This Superyacht Captain Shredded 25KG After A Hip Injury, Here’s How

Alastair Smal thought he would never see his body in good shape again. He turned his life around by changing his daily routine.

Sidima Mfeku, Thaaqib Daniels |

Working out seems extremely strenuous when you’ve gained weight and lost hope of reaching your body goals. After a hip injury – and the weight gain that followed – Alastair Smal thought he would never see his body in good shape again. So aspired to be the active, energetic dad he once was, and with some intense changes to his nutrition and daily routine, he managed to lose 25KG in just 5 months. This is his story.

alastair smal
  • Location: Ballito, KZN
  • Occupation: Superyacht Captain
  • Age: 39
  • Height: 1.82m
  • Weight before: 99.7kg
  • Weight after: 75.5kg
  • Time to goal: 5 months

The Problem

“After school I didn’t want an office job, so I decided to get a job at sea. Working on deck at sea is physical work and it kept me in shape. So I really didn’t need to go to the gym,” he says.

“The ‘no gym’ mentality stuck with me over the years, as a result, with time I gained a lot of weight. The more I got promoted at work, the less physical my job became. Eventually I realised that I basically had an office job, poor health and high cholesterol amongst other things. I got tired walking up the stairs and playing with my kids. I was like a tortoise, all I did was move slowly and eat!  This combination of poor diet and zero exercise both at work and at home was a ticking time bomb.”

The Lesson: You can’t eat and drink whatever you want, your body ages and you need to look after it.

Related: The Science Behind How Weight Loss Actually Works

The Change

“I decided that if I wanted to see my kids grow, I needed to change both physically and mentally. This is easier said than done, eating was my favourite hobby, and for as long as I can remember, I have never watched what I ate. Plus, due to a pre-existing hip injury I couldn’t do any impact training. This meant I needed to think of a different ‘staple’ cardio workout which I could do in the confines of both my cabin at work as well as when I was home. The time was now to do this, no more procrastination.”

The Lesson: Listen to your body, says Alistair. “I had 3 or 4 warning signs over the years where my body was telling me to stop being an idiot and start treating it well.”

Related: Watch: This Dietician Says What You Need To Eat To Keep Off The Weight

The Strategy

“I downscaled my diet and cut out alcohol and refined carbs. I only ate vegetable starch and no potatoes, grains or bread. I even cut out natural sugars such as high fructose fruit and only ate lean meats and kept them to 2 x 30 gram portions per meal,” says the captain.

And the hard work and discipline paid off. “I was losing an average of 2kg a week for the first 8 weeks. I also started exercising daily, I did 12 minutes on a cross trainer 7 days a week. The free Nike training club app and I became best friends.”

Related: Make The Most Of Your Daily Commute With These 11 Apps

Alistair was gaining momentum and by week 9, he had a game plan. “Week 9 was a big milestone as far as eating was concerned, I was happy with my weight loss and I decided that instead of having a cheat day, I would spread out the cheat meals over the week. This allowed me to have a more normal and sustainable diet. Ensuring you eat enough calories is critical as you need to maintain your body’s needs.”

The Lesson: You can’t out train a bad diet. Make sure what you put in your mouth is on the healthy side, and it’s okay to eat a few “bad” meals a week.

Related: Which One Of These INSANE Workout Moves Is Your Favourite?

The Result

alastair, smal, weight, loss

The results have led to a happier and healthier life for Alistair, whose metabolism is in its early 20s!

“My metabolic age is 21, my body fat percentage is a lean 12.6 and I have maintained my schedule of 4 days strength training and 3 days cardio a week.”

“I am completely medication-free nowadays. Blood tests confirmed that I have perfect LDL and HDL cholesterol levels and a healthy blood pressure. My metabolic age is 21, my body fat percentage is a lean 12.6 and I have maintained my schedule of 4 days strength training and 3 days cardio a week,” he adds.

“My mental health has improved drastically and I no longer have mood swings. I turn 40 in August and will be the healthiest I have ever been. I can keep up with my kids and my memory and overall physical and mental well-being is 100 times better than it was last year.”

The Lesson: No matter where you are or what your circumstance, there is always a 30-minute workout you can do. It’s having the strength within yourself to get past the first few weeks. Actually getting out of bed and getting your work out kit on is 90% of the battle.


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