Majita! Being a man does not mean that you cannot take care of yourself. It is 2022, and we know you love sis’ Nomsa’s magwinya, but maybe cut your weekly fix down to two a week?
According to a recent report by Global Nutrition, about 18.2% of Mzansi men are obese. In 2018, Rajesh Maqokolo (26) from East London made the decision to no longer be part of this statistics. He knew that he needed to fetch his body when he was faced with weight-related health scares.
“I noticed I was gaining weight drastically. I was having complications breathing, especially when the sun was out. I was having a tight chest and frequent asthma attacks, and I decided to lead a healthier life and begin eating clean,” he says.
He started eating clean and followed a meal plan.
“Now, when it’s scorching hot, I can breathe easily and hardly get asthma attacks on my jogging days. I have also noticed that I hardly get sick with flu.”
He believes eating healthy has also helped to reduce his body fat, built his immune system, improved the quality of his skin and helped him grow healthy nails and hair.
Hey wena, fitness bunny, you too!
There is a very fine line between fitness and health, and most people confuse being fit with being healthy.
According to the World Health Organisation, health is the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not solely the absence of disease or infirmity. It includes ageing well, longevity, quality of life and freedom of pain.
The organisation further defines fitness as a set of attributes that people have or want to achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity.
These definitions can be confusing, we know. You are not alone, though. Yanga Ntamo (30) is a wellness and fitness coach from Cape Town and also struggled with these principles.
He called himself a “fitness bunny” for years, and says his passion for his holistic health only started later in life.
In 2018, he saw a dramatic U-turn. “I noticed that I was getting fat and not fit. That’s when I saw a need to include nutrition into my active lifestyle.”
Since the beginning of leading a nutritious life, Ntamo says, “I started feeling better, noticed substantial energy gain, and my wellbeing is just chilled from the start to the end of my day.”
But where to start?
For some men, especially those who are married or living with their partners, it gets difficult to lead a healthy life when your significant other thinks otherwise. Fortunately, for Cape Town teacher Vuyani Sishuba (30) his wife was already on the health train.
“I am a thin by nature, and it’s easier for me to notice a growing belly. After noticing that I had one growing, I consulted my wife. She introduced me to a balanced diet. Looking at her results I realised that this is the lifestyle I needed. I then started watching what goes into my mouth,” he says.
“I have never had health complications because we use organic foods, and less of foods with artificial additives. The best bet is food with high fibre content and high protein content.”
Vuyani’s top tips for improved health include:
- Never skip breakfast.
- Drink a lot of water – at least two litres daily.
- Have a well-balanced meal with proteins and vegetables.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise.
What to eat?
According to registered dietician Jason van Heerden the following are the South African food-based dietary guidelines:
- Enjoy a variety of foods.
- Make starchy foods part of most meals.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit every day with other foods.
- Eat dry beans, split peas, lentils and soya regularly.
- Have milk, maas or yoghurt every day.
- Fish, chicken, lean meat or eggs can be eaten daily.
- Drink lots of clean, safe water.