Thursday, 29 September 2011

Portion control for common Malaysian food and tricks to control portion during festive seasons.

It's pretty easy to overeat in Malaysia where you are often served much more than what you suppose to. Malaysian also are generally generous people.Try to go to any open house and people will comment "Why you eat so little, go go take some more" and you still have 5 more houses to go!. So typically its pretty easy to eat over 2500 calories for every Open house trip a day, thus the reason why people tend to gain at least 1kg on every festivities, like Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Gawai, so that's 4 kg at least, for Swakian. Here are tricks I use every time I go to open house :

1. Have bee hun in your plate. Bee hun contain least amount of calories for main dish compared to rice, noodle or other main dish. While make your plate look filled up.

2. Have lots of fruits and salad if available, skip the dressings or have minimum amount.

3. Try getting as lean meat as possible, rendang is great source of lean meat but minimize the gravy. Sate is great too but skip those juicy skin. I'll go for breast meat and

4. If possible go for plain water instead of carbonated drinks, alternatively fruit juice is OK too. For cordial drinks, if it is too sweet, add up mineral water.

5. Have high fiber, low cal crackers for your "Dinner" or "Lunch" if you go for open house at odd hours.. e.g 3pm.. too late for lunch, too early for Dinner. This prevent gastritis if you are a person like me who must eat something at a set time.

Well, even after extensive measure as above, its quite difficult to go down at least 1500 kcal per open house trip. So maybe burn it off the next day by going hiking, gym etc.

Picture source :

Anyway back to portion control. There are various food pyramid, for example the ones by USDA, Malaysian Health ministry etc. For me pesonally here is how I divide my portion for weight loss:

Grains, cereal group (e.g rice, pasta etc) = 4 servings a day

Fruit & vegetable = 5 servings a day

Meat = 2 servings a day

Nuts = 1 servings a day

Oil = max 4 teaspoon.

Milk = 2 servings per day

Take note that I reduce the intake of grains and meat which is the main contributor of calories and mantaining the recommended amount for others.

Following these guideline, I manage to bring down calories intake by 20% a day while still mantaining other nutritions such as Vitamins and Minerals ( I always achieve 100% or more RDI of Vitamins according to MyfitnessPal). By cutting down only 20% of calories, I still feel energetic and full and although at times, usually close to a meal I feel slightly hungry but it is not starving (where your hands shiver and you feel extremely weak). People tend to overeat when they starve but this way I find its easier not to overeat.


I realise in Malaysia a "normal" portion of rice per serving per meal is about 1.5 . That's about 150 kcal extra, or 450 kcal extra per 3 meal, equivalent an extra meal per day! .

A portion is actually 1 bowl of unheaped rice, or perhaps slightly bigger than an average Malaysian male fist. So it looked something like this:



Meat :

1 serving of meat (beef,chicken breast etc, including salmon block) is equivalent to 1 deck of card, which is slightly larger than a palm without fingers

Vegetable :

1 serving of vegetable look like this:

Fruit :

1 serving of fruit will be the size of your fist.

or 1 handful of smaller fruits like this:

Nuts :

Hands is also great to measure nuts serving:

I wish there were picture's of serving size for common Malaysian food such as noodles, rice noodle etc .. But I think I will update this entry in the future with my own picture.

Of course all these counting calories are just estimations and it wont be correct to the last digit, I doubt that it is correct to 2 digits too, that's why the reason why I give myself 100kcal or 10% margin of error. Eg if my Polar watch says I workout 1000kcal, I record it as 900 kcal. And if my estimated calories taken that day is 1500 I will record it as 1600. It wont be pinpoint accurate, but if you follow the rough guideline above, it should be fine and there is no need to be so obsessed with fine accurancy.

Great blog with picture of portion/ source of most of the picture above:

Friday, 23 September 2011

Undilah video - Ban directive by MCMC

Watch this video, I'm putting my shoe's on a holiest, most righteous person on earth and I can't still think of 1 good reason why MCMC ban these video from air.

The only reason I could think of is:

1. Because this video feature Nurul Izzah from opposition.
2. Because this video was produced by Namewee.
3. Tengku Razaleigh says that this country "have a lot of problem" . Oh yeah Malaysia is great.. we don't have any problem at all yeah.

