How to Upgrade Your Life: A Primer On Diet And Fitness


  1. Introduction
    1. Lifestyle
    2. Diet
    3. Exercise
  2. Exercise
    1. Activity level
    2. Stretching and warm-up
    3. Resistance training
    4. Rainy day alternatives
    5. Mobility routines
  3. Diet
    1. Calories and macro-nutrients
    2. Troubleshooting your diet
    3. Groceries guide
  4. General advice


This is a guide to help you make sustainable changes to your lifestyle and cultivate good habits. A healthy lifestyle consist of 3 components: lifestyle, diet and exercise.

Continue reading “How to Upgrade Your Life: A Primer On Diet And Fitness”

Weight of food

Consistent weight of food

Studies have shown that people eat a consistent weight of food on a daily basis, therefore substituting lower energy dense foods (eg, vegetables) for higher energy dense foods can significantly reduce energy intake (>350 kcals/day) and promote satiety without vastly altering the overall volume of food consumed

Obesogenic enviornment

Clearly, if energy-restricted diets were followed, then rates of obesity would not be a concern. Adherence is a separate issue, but energy intake on a population level remains too high, not through any knowledge deficiency, but because of substantial changes in food pricing, availability, and marketing.35 This has created an ‘obesogenic’ environment where people are constantly bombarded with opportunities to eat, and specifically high sugar, high-fat snacks that humans never met during our evolution as a species. In a busy world, with the breakdown of home cooking, we have become reliant on energy-dense processed meals and a regular meal pattern has given way to ‘grazing’ throughout the day on high-calorie snack foods, leading to ‘passive’ overconsumption and consequent increases in obesity.

The Role of Non-Nutritive Sweeteners in Weight Management

n balance artificially sweetened beverages, taken in place of sugar, had small beneficial effects on energy intake and body weight. If patients cannot do without their carbonated soft drinks, and are wondering whether it is safe and helpful to swap sugarsweetened beverages for low-calorie, artificially sweetened alternatives, then the answer certainly seems to be yes

Some support for their role in successful weight management comes from the National Weight Control Registry (http://nwcr.ws/default.htm), a self-selected group (>10,000) of weight loss masters who must have lost a minimum of 13.6 kg (30 Ibs) and kept it off for at least 1 year, although most have lost more than double this amount and maintained it for over 5 years. Their habits have been studied extensively, and although this is only 1 associated finding, few (10%) regularly drink sugar-sweetened beverages. However, >50% report regular consumption of artificially sweetened beverages as a way to control energy intake.

Optimising foods for satiety

Protein satiating

Protein has taken centre stage as the high satiety food constitute because of considerable experimental and real-world research indicating that increasing the protein composition of the diet without changing net energy can lead to enhanced feelings of satiety

Another food ingredient that can have beneficial effects on satiety responses is dietary fibre (Clark and Slavin, 2013, Howarth et al., 2001, Wanders et al., 2011). Fibre is a complex and varied macronutrient encompassing a range of non-starch polysaccharides (carbohydrates) and lignin (a non-carbohydrate alcohol derivative), which are either soluble or insoluble and fermentable or non-fermentable (Burton-Freeman, 2000). Fibre is thought to affect satiety in many ways, depending on the fibre type, and relating to its ability to bulk foods, increase viscosity, gel in the stomach and ferment in the gut (Slavin & Green, 2007). Describing the effects of each fibre type is beyond the scope of this review. More generally, a fibre-rich diet is thought to promote satiety and weight management because it will contain foods that are low in energy density, such as fruit and vegetables, which when eaten in the same volume as high energy dense foods are equally as satiating but less energetic (Rolls et al., 2005), indicating that the way in which high fibre foods are digested promotes satiety. Indeed, fibre increases gastric distension, slows the rate of gastric emptying and impacts on satiety hormone release; processes associated with heightened sensations of satiety (Wynne, Stanley, McGowan, & Bloom, 2005). Recently, the contribution of fibre viscosity to satiety has received attention. Vuksan et al. (2009) tested the effects of three fibres (consumed in 5g portions dissolved in a beverage) that differed only in terms of their ability to thicken liquid and found that only the most viscous fibre reduced intake at the next meal. Similarly, Juvonen et al. (2009) examined the effects of an oat-fibre beverage with or without its natural viscosity (achieved by β-glucanase treatment) and found that the higher viscosity beverage slowed gastric emptying and reduced satiety hormone responses compared to the lower viscosity beverage, leading to lower total energy intake over the course of the day. Wanders et al.‘s (2011) systematic review also found that fibres classified as viscous were more satiating than less viscous fibres. It is not known if the sensory properties or post-ingestive effects of viscous fibres are driving these effects.

