Nutrition Singapore

Getting to under 100kg after 15 years

Rob Hewitson lost 7.2% body fat in the last UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge. During that process he lost a staggering 11.4kg and at the end of the Challenge shared with us: 

"It’s been a great 4 weeks! The before and after photos are unbelievable! Really don't want to go back there, especially as I thought I was in OK shape before!! Told you I was competitive …" 

He shared his experience with us some more:

1. What made you decide to do the challenge?

I am coming up to a significant birthday and having been over 100kg (always 108-110kg) for about 15 years, felt it was time to give it a proper go at getting into double figures and staying there!

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2. How did you find it in the beginning and the end?

In the beginning I felt very dizzy and lightheaded, plus exceptionally grumpy. I wasn't great to be around! I found it easy to maintain the food menus and exercise but I dreamt about beer and whisky … A LOT!

I found I lost a lot of weight in the first week then hit a plateau and it wasn’t until week 4 when I started to see the scales really change. It is worth sticking with it.

3. What was the most difficult and easiest part?

The hardest part was going out with work and not being able to join in with a drink. 

The easiest part was the food, especially the fry-ups every morning!

4. What did you learn that surprised you?

How much sugar I take in on a normal day without realising. I haven’t been under 100kg since I was 25 and I feel so much better for it. 

5. Where will you take your Clean & Lean knowledge from here?

For me it's about having a better balance so keeping the Clean & Lean food options for most of the week with a couple of cheat meals. Food prep is also really important, as is always have Clean & Lean snacks in the fridge! 

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It's not to late to get into great shape for the forthcoming Silly Season!! The next UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge is running 28 October to 25 November - just in time for Christmas. Finish off your 2017 with a bang and sign up now here for Clean & Lean 17 !!

Clean & Lean with the Greens

After last Christmas, Scott and Sheri Green decided to treat their bodies and kick off the new year with the some Clean & Leaning. It was totally worth it - Scott lost nearly 5% body fat and 7kg in the four weeks, and Sheri lost nearly 6% body fat and almost 4kg. They now share with us, after doing the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge four times - how they have felt, how it fit into their lifestyle, and why they would do it again:

1. How often have you done UFIT Clean & Lean and how were the results?

I have done UFIT Clean & Lean four times. The first time I did it by myself and twice I did it with Scott. We both got great results each time. I think Scott saw the results and what a benefit it was for me after the first time so he wanted to know what it would do for him. He eats less sugar than me and was very surprised by what he learnt.

2. Why do it again after learning the principles the first time?

I loved the way I felt and what I learned the first time so I did it again and learnt even more. The truth is it's hard for me to take sugar out completely forever. I'm human and the bad habits creep back in, a holiday comes around or you have a party to go to, and sugar is addictive after all.

But I like to reset, and to learn more. Each time I have done it I have taken something else from it and been educated more. Sometimes you think you are making a healthy choice purely by the way a product is advertised, I think this was the biggest thing I learnt. I thought I was being quite healthy but when you really strip it back you are surprised.

3. How has it been doing it with your husband - and balancing with a social life and three little kids?

You get so much support from Wendy, Noa and everyone else through the Facebook page but having Scott do it with me really helped. We saw the changes in each other and enjoyed exercising together. It's had only has a positive effect on our family, having three kids can be a challenge at dinner time, that's never going to change but if I can get them to try a new thing and its healthy and they like it then that's fab. My oldest daughter now prefers Shepherd's pie with cauliflower mash instead of potato. My son enjoys coming to Bootcamp with me. We have had lots of little changes from doing Clean & Lean. I learnt if you plan your meals it makes it easier and you make better choices.

4. What pushed you through when it all felt a bit challenging?

The main thing that pushed me through the four weeks was what I learnt each week. The community also pushes you through, it makes you accountable. Wendy and Noa help you through each week, they have done it / are doing it themselves and have all the answers you need to get through it.

