Andre De Goede battled with low self-esteem issues and insecurities for most of his life, until he decided to take control with a lifestyle transformation based on solid science.

Andre says these issues affected every area of his life, from his social connections with friends to the quality of his family life.

When the pandemic spread to South Africa and the country went into lockdown I, like so many others, really struggled with depression,” explains Andre.

I wasn’t very pleasant to be around, which really affected my family. I knew that I needed to change, and that I was solely responsible for creating my own happiness and positivity.”

The fact that overweight people were at greater risk from Covid-19 was another factor that prompted Andre to take control of his physical and mental health.

READ MORE | Xavier Gets Back On Track With NPL Body Revolution Transformation Challenge

Personal Stats

  • Age: 38
  • Lives: Nelspruit
  • Career: Wireless and Fibre ISP, Netbits
  • Sponsor: NPL
  • Instagram
  • TikTok


Knowledge is power

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.

READ MORE | Stay Shredded Throughout The Season: How NPL’s Lean, Mean Machine K.K. Sibiya Does It!

Individualised diet plan

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.
  1. Monday – Focus: Shoulders. Secondary: Chest
  2. Tuesday – Focus: Arms. Secondary: Back
  3. Wednesday – Legs
  4. Thursday – Focus: Chest: Secondary: Shoulders
  5. Friday – Focus: Back. Secondary: Arms
  6. Saturday – Play day. I train whatever I feel isn’t sore and push it!
  7. Sunday – Rest

READ MORE | Jason Dunning Breaks Down NPL’s No Proprietary Blend Policy

Science behind supplements

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.”

Andre’s NPL supplement includes:

Since achieving his goal, Andre still tunes and tweaks his diet and training to get the most out of his body, especially as he often works as a model on music videos or for a local clothing brand.

Most people would love to get to the maintenance phase because the diet is not that difficult, but I will never stop adapting my approach, especially as I get older.”

READ MORE | What You Need For A Successful Lifestyle Makeover And Body Transformation

The mental impact

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. Jordan B. Peterson believes that you should become a monster, then learn how to control it.
  2. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.
  3. Always strive to be better, in any meaningful way.