Howarth et al. (2001) reviewed 38 studies that directly compared the acute effects on satiety of a low fibre food/meal vs. a high fibre food/meal of equal fat and energy contents. Their analysis found that 32/38 studies reported a fibre-related increase in satiety, with this being statistically significant in 26/32 of these studies. However, the findings from two more recent systematic reviews were less positive, with one reporting that only 39% of the reviewed studies showed a significant effect of fibre on satiety (Clark & Slavin, 2013) and the other concluding that overall effects of fibre on satiety and body weight were relatively small (Wanders et al., 2011). Despite the evidence that high fibre foods/diets can dull appetite, albeit an effect that might be fairly modest, EFSA have rejected general fibre-based satiety claims because this food component appears in many forms and effects are not sufficiently characterised (EFSA, 2010). Because of the diversity in fibre type and function, and related sensory characteristics, careful consideration must be given to the fibre selected for a high satiety product.

The traditional approach to understanding satiety, – that is, examining the post-ingestive metabolic effects of foods, – indicates that not all energy-yielding nutrients will affect satiety in the same way. This important work suggests that foods might have optimal effects on appetite control when they are high in protein and fibre and contain more carbohydrate than fat. As well as considering post-ingestive influences on satiety this section has touched on aspects of satiety that could be attributed to the consumer’s experience of consuming the food before it is processed by the gastrointestinal system. It was noted that protein’s effect on satiety might be dependent on its sensory profile; that fat has a low satiety value possibly because satiety expectations of high energy dense foods are low; and that the perceived viscosity of fibre containing beverages might contribute to the consumer’s experience of satiety. The next section will consider in detail how these types of pre-ingestive non-nutritive factors may contribute to satiety.



What you can when you can

What you can, When you can (WYC WYC)

Don’t buy into the mindset that exercise must be tough for it to count. Do what you enjoy as what matters in the long run is sustainability and adherence. It’s much harder to stick to a exercise routine which you dread.

Be active daily. But do it gradually and at a sustainable rate.

Build exercise into your day, not build your day around exercise. The more convenient it is, the more likely you will do it. E.g. Climb the stairs instead of using the lift, walk to the station or get off the bus stop 1 stop earlier and walk home. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis makes up a much larger portion of your caloric requirements than dedicated exercise.

Activity interspersed through the day has shown to be correlated with improved metabolic markers instead of bouts of inactive and activity.[1]

All diets work, as long as you stick to them[2]. Encourage adherence by making your diet enjoyable AND sustainable.

Do not demonise food items or macronutrients. Consider them within the context of your diet, activity and health.

For example, people with cholesterol problems, a diet high in saturated has shown to be detrimental. The general consensus is to aim for ~30% of your energy intake from fats, and >10% from SFA [6]

Another example is China. While the average Chinese has decreased their intake of carbs, and increased their intake of protein and fats. [3]They have experienced a sharp increase in obesity and obesity related health problems. Why? This is because of over-eating [4][5] and lack of exercise.

