Writ­ing Off Bad Weight

Xola Mag­waza used HIIT and a strict nutri­tion plan to get into the best shape of his life

Men's Health - Belly Off Guide - - JOIN THE BELLY OFF! CLUB -

THE GAIN Af­ter I was di­ag­nosed with se­vere asthma and forced to give up on my dreams of be­com­ing a pro soc­cer player, I grad­u­ally be­came a couch potato. Com­pletely un­aware that I was eat­ing far more than the av­er­age per­son should, I ate my way to 110kg. I also wasn’t get­ting any ex­er­cise, and I man­aged to pack on 33% body fat in the process.

THE CHANGE I just reached break­ing point. Some­thing in me clicked and I stopped feel­ing sorry for my­self. I took “be­fore” pic­tures of my body, did all my mea­sure­ments and set goals that I felt were at­tain­able. I got a big wakeup call when I looked at pic­tures from my teen years; I re­alised it was go­ing to be a mis­sion to get into shape, but I was de­ter­mined to make it hap­pen. From that mo­ment on, I knew my life­style had to change.

THE STRAT­EGY My di­eti­cian, Jenny Meyer, made a plan that suited my needs and life­style. I gave up all forms of junk food, cake, sweets and sug­ary juices for a full year – and I’m still go­ing strong. I started learn­ing about weightlift­ing and car­dio ex­er­cises, to make sure that what I was eat­ing com­ple­mented what I was do­ing in the gym. I stuck to a rigid body­build­ing style of train­ing, go­ing to the gym six times a week and us­ing HIIT for 45 min­utes each ses­sion. What was also cru­cial was the tim­ing of my meals, and what I ate be­fore and af­ter gym. Now, I pre­fer eat­ing six or seven times a day: ei­ther four full meals and three snacks, or vice versa. Sup­ple­ments also played a role, al­though I kept it sim­ple, with whey pro­tein be­fore gym and BCAAs dur­ing (and some­times af­ter) ses­sions.

THE RE­WARD I can fi­nally wear some of the clothes that have been catch­ing dust in my cup­board for years. I stopped mak­ing ex­cuses for not swim­ming, and now feel more con­fi­dent when I go to the beach. I aim to bring the same mind­set and ded­i­ca­tion to other ar­eas of my life.

THE RE­SULT I’ve lost 35kg and dropped 18% body fat. At one point, my jeans were a 40 and some of my shirts were up to XXL. To­day, I’m rock­ing size 30 pants with medium tops, I’m fit­ter than I’ve ever been and my girl­friend loves the fact that I don’t have to wear the same clothes over and over.

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