With our fortunate abundance of delicious food choices that are constantly available around every corner, it is no wonder that we Malaysians find ourselves adding inches to our waists every month or so. It is a struggle to keep fit, true, but so many opportunities arise throughout our day where we can leave behind our nasty, unhealthy habits and live a cleaner, healthier life.
As a Malaysian myself, understanding all the Malaysian struggles in eating healthy and getting fit, I must say that I’ve found these tips rather helpful in getting fit and keeping fit. So hopefully they’ll be helpful for you too! Here are 14 Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia.
Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia # 1: Sleep Early
What’s the first thing you do when your back hits your bed? Unlock your phone, watch YouTube or scrolled through Facebook or Instagram till the wee hours of the morning? Guilty as charged.
It’s a nasty habit we have, sleeping late. First off, it causes fatigue and non-optimal mental functioning.
Secondly, the body’s hormones are unbalanced, and this includes the hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Briefly, the imbalance of these hormones can cause you to get hungry faster and be less able to control your impulses to binge. You can read more about the role of these hormones here. But yea, lack of sleep will cause you to crave junk food, weaken your impulse control which often results in overindulging in larger portions and high-carb foods.
Also, when you’re up late, there is a higher tendency to snack as the hours between dinner and bedtime increases. I think that’s reason enough to sleep early. Also, when you’re sleeping, you ain’t eating. And that in itself is a win!
Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia # 2: Have a Quick Workout in the Morning
I know, that to forcefully awaken from slumber is a dreaded thing indeed. If most of us had it our way, we would only be up at ten am. But such is not the way of the healthy! The morning for us beckons opportunity! Opportunity to get that body geared up to burn calories and build muscle right from the day’s start.
You might be thinking to yourselves, working out it the morning is the absolute worst! I hate dragging myself out of bed, all cold and stiff to do burpees! (or whatever exercises you usually do)…
But, there are many benefits of an early morning workout. Allow me to break it down. First off, you’re exercising at the opportune moment: when you’re fasting. Right after you wake up, before you eat breakfast, your stomach is empty. Exercising then will effectively force your body to burn off fat, because no carbohydrates are currently present in your system. And that is awesome news indeed, a great payoff for your work done! But note that after the exercise, to avoid canceling out its great effects, stay away from carbohydrate-rich foods. Go instead for protein and fiber for effective weight-loss and muscle-building results.
The second benefit of working out in the morning is that you’re getting your day’s workout done and over with, first thing in the morning! Often times, the thought of needing to exercise looms darkly at the back of our minds, the dread of it leading us to keep putting it off until we skip it altogether. If you yank off this band aid first thing in the morning, I’m very sure the rest of your day will look brighter and healthier!
Thirdly, think about that glorious post-workout shower you would have before your drive to the office. What an amazing and fresh start to your day!
And finally, you set in place the correct mindset that will follow you throughout your day. If you start your day healthy, it sets the mood for the rest of the day. Because you’ve done that workout, it would be such a waste to nullify its benefits by putting junk into your body. Hence the risk of overindulging or bingeing later in the day will considerably lessen.
Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia # 3: Consider Healthy Food Deliveries
Your food intake is an extremely crucial part of your getting fit in KL. We all love to eat, so much so that I daresay eating is Malaysia’s official favourite past time.
It is very easy to overindulge and very difficult to refrain from doing so. Which is why, at our most vulnerable moments (the lunch break), instead of going out to an unhealthy restaurant somewhere, wasting time, effort, energy and petrol and parking money, consider the option of healthy food delivery.
Healthy convenience is a growing trend, which is why we see these services mushrooming around KL. So we are thankfully spoilt for choice. Check out KLs Top 20 Surprisingly Affordable Healthy Food Deliveries here. Not only do they still the hunger monster in you, they also do so by providing your body with the much needed nutrients to keep you healthy and strong in your quest to get fit!
Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia # 4: Stock Up on Fruits
There is no debate about the endless benefits fruits bring to the table. Hence no need for me to further convince you to get some. So, go get some!
But problems arise when you have no time to stop by the fruit shop, your busy schedule tightening your route to just the office and home. So to make things more convenient, I usually plan my week’s intake of fruits; sometimes as breakfast, other times for dinner or a light snack, then stock up on fruits for the week. That way, I have my entire fruit intake for the week arranged.