5. Apart from looking great, how did your body feel during and after the Challenge?

For me, I saw so many changes. At the beginning I'm not gonna lie, it's hard to see what sugar does to you, but as the time goes on and you see the benefits, actually very quickly you see changes. Other people see changes too. My energy levels improved, my skin was nice, my moods were more stable and then there are the changes you see in your clothes, they fit better, even get too big. These are just a few things but there are so many more.

6. Has it been manageable to continue with it after the Challenge?

UFIT Clean & Lean has helped me live a much healthier lifestyle. I have also found a love of excercise I didn't know I had.  I have taken the things I learned going forward to make better choices.

7. Would you do it again and why?

I will do UFIT Clean & Lean again I'm sure. The easy part for me is the four weeks, It's the part after I find harder. That's my challenge and always will be, but now at least I have the knowledge to be able to make the right choices.

8. Scott - do you have anything to add?

No - Sheri's said it all! But I would add just one thing - I don't feel right when I'm not on Clean & Lean.

Join us at the next UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge that starts on 26 August!

Why I'm doing UFIT Clean & Lean twice a year

We asked Jason Sykes - one of our regular Sentosa Bootcampers - why is he coming back after losing 3.5% body fat at a previous UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge ...

 

What made you decide to do the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge?

After signing up for UFIT Bootcamps I decided to take on the Challenge after a couple of friends had taken part with impressive results.  A good friend of mine, Ben Wheeler, actually won it and he convinced me to take it up.  I have a fairly clean diet but the approach to cutting out sugar is taking things to a new level and eye opening as to how it affects your body.

 

How did you find the Challenge?

It was tough, especially the first week.  I generally felt weak and lethargic with cravings for foods cut out of my diet such as milk, fruits, pasta and sauces.  One thing is for certain, you have to plan your meals and it isn’t something you can just take for granted, especially if you have full intense days at work. 

After the first week my body adjusted and the body shock started to ease off and towards week three I had more energy than before although intense exercise (bootcamps) were really tough without the carbs for energy.  I actually suffered from severe cramps in week three in my legs and even jaw (!!) so took magnesium and zinc which helped calm them down. 

Week four is like running the last part of a long distance race – you just want it over with but the line is in sight and weigh-in just a few days away to keep motivation! The UFIT team were great throughout with the weekly talks and the Facebook group so any questions are quickly answered throughout the four weeks.

 

What results did you get?

I lost around 3.5% body fat which was a good result for what I wanted to achieve.

 

What has made you decide to do it again?

I’m not overweight but C&L doesn’t necessarily have to mean losing loads of weight – it can be, but it can also act as a great detox program.  So for me it is just about getting rid of any of the excesses of the last few months and cleansing the system!

 

What are my goals for the future?

My goals are to remain aware of what I eat and how it affects my body. Foods that you may strongly believe are “healthy” may be loaded with sugar which may be adding to your weight or reducing your energy levels without you realising the cause. I was very surprised to find out that an average banana contains 14 grams of sugar! 

I will maintain a PT program with UFIT combined with the diverse bootcamp options and sign-up for the C&L twice a year from now on.  Overall I can highly recommend the C&L program to anyone considering taking this on, and as always, the UFIT team will support you through the 4 weeks which is challenging but ultimately very rewarding.

Next UFIT Clean & Lean challenge open now! Sign up here: www.ufit.com.sg/clean-and-lean

Clean & Lean - it's a long term thing

Finishing the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge is just the beginning. Aoife NicLochlainn tells us about her Clean & Lean journey, and how she's sustained healthy habits one year on ...

What made you sign up for Clean & Lean?

I took part in Clean and Lean 11 one year ago. I had already been working with Wendy on weight loss for a few months at this point and was really enjoying the results I was getting. However, my motivation was starting to slip, and I had to tweak my diet and was starting to forget what was a tweak and what was my original plan. I had also gotten into a rut of eating the same thing every day so I was starting to get a bit bored with myself. I messaged Wendy to explain I was having a bit of a crisis and she suggested that the group aspect of C&L might be just what I needed. I’m so glad I signed up. It was a great kick to the system!

