Motivated by how fitness changed his life, Lee Yi Hugh now wants to encourage others to do the same. By Dawn Chen
Photo: Lee Yi Hugh
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, Yi Hugh used to work out vigorously and actively train 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 Yi Hugh 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 792,000 fans that he regularly encourages to keep fit. He also documented his weight loss tips and fitness advice in a mandarin book Get Leaner With Hugh ($25.98, singapore.kinokuniya.com), which is a bestseller in Taiwan. Here’s how he did it.
My weight-loss journey started when… I challenged myself to get in shape to impress a girl (now my wife!) that I liked. I told her of 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 out with me immediately after – it took another year of pursuing her even after I 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.
Photo: Lee Yi Hugh
On cheat days, I indulge in… fried or barbequed 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 exercises twice a week for 30 to 60 minutes, and at least one day of high intensity interval training (HIIT).
My wife and I remind each other to keep fit by… joking that we never know when we might bump into fans on 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 in 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.