A Fresh Start

Motivated by how fitness changed his life, Lee Yi Hugh now wants to encourage others to do the same.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Motivated by how fitness changed his life, Lee Yi Hugh now wants to encourage others to do the same.
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With his boyish good looks and trim, toned figure, you’d never have guessed that 34-year-old Lee Yi Hugh was once 25kg overweight. Initially a sports addict, he used to work out vigorously and actively trained in judo until a high-school injury caused him to stop exercising.

Coupled with a love for food, he steadily packed on the kilos. His life seemed set on a downwards spiral, but he was determined to turn it around after falling in love. Now, this Taiwanese fitness influencer works with international brands like Volvic, and currently boasts a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/yihugh) with over 780,000 fans who he regularly encourages to keep fit.

He also documented his weight loss tips and fitness advice in a Mandarin book, Get Leaner With Hugh ($25.47, singapore.kinokuniya. com), which is a best-seller in Taiwan. Here’s how he did it. 

My weight loss journey started when… I challenged myself to get in shape to impress a woman I liked (now my wife!). I told her about my intention to lose 25kg in a year in an effort to woo her, and she thought I was joking. She didn’t expect me to be able to succeed but I did, and she was touched when she saw how hard I worked. She didn’t agree to go on a date with me immediately after – it took another year of pursuing her even after I had slimmed down – but she was very moved by the entire process. 

The most effective way to lose weight is… to realise that there’s no shortcut or quick fix when it comes to health. Instead, focus on eating whole, natural foods and sticking to a regular exercise regime. This will help you maintain a balanced state of mind, which is a key factor in getting – and staying – in shape. 

On cheat days, I indulge in… fried or barbecued food, complete with a couple of drinks with my friends. 

My weekly workout regime consists of… strength training at least twice a week for 60 to 90 minutes, aerobic exercise twice a week for 30 to 60 minutes, and at least one day of high intensity interval training. 

My wife and I remind each other to keep fit by… joking that we never know when we might bump into fans in the street, and we’d better stay in good shape so that they won’t be disappointed when they see us. 

As a fitness influencer… it means a lot to me that I can share my story to help others with their weight loss struggles. Many people are afraid to take the first step in their journeys as they set imaginary limits for themselves. But I want to empower others to push past their boundaries – if I could do it, anyone can too. 

More: weight loss