Oustav von Molendorff, 36, had a problem. He was eating too much, and exercising too little. At his heaviest he weighed 179kg. Bottom line: if he didn’t turn things around, he was going to run into some serious health problems. His move: revamp his meal plan and hit the gym to lose weight fast.
Diagnosed with asthma at a young age had the perfect excuse to skip physical activity in favour of binge eating at home. “My eating habits were just terrible,” he says. The automotive sales manager’s diet was heavy on bread, chips and dairy, portions he’d swallow down with glasses of Coke—he would often knock back two litres of this calorie-dense drink every day.
According to a study in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, soft drink intake is almost always associated with weight gain, and not even physical activity can take the edge off this sugar bomb. Your best bet? Nix it for water or tea.
The Wake-Up Call
At 18 years old, Oustav clocked in at a hefty 179kg which—even at his height of 1.89m—was likely to put him on a crash course towards some serious health issues. “A family member made a comment, saying that if I didn’t change my lifestyle I would probably die of a heart attack,” he says. It was harsh, but the wake-up call he needed. “This hit me really hard, and I knew I had to make a plan with my life and body.” Bottom line: he needed to lose weight fast.
The Meal Plan Revamp
Measuring out portions was a foreign concept for a kid who had always had free reign when it came to his meals. However, with the help of diet shakes and a low-calorie diet, he was able to achieve a deficit. However, when he learnt to track every kilojoule, that’s when his weight loss journey went from meandering to motoring.
“I had to completely retrain my brain and think of how I saw food,” he admits. Nowadays, he sticks to a strict high-protein diet consisting of chicken, red meat and fresh vegetables. Oustav keeps his snacking urges at bay by plating up carefully portioned meals per day.
The Fitness Fix
His first foray into the world of working out started with cardio. Think: treadmills, cycling and the elliptical trainer. “It’s boring, but it gets the job done,” he says. Once he’d built up his cardiovascular fitness, he started tackling functional and bodybuilding style workouts, tagging in top trainers such as MH cover guy Bauke Hanekom to help him push harder and lose weight fast.
A recent study found that those working with a PT were able to achieve greater results than the lonewolves at the gym. Bottom line: sometimes having a qualified expert in your corner is worth the price of admission.
In just two years, Oustav managed to drop 81kg—a considerable feat for anyone, let alone someone starting with no fitness experience. “My biggest reward has been going to a normal clothing store and being able to pick up and wear something from the shelf,” he says. (At his heaviest, he was rocking size 54 pants and XXXXXXL shirts—no, that’s not a typo.)
“The best advice I can give is just start small,” he says. “Even if you just go for a daily walk, those few steps will burn so many more calories than you are burning by sitting at home.” That, and don’t strive to be the faster or the strongest, but the guy working the hardest in the room.