Stay-at-home mother Jessy Christopher Tham always lacked energy and would frequently feel tired after a good night’s sleep plus truthfully -- she didn’t like how she looked.

The 42-year-old then got a medically related reality check in April 2022. She said, “I was feeling very lethargic and sleepy after sending my daughters to school. I have a blood glucose and blood pressure machine at home that I used during my pregnancy, so I took a test and found out that my readings were on the higher side. I then consulted my doctor and found out that I had to take medication regularly, so that was my turning point.”

Jessy also said, “I still want to live to have more adventures with Eric and to watch my two daughters grow up. During our Penang vacation on 1 May was the day we made up our minds to start a healthier life”.

She informed her husband, Eric Tham that she needed medical attention and adjustments to her day-to-day eating habits. As a Marketing Director at Prudential Malaysia, 43-year-old Eric lacked confidence when speaking before a crowd, even during Zoom meetings and would often fall sick.

You’re never too old to get into shape and Eric said, “I wanted to be able to see my six-pack for the first time in my life! To me, it is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength that his body is capable of.”

How They Lost Weight to Feel Great

The couple have been married for 17 years and naturally, they decided to go on this journey together. Eric shared, “Jessy really anchored this whole thing, and I was the accidental beneficiary. Our focus was on establishing a simple and clean eating routine that is easily repeatable.

And by watching our portion sizes, we targeted to have a calorie deficit.” A calorie deficit is when you consume fewer calories than you burn. Harvard has stated that studies have shown that reducing calories results in weight loss regardless of carbohydrate, protein or fat content.

He continued, “It’s simple: we just kept eating vegetables, carbs, and proteins in correct portion sizes plus we also drank lots of water. As we progressed, we also paid greater attention to the different types and quality of food that helped us to stay full and speed up the weight loss at the same time. On top of that, we also exercised and walked at least 10,000 steps daily.”

Jessy also signed up with a paid program with a community of healthy eaters for the first three months with the goal of having a sustainable lifestyle and having a better understanding of food by observing the correct portions.

She stresses that although they used supplements as part of the program, they now just consume those that you can get off the shelf and they helped her to stay focused.

Jessy said, “To be honest, I didn’t do many intense workouts except for occasional walks on the hill behind our house to get some steps in. Only after three months of losing weight is when I started to work out more.”

Jessy also uses an Apple watch to monitor and track her workouts. She weighs herself weekly and tries on old clothes to get a good sense of how she has progressed.

She revealed that she lost about 10kg in 3 months based on her new diet.

Eric decided to engage a trainer ten weeks in, after shedding almost 12kg just by changing his diet. He said, “It was timely because at that time I was getting leaner, and I thought that it was high time that I hustled for bigger and better-defined muscles.”

As parents, their schedules revolve around looking after their six and nine-year-olds. Eric gets up at 5.00 am and is in bed by 10.30 pm, squeezing in at least 45 minutes of weight training and 15 minutes of cardio at the gym after work on most days. Jessy goes to bed at the same time but wakes up at 5.30 am, doing household chores during the day and taking walks up to three times a week for 45 minutes.

What they used to eat

They used to have curry noodles (800 calories) for breakfast, nasi lemak ayam goreng with a fried egg and coke (1,000 calories), as well as pizza, pasta, and chicken wings for dinner (1,000 calories).

This resulted in them eating nearly 3,000 calories per day. On average, to achieve a calorie deficit, a person should only consume approximately 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day depending on their height and weight. However, eating too few calories can endanger your health by depriving you of needed nutrients.

To learn how many calories your body needs in a day, you can use any TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) calculators available online as a guide such as this one. You will be able to lose weight over time if you consume fewer calories than you need.

Editor’s Note: I calculated mine, and I need 1,800 calories a day to sustain myself. At a deficit I would need to only eat 1,500 calories a day. Just counting the one meal I have in a day is already 1,100 calories: Chicken rice, kopi peng, and cookies. I’m not losing weight any time soon.