Many health problems can be improved by weight loss.[7][8]

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18252901
[2] https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/02/all-diets-work-if-you-stick-to-them/252278/
[3] https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ddf2/367de35d20b31e3c7cff62f80ea174a5d615.pdf
[4] https://firstwefeast.com/eat/2014/10/chinese-consumers-eat-more-meat-by-calories-than-americans
[5] https://twitter.com/kevinnbass/status/1024278681928327168
[6] https://www.eufic.org/en/whats-in-food/article/facts-on-fats-dietary-fats-and-health
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5497590/
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4368053/

Protein – Good? Bad? Healthy?

Nowadays everything seems to have that “High in protein” label. From granola to spaghetti, that label is everywhere in the supermarket. But most of them are usually really low in protein! For example, a serving of that granola only contains 12g of protein, but a 17g of carbohydrates. The pasta fares slightly better with 24g of protein with 21g of carbohydrates per serving.

Continue reading “Protein – Good? Bad? Healthy?”

The body you want is not a destination, but a lifelong journey.

Great article how on your mindset affects you and what to do about it.

Why You’re Thinking Yourself Out of the Perfect Body

The body you want is not a destination, but a lifelong journey.

Key takeaways:

  1.  Plan ahead
    Food rules and pre-deciding
    Do you have a backup plan?
  2. There are no shortcuts, no magic pills.
  3. Focus on the process. Build sustainable habits.
    The only habits that matter
    Process monitoring beats progress monitoring
  4. Stop procrastinating. Start small and build into it to make the task seem less daunting.
    Take the one push-up challenge
  5. You are not in this alone. Seek help if needed.


Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is a colorless and odorless chemical compound, also referred to by some as Dihydrogen Oxide, Hydrogen Hydroxide, Hydronium Hydroxide, or simply Hydric acid. Its basis is the highly reactive hydroxyl radical, a species shown to mutate DNA, denature proteins, disrupt cell membranes, and chemically alter critical neurotransmitters. The atomic components of DHMO are found in a number of caustic, explosive and poisonous compounds such as Sulfuric Acid, Nitroglycerine and Ethyl Alcohol.

Have you heard of this toxic substance?

Sound scary doesn’t it?

Have you had your daily dose of DHMO?

All things are poison and nothing is without poison, only the dosage makes a thing not poison.



glass half full

The other day I was listening to a podcast interview featuring the Jolly Lama – Lama Surya Das.

The question “Is your glass half full or half empty” was brought up. And he replied that that you can look at the glass as 3/4 full instead of 1/2 half empty.

Yes, that doesn’t make mathematical sense.

But what I felt he was trying to convey was that, you can’t change the problem but you can choose how you react, how you perceive the problem.

It got me thinking that maybe he is right.

Our perceptions in a way skew our reality. More often than not, I personally perceive my problems to be bigger than they really are. Perhaps reality itself is.. not as real as it seem, but fluid and subject to change. Maybe it is a “construct”, a amalgamate of people’s perceptions.

Perhaps what is more important is how you experience the world, rather than what the world really is.

I don’t really know what’s the point of my post, but this was just something that was rattling in my head today.

Lumpini Park – Bangkok 2012

What’s wrong with saying “All Lives Matter” ?

With all the madness going on in the US, I’ve been wondering this myself. And I found this thread to be really helpful in understanding why it is not helpful to say “All Lives Matter”.  So I have compiled the top 5 most upvoted comments here, hope you find it useful too.
Continue reading “What’s wrong with saying “All Lives Matter” ?”

Ball Check

🧐Check your balls

😫A 2017 Study revealed that among among Male University Students from Bangladesh, Madagascar, Singapore, South Africa and Turkey:
86.4% had never practiced Testicular Self Examination (TSE) in the past 12 months

🤬The proportion of past 12 month TSE was the highest (17.6%) among male university students in South Africa and the lowest (7.3%) among students in Singapore.

👻Not sure how to do it? Check out the link below 👇

Source: Peltzer K, Pengpid S. Knowledge, attitude and practice of testicular self-examination among male university students from Bangladesh, Madagascar, Singapore, South Africa and Turkey. Asian Pac J Cancer Pre. 2015;16(14):4741–4743. doi: 10.7314/APJCP.2015.16.11.4741.

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