Singapore #Fitspo of the Week Royce Lee: ‘Fitness is not like a phase for me. It’s more like a lifestyle’

Life goes beyond the digits on the scale and your body is capable of so much more! Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to Singapore’s inspiring men and women who lead healthy and active lifestyles. Do you have someone to recommend? Hit Cheryl up Instagram or Facebook!

First name: Royce Lee (@theroycelee)

Age: 33

Height: 1.68 m

Weight: 60 kg

Occupation: Host and content creator

Status: single

Food: I follow a high protein diet, but it is very difficult to avoid carbs. I still love my noodles, pasta and bread. I usually drink soy with no added sugar after I work out. If it’s bubble tea, I have no milk, no sugar, no pearls. I love the taste of nothing!

Exercise: I try to exercise five to six times a week if my schedule allows. If my schedule gets busier during the week, I’ll increase the intensity on other days when I can. I will focus on weight training and for cardio, I will do incline walking. My formula would be 15 inclines, 4.0 speeds and 30 minutes.

Q: When you were young, did you play sports?

A: When I was in elementary and middle school, I was in drama club unsurprisingly. I then competed in swimming for two years at university, and represented the school team at nationals. In college, I went back to the arts. It was actually when I started hosting, as a freshman. It’s been 12 years since I started.

Royce’s passion for fitness grew during the COVID-19 disruption period. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

What made you decide to hire a personal trainer (PT)?

During the pandemic, my good friend Hazelle recommended her PT, Lucas from FITLUC, and we started with online PT sessions at home. I think my love for fitness grew when we all couldn’t go out during the COVID-19 shutdown period. Everyone to some kind of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) on ​​YouTube because there’s just nothing you can do.

Then, on high alert, I started walking. Now I know MacRitchie and Bukit Timah very well. I think having the support of your group of friends is very important. When everyone has a common interest in staying fit, you’ll remind each other when the next workout is due.

What made you decide to bet on a physical transformation?

I started working out, but of course diet is 70 percent, exercise 30 percent. It took me a while to realize this. I was fat and thin for a while, because I didn’t control what I ate. I would eat and drink what I want thinking that the metabolism is still on my side.

Then one day I noticed that I could see my belly bulging out of my shirt in one of my street interview videos because of the wind blowing in the opposite direction. That’s when I decided, you know what, commit to a diet that is sustainable and see where this fitness regimen takes me.

I tried the keto diet for two weeks and then felt so light I had to stop. It’s not for everyone. Find a diet that works for you and in my case it is a high protein diet. At first I didn’t notice the difference, but it was my friends around me who asked me if I had lost weight and that my arms looked more defined and I realized that maybe the physical transformation is really happening.

What were some of the biggest challenges during this transformation?

The biggest challenge for me was really the diet. I had a really hard time cutting back on carbs. Sugar was pretty easy for me to cut because I don’t really have a sweet tooth. I only eat dessert during meetings or if I’ve had a really long day at work.

Royce finds cutting carbs in his diet the biggest challenge.

Royce finds cutting carbs in his diet the biggest challenge. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

But once you get used to less carbs and no sugar, it will be much easier. You’ll start to take note of what food options you can eat near your workplace.

What kind of feedback did you get as a result of this transformation?

Most people commented on how much thinner I look. I mean, omg how fat was I before?! But thank you Many have asked me for my advice and fitness regimen, which I will tell them to do weight training and incline walking. I stopped running for a while because it was so bad for my knee pads.

What happens now that you’ve reached that goal?

My PT always encourages me to bulk up by eating more. Many people might think this is easy: eat more clean food, not eat more junk food. I too am hoping to slowly achieve this goal of gaining a bit more mass, and then start cutting again.

Being in the media industry, is there any pressure to look a certain way?

There’s definitely pressure because we always get random comments in the comments section about how we look, even when you like a food video. Hi, I’m not a model. But somehow, being a video content creator, I always want to look my best on camera. At the end of the day, there’s only so much you can do to change the way you look. As long as you’re happy with the way you look, that’s good enough.

Your line of work involves a lot of travel and food tasting, so how do you maintain your fitness, nutrition and training?

It depends on where I’m going. Some areas may not have access to gyms, so I try to do body weight exercises in the hotel room. As with food tasting these days, I’m more selective because I’m also more mindful of what I consume. Make every meal count.

Royce also has its own food and beverage outlet that sells personalized healthy wraps and bowls.

Royce also has its own food and beverage outlet that sells personalized healthy wraps and bowls. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

But when I’m not working and have the option to eat healthier, I will. Also, I’m based in my new F&B place that I co-founded (, more often these days, so I only eat there. We sell custom healthy wraps and bowls.

When you were younger, did you experience any incident that made you feel insecure about yourself?

In general, I think I’m good with self-esteem, as I tend to brush off negative comments pretty easily. When I first started out as a content creator and got my first feedback on how I looked, it stung the most. But I got over it in a few days. Now, I like it, thanks for watching the video!

I think looking at the glass half full is good. And remember, keyboard warriors will always be keyboard warriors.

Have you ever struggled with your body?

I think because of my love for the stage since I was young, I’ve been trying to maintain some kind of physique to look my best. It was only when I wanted to transform my body that I realized how difficult it was to unlock the next level. Congratulations to all gym lovers.

Are you satisfied with your body now?

It can always be better. Fitness is not like a phase for me. It’s more like a lifestyle to keep up with. So create a fitness routine that’s sustainable for you, even if it’s just a short 30-minute workout a day.

If you could change anything about yourself, would you?

I would try to be even more disciplined with my diet. Apparently a cheat meal is like, one meal a week, but sometimes I have cheat days (not meals) a week haha.

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week Royce Lee (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week Royce Lee (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

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