After 280 550 of your votes and 1 038 entries, we’ve found the 10 finalists from the Belly Off Challenge. Together they lost 169kg and 179cm in their quest to become better men. Here are the lessons they’ve learnt, use them to start your own comeback.

Janes Marks
22, Centurion, Draughtsman and Engineering student
BEFORE: 95kg
AFTER: 79.5kg
WAIST BEFORE: 103cm
WAIST AFTER: 90cm

Belly Off Rule: Eating properly does more good than dumbbells

“The biggest lesson for me was that a perfect diet is 60% of the battle won – training is 30%, and rest 10% in my opinion. Here are the rules that work for me:

A) Take a multivitamin.

B) Get into a routine with meal times and learn what your body needs. You’ll get to know when you need good food and when you just want to eat something for fun. If you have to cheat, do it with small, healthy snacks like pretzels, biltong or fruit. Don’t eat sugar-filled snacks, even if it’s just a little bit, as it spikes your insulin levels, which pretty much means you gain fat. You want to keep your blood sugar levels as stable as possible.

C) Choose meals that are easy to prepare and that you enjoy. There’s no point in eating stuff that you don’t want to, it only adds one more excuse to your list of why not to follow a healthy diet.

D) Shop cleverly at your grocery store. If there’s no unhealthy food in your house you can’t eat any, unless you actually go through a lot of effort to get your hands on some junk food.

E) Manage your time and plan ahead. My brother is my biggest supporter in this challenge. We both entered – we prepared most of our food together and kept each other motivated. I made a week-long diet (similar to the Belly off Challenge one) which contains our favourite foods.”

Belly Off Fact

“Once you shed the weight, it only gets easier.”
“Once the weight is off, cardio training and lifting things becomes so much easier. All I know is I’ll never slip back into unhealthy ways again – maintenance is always better than repair.”

Belly Off Exercise

Leg raises. “They’re my favourite exercise for my core, but I also really enjoy doing shoulder presses and bench presses with dumbbells. I don’t like doing a full session of cardio with just the treadmill, spin bike or rowing machine, I find a combination is much better.”