What they eat now

The couple shared how they calculate their portion sizes with a guide called ‘Pinggan Sihat Malaysia’ from the Ministry of Health that is easy to follow, and which does not vary according to body weight.

Arrange your food according to these portions: 25% protein, 25% carbs, 50% veggies or if that is too much math for you, just keep in mind the keywords #sukusukuseparuh. Jessy even shared a tip that there are containers and plates sold on the market with these exact portions.

Eric uses MyFitnessPal, a calorie tracking app to log his food consumption and make sure that he has a calorie deficit. He also said that he weighs his food like chicken breasts at home to have a good estimate of what that looks like when he dines out.

They also emphasised that although people often believe that eating rice is bad, people just need to watch their portions to ensure that they achieve calorie deficits.

He said, “I’m the luckiest man in the world because my wife prepares most of these amazing clean meals!” They also shared their daily food intake:



1 whole egg, 2 egg whites, 2 slices wholemeal bread, 10grams of peanut butter, & freshly brewed Americano.


1 scoop chocolate protein shake


25% carbs, 25% protein, 50% veggies

Mid afternoon snack

Usually nuts

Before workouts

1 scoop chocolate protein shake


50% protein, 50% veggies

Daily water intake




Drink 600ml of water


A glass of protein shake with cubes of fruits or breakfast prepared by Eric

Mid-morning snack



25% carbs, 25% protein, 50% veggies

Mid-afternoon snack

A small cup of fruits


A glass of protein shake


50% protein, 50% veggies

Daily water intake


Preparing & Cooking Food

Just because your meals are healthy, it doesn’t mean that it has to look boring. Jessy lovingly prepares each meal and plates them beautifully, and pays special attention to her seasoning and food prep. Here’s some tips she shared:

The Result

Jessy struggled to tell herself to keep going daily while Eric struggled with a hectic work schedule, but the result was well worth it; Jessy went from being 82.2kg to 62.7kg – an approximate 20kg loss.

Eric lost approximately 15kg, going from 79kg to 64kg and he now boasts a sculpted six-pack that men half his age would be envious of.

Jessy is especially thrilled with her new lease on life, “The best thing is that I feel energetic. My skin glows and I wake up daily feeling fresh. I did a body check-up after three months of clean eating. The results came back good. My blood glucose went down, my BP is back to normal, and everything else that wasn’t satisfactory improved. My doctor was happy with my results.”

Their daughters have also benefitted from their parents’ diets, with their eldest losing 4kg and now having a better understanding of making the right food choices, especially knowing when they should eat sweet treats (ideally not before bedtime).

They said, “We offer fruits as alternatives. We educate them better on how to read labels too. We bought books about food so they can understand it further. We speak about making the right food choices all the time with the hope they can practice this into their adulthood.”

Does Being Healthy Cost More?

Jessy had to pay to join the wellness group and Eric had to pay for his trainer and gym fees, but as they say, prevention is still better than cure by having an unhealthy lifestyle. Jessy said, “Consider this as a long-term investment. Spending money eating better food is better than spending them on medical bills later.”

Eric went on, “The cost for day-to-day meals is about the same. However, buying supplements such as protein shakes and vitamins can be costly, but they are necessary because whole foods are likely not enough to provide all the necessary nutrients.”

The couple take supplements that are required by their body, and they shared that a quick body check-up will reveal what you are lacking. They advised consulting with a doctor or certified trainer.

Mind over Matter

The Thams also shared tips to keep in mind for others also hoping to achieve healthier lifestyles and obtain fitter physiques. Jessy said, “Set realistic goals, not fast results. Do not only depend on the scale to determine your result. Try on older clothes and take body shots to do comparisons instead.”

Eric added, “No amount of external help will help you if the determination to lose weight does not burn internally from within yourself! There is a price to pay, and you must be willing to commit to achieving your desired physique.

We hope that 2023 is the year that we finally get abs too!

Follow Eric and Jessy on Instagram.