For whatever reason, at some point many of us want to lose a bit of weight, and I’m no different. I am also NOT an expert, but personally in the last year alone I found all of these techniques highly effective. Of course I insist that you check in with your doctor before trying any of these, and that you take things easy when you do. On that note, let’s get into it!
1.) INTERMITTENT FASTING
Intermittent fasting is not a strict diet, but rather it involves timing your eating more strictly, which has an array of health benefits beyond just weight loss. It involves fasting for a longer period (you can have tea, water and black coffee during this time), and only eating in a specific window of time. The most common ratio for this is the 16/8 hour method, where you fast 16 hours and eat in a window of 8 hours. It’s really not as bad as it sounds, since you are sleeping for half of the fasting period, so if you’re fasting the way I do using the 16/8 ratio, you’re cutting off dinner at 8pm, and just skipping breakfast and eating at 12pm the next day. You can have your fasting and eating window at any time that’s best for you, it doesn’t have to be from 8pm until 12pm. You will find it hard in the beginning, but your body will adapt really quickly and you will feel the benefits soon even if you don’t see them fast!
In a nutshell, when you are fasting, your body doesn’t have recent food in your system to use as energy, and as a result, it burns your fat. For the same reason, in terms of yielding results, it’s even better to train in a fasted state (especially fasted cardio), since your body will either use up its remaining glucose and glycogen stores, or if you’ve already used them in daily activity (most likely), then there is no choice but to use from your fat stores as energy.
For this reason, I like to do just 10 or 15 minutes of fasted cardio around one hour before I break my fast. Then I keep fasting for around half an hour after, and break my fast either with a green smoothie or vegan protein shake.
There is so much info out there on intermittent fasting, and some people get really hectic about it. I still had great results by fasting 4 to 5 days per week, and just implementing some of the basic principals.
2.) CECCERELLI INJECTIONS
I’ve had ceccerelli injections twice in my belly before and believe me, they seriously work. What it involves is having a solution made up of pure vitamin C and iron injected into fatty areas. Essentially it dissolves the fat over two weeks and you poop it out. I had mine done at Renascent Health in Pinelands, Cape Town, by Dr Leila Sadien. Each time I went, I had 8 injections (one in each “ab”) and lost around 11cm around my belly. The difference was huge! As long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle, the fat stays gone, just as if you had dieted it away.
The only downside I have to this is the pain, and the first time you do it, that may be a major shock. The second time I went, I knew what to expect so it didn’t feel as alarming. I’m not referring to the pain of the injection itself, but rather of your fat fizzling for the first hour after you do it. I tend to hang out on her couch for an hour after getting the injections, and wait for that initial pain to pass (she also gives me a pain killer in that time). The next day, my stomach area was quite tender too (not unbearable though) and I remember skipping gym that first day so I wouldn’t have to clench my core or abs. Two days later I was back to regular programming with no pain.
You can get these injections done to any part of your body, even your face, arms, thighs etc.
In terms of price, you’re charged per ml, which is determined by the size of the fatty area. Dr Leila used around 100mls on me each time, and it was worth around R3500 at the time (disclaimer: I didn’t have to pay for the procedure both times, but this does not affect my opinion or review. I’d only put myself through that pain if it truly worked).
3.) ELIMINATION DIET/ALLERGY TESTING
The first time I went to Dr Leila for medical reasons for my skin, she put me on a three week anti inflammatory elimination diet/cleanse. This was really just to test my allergies, but she also told me there’s no point in treating the surface of my skin without seeing what’s causing the acne from the inside. Essentially you eliminate a bunch of different foods that tend to cause inflammation, and you can’t cheat for those three weeks. After the three weeks, your body is super sensitive, so you reintroduce those foods one by one into your eating to see if it causes any bad reactions like bloating, acne, rashes etc. If you have a reaction, it means you’re allergic and should try cutting it out for good. If you don’t have a reaction, it means you can continue eating those foods. Honestly, this can be one of the hardest things to do, but you will detox and feel so good, lose weight, learn so much about your body, clear up your skin and so much more. I discovered the main ingredients I have reactions to are soya (it gave me bloating), canola oil (it gave me the worst headache ever), dairy (gave me pimples and made my acne scarring darker) and gluten (it made me lathargic, constipated, extremely bloated and even made me grumpy).
I enjoyed that there was no monitoring how many carbs or calories you consume. I absolutely devoured my oats each morning with cinnamon, xylitol (natural low-carb sweetener), a drizzle of coconut milk and topped off with banana – it felt like dessert. For lunch I’d have chicken with zucchini fries or zucchini noodles, and for dinner I would have chicken with mushy white rice and cinnamon sweet potato. There were actually tons of eating options.
