It's so easy: No carbs

By admin
06 May 2011

‘Oh no, the bed hasn’t even been made yet!” She greets us in a bright orange top and black ski pants. The bed is in a lapa in the garden.

Seated at a table beside it Shaleen Surtie-Richards (56) lights a cigarette and flicks her long hair over a shoulder while her Maltese poodles play at her feet.

She’s noticeably slimmer than she was when we last saw her in local soapie Egoli. The unmade bed isn’t where she sleeps, she tells us; it’s always there as part of the garden furniture.

Today Shaleen wants to share her diet secrets but first she launches into a story about her mom’s 80th birthday party at a casino the previous weekend.

Her widowed mom lives with her in Witpoortjie in Roodepoort, Joburg. Without her, she says, “I would be nothing.”

There are tantalising cupcakes left over from the party but she hasn’t eaten any of the birthday cakes, the actress proudly tells us.

“I organised a cake for Mommy that looked exactly liked our old house in Upington. Everything was made from icing except the little cardboard roof. She cried when she saw it. And there were 80 long-stemmed red roses and R1 500 worth of chocolates. She loved all of it,” Shaleen says, flicking her hair away again.

“It’s all my own hair – I have the receipt to prove it,” she jokes.

In November Shaleen decided enough was enough; she was going to shed those extra kilos for the sake of her health.

She’s diabetic and is supposed to avoid sweet things but never did. Then socialite Loui Fish introduced her to diet guru Eric Way – and she was on her way to a new body.

When Shaleen started the Eric Way diet she weighed 105 kg. It’s been four months and her weight has dropped to 91 kg.

But she clearly hates weighing herself. “I want to tell women to hide their scales in a cupboard somewhere. That scale is deceptive – sometimes it wil show you’ve picked up weight when you haven’t.

“I spent a lot of time moving it around in the hope the floor tiles were uneven or something. No, it’s better to stay away from that scale,” she says, sipping her mineral water.

Shaleen drinks three litres of water a day – and she doesn’t have to run to the toilet as often as before because her body is used to this quantity, she says.

She has tried every diet under the sun. On one occasion she lost 22 kg but put it all on again. The discipline required was too much for her, she says.

“But this way you eat yourself thin.” Shaleen believes she’ll stay slim this time because the diet isn’t a strict regime so much as a change of lifestyle. “It becomes second nature to count carbohydrates – after a while you don’t even know you’re doing it.”

This is the most important principle of her new diet – basically to cut out carbohydrates and drink lots of water.

Every now and then she calls to her domestic worker, Martha Engelbrecht, to make tea.

“Look, I’m determined to stuff you full of cupcakes,” she tells us. And when Martha appears it’s with a tray of scrumptious cupcakes in every colour of the rainbow.

Read the full article in YOU, 12 May 2011.

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