Meet Rita Fernandes Venter, a 53-year-old estate agent who lost a massive 27kg when she discovered Banting and began to rely on the support of people around her.
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I was always thin. When I got married aged 24 I weighed 48kg and I stayed this weight after my children were born. But in my 40s, I suddenly gained weight. I hadn’t changed my eating habits, but the weight started piling on, especially around my stomach. I tried many diets, but the stomach remained. I was constantly ill with colds, irritable bowel syndrome and headaches. Also, I was diagnosed with fatty-liver disease.
Then my brother and sister-in-law lost a huge amount of weight doing the ‘Tim Noakes diet’. So I started Banting. At first I gained weight because I was eating too much. To be honest, I was cheating because I didn’t understand the science. I realised that you have to do it properly or not at all. When I started Banting properly, I cleaned my house of all carbs and sugars. It’s hard when you start because eating carbs is easy and convenient. Grabbing a sandwich on the go is a lot easier than cooking something. The easiest part is that you’re eating food you recognise. Simple, fresh foods.
The weight started falling off and I began feeling healthier. I no longer suffered from constant ailments and I had more energy than I’d had in years. Now I am 27kg lighter and my huge stomach is gone. My husband also lost 30kg and his diabetes is under control for the first time in 23 years.
Sharing the support
When I started Banting, I joined every possible Facebook group. There was a group that used to sell meal plans. I wanted to give meal plans to people who couldn’t afford to buy them and to create a space where people would have their hand held on this journey to good health, so I set up the group Banting 7 Day Meal Plans. The group ethos is kindness and tolerance, and it’s grown to more than one-million members. I’ll never give up this lifestyle – Banting has been a life-saver for this family.
Typical day’s food
Breakfast: Yoghurt, berries, nuts, bacon and eggs. I eat around 11am
Dinner: A protein, cauliflower mash, broccoli and a mushroom cream sauce
Drinks: Tea, coffee and water (lots of it)
Keep it simple by eating foods that are recognisable.
If a product contains sugars and preservatives, put it back on the shelf.
Listen to your body
Eat only when you’re truly hungry. Don’t eat because it’s time to eat. Let your body guide you for its needs.
Time to lose weight: 6 months