Fit And Fab

No junk food, only ice cream, please

This personal trainer sticks to a healthy diet with the occasional indulgence. Lester Wong reports

Mr Chung doing shoulder exercises with free weights.
Mr Chung doing shoulder exercises with free weights.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Q What's your secret to looking fabulous?

A Consistency is key. Most people can be very diligent in hitting the gym three to four times a week for a short period of time. But to be able to sustain such a programme takes a lot of discipline.

I use a combination of two diet techniques that really worked when I was trying to lose fat - intermittent fasting (limiting eating for eight hours a day and fasting for the next 16 hours) and juice cleansing (taking only fruit or vegetable juices for a number of days).

I did a three-day juice cleanse last year and the results were amazing. My craving for junk food vanished completely after the cleanse.

It may or may not work for everyone but I highly recommend it. But as with all diet programmes, do seek advice from a professional first.

Q Was there ever a time when you weren't fit and fab?

A I used to be less muscular but not exactly scrawny. Vanity prompted me to start lifting weights when I was in junior college.

  • BioBox


    AGE: 30

    HEIGHT: 1.89m

    WEIGHT: 86kg

    Mr Chung has been in the fitness line since starting his own mobile gym when he was 23. He is now managing director of Gold's Gym Singapore and also heads the Personal Trainers' Association of Singapore.

    He said intermittent fasting and juice cleansing have helped him stay trim. "The fat loss results are awesome and you feel like a million dollars when you stop putting junk into your system."

    His parents are retirees and he is an only child. His 87-year- old father goes for light morning swims and his 71-year-old mother walks the dog, but Mr Chung has got her to start playing paddleball with him.

I was a competitive volleyball player and the high caloric burn made me tall and lanky. I thought packing on some muscles would make me look more "manly".

Q What is your diet like?

A Below is my normal diet plan on training days. If I'm losing weight or trying to put on muscles, I tweak the diet plan accordingly.

Breakfast: Power shake with protein powder, oats, chia seeds, powdered vegetable supplements, two servings of fruit and two eggs.

Pre- and post-workout: one serving of waxy maize (fast- digesting carbohydrate source) and protein shake.

Lunch: Rice, vegetables and lean meat like chicken, fish or seafood.

Snack: Mixed nuts and dried fruit.

Dinner: Vegetables and lean meat like chicken, fish or seafood.

Before bed: Protein shake.

Q What are your indulgences?

A Ice cream, but only good ice cream. I feel that having your favourite food once in a while helps you to stay disciplined for a longer time.

Q What do you do to relax and how do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

A I like to take holiday trips. I can do a couple of long trips and probably four to five short trips a year. I'm lucky because I enjoy my work, which is flexible in nature.

Since I'm in the health and fitness industry, keeping fit and healthy is a requirement. Being surrounded by like-minded healthy people who eat well and exercise regularly certainly helps.

Q What are the three most important things in your life?

A Career, family, iPhone... I am kidding about the third one. Probably my soulmate, whom I have yet to meet.

Q Would you go for plastic surgery?

A No, my mum would kill me.

Q Do you think you're sexy?

A I'll let your readers with good taste judge for themselves.

Q What are your favourite and least favourite parts of your body?

A My long limbs and torso are my favourite. The fat covering my abs is the least favourite. When I get rid of it, my abs will become my new favourite body part, haha.

Q What are your must-dos before and after fitness sessions?

A Have my pre- and post-workout shakes. If I forget to bring them, I make a U-turn and head home to get them.

Q How important is it for you to keep up with your fitness routine?

A It is important if I have a goal to reach, such as getting a six-pack for a photo shoot.

If not, I try to train hard and eat well. I take periodic breaks when on holiday, during which I am not 100 per cent strict with my diet.

Q What's the biggest sacrifice you have had to make to get to your current size today?

A Not really a sacrifice but I had a few injuries in the earlier days when I was still going through trial and error with training. You learn as you go along, but some of the battle scars stay with you for life.

Q What do your family and friends say about your active lifestyle?

A They have no complaints. I try to motivate them to exercise when I can. My mum used to complain that I was eating too many eggs - as many as 10 at one shot.

Q How extensive is your collection of sports-related paraphernalia?

A Over the years, I have collected volleyball trophies and lots of gym wear, which is my work attire.

Q Among these, what's your most prized possession?

A Perhaps my Volleyball Singapore Open gold medal. The adrenaline rush you get when you play during the finals is priceless.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2016, with the headline 'No junk food, only ice cream, please '. Print Edition | Subscribe