“My first step was to start eating correctly and drop bad habits like drinking and snacking on calorific foods.”
As someone who had tried various diets in the past, without much success, Andre knew he needed a more logical and science-backed approach as the foundation for his transformation.
“I chose to only use information from peer-reviewed studies published in medical journals. I mainly got this information from select YouTube channels, rather than read through the entire journal, which can be tedious.”
During this process, Andre came across information from the so-called “Biggest Loser” study, which tracked contestants from the popular weight loss reality TV show to see if they maintained their weight.
“Most contestants gained 70% of the weight back, which supports the notion that losing a lot of weight in a relatively short amount of time is a recipe for failure.”
These findings echoed Andre’s own experience, as he lost 20 kilos in 2015. “The process was so intense and very difficult to maintain that I gained back all the weight back and then some.”
And as someone who has worked out in the gym since he was 19, without the physique to show for his efforts, Andre realised that he needed to relearn what is right and wrong regarding fat loss and muscle building.
“Figuring out what works and what doesn’t for me was probably the most difficult part of my transformation. While there are basics that apply, there are many variables that mean cookie-cutter approaches don’t work for everyone in the same way.”
For example, Andre tried the very-low carb ketogenic approach for fat loss, but found he couldn’t sustain his activity levels on this diet for more than six weeks.
“While some people can, I developed anaemia – a low red blood cell count – due to the lack of sufficient carbs. I simply pushed too hard during training without carbs, which made me feel flat with no energy. After the blood tests revealed the condition, I added carbs to my diet again and felt 100% better in three days.”
Andre’s diet typically consists of oats, eggs, sweet potato, rice, lots of chicken, beef, and soups that contain lots of vegetables.
A proven exercise plan
In terms of his training, Andre used science to formulate his weekly training regimen. “I came across a study that found targeting every body part twice a week works best for optimal muscle growth (hypertrophy). I also work to failure on the last set.”
Andre’s training split:
Focus muscle group: 3 – 4 exercises x 4 sets each
Secondary muscle groups: 1-2 exercises x 4 sets each
1 hour cardio on max settings like incline and intensity every day.
Monday – Focus: Shoulders. Secondary: Chest
Tuesday – Focus: Arms. Secondary: Back
Wednesday – Legs
Thursday – Focus: Chest: Secondary: Shoulders
Friday – Focus: Back. Secondary: Arms
Saturday – Play day. I train whatever I feel isn’t sore and push it!
And Andre uses NPL supplements to support his new intense and active lifestyle.
“NPL has always been my go-to brand for supplements, even before my transformation. NPL products have played a critical role in my muscle building and fat loss journey.”
Andre is also drawn to the brand’s scientific approach to product formulations and research and development.
“I like reading up on the ingredients and referencing studies about them to learn about the pros and cons. I love to dissect a product and if it doesn’t meet my needs, NPL always has another option in its product line-up that fit my criteria.”
Beyond the physical changes, Andre believes that his transformation has had an immeasurable positive effect on his mental health, which he believes more people should prioritise.
“Looking after myself and losing fat changed my life in many ways. It even saved my marriage, not because I look better, but because I feel better and I am happy with me. When that mental transformation happens, giving out happiness becomes the fuel that makes life worth living.”
Andre’s transformation masterclass
Based on his research-backed approach, Andre applies three key rules in his regimen that everyone can use in their lifestyle transformation approach:
Calories in, calories out. Start by counting the calories you consume. While this might seem onerous, you just need to do it the beginning until you learn how many calories are in certain foods and then you can use your trained eye to estimate.
Meet your macronutrient needs. Once you start losing weight as a result of rule one, your body will require more usable macronutrients, which is when you should start making sure you get the right quantity and proportion of proteins, fats and carbs for your body and goals.
Meet your micronutrient needs. No diet is perfect and you can often fall short in terms of micronutrients, especially if you train hard. Once you master rule 1 and 2, you can start to supplement your micronutrients with necessary products like calcium, magnesium and zinc.
In terms of the best mental advice Andre has taken from his research and experience, he offers these three
Jordan B. Peterson believes that you should become a monster, then learn how to control it.
Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.
Always strive to be better, in any meaningful way.
Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional prior to beginning any diet or exercise program or taking any dietary supplements. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.