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Mark Seabrook – Winner Men’s Weight loss

Mark Seabrook,  Digital Director,  New Holland Publishing, Cape Town

Winner: Men’s weight-loss category,  Sleekgeek “12 Week Comeback Kid challenge” (1 Feb – 25 April 2012) 


Key starting and end measurements


Before (01/02/2012)

After (24/04/2012)


Weight (kg)




Body Fat %




Chest (cm)




Tummy (cm)





Not having a lot of free time and previously having always focused all my efforts on exercise and gyming, I decided to rather radically change my eating habits.


Just before the challenge began I had been given an extract from the Tim Ferriss book The 4-Hour Body, which outlined the Slow-Carb diet. The Slow-Carb diet in summary is about cutting out carbs and sugars and eating proteins, legumes and vegetables. It recommends having the same few meals over and over, avoiding drinking calories and taking one day off per week (this assists your metabolic rate).

I went ‘cold turkey’ and cut out carbs and sugars completely, the first few weeks were rough as your body is detoxing and as it adjusts headaches and other side effects are common. After two weeks I had found lots of great alternatives to all my usual carbs: eggs in the morning, grilled chicken & salads at lunch, and fish, steak, chicken and veggies in the evening. My wife was instrumental in my eating change by making awesome carb free meals – Recipes will be shared with the SleekGeek community J


What about alcohol? I decided at the outset that this had to be enjoyable and not torture, so moderate alcohol was definitely on the menu. Beer was avoided and whiskey & water and red wine were in! I viewed this as a lifestyle change and NOT a diet; therefore I always focused on options which I could stick to beyond the 3 month challenge. There were of course a few ‘cheat days’ such as Easter and a few big nights in the pub in London, but overall I stuck with it, and it was a lot easier than expected.




For the first two weeks I did not exercise. This was largely due to the fact that the radical change in diet left me feeling a bit ‘down’ and I decided to first get over this before throwing exercise into the mix. Since my focus was weight loss and running is my thing, for the next 4 weeks I did almost entirely cardio in the form of short (5km) to medium (10km) runs 3-5 times a week. To help with the fat burning and to keep my body guessing, on the shorter runs I pushed my pace and finished with a set of sprints.


By the end of week 6 (half way) I had lost about 8kgs, so with the weight loss going well I started mixing my running with hitting the gym. My gym sessions would always start with 20min of intense cardio as a warm up and then typically 20-30min of weight training mostly focused on my upper body. As the challenge drew to a close (last 2 weeks) I was in the gym 5-6 times a week still sticking to only 45-60min of high intensity, high quality exercise.

 Biggest lessons / tips

Getting to an ideal weight and being healthy is 80% eating right and 20% exercise, no debate!


I was reluctant to sign up for this challenge, thinking I would not have enough time as it would require heaps of exercise, as that had always been my approach: exercise like mad, eat anything you like. Eating correctly requires a bit of planning but not any more time than you usually spend eating and getting it right is 80% of the battle won.


Lastly make sure whatever you do is realistic and sustainable, if not you will eventually slip back into your old ways.


Next goals

Now that I have reached a weight I am happy with and there is a lot less ‘flab’ in the way, my next goal is to focus on toning and definition.


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