How are you Jun-te on

April 2024.

A monthly newsletter of insights, hacks, and automation tools to help you balance your emotional and logical needs.
Audio Clip read by me =>
Season of No
Last month, I made a BOLD statement that I will be going on a season of no once I come back from holiday. What I didn't realise was that the 'no' was to MealCraft.

Two weeks of holiday, one week of jet lag and one week of unexpected family visit later I have gained clarity.

It is nothing new, our old friend Naval said it before. In my rush to do MealCraft, Life ( or Naval ) told me whats more important than work. Love.

"Health, Love, and your Mission, in that order. Nothing else matters." - Naval Ravikant
This year, I was able to show the fruits of my labour to the people that care about me.

I thought this month, it'll be fun to digest all the hacks, tricks and tips I have for exercise and diet that has worked for me.

I hope some of it is useful for you, I know for future me it'll be useful.
Plus alpha of exercise
One of the most loving discoveries I found when working on myself through exercise and diet was the improvement of my relationships.

The people that root for you and truly love you want nothing but the best for you.

  • My financee who never wanted to be proactive with exercise hired a personal trainer to start exercising after watching me move for 9 months.
  • My father who struggled with exercise called me up to tell me he did his daily push ups.
  • My mother who came to visit me in the UK always starts off our calls with, "Did you do your cold plunge today?"
  • My twin brother has set up a weekly call to ensure our weight and blood pressure are going in the right direction even when life gets busy.
Everyone respects doing something that is hard.

If someone told me a year ago that by exercising it will be easier to make friends. I would have done it sooner.

  • People compliment your physique and ask you about your workout
  • Mutual respect to people that can do pull ups and dips knowing its hard.
  • People want to work out with you more
Your loved ones are always watching. They saw what you were and see where you are now. They can see a glow from this transition. That glow is what makes them move and keeps the move cycle going.
If you can make this circle, then I believe exercise becomes easier. This is because you can have more than one person motivating you to workout which then becomes part of your identity.

The identity of a a person who loves calisthenics and workouts lazily at home currently serves me very well.

But how do we start the circle when you don't have the accountability and network in the first place?
I am in the paradigm that if anything is urgent/important in someone life it will get done.

Thus, for people that don't exercise/diet. It isn't urgent and or important to them.

The game is to make anything important in my life, urgent. How do we make it urgent?

I'm talking as a historically 30% body fat obese individual who didn't have ques or signs to tell me I'm full. What are the signs that skinny people use and fatter people don't?

One of the best signs that has happened in my life is the gout pain. Yes, PAIN sucks but at least due to that PAIN it allowed me to change my direction.

Another sign I use now is from my my fiancée. She kindly reminds me of my belly status by saying, "Belly gone" and/or "Belly back". These cues help me understand which direction I am going for that day based on how much I eat. Hopefully one day it'll be "six-pack gone" or "six-pack back." 👀

Skinny people is defined by anyone who has a less body fat percentage than me. (less than 25% body fat) [The signals and cues I try to use now]

Fatter people are defined by anyone who has more more/same body fat than me. (more than 25% body fat) [The signal and cues I used to use before]

What cue's do skinny people have that I don't? In reverse what cues do I have that makes eating so fun and rewarding?
Skinny Me vs Fatter Me.

The cues and signal to trigger action.
Dental Hygiene: This was a discovery I made with my cousin when he came over to the UK for a week. He proceeded to brush and floss for every food he ate half an hour after he has eaten something. Now some of you may be asking so if he eats a snickers bar, does he brush and floss 30 minutes afterwards? The answer to that is YES!

The important takeaway from this was that he would ask himself, "Am I willing to brush and floss AFTER this treat". To me, this was wild. Having a treat, wasn't expensive for me AT ALL but to my cousin he was wondering if the reward was good enough for him to maintain his dental hygiene. Sometimes, he would leave the treat for when he has to brush his teeth before bed and then simply forget about the treat. CRAZY.

Belly Pains: A surprising amount of skinny people from my observations suffered from belly pains and or digestive issue downstairs within a very short amount of time. If I overeat, I wouldn't need to go to the bathroom until at least an hour or two. However, for a lot of skinny people, the act of overeating creates a huge amount of discomfort within 20 to 40 minutes. This causes them to be very picky about what food they want to eat.
( What restaurants they want to go to and a preference to eat at home due to the fact they can control the variables ). Obviously I can't mimic this pain however I try to remember when I have overeat with pizza and hot sauce. My belly, doesn't like it at all. I try to be very present when I have belly pain to try and encourage the negative association of overeating and this helps me not order a pizza for next time. I also do the opposite, when I stick to my diet the belly pain is invisible. I try to remember that by eating good I am also not in pain.

Fruits + Vegetables + Water: When eating out, skinnier people tend to go for the fruit, vegetables and water first. In fact, they crave it. Fatter individuals tend to go for the main dish that they order. Surprisingly to me, I found I crave fruits and vegetables too but only AFTER finishing the main dish. The simple act of eating it BEFORE makes a huge difference in how full my stomach feels.

