Banting helped me lose 75kg

Laetitia before and after
Laetitia before and after
The banting way

Laetitia says she was always the "biggest" girl in school, despite an active lifestyle. Yet, it wasn’t until after she had her first child and developed post-partum hypothyroidism that her battle with her body really began.

“Throughout my pregnancy I consulted with a dietician and did aqua aerobics right up until baby was born. Everything went well until I stopped breastfeeding and my weight started to increase drastically. I was put onto medication to help control the post-partum hypothyroidism, but the weight gain continued.”

Read: What Tim Noakes eats

Laetitia was unable to get this under control and after she had her fourth child she developed bad eating habits together with the excess weight, and by now her self esteem had hit rock bottom.

How it all started

Frustrated and tired of the yo-yo results she had experienced with various other weight-loss methods – from pills, to shakes and fat-shrinking gels to body wraps – she decided one day on the way to the kitchen that today was the day everything had to change . . .

“I said to myself, ‘I am not going to have bread today.’ Then I figured if I am cutting out bread, I would also try cutting out wheat and sugar. In a few weeks I noticed that I seemed to have more energy and less inflammation and water retention in my body. I then decided to cut out dairy and other carbohydrates, and reduced my fruit to one to two servings per day and made sure I had a moderate protein serving at every meal and snack and included healthier full fat options.

“I literally went ‘cold turkey’ – and the results were incredible. At the time I didn’t realise I was actually following a ‘Low Carb High Fat’ lifestyle that was soon to become a revolution.”

Laetitia's diet plan

Drink: Hot water with a few slices of lemon

2-3 scrambled eggs (with coconut oil or butter)
A few baby tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, or any other veg/salad you care to throw into the pan

A few nuts
A few berries

•    Chicken breast
•    Avocado
•    Salad: lettuce packs (rocket, watercress, spinach) with tomatoes, cucumber etc.
•    A dash of olive oil

A few nuts/biltong

•    Chicken breast/tuna/fish/mince
•    Veggies (green)
•    Salad:  lettuce packs (rocket, watercress, spinach) with tomatoes, cucumber etc.

More exercise

Despite regular swimming, Laetitia decided she needed more exercise, and when she received a spa treatment voucher for her birthday she exchanged it for 10 sessions with a personal trainer.

“When I noticed the weight was dropping off, I started to introduce more activity – my body was craving it. I started Latin Zumba dancing, walking and continued with the gym (functional training) and swimming. Exercise became a priority which I needed to schedule into my already very busy day. But anything is possible if you put your mind to it.  I found that if I went more than two days without exercising, my body would start rebelling.”

Image: Laetitia before and after

IMG 20141103 155015

Living a healthy life, long-term

Losing 75kg is a daunting task, so Laetitia decided to begin with setting small attainable goals along the way.

“My nine year old son would love to throw his arms around my waist to measure how far I had come. At first he couldn’t get his arms around me, and then would express much excitement at having reached his fingertips, then his wrist, then his arm, then his elbow. My own little human tape measure.”

Some dietary dos and don'ts

1.    No wheat and sugar . . . the 2 killers! This includes bread, biscuits, cake, fizzy drinks, sweets, chocolates etc. It spikes insulin and stores fat,  and raises inflammation in the body.

2.    No WHITE stuff, i.e. rice, potato, pasta, cakes, biscuits etc., made with white flour.

3.    Lots of protein, which you need to incorporate into all meals and snacks.

•    Tuna
•    Chicken breast
•    Fish
•    Egg
•    Beef mince
•    Beef
•    Lean cooked ham
•    Raw nuts
•    Biltong in small quantities (good for snack times)

4.    Healthy full fat options, e.g. olive oil, butter, coconut oil

5.    Salad

6.    Vegetables

•    Green vegetables are first prize.
•    Orange vegetables like carrots and butternut – eat in small quantities and preferably not for dinner.  Have them at lunch time which will give you more time to burn off the carbohydrates.

Read: 10 Golden rules of Banting

7.    Minimal fruit, e.g. apples, nectarines (I avoid bananas, mangoes etc. as they are very high in fructose.)

8.    RAW unsalted nuts, e.g. almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamias

9.    Lots of water

10.   NO SWEETENERS!  Rather use small amounts of raw honey if you have to.

11.   Read the labels – watch out for preservatives and additives!

12.   Alcohol loads the calories! Try and avoid it. You can’t burn fat in the presence of alcohol.

13.   Lots of exercise . . . just get moving!

Secret to success

Laetitia says one of the secrets to her weight loss is to be organised.

“If I didn’t have what I needed in the pantry or fridge – I would reach for the wrong food, or not eat at all, which is even worse. And for the first six months I was very strict and didn’t allow myself any treats; it’s a slippery slope once you start indulging.”

And she knows what she is talking about, not just from her own weight loss success, but also as a Banting Coach.

Following her success with the controversial "Tim Noakes diet" Laetitia has become an accredited member of the Banting Buddies Network, trained by the co-author of the bestselling book The Real Meal Revolution, Sally-Ann Creed.

Read: Banting or low-carbing? Watch what meat you eat!

If you are considering attempting the Banting way of eating, Laetitia would be a good person to speak to.

“I am loving life, I can now do things I couldn’t do before, such as fit in a regular bathtub; climb stairs with ease; fit into my first pair of jeans in 17 years; not worry about breaking someone’s patio furniture; fit in an aeroplane seat; and buy a wetsuit to go body boarding with my kids.

“My life has completely changed, and each day I make an effort to embrace it as a blessing.”

For more information about her journey, Laetitia Hayes can be contacted at

More personal weight-loss stories

How I lost weight – part 1 - 11kg in 6 months through diet and exercise and the help of a personal trainer
How I lost weight – part 2 - lost 134cm and 8 percent body fat in 7 months on the Paleo diet
How I lost weight – part 3 lost 9kg in 8 weeks on the SleekGeek challenge
How I lost weight – part 4 lost 20kg in 5 months on the SleekGeek Paleo diet
How I lost weight – part 5 lost 35kg in 5 months on the SleekGeek 30 Day Reboot
How I lost weight – part 6 lost 9kg in 2 months clean eating Paleo style

Previous weight-loss successes

I lost 76 kg on the Adventure Bootcamp programme 
I lost over 100kg on the Weigh-Less programme
Lose weight the Darren Scott way
Get fit by dancing, Riaan says

Read More:

The Real Meal Revolution launches new online Banting course
Tim Noakes backtracks on dairy
‘Banting/Noakes diet' discriminates against women

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