Sumptuous celebratory meals during Chinese New Year are putting on some extra weight on your body. It may seem insignificant but add on to what you’ve accumulated from Christmas, it could mean more than just a pound or two.

We know losing that holiday padding can be challenging but it’s not impossible. Before we tell you how to get back in shape, you should understand the importance of doing so and how an overweight issue can affect your health insurance – especially if you have not applied for any yet.

Obesity Costs

When was the last time you weighed yourself or checked your BMI? A friend once said as long as he doesn't know his own weight, he should be fine (and feel better). That's not right and it’s not ok. Obesity happens when it’s left unchecked. There’s nothing great about being overweight because it can cost you. Firstly, you are more prone to cardiovascular diseases – which means more medical bills, your productivity level goes down – which affects your career, and last but not least, it robs you of an affordable health insurance. According to our findings with experienced health underwriters, here are three things you should take note on obesity and health insurance in Singapore:   

  • An obese person can apply for health insurance, however there will be a maximum BMI (ranges from 30-34) that an insurer can accept, provided there are no other conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol etc
  • The BMI range is an important gauge, if it was within the approved BMI range and without any other chronic diseases, insurers can still accept it as standard cases. Check out Singapore Health Promotion Board’s stated risks associated with the respective range of BMI.
  • An obese person can apply for health insurance under moratorium underwriting if they have not been underwritten within this category before. This is subject to terms and conditions of moratorium underwriting option. It is worth noting that currently, only Aviva provides both moratorium and full medical underwriting options in Singapore.

Get Back in Shape

Seemingly, if you were overweight, your health insurance can become costly or worse – your application may get rejected, leaving you at risk of incurring high medical costs if something went wrong with your health.

So how can you start getting back in shape? Do not let the noise outside drown your inner voice. It’s not about getting a six-pack abs, it’s never about getting to size zero –  it’s about one step at a time.

Not too long ago at 30 something, I weighed 90kgs and at my height of 178cm, that’s out of the healthy BMI range. I was suffering from ankle pains, huffing and panting when walking up the stairs, and I could not chase a bus that was just across the road. A friend, who’s also a personal trainer, passionately warned me of the medical costs I would incur from diseases resulting from obesity in future. I was convinced and together with his help, I embarked on a weight loss journey.

The Detox That Started the Engine

The first thing I did was to go through a detox program. You might ask if I simply fasted for days and drank only fruit juices? The answer is no. My detox was a 48-hour process that consisted of the following:

  • Green apple
  • Cucumber
  • Bitter gourd
  • Celery
  • Green pepper

It’s called the “five greens detox”. The amount of calorie for each green on this list was calculated based on my BMI at that point of time, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all formula. They were portioned out between breakfast, lunch and dinner for two days, chopped into chunks and I ate them raw. Your stomach needs fibre, the chunks of green take up space in the stomach, making you feel full – fruit juices cannot achieve this effect and you’ll be left feeling hungry and craving for more food.

As they say, you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet. Don’t be surprised that throughout your weight loss journey, your diet plays 70% of the role. Perhaps the term dieting is too serious, I prefer to simply call it healthy eating and a palate reset through a detox program, is a great start to eating healthily.

A detox program is not just about cleansing your internal digestive system, although that is part of the process but it can also recalibrate your palate. After 48 hours, my first plate of chicken rice did not taste like heaven. In fact, I was a little taken aback by how salty it tasted. I then realised my diet in the past consisted of too much sweet and salty food. This kick started a healthier eating habit for me.

Burp it up!


Of course, you simply cannot expect that by eating right, you would get rid of excess fats. Exercise is still a must and if there was one exercise routine I strongly recommend, it would be burpees.

This is an overall body workout that involves your arms and legs. Most importantly, it does not cost you any money or too much time. Our marketing manager Sue-ann, who exercises regularly couldn’t agree more: “Even though I have to wake up at least 1 hour earlier than usual in order to go to the gym, I find that a morning workout pumps more energy into my day. Pulse-raiser exercises like burpees are sometimes painful but really effective (especially if you’re short of time).”

Thinking of other cardio alternatives? Sue-ann recommends a whole archive of cardio workouts on the Spartan website and she’s making it her next challenge to complete as many as possible – and it’s free!

As for me, a regular cardio and weight training routine, coupled with a diet of mainly proteins and low carbs, have brought down my weight to 70kgs and placed me in the low risk category of the BMI range. That did not happen overnight, it took me exactly a year to shed 20kgs. There’s a quote by Martin Luther King Jr:  

Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Quote.jpgPic from:

The key is one step at a time.

If you haven’t got any health insurance, comprehensive health insurance is available at an affordable rate. It’s about time you consider giving yourself a greater peace of mind while you work and play in or outside of Singapore, check out GoBear’s health insurance comparison to find an affordable plan.