Day by day Malaysia became more and more of North Korea, where Kim Jong Ill try to portray the country as prosperous and wealthy compared to those capitalist scum country.

I think regardless of the party politics, the best person should the leader. Be it Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat. The "problem" is caused by incompetent leader being voted, probably because lack of voters, and this could be true even in Pakatan strong states like Selangor, who know Barisan didn't win because their supporters did not vote. Or are MCMC (under directive of BN of course) implying that only Pakatan supporter didn't vote in BN areas....hmmmm...

Sneaking your way to burn calories

No time to exercise? I understand as most Malaysian work in a "Chinaman" company, with long working hours and 6 working days. By the time we reach home Malaysian will only have time to sleep or if they are lucky to have dinner. If that's the case then try to sneak in exercise here and there. Here how:

1. Do a tabatha interval after you wake up of bed, which including warm up should be no more than 6 minutes a day.

2. A climb of 5 stories of stair burn off 30 - 50kcal, not much but if you accumulate it it will seriously build up.

3. Don't put water container on your desk, instead walk over to your pantry to refill your drinks.

4. Walk while you speak on the phone.

5. Have lunch somewhere further.

6. Park your car a bit further.

7. If possible use public transportation, I've used trains for sometime and man its a good workout. Walking up the stairs, chasing after the train, walking to bus stop etc.

8. Use toilet in another floor.

9. Try to stand as much as you can, talk with your colleague standing up, if you can do a job standing up, do it. Standing up will burn 50 more calories per hour than sitting down. So if you stand up for 3 hours, thats 150 calories more, in a 5 days week thats 750 kcal, equivalent to 40 minutes on treadmill.

10. Spend 10 minutes a day of strength training, to increase muscle mass, muscle burn more calories than fat and will contribute a lot in long run. Here is a trainer who have quite a lot of intense 10 minutes at home workout technique:

These will accumulatively burn at least 200 - 400 calories, doesn't sound much but will contribute to your daily calories deficit. You also spend only 16 minutes of actual workout.

Counting Calories

Losing weight is actually pretty simple. All you need to do is basic maths, + and - .

So all you need to do is find out you Base Metabolic Rate (BMR) and eat without exceeding the calories based on your BMR.

You find out your BMR using the tool here:

BMR is basically how much your body burn even if you don't do anything. It's the amount of calory needed mostly to mantain body temperature, digestion etc.

To loose weight, you need to either eat less than your BMR or exercise to create a deficit. The fastest way to loose weight is of course to do both. It is advisable to keep the calories intake at above 1200 though because lower than that, your body will be in starvation mode and it will be harder and will take longer to loose weight. Beside that it is also likely you will binge after suffering of starvation.

For myself my BMR is about 1800. To loose 1 pound per week (about 0.5 kg) I need to mantain 1650 kcal per day. I also have some time to exercise, losing average of 300 kcal per day so nett calories is 1350. So that mean a weight lost of about 0.7kg per week, which is pretty accurate so far based on my progress. To calculate how much deficit that you need to loose weight, you could use this tool:

What's on my mind on every meal, especially when eating out.

1. How much calories these food contain.
2. What does 1 portion of this food look like.
3. What is the nutrition value of this food.

London Weight Management advertisement that is degrading to women

Lets watch this advertisement:

The breakdown of this advertisement according to

Scene 1: a woman with a crying baby, looking over the edge of a building.

Impression: The trivialisation of post partum depression and suicide.

Scene 2: woman being thrown out of her firm, because she doesn’t portray the right image.

Impression: That workplace bullying is acceptable, as is the objectification of women in the workplace.

Scene 3: Woman on the scales, then proceeds to have a meltdown.

Impression: The immortalisation of women as screaming, helpless, unhappy out of control banshees – because they cannot manage their weight.

Scene 4: Woman’s husband comes home, ignores his wife, they argue, he then proceeds to violently shout at her.

Impression: That verbal abuse, violence in the home and spousal control is acceptable - if you are overweight.

Scene 5: Woman faints. Lies alone in hospital.

Impression: Your entire life will decline, you will bear the brunt of no income, no love, no family support, and illness – if you are overweight.

Scene 6: Woman has an a-ha moment. The answer to your problems? A weight loss company called London Weight Management.

Impression: London Weight Management has the ability to change your life. If you lose weight that is.

