‘Becoming a foodie made me fat & unhealthy’: S’pore food blogger on how daily media tastings cost him his health

Everything in moderation.

Natalie Teo |
March 23, 2023, 2:42 pm

We’re not starting a cult but some followers on Instagram would be nice. Thank you.

Being a food blogger may sound like a dream job, but there’s a less discussed downside that makes it a potentially hazardous one.

Just ask Ian Low (@thesilverchef), who saw his weight balloon to 68kg, above his ideal weight of 57kg – 58kg.

The Instagrammer/home cook shared a picture of himself from five years ago, juxtaposed with present day, where he is noticeably trimmer.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ian Low (@thesilverchef)

Ian said that between 2013 to 2018, his health had deteriorated “due to negligent eating and attending media tastings”.

“I was guilty of trying too hard to be a reputable foodie that I neglected my health. I looked significantly fatter and felt much unhealthier by the end of 2018.”

He went on to say that he understood why it could be hard to eat well, when media today is “obsessed with bombarding us with tempting food content”.

The rise in popularity of listicles and “Top 10” formats on food publications, he says, has also led to people prioritising visiting a variety of eateries during their spare time, instead of focusing on their health and diet.

“I ended up consuming much more unhealthy food than I should. Over time, I ate so much sugar and refined carbs that it eventually proved too much for me.”

By end 2018, Ian had “made a very conscious decision to stop being a foodie”.

How he did it

In an earlier post on Mar. 9, he elaborated more on the circumstances that led him to this decision, as well as what he did to lose the weight.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ian Low (@thesilverchef)

As his Instagram account rose in popularity 10 years ago, he began to receive invites to media tastings, as well as media drops.

It got to a point where he was going for media tastings on a daily basis, and his sugar intake had increased substantially due to the high carbohydrate foods he was eating.

“By 2018, it got so bad that I was getting a fever and infection every other month. That was when I said to myself, I had to do something.”

In the two months that followed, Ian halved his carbohydrate intake and cut out red meat, processed food and fried food from his diet.

He also stopped all media events in 2019.

While it was difficult at first, Ian saw results when he lost the first 2kg in a few weeks, and by April 2019, he had gotten down to his desired weight of 58kg.

Overall, he experienced a clearer mind, better moods and sleep, and observed more motivation to “try more things and be creative”.

“I feel better, stronger, clearer and healthier in my mid 50s now than even in my younger years.

Looking back [at] the past decade, it’s clear that it started badly but an epiphany of sorts turned it around. Changing to a healthy diet and lifestyle began a better overall quality of life that keeps improving till today.”

Now, Ian eats red meat in moderation, and indulges in the “rare cheat meal”.

He continues to share his love for food with his followers, with posts sometimes accompanied by PSAs or educational nutrition tips, such as this one on how to pick healthier cooking oils:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ian Low (@thesilverchef)

Who is Ian Low?

Outside of his Instagram account that has 120k followers, Ian also runs a food blog and YouTube channel, where he shares his own recipes for Singaporean, Asian and Western cuisines.

He claims to be the “first cooking channel shot in 4K HDR”.

According to his Twitter bio, Ian is also a “singer/songwriter who makes music entirely on the iPad,” and even composes and produces the background music in his recipe videos.

His 2011 album, Silverfish, is made up of 10 songs with food names like “Ribeye” and “Sashimi” for their titles.

One example is Abalone, featured in this recent video:


Top photos by Mandy How

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