With water, I try to drink before, during and after every bite to encourage the volume I am taking. The best drink for me however is a protein shakes. I found this lower my desire for food. In fact I now believe every time I feel ravenously hungry and want more, my body is actually demanding protein. Due to the low protein content of my food I end up overeating to get the protein my body desires. Thus, by using protein shakes instead of water my cravings has dramatically reduced. I have actioned this by always having protein shakes and protein bars at home. Something my immediate network appreciates as they always ask for protein shakes when they are at my place🤣.

Slow eating/tasting each bite: In general, skinner people eat slower per bite than fatter people. I've been told many times I swallow my food. What has worked for me is not to eat slower but instead make a routine.

I'll proceed to eat a bite and place my utensils firmly down on the table and observe the people around me.

By observing people around me, I fill up any water glasses that needed topping up, talk to the people around me and take a sip of water as well.

By doing this, I end up eating a lot less food especially if the dish is a sharing dish like Korean BBQ or Pizza.

However, by eating less I felt sad that I missed out. I then used this trigger to remind me that feeling hungry is now a rarity and a good thing in the world of food abundance.

In fact, the remarks after food are the belly pains that people feel after eating. Which then reminds me to be grateful that I'm not in pain.

Have to finish: A lot of us in the bigger side was told the important of food wastage. Food wastage is a BIG problem in itself and lots of resources have been used to create food. However let's compare it to skinner person and a fatter person. Fatter people have a huge urgency and importance that as long as they eat the food, it is not a waste. Where as skinner people have a higher tolerance to wasting food. They do feel bad but they also have the pain from overeating. Thus, in their trade off the tendency to waste food is better than the pain they will feel from overeating. For fatter individuals, I welcome you to wasting food.

I have bought many packets of crisps and doughnuts only for it to go straight to the bin. I agree that its a waste but my pain of not reaching my goals is greater.

This in turn has helped me source ingredients that don't go bad often and be cooked faster than if I get it from McDonalds.
Ground yourself in realtiy
Cues and signal too hard to implement?

Ground yourself in reality instead by measuring

1) How many of you can tell me your weight?

2) How many of can tell me your waist size?

3) How many of you can tell me your blood pressure?

These are the easiest measurements you can do at home. ( GP and your local pharmacy will happily do it too ).

The number does not matter daily. The trend within different time scales does.

What I loved about measuring each arm, chest, neck, waist with a tape measure EVERY DAY was that it was meditative. It made me focus on my body which was the output. The only way to change my output was to change my input ( move more and eat less ).

This meditative exercise where I grounded myself in reality helped me to be proactive to do bigger tasks such as exercise and eat better.

Going up in a scale is easy, doing 10 pull ups is hard.

However, after going up on the scale, I want to do the 10 pulls up regardless of the number.

If weight went up -> Must be muscle, so I'm stronger. Consistency is everything, keep going.

If weight went down -> it's working, keep going.

It weight stayed the same -> Thank god I exercised, otherwise it would have went up, keep going...

After exercise, why would anyone waste their efforts with bad food?

In fact, after exercise and measurements its emotionally difficult to justify takeaway and "delicious" food. As its seems very wasteful. Especially as I know I'm measuring myself the next day.

One caveat is that the reverse is true. If I don't measure, I don't exercise which means that the negative association for diet disappears which then means I eat more take away.

Which direction do you want to go?

Brb... I'm gonna go up on the scales.
The real reason Jun-te is disciplined with his calender.
When I don't plan my day, my monkey-brain takes over.

By being bored, I eat. By having uncertainty, I eat. If I am stressed, I eat.

The act of planning, makes me certain; not bored with intentional activities and less stressed. Thus, I do not eat.

In fact, early version of my calender forgot to eat. Which caused huge amount of eating binges in the evening.

Thus, I implemented systems in my calender to encourage healthier eating habits.

For me, it is summed up to, high protein, hydration, and having something to do.

I schedule in when I'm having my protein shakes and do my best to plan my meals.

After that, I might as well add in when I'm going to exercise. Then suddenly, there is unspent time with nothing to do. If I do nothing, my monkey brain says to eat.

Thus, lets figure out something to do.

If I fill my time with TV, Anime and Youtube. The urge to eat increases.

If I fill my time with, clients, gaming, creating YouTube videos, newsletter, reading and coding. My urge to drink water increases but the urge to eat decreases.

Thus, if I then fill the rest of my time with activities that decreases my appetite but increases my hydration ( due to talking ) I will more likely succeed in eating less.

There is also another argument here that time management can help you reach a lot more goals than just weight management. But I'll leave that exercise for the reader.

Hint: The beauty of a calender is that it makes anything urgent in your life. The exercise now is to choose what is urgent for you.
Use Money
If nothing above worked for you, money is your next best accountability partner.

With money, you can decrease the information gap via a personal trainer.

With money, you can buy equipment to increase the urgency by taking up space in your house.

With money, you can buy clothes that only fit if your skinner.