How was your first week?

As I was already eating a low sugar diet I didn’t find the first week too bad. Also being part of the Facebook group really helped motivate me in that first week. Veteran Clean and Leaners shared their recipes and I tried some lovely things. I think having the extra support really helped. It was good to see that others were struggling too, and that we all had our vices that we needed to throw off.

Did you sign up with a friend or by yourself?

I signed up by myself. I was so nervous walking in the first day as I didn’t know what to expect, and I am quite socially awkward. But everyone was super friendly, and we were free to interract with others as much, or as little, as we wanted. The workouts after the talks each week were great and I enjoyed chatting with others who were facing similar struggles.

How did you feel each week?

I just felt better and better. My mood in general improved, I felt “clean” on the inside. I didn’t really feel deprived at all. I attended the Formula 1 weekend right in the middle of my 4 week challenge and with a little bit of prepping and some nice seeds in my bag I was easily able to navigate it. The old me would not have been able to handle all that temptation at all, but again, the Facebook group came up trumps and we were all able to post sightings of compliant foods, and keep each other motivated. To be honest, the hardest part of the whole challenge was making the decision to start.

How did you feel at the end of it all?

Great!!! I felt so good, and got great compliments. Even though I’d been on a weight loss journey for a few months, I think the sudden jump because of C&L made people notice.

I was very happy with the kgs lost. Again, as I was already following a similar plan I thought I would still be stuck in my plateau, but this really took me out of it. Also, my hair, skin and mood drastically improved. I loved it so much I signed up for Challenge #13.

What's motivating about it?

The group in general, the team at UFIT especially Wendy, and the Facebook group. And - being able to participate in big events like the Spartan Sprint in Bintan, which I could not have done if it were not for Wendy and Clean & Lean. And then following up with the Spartan Super event six months later has made me super motivated to do the Challenge again.

How has the Challenge become part of your lifestyle now?

One year on I found that Clean & Lean is more than just a 4 week challenge. It helped me to gain a greater understanding of my body in general and how it reacts to different foods, and of course alcohol. Here in Singapore a lot of us have hectic social lives. And life is all about balance. So I've learned that if I have a few hectic weekends around Christmas or holiday time I have the ability to just pull myself back together and jump back on the C&L wagon.

It's easy to just refer back to the notes again. Or sign up for another Challenge if you need a refresher and like the moral support. I've taken part in challenges 11, 13 and plan on signing up for 15 starting soon.  What I found great was it doesn't feel repetitive at all. The talks each week were different and so engaging and have helped me to make changes that I hope to keep up! I'm definitely a C&L convert for life!

Before and after for Clean & Lean (Start 80.7kg - 36.4% body fat. End 75.8kg - 30.73% body fat)

What a difference a year makes - this time last year, versus now (down 20kg thanks to Wendy)

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Next UFIT Clean & Lean challenge open now! Sign up here: www.ufit.com.sg/clean-and-lean

Safe to say I'm converted to be Clean and Lean for 90% of the time thanks to the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge

About me: Trampoline Performance Coach and retired Army Captain. Former National Level trampoline competitor in the UK and Billy all sports, 31 years young.

WHY: 2016 saw a lot of injury and the last part leading to Christmas I had a broken wrist resulted in limited exercise and a noticeable amount of weight gain (to me) and definition Loss. I use sugar to get through the day as I coach solidly for up to 6 hours at a time. My skin is bad and I have diet related gastro problems which I know is down to a poor eating habits. I blooming love a pudding, this girl can eat chocolate cake quicker than Bruce Bogtrotter. 

Worries: My job is extremely active, I bounce at least 2 hours a day, not including fitness classes and my own exercise. I am nervous of 'diets' due to eating disorders as a teen and in my early 20's and worry that a massive change will lead to obsession and a return of previous issues. 

