How do we manage to lose weight?

I was 83Kg at one point. With a height of 1.64m, my BMI was 30.85. I was at HIGH RISK!

I had been a vegetarian for many years. I became a vegetarian since 2004 after watching the video “Farm to Fridge – The Truth behind Meat Production” , a documentary on animal cruelty in meat production. I had just started meditation more seriously at that time, and I told myself, ‘Why not giving up meat as a practice, watch my mind and let go of the craving on eating meat?’ So I did, and it was a surprise to me that I didn’t have much craving for meat. I never look back then.

However, being a vegetarian does not mean that I eat healthily!!!

Typical Vegetarian Food in SG. Source:

Like most working professionals in Singapore, I ate out most of the time. The typical kopitiam and food court vegetarian stall’s food selections are full of junk: fried stuffs, excessive mock meats, oil, MSG, sugar, etc. I also loved cheese and would order vegetarian pizza and large Pepsi from time to time. My wife tried to be a vegetarian as well together with me. However, that lasted for a few months only. She gave up since she still couldn’t give up her favorite chicken dishes. So, I would go to non-vegetarian restaurants with her and tried to order anything that is non-meat for me: from French fries to cream of mushroom to baked rice with cheese, or Fried Hor Fun without the meat.

We tried many times to build up our exercise routine throughout the years. Gym workout, yoga, swimming, brisk walking, tennis, hiking, and jogging, are some of the exercises we tried to do. However, we never manage to persist with a regular exercise regime because of busy at work and lack of discipline!

Source: Know Your BMI

With a poor diet and living a typical working lifestyle that was stressful (I used to drink at least 4 cups of coffee a day), long working hours (typical dinner time was between 8-9pm), and lack of exercises. We were not healthy at all! I and my wife were clearly overweight. I was 83Kg at one point. With a height of 1.64m, my BMI was 30.85. I was at HIGH RISK!(Do yourself a favor, please visit Know Your BMI site by the Health Promotion Board to find out about your own BMI.)

Today (April 2012), my weight is 60 Kg with a BMI of 22.3. My wife is now a full vegetarian as well and her BMI is at 21.8. We are now at the healthy range! We are definitely slimmer, healthier and look better. We have changed our lifestyle.

Our change in diet made the most impact. This is not a result of any special weight loss meal replacement diet, or expensive slimming program. We did it through a complete switch to:

A whole food, plant based diet.

  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains
  • No animal-based food including dairy and eggs
  • No refined carbohydrate, i.e. no white rice, white bread, sugars
  • Reduce added oil to a minimal
  • Reduce to a minimal the use of processed food, if you can’t completely eliminate it.

This is a very healthy diet regime. We no longer eat anywhere and everywhere we like. Most of the outside foods cannot meet our healthy requirements. We eat at home most of the time. When we eat out, we only eat at a selected few healthy restaurants and eateries. The good thing is, we can eat as much as we like and have no fear of putting on weight!

My wife shared this in a recent gathering:

“If you truly love yourselves, you will take care of your body. You don’t put junk into your body to poison it. By eating healthily, I feel much lighter and younger. I now can look into the mirror and says I love myself.”

Beautifully said!!!

Soo Liang

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