.

The 42-year-old works up a sweat by brisk walking for 40 minutes on the treadmill, before doing some weight training by lifting weights for another 10 minutes.

Lose to Win™: Weight-Loss Programme in Singapore

These exercises were not easy for Ms Soh when she started this training routine in December 2015. The insurance agent was not used to exercising regularly—she only began after joining Lose To Win™(LTW), a structured weight-loss programme by Health Promotion Board (HPB) that includes weight management workshops and group exercise classes.

Health Promotion Board’s Lose to WinTM participants
Participants of LTW programme.

The energetic instructor who led the exercises helped Ms Soh enjoy these weekly workout sessions. He also advised her to pick up other exercises, to clock at least 150 minutes of physical activities a week – the minimum level that will help contribute to successful weight loss.

“When I started, I felt like giving up after being on the treadmill for five minutes. But I persisted,” says Ms Soh, who weighed 101kg before LTW. Her Body Mass Index was over 30, which put her at high risk of developing obesity-related diseases such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes. The thought of lowering those risks motivated her to join the eight-week programme and persevere.

“Age is catching up. I want to be healthier… the first thing is to reduce my weight,” says Ms Soh, who has been overweight since childhood. She had previously attempted many ways to lose weight, from slimming packages by beauty salons to acupuncture, but to no avail. She also tried exercising and dieting but found it tough to sustain those efforts on her own.

During LTW, Ms Soh could count on the support of her fitness instructor, nutritionist and other like-minded participants whom she saw weekly. They had a WhatsApp group where fellow Lose to WinTM participants could ask the experts questions or update one another of their progress. Seeing her newfound friends share photos of themselves exercising or eating healthily motivated Ms Soh to stay on track.

Lose to WinTM participant found the weight-loss programme to be highly effective and kept her motivated to workout in the long term.
Lose to WinTM participant Ms Soh Hwee Wee found the weight-loss programme to be highly effective and kept her motivated to workout in the long term.

Ms Soh lost 9.8kg within two months. Other than receiving compliments from family and friends about her slimmer figure, she has experienced improvements in her fitness too. She can now accomplish housework such as mopping the floor without feeling breathless like before.

Besides exercising more, Ms Soh also learnt more about healthy eating and changed her eating habits based on tips from the LTW workshops. Till today, she ensures a four-hour interval between meals and chooses healthier snacks like nuts or fruits.

When faced with the temptation of food like log cakes during the festive seasons, she would remind herself of her aim of shedding weight. Says Ms Soh: “I believe if I didn’t join [LTW], I would just eat without thinking when[ever] I liked.”

Women hitting the gym for weight training exercises to achieve fat loss and stronger muscles
Hwee Wee (right) at the gym with her niece.

To spur her extended family—many of whom are overweight—to be healthier, she has often shared the useful tips she learnt with them.

“My niece [noticed] my weight reduction and wanted to know how I did it… I’ve motivated her to exercise together with me at the gym!” says Ms Soh, who hopes the 20-year-old will take up her advice to join LTW too, to experience the benefits.

3 Lose-to-Win Tips

  1. To lose weight, some hire personal trainers. Others join one of HPB's free workout programmes. Some do both personal training and join HPB's programmes for more effective fat loss and weight management. There are many different activities to choose from, depending on your interests. For example, there is Sunday's @ the Park activities that include fitness bootcamps, energetic routines such as KpopX, fight club and more , for those of us who enjoy a good run outdoors as well as Quick HIIT, a total body workout that will help you to burn fat faster.

  2. Fad diets, weight-loss pills and slimming packages that offer a money-back guarantee may not be safe and effective. A healthy diet coupled with an exercise regimen remains the most effective method for weight loss or weight management in the long term. Learn about the basics of weight loss before you start on any weight loss plan.

  3. Make and keep a list of simple healthy tips in your mobile phone or your calendar to remind yourself to do the small things that lead to the big results. Here are some starter tips:
    • Drink water as much as you can and avoid sugary drinks.
    • Eat mindfully and in moderation.
    • Make sure you consume the recommended 2 servings of fruit and 2 servings of vegetables every day. If you are still hungry after a meal, fill up on more fruits and vegetables.
    • Eat more wholegrains.
    • Choose healthier dishes such as sliced fish bee hoon or Yong tau foo when eating out.

Download the HealthHub app on Google Play or Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.

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