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Counting Calories – Losing Weight Efficiently, Singaporean Style

Counting Calories – Losing Weight Efficiently, Singaporean Style

Want to gain weight? Eat more calories than you expend. Want to lose weight? Eat less calories than you expend.

It’s that simple.

Nowadays, there is just too much nonsense in the fitness and even food industry, Weight loss gurus tout that certain foods are “Good” or “Clean” and help you lose weight while they vilify some as “Bad” and “Dirty” Foods.


Eat Clean, Eat Soap
Eat Clean, Eat Soap

First, there was the low-fat era that told you eating fat would make you fat, then you had the Atkins Diet that told you carbs made you fat, Now, you have those “Gluten-Free, Paleo hippies that tell you grains (that the world’s leanest and healthiest population, the Japanese have been eating for centuries) makes you unhealthy and fat. Often times, we are so gullible and fall into these ridiculous marketing traps, seeking the latest fad to keep of the fat, thinking that we are going to be beach ready just by cutting out rice, or drinking some strange green juice.

Here’s the fact. Countless of studies have shown that no matter what you eat, if you eat less than you burn, you lose weight….PERIOD.

Enter Calorie Counting

A calorie (also known as a kilocalorie or large calorie) is the amount of energy required to heat up one kilogram of water one degree Celsius.

Calories are the unit of measurement of energy, so as long as you are in a energy deficit, you will use body fat stores for energy, hence losing weight.

To lose weight, the first thing you need to know is roughly how much calories you burn on a daily basis. You can use the link below to get a good estimate.

Which one is going to keep you full?

Since a pound or around half a kilogram of body fat is worth around 3500kcal, subtract 500kcal from your Total Daily Expenditure to achieve about half a kilo of weight loss per week.

Healthy, but high in calories

With regards to my point above, I am not suggesting that people not eat “healthy” but eating “healthy” doesn’t guarantee weight loss. For instance, Olive Oil is great for your heart, but a single tablespoon has about 13g of fat which is around 117 kcal, whereas a Ferrero Rocher is only around 50 kcal. But for most instances, healthier foods tend to be lower in calories.

Top 10 Singaporean Foods for Weight Loss

  1. Turkey Breast Salad (Subway) – 138kcal
  2. Chicken Porridge – 181 kcal
  3. Fish Porridge – 211 kcal
  4. Prawn Noodle Soup – 294 kcal
  5. Yong Tau Foo with Mixed Items (noodles not included) – 297 kcal
  6. Beef Noodle Soup – 299 kcal
  7. Sandwich (e.g. Subway Club with honey mustard sauce from Subway) – 328 kcal
  8. Chicken and mushroom noodle soup – 346 kcal
  9. Fish Slice Beehoon soup – 349 kcal
  10. Beehoon soto – 359 kcal

If you noticed, most of the above are soup-based which tend to promote better satiety, helping you feel fuller with less calories.

Worst 5 Local Delights for Weight Watchers

  1. Char Kway Teow -744kcal (about 2x as bad as a Double Cheese Burger)
  2. Mee Siam – 694 kcal
  3. Nasi Lemak – 657 kcal
  4. Chicken Rice – 607 kcal (Opt for white rice to reduce calories and fat)
  5. Laksa Lemak – 591 kcal

More information on local food nutrition can be found on

So by now, you should have realised that losing weight isn’t just about eating healthy, although you should always try to do so!

If you are worried that there is just too much math to do to slim down, just grab a Striiv or LifeTrak device. The in-built software not only helps estimate the number of calories you burn but also has a food tracking function that tabulates your total daily energy intake! Jawbone even gives you a score of how “Healthy” your food choices were in the day.


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