SINGAPORE – From having at the least three cups of additional candy tea to only a small cup of tea with much less sugar day by day, retired taxi driver, Mr Ok.S. Chua, modified his weight loss plan after a well being scare two years in the past.
He was discovered to have prediabetes then, the place the blood sugar degree is larger than regular.
On the urging of his spouse Jennifer Tan, 64, he joined her in a neighborhood wellness programme known as Make It Siew Dai (“much less candy” in Chinese language dialect), aimed toward residents prone to diabetes.
He was reluctant at first.
“Prior to now, I ate all the pieces. I ate very unhealthy meals like char kway teow and orh lua (oyster omelette) at the least two instances every week,” says Mr Chua, 68, who declines to present his full title.
Make It Siew Dai is likely one of the programmes run by well being coaches from Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH). These cater largely to residents of central housing estates resembling Toa Payoh or Serangoon, though residents of different estates can join too. The programmes are free and focused at seniors.
Below the programmes, residents can get well being recommendation by means of one-on-one consultations, participate in actions like train classes or go for lessons to find out about more healthy meals choices amongst different matters.
The variety of residents collaborating in these programmes has jumped from 68 in 2016 to six,180 final 12 months.
Well being coach Cheong Pei Fen, 24, who has a diploma in well being administration and promotion, says individuals are additionally inspired to set targets to undertake a wholesome way of life.
Madam Tan obtained her husband to participate within the programme performed at Jia Ying Senior Exercise Centre in Hougang, which comprised eight three-hour classes.
“He was so torpid initially, however his well being improved slowly, lesson by lesson. It’s higher than my nagging, which does not work,” says Madam Tan.
Each of them have since made modifications to their way of life. “We learnt methods to portion our meals and go for whole-grain meals as a substitute. Prior to now, my husband hardly exercised. Now, he workouts virtually daily for an hour,” she provides.
Ms Cheong says the individuals have been typically receptive to the recommendation, however one problem many confronted was discovering the time to train.
Below one of many programmes performed by TTSH, known as Strolling Foodpedia, residents are taught about more healthy meals choices. They be taught to learn meals labels in a mock-up minimart and whip up more healthy meals utilizing nutritious elements.
Well being coach Audra Suratman, 26, who conducts the programme, tries to debunk misconceptions individuals have about sure meals.
Some get confused about what they need to or shouldn’t eat after listening to recommendation from mates or on-line sources, says Ms Audra, who can be a nutritionist.
“We at all times remind residents to verify if their good friend has sure situations that trigger her or him to keep away from sure meals and verify if the web data comes from a dependable supply.”
Apart from getting well being suggestions, residents have additionally made mates by means of the programmes.
Some, like Madam Sally Soh, 60, even turned peer assist leaders to encourage fellow individuals to maintain up their good consuming habits after the four-session programme.
Madam Soh, a retiree who lives in Ang Mo Kio, organises cooking classes along with her friends, the place she prepares more healthy dishes resembling flour vermicelli steamed cake.
She attends such wellness programmes to get tips on methods to preserve a wholesome way of life and shares the following tips along with her friends.
“We should continue learning methods to dwell healthily,” says the grandmother of 5. “In any case, our well being is in our palms.”
Recommendations on wholesome residing:
1. Cut back saturated and trans fats consumption
Go for lean meat or take away seen fats and pores and skin. Undertake more healthy cooking strategies resembling steaming, baking and grilling. The consumption of saturated and trans fats raises the chance of fats deposits within the blood vessels. Extreme fats consumption can result in weight achieve and enhance the chance of growing diabetes.
2. Enhance your fibre consumption
Eat two servings of fruit and two servings of greens day by day. Incorporate complete grains resembling brown rice, chapatti, oats and wholemeal bread into your weight loss plan. Fibre helps to decelerate the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream and retains you full for an extended time. It additionally helps to advertise more healthy bowel administration and aids in weight administration.
3. Cut back consumption of refined sugars
Restrict consumption of sweetened drinks, fruit juice, muffins, kueh, desserts, ice cream, goodies and sweets. Go for water or sugar-free drinks as a lot as potential. Refined sugars are shortly absorbed by the physique and might trigger the blood glucose degree to rise shortly.
4. Decrease consumption of sodium
When consuming out, ask for gravy on the facet as a substitute of drizzling it over your meals to regulate the portion. Consuming an excessive amount of sodium can enhance the chance of hypertension, which may result in well being issues resembling stroke, coronary heart assaults and kidney failure.
5. Get shifting
Train for at the least half-hour a day, 5 days every week. Get off the bus or practice one cease earlier and stroll the remainder of the way in which or select the steps as a substitute of the carry.
• Supply: Tan Tock Seng Hospital