How CPT (NS) Melvin Tan beat diabetes

Actions
https://www.mindef.gov.sg/web/wcm/connect/pioneer/b21110af-3b9e-4faf-b818-c45700c9f8e3/06dec19pnr1-photo0.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-b21110af-3b9e-4faf-b818-c45700c9f8e3-mXquagF /web/wcm/connect/pioneer/b21110af-3b9e-4faf-b818-c45700c9f8e3/06dec19pnr1-photo0.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-b21110af-3b9e-4faf-b818-c45700c9f8e3-mXquagF /web/portal/pioneer/article/feature-article-detail/people/2019-Q4/06dec19_news1
06dec19_news1 /web/portal/pioneer/article/feature-article-detail/people/2019-Q4/06dec19_news1
06 Dec 2019 | PEOPLE

How CPT (NS) Melvin Tan beat diabetes

Diabetes is incurable but Captain (CPT) (NS) Melvin Tan managed to "reverse" his condition.

// Story Koh Eng Beng

// Photos Kenneth Lin

English 华文

Diagnosed with the condition when he was only 31 years old, CPT (NS) Tan knew he had a higher probability of dying much earlier than his peers. The disease can lead to heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.

But through a strict yet sustainable exercise and diet regime, he managed to put his condition in remission.

Today, the 40-year-old fund manager no longer needs insulin jabs or medication. Watch how he "reversed" his diabetes:

Forming healthy habits

For him, the key to beating diabetes is about adopting good habits and making them stick.

"There are various diet and exercise regimes out there. But they won't work if you don't make it a habit to exercise and eat healthy," said CPT (NS) Tan, a deputy operations officer in the Armour formation.

1-UP-B-caption

He added: "When I first started exercising, it felt really horrible and I dreaded doing it. To motivate myself, I rewarded myself with a serving of dark chocolate (which contains no sugar), or a glass of red wine, each time I completed the exercise."

Total body workout

1-UP-B-caption

Pull up (with 20 kg load)
8 sets of 5 reps

1-UP-B-caption

Push up (with 10 kg load)
8 sets of 20 reps

1-UP-B-caption

Archer squat (squats with one leg extended)
8 sets of 12 reps

1-UP-B-caption

L-sit (resting your body weight on your hands with legs held horizontally at a right-angle to your torso)
3 sets of 30 seconds

1-UP-B-caption

Bridge (lying on your back with arms by your side, then lifting your hips)
3 sets of 30 reps

"I started off doing just three sets of 10 push-ups or three pull-ups without any added weights. It's important to start slow, because if you can achieve it, you will be more motivated to continue exercising. It's all about forming sustainable habits."

1-UP-B-caption

CPT (NS) Tan keeps to a healthy but sustainable diet that allows him to indulge in (the very) occasional treats.

Simple diet rules

"I keep to a simple rule: avoid simple carbohydrates and sugar. This means no noodles or rice, and no drinks with sugar.

"But it's important to keep your diet sustainable. To satisfy my food cravings, I allow myself to have two tablespoons of nasi lemak or fried bee hoon each week. I also have an annual ‘carbo budget' of one or two seeds of durian. For mango, I allow myself to lick one seed once a year!"

Suggested Reading
Power up your home workout with 3SG (NS) Beltran Tang
Power up your home workout with 3SG (NS) Beltran Tang
PEOPLE
18-May-20

This powerlifter isn’t slowing down without the gym. Find out how he continues to maintain his bulk at home.

Practise home yoga with CPT (NS) Hafiz Feature
Practise home yoga with CPT (NS) Hafiz
PEOPLE
12-May-20

This Infantry officer takes his passion for sports to another level - meet CPT (NS) Mohammed Hafiz, who has a yoga room and a climbing room in his 4-room HDB.

Swim & dive with frogman 2WO Sia Yew Boon Feature
Swim & dive with frogman 2WO Sia Yew Boon
PEOPLE
03-Apr-20

Naval diver and SAFSA swimmer 2nd Warrant Officer (2WO) Sia Yew Boon is 45, but he shows no sign of slowing down.

Row your way to fitness with CPT Shawn Wong Feature
Row your way to fitness with CPT Shawn Wong
PEOPLE
27-Mar-20

He’s an avid lover of dragon boating and working out. Meet CPT Shawn Wong, who helps manage and coach the SAFSA dragon boat team.

This mum runs faster than you
This mum runs faster than you
PEOPLE
20-Mar-20

She's 41, has three kids, and runs faster than you. Meet SAFSA sprinter 3rd Warrant Officer (3WO) Winnie.

The first frogmen
The first frogmen
PEOPLE
09-Jan-20

These three elderly men have a combined age of more than 200 years. Looking at their weathered faces, you’d never think that they were once the underwater heroes of post-independence Singapore.

Scaling heights with Major S. Utama Feature
Scaling heights with Major S. Utama
PEOPLE
20-Dec-19

Champion rock climber Major (MAJ) S. Utama shows you how to conquer a climbing wall.

Learn Krav Maga with SAF commando Feature
Learn Krav Maga with SAF commando
PEOPLE
29-Nov-19

Commando 3WO (NS) Edwin Peng shows you how to defend against a knife threat using Krav Maga techniques.

Get tri-fit with 3WO Victor Er
Cover story
Get tri-fit with 3WO Victor Er
PEOPLE
22-Nov-19

In the first of PIONEER’s sports and fitness series, triathlon enthusiast 3rd Warrant Officer (3WO) Victor Er shares tips on how you can get started in this multisport activity.