Danielle Smart has been a sporty person for most of her life, but no matter how many races she completed, she just couldn’t outrun her bad eating habits.
With the help of a trainer, Danielle was finally able to kick a lifetime of bad eating and find her confidence â€” here’s how she did it.
Occupation: Medical Sales Rep
Weight before: 73kg
Weight after: 64 kg
Time required to reach current weight: 14 weeks (and have maintained for a year)
Secret weapon to your weight loss: Balance is key
READ MORE:Â “I Lost 35 Kilos And Now I’m A Personal Trainer”
Danielle recalls being ‘chubby’ for most of her childhood, â€śmy mom took me to a dietician at 9 years old and unfortunately food became an enemyâ€ť. Her battle with food led to her being a yo-yo dieter who would emotionally eat on the regular. Although Danielle had been sporty for most of her life, partaking in numerous IronManâ€™s and races, she couldnâ€™t out exercise her bad eating habits. â€śI would be so strict on myself and replace meals with protein shakes and eliminate all sorts of food groups and then Iâ€™d end up crashing and binge eat, which would cause me to gain more weight than before,â€ť she explains.
Danielle says that her turning point came when she reached her heaviest weight, â€śI was 76 kg and nothing fitted me, I was so unhappy. Reality is society judges you for the way you look, I wanted to be happy once and for all.â€ť Desperately seeking a change, she started training with Johno Meintjes, owner of The Fitness Faculty, who designs 14-week nutrition and fitness transformation programmes. With 14 weeks before her wedding, Danielle took up the challenge to regain her confidence and finally learn healthy eating habits.
READ MORE:Â How To Count Macros To Lose Weight
First to go was her endurance training. Â She started doing a combination of bodyweight workouts, strength training and high-intensity interval training 5-6 days a week. Next to change was her eating habits, â€śI started eating real food, and nothing that came in a wrapper. I would eat 5 small meals a day, which usually consists of mainly green vegetables and protein, oats for breakfast, fruit for snacks, and drinking 2 litres water a day,â€ť she explains. Danielle keeps to this strict eating programme for 5.5 days of the week and rewards herself for the remainder of the week. â€śI donâ€™t drink alcohol during the week and choose one night on the weekend to let my hair down. If Iâ€™m craving chocolate, Iâ€™ll have a block or two but thatâ€™s it,â€ť she adds.
READ MORE:Â “I Lost 36 Kilos When I Started Running and Eating Low-Carb High Fat”
In the 14 weeks, Danielle went from a size 12 to an 8 and her body has drastically changed: â€śmy body has changed so much with the gym workouts. If you looked at the scale, it wonâ€™t paint the same picture. But Iâ€™m so much more toned and my running times are better than ever,â€ť she exclaims. Along with being stronger and faster, Danielle says that she is a lot more confident, â€śI really do feel like a woman now, you just have way more self-confidence being in shape. It isnâ€™t the be all and end all of life but you sure feel a lot better, I have a lot more energy and shine from the inside out.â€ť
The scale is the devil:Â “Get a trainer to take your skin folds and use that as your measuring tool.”
Real food in the correct portion size is key:Â “There is no supplement in any form that can make you lose weight. Anything that comes in a wrapper is packed with unnecessary hidden kilojoules. When you start to eat real food you will see how such a little portion keeps you full and sustained.”
Balance is key:Â “We human beings, take away and eliminate food groups and you will want them. I eat chocolate often, I have great red wine, bubbly and a good chocolate fondant but all in moderation.”