Lawyer by day, fitness influencer by night and buff guy 24/7, Keith Lee is a fitness enthusiast who has partnered up with fellow #legend100 pals Barrett Bott and James Wong to launch a new gym called Two Percent Fitness. “We believe that fitness shouldn’t be seen as a burden, but experienced as a source of enjoyment for everyone,” he says. With many people on the fitness bandwagon at the start of the year, we caught up with Keith to learn more about his perception of a healthy body and why he doesn’t restrict himself with a brutal diet:
How does a person’s diet correlate with their fitness level?
To keep fit, you need to learn the basics. It depends on your goal, but the rule is to keep it simple. To gain muscle mass, you’ll need to follow a caloric surplus diet. On the flip side, if you want to lose body fat, you’ll need to then maintain a caloric deficit diet. Learning about your body composition is extremely important. People should not blindly follow trendy diets such as the banana or fishball diet. By learning the basics, understanding your body as time goes by, and adopting a consistent routine, you’ll be able to balance wellness, fitness, and your social life.
What if the person can’t give up certain foods?
The is no such thing as “bad food” or “good food.” As a food lover, I do consume things like burgers, pies and doughnuts from time to time, but I make sure that I still follow the diet plan that I designed to achieve my fitness goals.
I don’t practice cheat days, but I do incorporate a “cheat meal” or “cheat snack” daily to keep my diet interesting and exciting. My top comfort foods are Chinese style chicken pie (the pastry has to be buttery, sweet and savoury), cocktail buns (freshly baked with lots of fillings), British pork pie (baked with crispy pastry and peppery meat fillings), fish and chips (soggy and thick chips and thick batter, topped with ketchup), doner kebabs (extra greasy and mixed with mayonnaise, mint and chilli sauce), gooey and buttery soft cookies, good old scones (extra buttery and dense with thick clotted cream… the list goes on and on.
Doesn’t that go against your fitness goals?
One might be surprised with my staggering list of cheat meal foods (in fact, the list could be much longer :P) but as long as you learn the basics, you will be able to maintain a diet that satisfies both your taste buds and fitness goal. At the end of the day, look for a diet that can be maintained for life rather than just as a short term remedy.
What is a common preconception about being healthy?
That a healthy lifestyle is bland and uninteresting, and this might be true if you don’t spend the time to learn and explore. A healthy lifestyle is one that a person can maintain for both a healthy and fit body, and a happy state of mind.
Besides going to the gym and exercising in general, how else do you incorporate wellness into your everyday life?
I take supplements daily – multivitamins, fish oil and green superfoods. I also take power naps when I have the chance to do so.
Besides fitness, what else do you do in your downtime?
Aside from working out, I love cooking and watching TV/YouTube cooking/eating shows, such as Heston Blumenthal’s series – In Search of Perfection, Flavorful Origins, Chef’s Table, Man Vs Food, Crazy Delicious, etc.
I also love to infuse Western techniques into Chinese dishes, specifically, Shanghainese and Yunnan cuisine. And as seen on my Instagram, I am a huge food lover and constantly on the search for new food spots.