June 16, 2024


Welcome to the Food

No cheat days, dairy or junk food: Ex-CEO’s health U-turn after wake-up call, Lifestyle News

At 46 years old, Alex Mearns is in fantastic form and the fittest and healthiest he’s at any time been. He sprints, swims, electricity walks and energy trains weekly, and enjoys a diet regime loaded with what he phone calls “real food” – natural and organic meats free of antibiotics and additional hormones, wild-caught fish, and greens, rice and fruit.

He was a different gentleman a decade ago.

“I smoked up to 20 cigarettes a day, drank liquor many periods a week, and subsisted on a significantly less-than-suitable diet of cereal, sandwiches, and other processed and usefulness foods,” shares the Englishman, who has lived in Singapore for about 20 many years, in advance of Men’s Wellbeing 7 days (June 13-19).

He also wasn’t executing considerably exercise and was about 15kg (33lb) over weight. He did not believe he had any professional medical conditions, but when he started emotion dizzy in the afternoons, he went for a check-up. He realized he experienced a higher system mass index, substantial cholesterol, substantial blood stress and prediabetes .

“That marked a turning point for me and I quickly started exploring ways to make improvements to my health,” says the previous CEO of a fintech company specialising in hedge fund investigate.

At initially, he decided to “move a lot more and eat less” – he joined a gymnasium, hired a own trainer and significantly lower his calorie consumption. But after 4 months and a ton of money, he didn’t come to feel any much better.

“I actually desired to clean up up my act, especially considering that I had a younger spouse and children that I required to be close to for. But I before long realised that what we’d been told about nourishment , conditioning and fat decline wasn’t often suitable. So I took matters into my personal hands to uncover the most effective way to transform matters all-around.

“It was all or absolutely nothing for me. I’d presently give up smoking cigarettes and I knew that I could adjust my diet program, way too. I gave up dairy products and solutions , sugar, grains and vegetable oils. For three months I did not workout at all, for the reason that I preferred to see how a great deal training experienced to do with bodyweight reduction. During that time, I ate only meat, fish and vegetables, a minimal fruit, and eggs.”


His strategy worked. His body weight dropped, from 76kg to 64kg, and he was no for a longer period prediabetic. His blood tension and liver enzyme benefits also improved. Soon after just a week of shifting his diet regime, he experienced extra electrical power and no much more bouts of dizziness.

Mearns avoided likely on fad meal plans . He’d tried them all before and phone calls them “cycles of madness”. He didn’t have “cheat days”, either, wherever you crack a food plan to try to eat indulgent food items, labelling them a “mental trick”.

“Fad diets aren’t sustainable, until you’re performing a single for therapeutic reasons,” he says. “You’ll reduce some pounds, and then what? It can make no perception. It is far better to make gradual, permanent and sustainable changes rather than do anything drastic to get immediate final results. If you get rid of bodyweight promptly, you are likely to put it all again on when you resume your regular eating plan.”

Mearns’ journey also served him see that fantastic wellness was holistic and concerned wanting at the massive photograph: his psychological well being, his food plan and exercising practices, the type of environment he lived in, how he managed stress , and his sleep routines .

These days, he applies his understanding and experience as a wellness coach at Levitise, a health, exercise and nourishment centre that he launched in 2017.

“Your overall health is 1 full designed up of lots of various areas,” he states. “Chronic strain , for instance, can guide to possibly excess weight gain or excess weight decline we crave particular nutrients when we’re pressured for the reason that our adrenal glands have to have extra minerals to make cortisol, a stress hormone. When we’re stressed, we crave processed ease and comfort meals, far too.”

Dr Tony Wong, a general practitioner at The London Health care Clinic in Central, Hong Kong, agrees that very low-calorie trend weight loss plans are complicated to put into action and maintain, and that some may possibly even lead to far more harm than very good in the very long run.

“You’ll probably get rid of a great deal of bodyweight in the commencing, but this pounds is generally water and muscle mass,” he states. “When you deprive on your own of vitality and vitamins and minerals, you end up experience fatigued and may well working experience gastrointestinal difficulties. Your mood and rest quality might also be influenced.”


Numerous trend weight loss plans do not inspire training, possibly, which is necessary to a healthy lifestyle. Some trend weight loss plans might trigger your blood-sugar concentrations to fluctuate, which can be damaging if you undergo from a health care affliction like diabetes, he adds.

“And if you abide by a significant-unwanted fat-substantial-protein food plan, you may well stop up consuming extra excess fat and cholesterol than is healthy, expanding your chance of coronary heart illness. The additional protein also forces your kidneys work harder, worsening existing kidney problems.”

Earning healthier and long-lasting lifestyle modifications is key to shedding extra bodyweight and strengthening your exercise and effectively-currently being about the very long-term. Wong claims that this signifies obtaining sufficient energy for your amount of bodily action as effectively as for your body’s other vitality desires, these types of as respiration, digesting and sleeping. It also signifies working out routinely.

Bodyweight loss ought to be gradual and regular – about .5kg a week is viewed as harmless, Wong states.

Mearns states that he’s at last in control of his wellness following yrs of experimenting with trend diet programs and overdoing it at the gym, and not seeing long lasting effects. For the previous decade he’s stored his body weight steady at all around 70kg. Rather of obsessing about the dimension of his outfits or the selection on the scale, he focuses on his general nicely-being and reminds himself that just one of his leading good reasons for shifting his way of life was his loved ones.

“Exercising like nuts is not the reply, and neither is deprivation. Even now, I’ll have the occasional glass of wine, but I make confident it is organic and biodynamic. I’ll also have a slice of cake if I’m at a bash, but it is normally one which is gluten-totally free and produced with fewer sugar,” Mearns states.

“If you want long lasting, long lasting modify, you have to comprehend the ‘why’ behind it. What’s driving you to want to rework your wellness? It must be anything positive, not destructive. Concentrate on bettering your overall health somewhat than dropping the kilos. That can make it less complicated for you to adhere to your aims and not get discouraged together the way.”

This write-up was 1st posted in South China Morning Article.