Singapore #Fitspo of the Week Royce Lee: 'Fitness is not like a phase to me. It is more like a lifestyle'

Be inspired by the success stories of fitness influencers, celebrities, models, trainers and everyday movers in Singapore

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week Royce Lee is a host and content creator. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week Royce Lee is a host and content creator. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

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 inspirational men and women in Singapore leading healthy and active lifestyles. Have someone to recommend? Hit Cheryl up on Instagram or Facebook!

Name: Royce Lee (@theroycelee)

Age: 33

Height: 1.68m

Weight: 60kg

Occupation: Host and content creator

Status: Single

Food: I follow a high protein diet, but it’s so hard to avoid carbs. I still love my noodles, pasta and bread. I usually drink no sugar added soya bean 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 in the week, I’ll increase the intensity on the other days when I can make it. I will focus on weights training and for cardio, I’ll do inclined walk. My formula would be 15 incline, 4.0 speed and 30 minutes.

Q: When you were younger, were you active in sports?

A: When I was in primary and secondary school, I was in drama club – no surprise. Then I competed in swimming for two years in junior college, and I represented the school team for nationals. In university, I went back to the arts. That was actually when I first started hosting, as a freshman. It’s been 12 years since I started.

Royce's passion for fitness grew during the COVID-19 circuit-breaker period.
Royce's passion for fitness grew during the COVID-19 circuit-breaker period. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

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

During the pandemic, my good friend Hazelle recommended me her PT, Lucas from FITLUC, and we started with home-based online PT sessions. I think my love for fitness grew when we all couldn’t go out during the COVID-19 circuit-breaker period. Everyone’s into some sort of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) from YouTube because there’s simply nothing you can do.

Then during the heightened alert, I started to hike. I know MacRitchie and Bukit Timah very well now. I think having the support from your group of friends is very important. When everyone has the common interest of keeping fit, you will remind one another it’s time for the next workout.

What made you decide to commit to a physical transformation?

I started working out, but of course diet is 70 per cent, exercise 30 per cent. It took a while for me to realise this. I was skinny fat for a while, because I didn’t control what I eat. I would eat and drink whatever I want – thinking metabolism is still on my side.

Then one day I realised I could see my belly bulge from 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, I’m going to commit to a diet that is sustainable and see where this fitness regime takes me.

I tried the ketogenic diet for two weeks and I felt so light-headed after that, I had to stop. It’s not for everyone. Find a diet that suits you and in my case it’s a high protein diet. I didn’t notice the difference at first but it was my friends around me who asked me if I lost weight and that my arms looked more defined that I realised 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. It was so hard for me to reduce the carbs. Sugar was quite easy for me to cut out cause I don’t really have a sweet tooth. I only eat desserts during gatherings or if I really had a long day at work.

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

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

What kind of comments did you receive as a result of this transformation?

Most people commented about how I look a lot skinnier. I mean, omg how fat was I before?! But thank you. Many asked for my tips and fitness regime, to which I will tell them to do weights training and inclined walk. I stopped running for a while because it was quite bad for my knee caps.

What's next now that you've achieved this goal?

My PT always encourages me to bulk up by eating more. Many people might think this is easy it’s eating more clean food, not eating more junk food. I too hope I can slowly achieve this goal of gaining a bit more mass, then start to cut 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 comment section about the way we look even when it’s like, a food video. Hello, I’m not a model. But in a way, because I’m 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 your appearance. As long as you are happy with the way you look, it’s good enough.

Your line of work involves a lot of travel and food tastings, so how do you maintain your physique, diet and training?

It depends on where I go. Certain areas may not have access to gyms so I try to do bodyweight exercises in my hotel room. As with food tastings nowadays, I am more selective because I’m also more mindful of what I consume. Make every food count.

Royce also has his own F&B outlet which sells customised healthy wraps and bowls.
Royce also has his own F&B outlet which sells customised healthy wraps and bowls. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

But when I’m not working and have an option to eat more healthily, I will. Also, I’m based at my new F&B place that I’m a co-founder of (, more often nowadays so I just eat there. We sell customised healthy wraps and bowls.

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

Generally, I think I am okay with self-esteem as I tend to brush off negative comments quite easily. When I first started out as a content creator and received my first few comments about how I looked, it stung me more. But I got over it in a few days. Now, I’m like, “Thank you for watching the video!”

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

Did you ever struggle with your body?

I think because of my love for the stage since young, I’ve been trying to maintain some sort of physique to look my best. It was only when I wanted to transform my body, then I realised how hard it was to unlock the next level. Really kudos to all the gym junkies.

Are you satisfied with your body now?

It always can be better. Fitness is not like a phase to me. It is more like a lifestyle to keep up. Thus, come up with a fitness routine that is 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 per week, but sometimes I have cheat days (not meals) in a week haha.

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