Scene 7: 20 kgs or so less, the woman is happier, dresses sexier, can’t stop looking at herself in the mirror. And, she has a better relationship with her husband. Look, even her baby is happier.

I believe that this advertisement is degrading to woman too, especially those who are plus size.

I heard it a thousand time, people who spent thousands of ringgit on these slimming centre's and getting no result at all, London Weight Management is no different than the others as I have some friends who went there too without any result after spending at least RM5000.

Even if a person managed to lose weight by going to these centre's I really doubt that they will be able to mantain that weight for a long time. The person who went to these centre didn't learn (or learn but never practiced) to lose weight by doing proper diet and exercise so most probably they won't know stuff like portion control, nutrition and how much exercise to burn of X amount of calories.

This is true especially in Malaysia where there are variety of food and most of them are fried or have a lot of coconut milk. Before I went for my weight lost journey, I estimate that I consume average of 3000 kcal per day, and that's on normal day. On those day where we eat out or there is an occasion, like birthday and what not. I might have gobbled like 5000 kcal. Most of it empty calories and from saturated fat. I'm an average sized Malaysian with a height of 169cm, so my basic metabolic rate is around 1800 kcal, so those extra kcal accumulate over the years around my tummy.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Viewing desktop version facebook on Android. Using Dolphin

Dolphin is a great browser alternative for Android which support multitouch and gesture. Currently its my Android browser which I mainly used if I want to view a website in desktop version, and it support Facebook on desktop version too.

Yeah we have dedicated facebook apps for Android, which is quite adequate and fast. However there are times when you want to view it using Desktop view, maybe when something is missing in the app view or there are lightweight facebook apps that you want to use. However if you are hoping to play games you are out of luck, it is either real slow on loading, lag till its unplayable, or it just force close. I'm using Galaxy Tab P1000 so maybe you have better luck if you use a more powerful Tegra based tablet or better.

Here is how Desktop version of facebook on Android looks like, the discolouration is caused by the screenshot taking apps btw on device the color is fine:

You can download Dolphin on Android market or from this link:

To view facebook or any site on its Desktop version, go to More->Settings->Dolphin Settings->User Agent->Set it to Desktop

There are other view settings as well such as iPad, iPhone and a custom view. I barely used iPad and iPhone before so I'm not sure how does it look like from those devices.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Asian BMI

I believe most of you know BMI, which is a rough scale to indicate health level of a person and risk level of a person against diseases related to cardiovascular and other weight related disease. The formula to calculate BMI is :

BMI = mass (kg) /height(m2)

If you Google most of BMI scale look like this:

Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

However the scale above is actually for Americans who is generally much taller and has larger body frame.

Asian who is generally shorter and with smaller body frame actual BMI is like this:

Singapore BMI :

Category BMI range – kg/m2
Emaciation 14.9 or less
Underweight from 15 to 18.4
Normal from 18.5 to 22.9
Overweight from 23 to 27.5
Obese from 27.6 to 40
Morbidly Obese greater than 40

Japan and Hong Kong :

Category BMI range – kg/m2
Normal from 18.5 to 22.9
Overweight from 23.0 to 24.9
Obese 25.0 and above

The main reason of why I'm aiming for a low BMI is to reduce the risk factor of my self from getting cardiovascular disease. So below are an important scale for me. It shows Risk factor of getting cardiovascular disease according to BMI for asian :

BMI (kg/m2) for Adults

Health Risk 27.5 and above

High Risk 23 – 27.4

Moderate Risk 18.5 – 22.9

Low Risk (healthy range) Below 18.5 (Risk of nutritional deficiency diseases and osteoporosis)

It is important to note that BMI is a rough reference of your well being and health risk factor. A more accurate indication would be body fat percentage and HDL,LDL level. I myself feel quite healthy and fit now at BMI 28 and currently aiming for BMI 22 , however I will go for body fat percentage and other health check at BMI 25 to determine whether I need to go lower than 25. I was BMI22 years ago and my mum and some friends told me that I look rather skinny . So really BMI is just a rough figure, so my strategy was to set a BMI to aim for, then go for a detailed test once you reach there.


Love your life.

One of my favourite song by Silverchair.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

I was moved today by this video from Youtube regarding Emmanuel Kelly, an X-Factor participant who was born in Iraq and adopted by an Australian mother.

