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Jairus Thomas, 23, Durban
Weight before: 93
Weight after: 74
Occupation: Master’s student and part-time model
Time to goal: Six months
THE GAIN After matriculating in 2007, I decided to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. As a student, my life was an academically-shackled blur – filled with late nights spent studying and a diet which consisted of a multitude of unhealthy, serotonin-inducing meals. Although I wouldn’t describe my lifestyle as entirely sedentary, my exercise “regimen” was a biweekly, purely recreational and unmotivated routine. I realised that a pivotal part of my academic success would revolve around living a more healthy and holistic lifestyle.
THE CHANGE The first step involved instituting goals which were both realistic and attainable. The diet plan that I adhered to was the Men’s Health Belly Off! Readers Challenge week by week diet plan which was designed by the Sports Science Institute of South Africa. This mostly consisted of high-quality lean protein sources and a substantial restriction upon carbohydrates. Large quantities of fruits and vegetables were my daily staple and all sources of saturated fat and refined sugar were almost entirely eliminated.
THE STRATEGY My training schedule went from a nonchalant two days-a-week to a vigorous, high intensity five days-a-week programme. This included cardio and resistance training. With the motivation of a gym partner and the occasional assistance from a personal trainer, I saw results in the first four weeks. Within three months, I’d lost a substantial amount of weight while also increasing lean muscle mass. My goal was then to decrease my body fat to levels below 10% which was achieved by curtailing my diet plan to further optimise protein and key nutrient consumption, and incorporating CrossFit training into my workouts.
THE REWARD I’ve achieved a well-sculpted physique which, for me, seemed impossible. My confidence levels have soared and I’ve started modelling. My new level of physical fitness has also aided in further enhancing my cognitive abilities and I’m about to complete my master’s degree, with distinction.
THE RESULT My body fat has been incinerated, from 19% to 8%. I’ve lost 19kg. Anyone can achieve a transformation like mine with adequate diet, determination and dumbbells (which I call the “three Ds”).