“I Changed The Way I Looked At Food — And Lost Over 30 Kilos”
By Michelle October
Weight loss can be a minefield to navigate for some: you work out all the time, but somehow you still pack on kilos.
This conundrum bothered Zandile Qampi. “I used to do back-to-back spinning classes, twice a day, and I still ballooned,” says Zandile. In the end, it was nutrition research that helped her understand her weight gain dilemma – and now she’s in the best shape of her life!
Occupation: Project Administrator
Weight before: 86 kg
Weight after: 55 kg
Time taken to lose weight: 2 years
Secret weapon: Kilojoule-control
Growing up, Zandile loved fitness. She spent every morning doing workouts with the leotarded women on Good Morning South Africa. She advanced to hours in the gym; spinning on the bikes and spending her money on weight-loss supplements. But they never worked. “My biggest problem was bread. In the morning I’d wake up and have bread; for lunch — four slices. And for supper I’d have curries with bread too.”
After hours of research on the Internet, she realised that she was eating too much. “You can eat anything healthy, but if you eat too much of it, it’ll affect your weight,” says Zandile. As it turned out, controlling her kilojoule intake was the key to her successful weight loss.
Zandile found that she could still eat what she wanted, as long as it fell within the restricted number of kilojoules she could consume per day. Added to that, she realised that she should be working smarter in the gym, not harder. She scaled down her spinning classes and opted for strength training instead, with free weights and bosu balls. “I call it play exercise, because just bouncing a medicine ball up and down works your arms like crazy!”
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“I’ve transformed – people who know me thought I had cosmetic surgery,” she says. She invested in her new lifestyle by buying a food scale – “I use it a lot. When I dish up, I weigh everything.” Zandile feels like she’s in a brand new body – and she now spends her hard-earned cash loving up her figure with beauty treatments and new-season clothes.
Keep a food diary.
“What goes in your mouth should be written down. There’s so much that goes into our mouths that we’re not aware of.”
Stick to whole foods.
“The rule of thumb is to make sure that when you buy something, you know the nutritional value of it.”
Keep food portions small.
“Eat small portions a number of times a day, so you stay full.”