Honestly there are better contestant in term of vocal, but that doesn't matter, when he sings you could almost felt the song and he really sings from his heart. The song "Imagine" become more meaningful when he sing it.

Imagine by John Lennon:

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as on.

I'm a dreamer too just as you are John Lennon and Emmanuel Kelly.

Myfitnesspal (Mobile Application)

Myfitnesspal is a community powered application for Android, IPhone, Blackberry and most recenty Windows phone. It is mainly used as a diary for your food intake, exercise and it also provide recommendation of calories intake if you want to lose or gain weight. The application is linked to their website where you could participate in forums and the account in the website and mobile apps is linked so you could also record your progress, food intake and exercise from the website.

I believe the strongest feature on this phone would be its community.The community forum is very active and contribution to the food database is wide  . You could try searching "Hokkien Mee", "Char Kueh Tiaw" and it will come up with detailed description. Here I searched for "Mooncake" and these are the result:

Usually for most application, it will hard to find Asian food so you will have to Google it to figure out the nutrition value of the food and key it in manually.

All of the nutrition taken for that day will be added up and summarised here: It will show percentage of US RDI that you have taken for that day:

Add in your food intake after each meal and snack, and add in your exercise of the day:

 My progress graph (currently I'm 79, down from 85.5 when I just start):

Moar graphs.. man I'm proud of my weight loss so far lol (nett calorie is how much calories you accumulate after minus exercise done for the day.):


 You could also link Myfitnesspal on facebook so that you could show (brag) to your friends your workout and weight lost so far

You could set your profile and it will show you your calories goal if you want to lose X amount of weight per week:


Pro : Strong community support, Large food database, Ease of use,Loads of feature, great to use to motivate you.

Con : Apps has some trouble connecting to Internet sometimes (maybe its my phone issue though), would be good if nutrition value is more complete to add in other essential minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus. The food database is sometime missing complete nutrition value too, but I guess this would be improved by the community in time.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

About myself

Currently I view my life as quite a blessed one, I have a good (and rather hot,beautiful) wife, a good job and a cat.. no kids so far lol. I'm thankful to God for this beautiful life and making it easy for me to view life in a more positive side.

I view myself as from Kuching, Sarawak, although I grew in Miri and currently most probably I will live in Kajang for about a decade. But I believe I will retire with a nice bungalow, and probably a swimming pool with it in Serian which is near to Kuching, thus why I call myself a Kuchingian.

I'm half Bidayuh and half Iban. Although I speak Iban and basically incapable to speak Bidayuh, I view myself as Bidayuh, probably because of the reason above, and also I'm quite close with Bidayuh side of the family.

Currently I work in F-Secure, an Antivirus company as a Server Engineer. Been working here for 3 years if including when I'm still working for Technical Support. It's quite a great place to work and the best workplace I have so far. The managers are attentive to your needs beside being supportive, and I believe the upper management do too. We also have a bunch of crazy colleagues too that make work not too boring.

My philosophy on life is everything need moderation, be moderate on what you eat, be moderate on your views, be moderate in your spending, but at the same time know how to enjoy the fruit of your labour, be adaptable.

I also believe to be happy in life you must have goals and plans. This is what keep you going and motivated. For myself my long term goal is to retire by 55, while not worrying about financial. Career goal is +exp and +skill for Linux server administration and probably a niche IT skill which I haven't discover yet. I would also love to add Mandarin as my spoken language and hopefully be able to make use of my electric guitar. Short term goals and project for now is to reduce my weight to 65kg to attain a healthy BMI of 22. And yeah I'm going to talk more about that later.

Hello world

What the hell am I doing here? To make money? well hopefully if I am lucky enough to have a breakthrough article that create gazillion of page views. Actually I have no idea of how to blog and how to make money out of it. However I guess the real reason I blog was because I want to have a record of what's going on in my life and sometime I have a lot in mind which I would like to share but never have chance to.

Currently I'm pretty obssesed with health, weight loss and nutrition so I might blog a lot about that. I'm also working in IT field so I might write a thing or two about that too. I'm trying to avoid talking about politics but there are things going on that make me really pissed and itch to write something about it. I also love to talk about financials and how do I plan my finance. I'm also gonna talk about trivia. Well my mind is full of useless junk, and I love to tell those to my wife, where she will give me a bored impression most of the time.

 Let me be the first one who say...