February 22, 2024


Than a Food Fitter

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

5 min read


At 46 decades outdated, Alex Mearns is in outstanding shape and the fittest and healthiest he’s at any time been. He sprints, swims, energy walks and toughness trains weekly, and enjoys a diet regime filled with what he calls “real food” – natural meats free of charge of antibiotics and additional hormones, wild-caught fish, and vegetables, rice and fruit.

He was a diverse male a decade back.

“I smoked up to 20 cigarettes a working day, drank alcoholic beverages numerous periods a week, and subsisted on a less-than-best diet of cereal, sandwiches, and other processed and advantage foods,” shares the Englishman, who has lived in Singapore for about 20 yrs, forward of Men’s Overall health 7 days (June 13-19).

He also wasn’t performing a great deal workout and was about 15kg (33lb) chubby. He didn’t consider he had any healthcare disorders, but when he started feeling dizzy in the afternoons, he went for a check out-up. He uncovered he experienced a significant entire body mass index, higher cholesterol, substantial blood pressure and prediabetes .

“That marked a turning level for me and I before long began exploring means to enhance my wellness,” states the previous CEO of a fintech business specialising in hedge fund exploration.

At initial, he decided to “move much more and eat less” – he joined a gym, employed a individual trainer and dramatically lower his calorie ingestion. But immediately after 4 months and a good deal of funds, he didn’t truly feel any superior.

“I seriously wanted to clean up up my act, in particular because I had a youthful family that I needed to be close to for. But I shortly realised that what we’d been advised about nutrition , health and fitness and fat decline was not always proper. So I took issues into my possess arms to discover the best way to convert issues all-around.

“It was all or nothing for me. I’d currently quit using tobacco and I realized that I could adjust my diet plan, much too. I gave up dairy products , sugar, grains and vegetable oils. For a few months I didn’t workout at all, because I desired to see how substantially work out experienced to do with weight reduction. Through that time, I ate only meat, fish and veggies, a tiny fruit, and eggs.”


His strategy worked. His weight dropped, from 76kg to 64kg, and he was no for a longer time prediabetic. His blood force and liver enzyme results also enhanced. Following just a week of transforming his diet plan, he had extra electricity and no far more bouts of dizziness.

Mearns avoided heading on trend diet plans . He’d tried using them all just before and phone calls them “cycles of madness”. He did not have “cheat days”, either, wherever you split a diet program to take in indulgent foodstuff, labelling them a “mental trick”.

“Fad diet programs are not sustainable, except you are carrying out a person for therapeutic causes,” he claims. “You’ll shed some bodyweight, and then what? It makes no sense. It’s superior to make sluggish, long term and sustainable adjustments relatively than do a thing drastic to get quick success. If you drop body weight immediately, you’re very likely to set it all back on when you resume your common diet regime.”

Mearns’ journey also assisted him see that very good health and fitness was holistic and associated searching at the significant picture: his psychological health, his diet regime and training routines, the type of setting he lived in, how he managed stress , and his snooze behavior .

Right now, he applies his expertise and knowledge as a overall health coach at Levitise, a health and fitness, exercise and nutrition centre that he established in 2017.

“Your health and fitness is one whole manufactured up of quite a few distinctive pieces,” he suggests. “Chronic strain , for occasion, can lead to either excess weight gain or body weight loss we crave selected nutrients when we’re pressured for the reason that our adrenal glands want extra minerals to make cortisol, a stress hormone. When we’re pressured, we crave processed comfort food items, far too.”

Dr Tony Wong, a typical practitioner at The London Professional medical Clinic in Central, Hong Kong, agrees that minimal-calorie trend diet plans are difficult to carry out and sustain, and that some could even bring about additional hurt than very good in the long run.

“You’ll almost certainly drop a good deal of fat in the commencing, but this fat is generally h2o and muscle,” he claims. “When you deprive on your own of electricity and nutrition, you conclusion up sensation fatigued and might expertise gastrointestinal complications. Your temper and rest good quality may perhaps also be affected.”


A lot of trend meal plans really don’t encourage exercising, both, which is essential to a wholesome way of life. Some trend meal plans may perhaps induce your blood-sugar concentrations to fluctuate, which can be harmful if you go through from a healthcare problem like diabetic issues, he provides.

“And if you observe a high-unwanted fat-high-protein diet program, you may end up consuming more extra fat and cholesterol than is wholesome, growing your risk of coronary heart illness. The added protein also forces your kidneys get the job done more challenging, worsening current kidney difficulties.”

Earning balanced and permanent life style improvements is important to getting rid of excessive body weight and enhancing your exercise and effectively-currently being about the extended-term. Wong claims that this signifies receiving enough calories for your degree of physical action as properly as for your body’s other strength demands, these kinds of as respiration, digesting and sleeping. It also implies doing exercises frequently.

Body weight reduction should really be gradual and continual – about .5kg a week is viewed as protected, Wong suggests.

Mearns states that he’s eventually in manage of his wellness right after decades of experimenting with fad meal plans and overdoing it at the health club, and not observing lasting final results. For the previous ten years he’s retained his body weight secure at close to 70kg. Alternatively of obsessing more than the size of his dresses or the amount on the scale, he focuses on his general properly-being and reminds himself that one of his best explanations for transforming his life style was his household.

“Exercising like insane isn’t the respond to, and neither is deprivation. Even now, I’ll have the occasional glass of wine, but I make certain it is organic and natural and biodynamic. I’ll also have a slice of cake if I’m at a bash, but it’s commonly 1 which is gluten-no cost and built with a lot less sugar,” Mearns states.

“If you want long lasting, permanent modify, you have to have an understanding of the ‘why’ guiding it. What’s driving you to want to rework your overall health? It should be some thing beneficial, not damaging. Concentration on enhancing your health somewhat than dropping the kilos. That will make it simpler for you to adhere to your ambitions and not get discouraged along the way.”

This report was initial published in South China Morning Publish.


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