Fit And Fab

Nine meals a day when not fasting

Mr Muhamed Syafiq hopes to represent Singapore in running one day and become a full-time athlete.
Mr Muhamed Syafiq hopes to represent Singapore in running one day and become a full-time athlete.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

Runner eats high-protein food, except for the occasional pizza treat

Q What changes have you made for Ramadan?

A For the fasting month, I do not train in the morning. So I train only seven times a week, instead of 10.

Q What is your secret to looking fabulous?

A Eating clean and sleeping early. I love food that is high in protein. I try my best to sleep at least nine hours a day. It's important to have enough sleep so that you will feel and look good and perform well.

Q Has there ever been a time when you were not fit and fab?

A When I was in secondary school, I was skinny. I used to love junk food as I didn't know anything about healthy eating. But I don't take fast food, instant noodles and sweet drinks anymore.

Q What is your diet like?

A I am now fasting so I eat one pre-dawn meal and three meals after breaking fast.

  • Bio Box


    Age: 20

    Height: 1.72m

    Weight: 56kg

    Mr Muhamed Syafiq took up competitive running when he joined the track and field team at the Institute of Technical Education, where he is a student.

    He said: "Running has taught me many values in life, especially discipline, determination and dedication."

    He said he has learnt to be punctual. He has also stopped indulging in junk food and now eats healthily.

    "Athletics has changed me. I now have a better quality of life and I appreciate hardship," he said.

    He is an only child. His father, 56, works as a driver and his mother, 55, is a supervisor.

    "I may not be as talented as the other athletes, but I definitely work very hard," he said.

    He has taken part in 64 races since he started running in 2013. His next event is the four- member relay race at Mizuno Ekiden 2017 at The Promontory @ Marina Bay on Aug 19.

When I am not fasting, I eat eight to nine meals a day. Breakfast at 5am comprises two half-boiled eggs, two slices of wholemeal bread with peanut butter and jam, a tablespoon of honey, a banana, a square of dark chocolate and coffee.

My second breakfast at 9am is a wholemeal tuna sandwich with scrambled eggs and hot Milo. Lunch at noon is usually grilled fish pasta, salad and chocolate milk.

For my afternoon break at 3pm, I take the same food that I had for breakfast, minus the chocolate and banana. I also take a late afternoon snack of a banana, an apple and an isotonic drink.

Dinner at 8pm comprises smoked salmon with sweet potato, salad and an isotonic drink.

In between, I take protein shakes and chocolate milk. Supper at 9.30pm is yogurt and vanilla milk.

Q What are your indulgences?

A Pizza. I treat myself to them after weeks or months of hard work.

Q What do you do to relax?

A Yoga, meditation and sports massage.

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

A First, I want to train hard so that I can represent Singapore one day and become a full-time athlete.

Second, to inspire and motivate people. And lastly, to make my mum proud of my achievements.

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

A When I race, I'm prepared to better my personal best.

Q What's your favourite and least favourite part of your body?

A My favourite part are my abs and my least favourite is my chest.

Q What are your must-dos before and after a race?

A Pre-race: A prayer, a hug from my mum, listening to music and watching motivational videos.

Post-race: A short prayer to show my gratitude and a good massage.

Q What is the most extreme thing you have done in the name of fitness or diet?

A I once tried training four times a day, which was extremely tiring.

I started with a long morning run, followed by a swim, and strength and conditioning exercises at the gym and, finally, a yoga session.

Q How has your active lifestyle influenced your family and friends?

A We now eat healthier food and make wiser food choices at home. My friends are exercising more and they sometimes run with me.

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

A I have lots of running shoes and apparels and race bibs. My most prized possession are my medals.

Q Would you go for plastic surgery?

A No, I'd like to stay 100 per cent natural.

Q Do you think you're sexy?

A Yes, I guess so.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2017, with the headline 'Nine meals a day when not fasting'. Print Edition | Subscribe