“I need to start running to lose the weight that I have gained during exchange”

Written By
Name: Nicholas Low
Course: Business Administration
Home University: Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
      I’m sure many of us have heard this from students who returned from their exchange. I was obese for nearly 20 years and I was afraid of putting back the weight that I have lost over the past 3 years. Allow me to introduce myself before we dive into the [weight loss topic].

My name is Nicholas and I am currently studying Business in [Nanyang Technology University]. I went for my exchange during my academic year 2 SEM 2 to Berlin, Germany and stayed with  5 awesome people from Nanyang Business School.. I have been in the TAF club since primary 1 and my weight was at its peak during junior college (~103kg!!!) . Luckily, army changed my life as I started to embark on a healthier lifestyle and managed to lose around 50kg to my current weight of 56kg.

An old photo of me

Before you guys start to worry about the weight you might gain from exchange, I am here to share some tips on how you can keep your weight in check while enjoying all the good food!

1) WALK,walk and walk

This means that you’ll be burning away calories while you travel around to see the world!  I am quite fond of scenery so most of our itineraries included some form of hiking.

5 hours walk from Fira to Oia in Santorini

Hiking up a mountain at Innsbruck

Got conned by Eugene to do a 18km trek through Berlin forest but I enjoyed it nonetheless =)

2) SHARE FOOD

The food portion in Europe are huge compared to Singapore, so we would order 1 main dish to share between 2 people. Not only does it limit the portion we consume, it allows our stomach to have more room to try out other food.

One of the best Paella that I have eaten in Valencia. This was supposed to be a serving for 4 people and we shared it among 6 people.

3) GYM with discipline!

Good news for all the gym-goers, the gyms in Europe are much cheaper compared to Singapore. I signed up for a gym called McFit which opens 24hrs and costs ~19 euros per month. Since my classes are usually in the afternoon and shops only open after 11am, I will hit the gym in the morning without the need to compromise any activity planned for the day. Most importantly, DRAG your friends along! Lucky for me, the 2 guys I was staying with signed up for the gym together with me. Trust me, you will feel more motivated when you are working out with friends.

Working out after our lessons

4. Cook your own meals

Cook your own dishes and while you are doing, you can search up healthier recipes online and even save money! Often there are misconceptions that healthier food taste bad or they are expensive to prepare but these are definitely not true.

Photo of a random meal in our apartment

Lastly, have fun during exchange and these are just some very general tips to help you keep your weight in check during your exchange, most importantly is to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.

A special shout out to the awesome people who had been travelling with for the past 5 months! Much love to the people who are always judging me =)

First day of school. A picture that sums up our relationship, all 5 of them who are always judging me.

That’s all from me and I hope that my experiences benefits you.

Meanwhile, do check out exchangebuddy online app!

 

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