Entries are OPEN for Sleekgeek's 38th

💪 8-Week Body Transformation Challenge! 🥗

QA: Meet Maanda who placed 1st in our Men’s Weight Loss Challenge.

Name: Maanda Nengome
Age: 32
Location: Cape Town
What do you do? I am a sustainability and Environmental specialist.

What else do you do?
I enjoy reading personal development material, spending time with friends and taking road trips.


How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
5 months.

How did you find Sleekgeek?
Google. I was searching for weight loss competitions to participate in. 

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
The motivating stories from the newsletters.


What ignited your initial motivation to change?
I was wanting to improve the quality of life I am living and looking to live for longer and to be more active. 

What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
Winning the competition gave me a winner’s mentality. I am more eager to take on challenges and I am more confident. 

What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
My eating needs a bit more refining to suit my lifestyle change. 

If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
This is a permanent transformation so approach it more like a marathon. Keep correcting the errors until the desired behaviour becomes a lifestyle. 

Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
Yes. Sliding backwards happened a number of times more than I had anticipated. 

Plateaus are usually times when I am starting to gain muscles while losing the fat so they don’t worry me. I just focused on my routine

What is better since you got healthy? 
The energy is amazing!

I also look better so that boosts self-image and confidence… did I mention than I have amazing energy!?


What’s your favourite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
Cardio is the way!

How long have you been training and how did you get started?
I have been training for over 2 years. I started with weight loss challenges at work.

What does your typical workout look like?
It depends on which cardio I am going for the day. For a spinning class, I just show up and follow the instructions. 

Favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Spinning classes. They are fun and if taken with a good instructor, you burn a LOT of calories. Burning calories is the name of the game. 

Least favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
Treadmill. But it is a necessary evil. 

How does exercise make you feel? 
Stretched, refreshed and ready to take on the day. 

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why
Alone, unless doing a spinning class. 

Most embarrassing training moment?
No no…I aint telling. Too embarrassing. Lol!

Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?

  • Towel
  • Samsung gear fit
  • Bubble gum. 

Your next training goal?
Gain lean muscles.  

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?

  • OMG – DJ Vitito
  • Jekalyn Carr – It has been established
  • Black motion – Joy Joy
  • Koryn Hawthorne – Warriors
  • Trip Lee – Sweet victory

How has exercise/training/Sport changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
I feel more in control of my life. I have more confidence in approaching challenges and I feel better holistically.


What’s your favourite meal?
Pap, beef trotter & tripe 

OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
Chicken salad.

Favourite protein?

Favourite fat?

Favourite carbohydrate?

What’s your nutrition philosophy / approach? [If you have one]
If you don’t need it, don’t have it.

How many meals a day do you eat?

Do you have a cheat meal / treat strategy?
Yes! Have a planned cheat meal once a week to fend off the cravings. Keep it as healthy as possible while still getting the pleasures of cheat food.


Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
Losing 20kg and achieving my lifelong fitness goal. 

Favorite quote?
“You have to dig deep down, dig deep down inside and ask yourselves who do you want to be?” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Favourite book? 
The ONE Thing – Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan

What inspires and motivates you?
Impacting the lives around me; family, friends and strangers. 

For what are you most grateful? 
Knowing God loves me

What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
You may not get it right now but you have to start somewhere. Let this be it. 

What are your top 5 tips for anyone starting on a healthy journey?
The first thing to get right in your weight loss journey is your intent. Resolve in your mind that this will be the time you actually do it. Without this, it will be hard to achieve your target.

Weight loss requires the right balance of exercising and dieting; one without the other will yield results… but they will be very poor compared to what you would achieve if you were to intentionally go all in. The journey is worth it so give it your all. Keep measurements of weight regularly to track yourself; daily or 3 times a week at minimum. Do the same for your diet because tracking will guide your next step and let you know if you need to increase the intensity of keep at it. 

To lose weight you need to be at a calorie deficit. This is achieved through diet and exercise combined.

You will achieve this calorie deficit by eating fewer calories and burning calories through exercising.

Set your weight loss target.

If you want to lose 15 kg in your 8-week challenge you need to break that down into weekly targets. This gives you 1.88kg that you need to lose in a week; almost 2 kg. You can take this a level further and calculate your daily target which would be 0.26kg. This means that every day you should be weighing yourself to track this target. I recommend checking your weight daily because it is the best way to monitor if what you are doing is effective. If you are not reaching your targets for a week you will need to re-look at your whole strategy. Maybe you need to be more disciplined of maybe you must increase the intensity of your exercises. 

Achieving the targets

Here is a very helpful fact to guide your weight loss, 1kg of fat equals 7700 calories. Keep that in mind when setting your targets. To reach your target you must have a balanced diet and exercise system. But there is a third thing that helps you burn calories and that is sleep. This is why sleep is important for weight loss. A person weighing 80kg burns roughly 74 calories for every hour of sleep. 

Accelerating the process

To accelerate the process I applied a number of things:

  • Cut sugar & dairy
  • Cut carbs
  • Intermittent fasting

By cutting out sugars and dairy I reduced belatedness and amount of low-value calories/empty calories I ingested.

Carbs usually have a lot of calories so I saved myself by cutting them out too.

Intermittent fasting is where the key to accelerating results came. You can have your own intermittent cycles based on the results you want. This is challenging at first but if you realise its value you will see it through. 

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