The Sunday Mail
Tatenda Musonza Body Makeover
One of the most common complaints I hear from people struggling with weight loss is that they cannot stop eating. They love food.
There are two issues with this. First of all it is perfectly okay to eat as much as you want. If you are hungry eat. The question is what you eat. Today I am providing a number of foods that you can eat as much of as you want without getting fat. However, there is a second issue that will delight you. By eating the foods I describe today you will find that your appetite will start to die. Sounds like magic? No, just biology.
The first thing you should know is processed food is your enemy. So things like bread, pasta and crisps are out. Say no to every processed food. There are no exceptions. Just that decision will get you on the road to weight loss and changes in your appetite.
If you are a hard-core sadza eater then try straight-run mugayiwa sadza or sadza re zviyo or sadza re rapoko (these have a measure of fibre compared to refined mealie meal). Take in small portions. I say this as a concession to the stubborn but for if you are focused on rapid weight loss just stay away from sadza completely.
For your protein sources try matemba (kapenta), madora (caterpillars), hanga (guinea fowl), tsuro (rabbit), gwaya (bream), tsambarafuta (flying tree insect), chimukuyu (biltong), ishwa, majuru. You will notice that I have focused on foods that are locally available and somewhat traditional. You can safely add beef, chicken and lean pork to that list. You can eat these foods in unlimited quantities.
You won’t actually eat them in unlimited quantities; once you start going heavy on protein you will find something strange begins to happen. You will just stop feeling hungry.
I have worked with people who had to wake up and eat something first thing in the morning. They thought they were incurably greedy. Not so; it’s a metabolism issue. After a week or so on a high protein diet they suddenly find that they are not even hungry when they wake up.
For your vegetables you can eat red beans, cowpeas (nyemba), rugare, muboora, african spider herb (nyevhe), pumpkin leaf (mutikiti), bush okra (derere), cassava (mufarinya), black jack (mhuwuwu), cow pumpkin (mushambarara), vlei tuber (tsenza), zumbani, madumbe (yam elephant ear), mbambaira (sweet potato), cucumber (magaka), carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach and onions. You can eat as much of this until it is coming out of your ears. Word of caution, go easy on the mbambaira and madhumbe.
They should always form just a quarter of your plate. The rest should be protein and other vegetables or salad.
You need to be creative with how you work with these foods. I often do a fresh salad and then lay my madhumbe on a bed of salad. It’s delicious. By the side I have a healthy serving of steak or chicken. Once I eat that meal the hunger disappears. I can go for a day without feeling hungry or the need to munch on something. Remember I said no to processed food.
Last week we focused on walking. In week two we are going to do the same thing with a few modifications.
Avoid shallow breathing, filling your lungs completely allows you to burn fat more efficiently and improve your endurance. To maximise your breathing, focus on exhaling as deeply as you can.
Get your abs involved, always engage your core when walking. The payoff is a stronger midsection, which will prevent aches in your back and hips.
Step shorter; don’t be tempted to lengthen your stride to speed up. It sends a jolt to your joints and ultimately slows you and your calories burn down.
Walk for 23 minutes in total
Warm up 5 minutes (easy pace), Walk briskly 2 minutes, Walk moderate pace 2 minutes, walk as fast as possible for 1 min
Walk slowly 2 minutes, walk briskly 1 minute, walk moderate 2 minutes, walk as fast as possible 1 minute, walk briskly 1minute and walk 5 minutes easy pace. It may seem like just 23 minutes but you have done a lot.
Take an hour-long walk carrying 5kg of sand or weights in your satchel.
Your total walking time should be 20 minutes. Walk up a flight of stairs for 15 minutes then walk easy to fast past for 5 min, switch every minute. If you do not have access to stairs find an incline or hill and use that instead.
Another variation is to use a chair as a step going up and down. If you use a chair just exercise for 12 minutes. It’s intense.
Walk for 45 minutes
Walk for 30 minutes at a moderate pace.
Saturday & Sunday
You can take a rest on Sunday and Saturday and cheat a little. When I say cheat I do not mean eating chocolate or ice cream. Cheating means going for the healthier sadza options and brown rice.
- Tatenda Musonza is a personal trainer and runs a body makeover course. He can be reached on [email protected]