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

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
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.

Pioneer cohort of NSF cyber specialists graduate
Pioneer cohort of NSF cyber specialists graduate
MILESTONES
22-Aug-19

3rd Sergeant (3SG) Tan Jia Le’s Specialist Cadet Course was not like the usual.

SAF Armour marks golden jubilee with commissioning of new Hunter vehicle
SAF Armour marks golden jubilee with commissioning of new Hunter vehicle
MILESTONES
11-Jun-19

It is stronger, more lethal and provides all-round protection for its soldiers.

Lending a helping hand to servicemen
Lending a helping hand to servicemen
MILESTONES
24-May-19

When a person is in distress, despair may overshadow the willpower to carry on with his day-to-day routine.

SAF, US Marines strengthen ties in joint exercise
SAF, US Marines strengthen ties in joint exercise
OPS & TRAINING
25-Apr-19

A tough two-day battalion heli-borne mission capped off Exercise Valiant Mark, which came to a close on 24 Apr at the Murai Urban Training Facility.

En garde!
En garde!
PEOPLE
01-Mar-19

PIONEER unmasks fencer and Southeast Asian (SEA) Games medallist 2nd Lieutenant (2LT) Jet Ng and finds out how the 20-year-old balances being a national athlete with serving his full-time National Service (NS).