Sasimon Jongprasertkul

Fit For Life

Motivation assumes many forms: power, money, knowledge, etc., but the desire to be healthy and fit is becoming increasingly important for many in this fast paced and highly pressurized world.

Sasimon “Pui” Jongprasertkul works full time as a Japanese translator for an international company in the city but relished the challenge of starting her own business as a health coach and nutrition consultant.

Establishing her business three years ago, Pui offers health- and nutrition advice services with a holistic lifestyle approach on resolving metabolic syndrome issues which include a cluster of conditions such as increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels.

Sasimon Jongprasertkul

Sasimon Jongprasertkul | Credit: Sasimon Jongprasertkul

‘‘I wanted to do something useful for myself and which would make a difference to others,” Pui explained. “I was overweight myself, so that was a strong drive to lose weight and change my lifestyle.” Pui lost 12 kilos in just three months and her fat percentage went down from almost 31% to less than 25% during that time.

She now designs weekly fat-loss programs for individual clients with the emphasis on nutrition, and follows up with them every day. “It is like a fitness trainer, but what I do is ‘nutrition training’.”

Like many small and medium-sized enterprises, there were initial problems. Not the least, a lack of knowledge on her part. She did much research, read many related books, and attended numerous classes to acquire knowledge from dieticians and nutritionists who are specialists in their fields.

Changing misconceptions with potential clients of the merits of her services was also difficult, too. Clients range from young professionals to retired people, locals and foreigners alike. While fitness centers or beauty clinics are competitive markets, Pui sees herself as a lifestyle specialist.

“When I started, many people thought that they could lose weight only through exercise. But in reality, eating healthy is almost 70% of the solution. In the beginning it was hard to convince people of that information.”

“My target markets are those who are interested in their health and want to lose weight but don’t have time to go to the gym. So I provide guidance on what to eat and types of exercise that they can do at home. The merit is you can easily follow these programs and do not need to alter your normal lifestyle routine too much.”

With the stresses of modern life, the view is that people have less time to exercise or get enough nutrition daily. The guidance Pui gives to men and women differs as she explains, “Men burn calories better than women, so the dietary ratio is different. After checking personal body composition using measurement devices, I then tailor individual eating programs and exercise regimen to fit each person’s lifestyle.”

Some of the common questions clients ask are how much weight loss they will achieve, when the key factor is the amount of body fat to decrease, rather than kilos lost. Fat is seen as the cause of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including heart disease and strokes. It of course varies between each individual, but an average sought-after fat reduction can be about 3-10%. “I often tell customers that I can give the ‘how to’, but discipline cannot be trained, so they will have to ‘do’ it and carry it out by themselves.”

After a face-to-face meeting to determine what the best food, nutrition, activity and requirements needed for each person, Pui then keeps in contact with her clients via social media and LINE to follow up on them on a daily basis and meet again on weekly meetings.

Today, Thailand is in the top three in Asia for obesity levels, and negative lifestyles such as excessive drinking, smoking, lack of exercise and a devotion to junk food have seen the number of people with NCDs on the rise. There was never a better time to look back at ourselves and see how we can improve our health and lifestyle.

“People are turning to health care more and more these days. And they will continue to pay attention to it and how they can improve their lifestyle. It is vital to inform people to be more aware of how to ‘prevent’ diseases, rather than finding ways to ‘cure’ from them. Caring for your body should start now, so that you don’t have to do so in the hospital,” Pui concluded.

Visit her Facebook page by typing in “Pui Sasimon Jongprasertkul” or contact her Line ID at: puilineid .

Born in England, Christopher Scott Dixon is an experienced writer and ex-BBC radio reporter/presenter. He has contributed many features to a variety of publications in Thailand and in the UK. He has also written 18 books across different genres and is a qualified teacher.