This diet’s aim is NOT specifically to lose weight, but is more about gut health and discovering your intolerances. For me personally though, it yielded great weightloss results too. Again, I recommend chatting to a homeopath or holistic practicing doctor before attempting this, as it can affect your blood sugar levels or you may not be able to eliminate some foods due to your own health reasons. If you’re Cape Town based, head to Dr Leila Sadien at Renascent Health in Pinelands.
4.) NAKED GLOW CARB CYCLING
I was introduced to carb cycling on the new Rushtush Naked Glow diet (available to purchase on rushtush.co.za). Essentially it involves two days of strict low carb eating, followed by one day of carbs (it’s not a binge day though, and there’s still a structure you need to follow) and then you keep repeating the process. On your carb days, you’re allowed to have “dirty” meals, which is honestly the best, and two days is not a long time to wait for it. I often go all out, guilt-free with burgers, waffles, pizza etc but some days it can just mean I go for some sweet potato or avo on toast. It’s a really manageable life plan, which is what I like most about it. Some times I do two or three carb days even, or I do end up accidentally binging (whoops), but I know I can make a comeback soon after when I jump back onto repeating the three day cycle a few times. There are tons of other ways to carb cycle, but this for me is so easy and manageable without having to think about it. I read online that it’s recommended you do your low intensity workouts on low carb days, and high intensity workouts on carb days. Personally, I find if I do zero exercise I still see results while eating the odd burger. Before doing starting Naked Glow, I did Rushda’s Glow Cleanse for one week, then proceeded with the carb cycling. In a little over 2 weeks I had dropped two dress sizes. Furthermore I felt a big difference in my mental health (must be all the greens on those stricter days), and I felt a great general sense of well-being.
5.) EXERCISE, DUHHH!
You don’t have to be a major fitness ninja here. I try and see my trainer, Neelam (AKA @nellyfizzle) where I can (once or twice per week) and I make sure I train at least twice at home. You don’t have to be a fit monster but it’s important for your health and weight-loss to have some movement at least. I don’t know everything about working out, but I do know that some exercise is better than no exercise. Even if you just start to increase your exercise a little bit longer or more intensely than you did before. Take baby steps and build yourself up. You don’t even need the gym if you’re just starting out, I love following youtube workouts and they are free!
Something else I like to do is find a FUN workout. Try a dance class, a hike (beautiful scenery is wonderfully distracting) or even just a brisk, long walk somewhere pretty with a person whose conversation you enjoy. My new favourite thing is a morning swim at Sea Point pavilion pools. I’m not a great swimmer, but I love being in water and I make the most of it by adding in some laps and doing it while fasting.
WHAT I DO WHEN I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT FAST:
I combine intermittent fasting, Naked Glow carb cycling and light workouts, and I will do it for about a week to ten days. I don’t even typically train hard in this time. I only ever did this twice, because I had shoots scheduled for the same time as my period, a time during which I get very swollen around my stomach and thighs and I wanted to accommodate for that. I slimmed down significantly, and everyone else actually noticed even before I did.
MY CURRENT APPROACH TO DIET, WORKOUTS & WEIGHTLOSS:
I gained some weight again that I haven’t lost but I’m still not at all the heavier size I used to be. My goal is to be healthy, strong and a bit more toned, but I still want a balanced life, and though I can always be better I’m relatively happy with where I am at right now. In day-to-day life, I try to do the Naked Glow diet as much as possible and steer clear from dairy, gluten and processed foods, I eat my veggies, drink my green juice and I still enjoy the odd burger and pizza! I also still do intermittent fasting around three days per week. I’ve learned healthier choices and good habits sometimes take time to become your new normal and you can’t always just dive into everything. I’ve learned that you also can’t out-train poor diet, because your mind and your gut can’t be bothered with how many squats you do! I don’t want to be overly-restrictive with food, and while I want to be active and enjoy being active, with my lifestyle I don’t find it practical nor do I want to be a mega intense gym bunny (no offence to the gym bunnies).
Being the Libra that I am, balance in all areas of my life are what matter most to me, and I feel like I get closer to that and better at it by the day while still achieving my goals at a steady pace. 7 years ago, I never used to eat vegetables other than potatoes, now I basically eat all of them. In 2017, I loved my milky coffees, regular ice cream and never ate any salad, now I enjoy the odd salad, vegan food, and almond milk is what I prefer. In 2014, I first started personal training, and I swear, I wanted to cry. 2015 and 2016 I was just as much of a baby, super self-conscious and always got nauseous and often chickened out.
The only constant I had was that I got back up on the horse, however slowly, and kept heading forward. I can see the tiny changes I’ve made over the years have added up to a stronger, healthier and better looking me. Perseverance doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with moving at a fast pace, and it shouldn’t be confused with perfection, or in my world at least.
We live, we learn, we eat our veggies and we still deserve burgers, right?