Week 1: Firstly, how the HECK am I 25% body fat, that crept up on me... I work Saturdays and have to miss the seminars so the initial email on Friday helped to prepare for day 1. I started on the Friday evening and the food was not too bad. However my first issue, I do not like Avocado, cucumber or celery... so that limited my initial options for lunch. I must admit the Facebook group is great for ideas and different options for recipes. I got through Sunday fairly well and felt (albeit tired) alright. Monday was the first stupid idea... Bootcamp... I was dizzy, struggled in strength and the old army mentality of 'just get on with it' came through. My body is a machine, oh wait no it's not it doesn't want to work for me at all. Headache for the rest of the day and although smashed a staple lunch of spinach wrap, with chicken and bacon I was still hungry. I just couldn't find the energy so avoided prep that night ate my Shepard’s pie from the freezer and thought I'd go for a 'Daily Cut' for lunch... FAIL I am a bit of a nightmare with lettuce that isn't crisp and after the journey to work I managed to heave for about 5 mins trying to eat broccoli, before giving up and just eating the chicken. All I managed Tuesday was eggs and salmon for breakfast, chicken breast for lunch and ham as a snack. I did eat a pre-made Shepard’s pie for dinner at 10pm and then prepped like a mad person for the rest of the week... I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED and actually after Wednesday morning trampoline fitness and a busy schedule for the rest of the week with hands on coaching I survived.  Only as a result of preparation!  the 7P's spring to mind.... Went to the cinema with a pack of whole kitchen seeds and a water bottle, I tend to belt feed a large sweet popcorn bag before the movie starts so for me this is a Result!! Drinking water is not a problem, I tend to drink lots anyhow but a skinny cappuccino with a sweetener has been missed that's for sure.

Week 2: Yay for tomatoes! Oh wait I don't eat tomatoes either. The first meal was roasted veg (mainly green) with Carrots and peppers, they tasted extremely sweet after the sugar purge. I feel like I'm savouring the flavours. After the lessons learnt from week 1, I am prepared and even Managed a jog on Sunday evening. I am still feeling a little Low on energy at times and have succumbed to become one of those people who buys protein. I made protein balls with cacao for a hit while at work between bouncing. Only taken 31 years and needs must. Clothes feel looser, skin is becoming clearer and stomach has settled. My Tuesday from last week was a whole lot different this week. Prepped a decent 'big' lunch and snacks, finished work at 8 and went straight to Hockey training. A year out and you could tell, but I managed to run around like a lunatic for 1.5 hours. Finished the week very stiff and continued with being busy at work. Sleep has been an issue with cramp and just not settling, so invested in Magnesium supplements which has been brilliant. I went to a BBQ and ate so much meat. Took green pepper and carrot sticks with me and soda, watching everyone having a few drinks was slightly annoying but stuck with it. I have managed to 'accidentally' fast for 3 days this week after the seminar on Wednesday as I do not start work until late so actually it's not too bad to wait for lunch. Other than sleep being a pain towards the tail end of the week a much better week for energy... I didn't feel the need to eat quite a lot of the time.

Week 3: OVER HALFWAY!!! Survived 50% and looking forward to adding some sweet potato and beetroot to the diet. Went for a slow and steady 4.6 Mile jog as Since Hockey training my legs have been very sore. Actually had a protein shake and feel ok for it. Preparing hard on the Sunday for the week as it's set to be a busy one. Consciously upping the exercise this week as with the added carbs I hope I can take it. Monday bootcamp I had much more energy and no dizziness. Managed to push myself harder and wasn't 'at the back', body is aching but fueling well. I may have found a faux pas CASHEW BUTTER seriously the restraint not to devour the whole pot is tremendous. But I have made my protein balls using this for a second batch and actually since the revelation I haven't dived a in with a teaspoon since the first few days of having it. 

You can't always plan ahead, being reactive is important and A busy week at work has resulted in only managing my own exercise (other than bouncing) 2 times. But had 2 trampoline fitness classes to deliver and also sporting a slight strain from Too many lunges from Bootcamp and Hockey at the start of the week so some rest is probably needed... stuck to the plan and even resisted my boss's Husband placing a glass of red wine in front of me (he must have thought I needed it) I refused, it smelt so good but restraint (for once) stood strong. Awesome compliments from the parents of the kids I coach saying how great I look and how incredible my skin is, a brilliant boost to enforce the effort going into sticking to the plan. 

