Healthy Inside Out
Food and Nutrition Expert Teguh Sebadja STP reveals the secrets to achieving your ideal weight with a healthy food management programme. Anastasia Wibowo writes
Teguh Sebadja STP has just landed in Jakarta, having taken the first morning flight from Surabaya. Arriving at the lounge of Hotel Mulia Senayan, Jakarta, Teguh doesn’t look tired at all— and he is more than willing to share his background and journey with Indonesia Tatler. And so it begins.
“More than seven years ago in 2010, my late mum was diagnosed with stage 3B breast cancer,” Teguh tells us. “I was beyond devastated and had to make a tough choice at that time, deciding to leave a stellar career as an area manager with a major automotive spare parts company to tend to my mum.”
Teguh, who graduated with a food technology major from the Widya Mandala Catholic University in Surabaya, decided to make a bold move, leaving his comfort zone in order to take better care of his mum.
“I took her to a hospital in Singapore, and she underwent every treatment possible: mastectomy, lymph node removal, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy,” Teguh says. “I also consulted with an oncologist in Singapore, and he told me there was no cure for cancer— the key is to maintain balanced dietary habits and to manage stress levels.”
Maintaining his mum’s dietary habits saw her condition remain stable for four years, but it got worse in the fifth year. “The doctors found out that her cancer had spread to stage 4 spinal cancer, and, at that time, I was against chemotherapy because her condition was so weak. Her spine was crooked due to antihormone therapy,” says Teguh.
Teguh lost his mum in early 2015, and it was a heavy blow for him as it was not the first time he had suffered such a loss. When he was a teenager, Teguh also lost his dad, who suffered from brain and lung cancer. “I lost both my parents to cancer,” he recalls. “As her son, I felt disappointed by not being able to save my mum. I learned that I could maintain her dietary habits, but not her stress levels,” Teguh admits. “From that moment onwards, I realised that I was destined to help other people who also suffer from health problems.” And it was at this point that Teguh started on his path to becoming a full-time food and nutrition expert.
The father of two started with clients in public institutions—they had to slim down their figures for physical exams. Soon after this, and with effective word-of-mouth marketing thanks to positive results, his clientele expanded to these individuals’ spouses, family members, and networks of friends. Now, Teguh has a portfolio of more than a thousand clients in Indonesia and overseas, with ages ranging from 7 to 90 years old.
“My programme is called the Food Management Program, or FMP. What makes my programme unique is that you can still eat everything—so you don’t need to suffer to be slim,” Teguh continues. “Furthermore, FMP relies on neither drugs nor medicines.”
As well as weight loss, it’s important to note that by implementing FMP and manages food intake and portion of his clients, Teguh
has prevented them from multiple illnesses ranging from diabetes to hypertension, obesity, gout, cholesterol imbalances, and strokes, among others. Teguh, who has the motto “Slim with me and feel the difference”, allows his clients to eat everything they want.
“Yes, you can still eat your favourite dessert, but limit and manage portion sizes,” he advises. “The key is to balance the menu with the nutritional value.”
How does his programme work? “FMP is personalised for every individual,” he tells us. “Based on a client’s physical evaluation, I will develop a customised menu plan for them. If they have to eat out or attend a finedining event, all they have to do is just take a snapshot of their dish and send it to me. I will then give them instruction on recommended portion sizes. They also have to send me a weekly update of their weight.”
A common misconception among many people is that white rice is bad, but Teguh says otherwise. “White rice is actually a very good source of carbohydrates for energy. It is rich in B-complex vitamins and antioxidants. The starch also maximises our immune system. In fact, unless you have a special condition like diabetes, I don’t think you should stay away from white rice,” Teguh says.
As someone who also deals directly with breast cancer patients, Teguh has a few tips for women. “Firstly, wear a comfortable bra and have regular check-ups. Secondly, maintain healthy dietary habits. Limit your intake of wine, other alcoholic beverages, and coffee. Thirdly, manage your stress levels. This is important but often overlooked,” he says.
As part of his efforts to educate his clients and the general public on health and nutrition, Teguh, who founded Rumah Sehat in Surabaya, also regularly holds workshops and seminars in major cities in Indonesia. He is planning to publish a book in the near future: watch this space for more details.