The great thing about stocking up that one time a week is that you don’t have to go through the hassle of returning to the shop to buy fruit every time you think you need more the next day.
Secondly, you are completely covered in the munchies department the next time you get hungry and want a snack. Fruits are an excellent way to curb those hunger pangs. So the next time you feel like driving through McDonalds for fries or stopping by the mamak for that good old roti canai, pick the healthier and more convenient (since you already have a stash of fruits bought) option and grab a banana or apple or melon lying temptingly in your fridge.
Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia # 5: Be Your Own Chef
Where lunch is of concern, cooking is a difficult option, which was why I suggested healthy food deliveries as tip number 3. But for dinner, and breakfast, there is a higher possibility of being able to cook. And cooking definitely trumps eating out. So, you should consider it if you’re seriously aiming to get your health back on track. Plus, it saves you money at the same time.
But the thing about cooking is that it is annoyingly inconvenient. I totally get that. You’ll have to make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for a meal, go out, buy them, then come home, peel the raw ingredients, clean and cut the meat and finally throw all the components into a pot or a pan to cook. The whole process can take up to two hours. Such a turn-off. I know.
But…when you carefully think about it, the most inconvenient part about the whole thing is the buying of ingredients. That takes the longest time and the most effort. And when you take that off the list, the workload of cooking very much lessens. Soooooo, you just have to get over the hassle of going to the store. How?
Pick one day each week to stock up for the entire week’s meals. That way, you have a comforting well-stocked fridge to look forward coming home to and cooking seems less of an arduous task.
Also, I must mention that at the end of the whole process, that fresh hot bowl of home cooked food is one of life’s simple pleasures very much worth your time and effort.
Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia # 6: No more Mamak Food
Avoid these extremely convenient, temptingly cheap and often times, very yummy establishments like the plague!
Even though it’s a really embedded part of our culture as Malaysians, it’s also part of the reason we are one of the most obese countries in South East Asia. Of course, the whole blame does not fall solely on these mamaks, but it is undoubtedly the one stop spot to most Malaysians when it comes to getting food cheap, fast and without hassle because these mamak outlets are always at annoyingly great locations. They’re everywhere! They’re like the Asian version of McDonalds.
And like Mcdonalds, most of the food served at mamaks are incredibly unhealthy. Oily, fried, with very little nutritional value, this should NOT be the Malaysian go-to spot when we want to grab a bite. The health consequences are great if we choose to dine often at mamak restaurants.
Fortunately, there are a lot of thriving restaurants providing meals that are mindful of public health. These places are extremely helpful in our mission to get fit especially when we have no choice but to eat out. For example, when you’re going out for dinner as a group and it is most convenient to do so. So to help you out in that department, here’s a list of Top 10 Healthy, Chic Restaurants around KL that Cost Below RM20.
Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia # 7: Have a Quick Work Out Before your Shower
With our Malaysian weather so hot and humid, almost all of us shower at least once a day. If you don’t, please start, for the sake of those around you ><
But yes, let’s start turning these necessities into opportunities! I think that it is an excellent idea to schedule a short exercise in right before your baths. A quick and intense one to get you all sweaty. After all, you’re stepping into the shower right after. Might as well make your bath worth it. Also, showers feel best if taken directly after a workout.
Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia # 8: If you like Shopping, Brisk Walk around Malls
I think this tip will definitely be a favourite. If you’re a fan of the buying of stuff from the shiny rows of shops in a closed, air-conditioned significantly large complex (I’m talking about shopping malls), you’re about to become a whole lot more excited about getting fit. I’m not saying that this could be a replacement to exercise, just that this favourite Malaysian past time could be of some benefit to our health, not so much to our pockets.
When faced with the choice of bumming around the house all day, and if you’re not too keen of the outdoors, grab a friend (or go alone) and brisk walk around the mall. It will definitely make you break a sweat. What’s great about this tip is that there’s a lot of interesting things to see along the way so this is one exercise that’s difficult to get bored doing. Again, not a replacement to regular exercise, but a fun option for getting you off the couch.
Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia # 9: Keep Water by Your Side.
Yes a cliché, so I won’t bother elaborating any further, just that it hydrates you, which is ideal for all bodily functions, and that sometimes it could be the safety buffer for when you get the munchies. Before eating anything, drink a glass of water. Water makes your stomach feel full and maybe then the prospect of bingeing will seem a little less tempting and a little easier to avoid.
Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia # 10: Find your Thing. A Physical Activity You get Totally Immersed in at least Twice a Week.
All physical exercise is beneficial for your body. Granted, not all physical exercises are created equal, some are more equal than others, but the important thing is that you enjoy doing them.
If you enjoy swimming and being in the water, you’ll do so often and hence get that heart of yours pumping very regularly. On the other hand, if you hate a type of physical exercise, say hitting the gym, where you have to drag yourself there three times a week and there’s no draw; you’re not looking forward to its small pleasures, there is really no point adhering to it.
Sooner or later, you’re going to give up and slack off. It happens to the best of us. But that’s not because you lack the discipline, but because you lack interest. Getting fit is already an uphill climb. Why add on extra burden to the already difficult task by doing something you absolutely dread?
Make your mission of getting fit easier by doing something you love, or something you’re keen to explore more on. Only then will immersing yourself in it feel natural and this eases the process of getting fit. If you’re unsure of what your thing is yet, here is a great list of Top 20 Fun Places to Get Fit in KL Instead of Hitting the Gym! You’re welcome 😉
Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia # 11: Keep Healthy Snacks in the Office
At work, when you are about to face a substantially difficult task and you’re trying to mentally prepare for it, don’t you find yourself reaching for something to munch on? Office biscuits, crackers, kuih or milo, just to get that tiny bit of distraction before you begin work.
Or, the opposite can be true, where you’re bored and your tummy demands attention.
The struggle is real, when you’ve got to control those urges, and they can be potent and powerful.
So, to prepare for times like these, having healthy snacks available to munch on is a great weapon against these mid-day cravings. Since you’ll need to eat anyway, might as well kill two birds with one stone and put nutrient-heavy food into your body, instead of the usual junk we love to consume. Fortunately for us, there are many healthy snack companies rising to meet the demand for a healthy munch. Here are Top 10 Healthy Snack Pack Deliveries in KL.
Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia # 12: Switch Up your Drinks Selection
We often overlook the amount of calories we consume via our drinks. The silent source of sugar. And it’s the one constant every restaurant has. Milo ais, teh ais, sirap bandung, teh tarik, coca cola, all them goodies with loads of sugar in them.
This can be a good thing. Like I said earlier, make every necessity an opportunity. Your drink orders are one way you can cut unnecessary calories from your life. Instead of your usual milo ais or pepsi, go for a ‘limau panas tanpa gula’ (warm lime water without sugar) or ‘air panas’ (warm water). They are drink forms with zero calories, plus the heat aids digestion and promote gut health.
Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia # 13: Brush Your Teeth after Dinner.
I find this tip very helpful in curbing late-night snacking. But of course, if you stay up too late, it won’t work. Which is why I put ‘Sleep Early’ as tip number one.
For me, it works because brushing my teeth, I consider a chore and I’d hate to do it again. Therefore, there is motivation for me to not eat anything after my brush.
Usually, I’ll take dinner at 7pm and brush my teeth straight after so that for the next four to 5 hours, I have extra incentive to not eat anything. Which is not a difficult feat since I’m still considerably full after dinner. So try it out and hopefully it works for you too!
Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia # 14: Always Take the Stairs and Take Two at a Time.
Getting fit is not so much a short term goal, rather, it is a long term mind-set. Opportunity to get fit and live healthy is everywhere, we’ve just got to grab it. So where others see stairs and the strain it takes to climb, you must see a chance to work those muscles and awaken them from slumber. Every opportunity counts and in the long run, you’ll be able to reap the health and fitness benefits of a healthy lifestyle though a healthy mind set.
I hope you’ll benefit leaps and bounds with these 14 Practical Tips to Losing Weight and Getting Fit in Malaysia. It starts off slow at first as do many other habits, but eventually, they will become instinct and you’ll be dishing out healthy practices all day long without the struggle. It’ll be a very rewarding journey indeed. And I wish you the best!
If you have a great habit or tip on how to get fit in KL, do share it in the comments below, however insignificant you think it might be. Your tips might not even occur to others and might make a huge difference in the life of another. So let’s cultivate that Malaysian sharing spirit and help each other out in our universal strive of personal fitness!
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