I would highly recommend a gym membership that is taken weekly instead of monthly. ( Most gyms are set up by direct debit, make a new card that only your gym membership goes out of. Then set up a weekly payment from your main account to your gym account ). Maybe it is set up monthly so the gym owner hopes you forget 👀.

Today I use money, to aggressively buy protein snacks, shakes and supplements that come monthly. Literally I do nothing and "good stuff" come to my door from a monthly membership. Then my "job" is to eat all the good stuff before the next batch.

Again, a hidden benefit is that I buy enough "good stuff" to not just me but the people around me. This sharing again creates momentum in relationships.

How working on health creates better relationships.
Foods I try to keep in my house at all time to lower appetite and long shelf life.
FAGE Total 0% Greek Yogurt + Squash Flavouring: Get lowest calorie and lowest sugar as you can and mix your favourite low calories squash flavour. Mine is passion fruit and mango. I use the 'on the go' squash packets to not change the texture of the yogurt too much. It is instant protein and I have plans to make ice lollies with this to mimic ice cream. Sorry if your lactose intolerance.

Nicotine Gum: 2mg gum that I chew to increase focus and lower appetite. The trade off that I can see from my research is that there is a risk in addiction and higher blood pressure. The addiction "from my research" seems to be linked closely with tobacco and not the substance itself and I measure my blood pressure weekly. The reason my blood pressure is high is due to overweight and not the nicotine. Thus, since nicotine helps with appetite suppression I use it as a tool. In fact, introducing nicotine to my life has decreased my blood pressure overall as I eat less.

Energy Drinks: Motivation in a can. Ensure its the zero sugar variant. I use it before my workout or work session and limit it to one per day. and before 3pm. Taste amazing, its less than 1 pound per can and my belief is that it helps me start difficult tasks for free.

Frozen Beef Patties: I can buy quarter pounders from McDonalds however I have frozen patties as its cheaper and more convenient with an air fryer. It's a delicious source of protein than just beef mince and goes delicious with hot sauce and low sugar ketchup.

Frozen Steak: I freeze meat in general. If I want to cook any protein the next day, I thaw it out by putting it in the fridge the day before. Downside is I have to be proactive in taking the protein out the day before. The good thing is that the meat hardly ever goes bad. If I forget, I take protein out for next day and go to Mcdonlads and get my McPound.

Clear Whey Protein Powder: Protein Juice that can be included in my meals. If I'm honest, I use this more in days I go out for take away/restaurants to ensure I don't overeat and never to hit my protein. Due to my yogurt and beef patties my daily goal of hitting 150~200 grams is very easy.

Protein Bars: If I'm going to snack, I'm going to buy a protein bar. Best decreasing appetiser

Shin Ramen: Controversial but this 1 pound per ramen is a game changer. Any bad food I want to eat or snack I want to eat has to be better than ramen. In taste, price, speed and calories. Every time someone sways me with bad food. I simple say, "I rather have ramen".

Propercorn Sweet & Salty: The popcorn to hit my fibre goal and when I want a snack. Very low calorie and high volume. My only caveat is that I have to go to Sainsbury to get it. If its in the house - ALL WILL BE EATAN.

Mcdonlads Lunch Menu, McPound: Order 2 double quarter pounder burgers. Remove one set of buns and make one big burger. It will have a pound of meat but you get a burger. If your ordering as a meal, get fruit bag instead of chips and add a zero sugar drink. This gets you 1207 calories and 99 grams of protein.

Mcdonlads Breakfast Menu, Double Bacon + Egg Muffin: Ask for an extra egg and extra bacon. This gets you about 515 calories with 36 grams of protein.
Quit your job and work at Mcdonlads👀
Not everyone has the luxury to do this but it is a tool to help you reach your goals.

Hopefully it's self-explanatory but essentially try to move more. Heck if I was in my old job again. I would most likely BUY the office pull up bar. It will help me counteract sitting all day and I can get some reps in.

I'm losing weight currently with my 2800 calories and 150/200 grams of protein if I stick to it.

For anyone that has ever been on a cut and 181cm in height. You guys know that I'm on a luxury amount of calories at the moment. This can only be replicated with high daily activity.

My twin brother is a similar build and weight but due to his office job he has been on a 2200 calories to try and cut. Recently, he has reduced his calories to 1800kcal due to the fact that he wasn't getting the results he desired.

What food could you eat, if you could eat an extra 1000 calories a day? That's 30,000 extra calories per month.

I'm a firm believer that you can do both. Provided you ground yourself in reality and manage your TME balance. However, measuring and manage your TME is not the norm. Thus, an investment in your health compared to your job can be done if you don't have responsibilities.

If you do have responsibilities, grounding yourself in reality is even more important. As for when your sick, you will not be able to grow.

Improved health => Improved Network => Profit???

Profit -> Your network is your net worth? 👀


Which method is the best?


This is my unique solution.

I look forward to seeing YOUR unique solution.

Good luck and always have fun,

Jun-te Kim
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