Week 4: WOW how is it the last week already.?!? Start as you mean to go on, 9 hours solid coaching on Saturday and an impromptu trip to my boss's meant a late run. But I am slowly increasing speed and the first run since the start that I haven't wanted to collapse. Obstacle Bootcamp Sunday morning and again feeling good, weirdly satisfying burning your legs and working your arms up on ropes, how I miss that part of the Army... I prepared food for the week in a form of curry for lunches when I'm too busy and also making sure I don't forget that green should be the staple. I'm finding myself less hungry but feeling like I 'should' eat for the sake of not overdoing the diet and not fueling myself properly. Finding the balance I Guess will be important this week... I have lots of exercise planned and want to really work hard to find my fitness while maintaining a Clean and Lean diet. Also CHEESE... my hand brake. Just need to remember to alternate days as otherwise overindulgence is inevitable. The True protein from UFIT Amoy Street (chocolate flavour) has not only stopped my need for the sweet tooth but dare I say it aided in the recovery process and also general aches and pains after exercise. From a non-believer in protein powder, I am converted and it will definitely form part of my recovery and exercise routine. With only 3 days before my weigh out, I have managed a good amount of exercise and also learnt lots about what I do and don't need with regards to food, I am a little sporadic in my food choices after exercise as most of the time I do not eat dinner until after work at 10pm opting quite a lot of the time for snacks rather than a meal, which means a big lunch but I'm ok with that as an option to go forward... Another brilliant Wednesday seminar to help with the final push and feeling positive about the changes to make afterwards. Also picked up some shorts to wear to work and have had to roll them up as they are falling down. Jumping on a trampoline today may add some hidden entertainment, never a dull moment. Typical the day before I weight out I'm having a wobble, feel like scrounging around the kitchen to look for something sweet... hoping today flies by without too much stress... so you can't control hormones and the last bit one day out from weigh in has resulted in my body playing up. But I am sticking to it, support from friends and UFIT's own Lizzie Wright has been helpful as sometimes you just need a kick up the butt. Even managed a 5k run in quickest time since before my wrist break in October so something must be going ok. 

The weigh out: After the last day of feeling pretty bad (although staying true) I didn't have much hopes and could not believe it when I jumped on the scales and the first number was 56!! 56KG is below my pre-army 'fit' weight and I was truly shocked. I know I've felt good at times and many have complimented the way I'm looking which has been nice, but to actually see the hard work in facts and figures gives you that measurable outcome to the process.

Safe to say I’m converted to be Clean and Lean for 90% of the time, no one likes a goody too shoes after all. 

Reflection:  So in 4 weeks I have lost 4.5KG, 4.5% body fat and also 5cm from my waist, my skin has massively improved and I have slowly managed to control my hunger and need for sugar. I have found myself in a place where I am really happy with how I feel and look. The energy is starting to come back because of careful planning in food preparation and I am feeling confident about keeping with it and trying to build back into the Athlete I once was. I fully recommend the clean and lean process to those who do not just want to lose weight but for those who want an education about how to take control of your diet and not be a slave to the evolution of poor eating and poor diet choices. It's all about moderation and for me my process will continue with the odd cheat day here and there. Thank you UFIT and especially Wendy and Noa for the support and guidance over the last 4 weeks, also the community Facebook group has been awesome. Safe to say I'm converted to be Clean and Lean for 90% of the time, no one likes a goody too shoes after all. 


UFIT CLEAN & LEAN CHALLENGE

The 2017 Clean & Lean sessions are happening on March 11 – April 8 (4 weeks), May 20 – June 17 (4 weeks), September 2 – 30 (4 weeks), November 4 – 25 (4 weeks).

UFIT is Singapore’s largest independent fitness community that offers a 360 approach to health and fitness island wide. For more information, visit our website.