As a teenager, I was thin and fit. I cycled 20-30km a day, walked anywhere from 2- 10 km daily, gym 3-4 per week, and took part in school hockey. My diet wasn’t necessarily banting healthy but was based on whole foods and lean meats.
This all changed when I started university.
I was not cycling nearly as much. Hardly ever went to the gym. And ate whatever I wanted. My parents made sure I had some meat and starches for dinner and ingredients for sandwiches for lunches. Add to this the unhealthy and destructive habit of drinking, and my health declined and I started gaining weight.
After studying my unhealthy habits stuck with me, my dinner plate would be stacked with rice, potatoes, or pasta. I was also drinking habitually. I tried getting into a habit of exercising, but could never get into a routine. A big problem was that my weight and being unfit meant that moving for exercise was hard. By the age of 26, I was convinced that I was pre-diabetic. I suffered from GERD and had regular skin outbursts. I was taking OMEZ for the GERD and would often supplement this with Gaviscon.
This was around the time Prof Noakes gained notoriety due to his dietary recommendations and the Real Meal Revolution came out. My parents knew of Prof Noakes as they were involved with sporting organisations in the Western Cape (South Africa) and found his new take on diet interesting. As a family, we all decided to try this new lifestyle.
At this stage, I weighed over 100kg. Within a few months, I was down to the low eighties. I was still drinking but eating healthy. From that time on, I realised this is the way people should be eating: Focus on animal proteins and fats and whole foods as your body allows.
Shortly after this, I met the love of my life and we married. My lifestyle intrigued her and shortly after we met she also embraced the LCHF lifestyle. We became very active. Something, I could previously never do when I was overweight.
We delved deeper into understanding health. We did Keto and started fasting and I lost an additional 10kg. I also quit drinking entirely. My GERD became a thing of the past and I could stop the medication.
That means I lost almost 40kg over a period of 2 years.
Since then my wife and I have done various sports, our favourite being CrossFit and weight training. I don’t watch the scales anymore, rather focussing on body composition but I know I weigh around 90. This gain is attributed to muscle gain. Our staple diet can be considered meat-based.
Do we have days that we eat unhealthy foods? Yes, but we are only human. We follow an animal-based protocol, focussing on quality protein and fats. With this lifestyle, I have lost my excess fat, kept it off, and regained my health!
I’m so grateful that Prof Noakes spread the news of this lifestyle as this has helped me gain my health back.
About the author:
Hanrie Retief is foremost a husband and a father. He loves spending his days with his family. He is an internal auditor by day and amuses himself with his writing in his free time. His interest in health has saved his life.