Larissa Esterhuizen needed to find a sustainable weight loss solution to slim down after she gained weight because she struggled to resist her mother’s delicious food after returning home from university.

“Just like it is difficult for anyone following an eating plan to resist temptation, it is not always easy to make the right food choices in everyday life,” explains Larissa.

Reality TV slim down

After failing to lose weight with different approaches, Larissa chose to register for SLANK (the Afrikaans word for slim), a locally-produced documentary program that strives to motivate and help contestants lose weight over a 13-week period.

However, rather than chasing extreme weight loss, like many other reality lifestyle and weight-loss shows, the SLANK team aims to improve health and wellness with sustainable approaches.

The show also addresses lifestyle-related issues such as depression, diabetes and an inability to focus, in an effort to improve the overall health and wellbeing of the contestants and viewers.

Appearing in SLANK Season 7, Larissa lost 11 kilos and 60 cm in her waist circumference in three months, which saw her drop from a 40 to 36 dress size.

“While losing weight was not my main goal, it was a huge bonus for me. I simply wanted to develop the tools to live a healthier lifestyle, which SLANK made possible for me.”

Quick facts

A plan that works

During the show, Larissa followed the Tony Ferguson Weight Loss Program, which emphasises a mindful approach to food consumption, selecting healthier meal options, regulating portion sizes, and becoming more attuned to hunger cues.

“For a student and someone who doesn’t like to cook at home, the Tony Ferguson plan was convenient and definitely contributed to my success.

Larissa also incorporated Tony Ferguson supplements into her plan, including the Go Shake, which is an affordable and convenient, high-protein meal solution that she used as a daily breakfast option.

“The tasty shake was really helpful for me because I generally don’t have much of an appetite in the morning and I wanted to find something that I could consume to address this issue,” explains Larissa.

Tony Ferguson Munch bars were another convenient and useful snack option.

“Due to my work schedule, food preparation time and sit-down meals are often not feasible. That’s why I use Tony Ferguson Munch bars as a meal substitute or replacement throughout the day.”

Lifestyle transformation lessons

When she experienced cravings and temptations, Larissa reminded herself that nothing tastes as good as the feeling that comes with fitting into smaller-sized clothes.

“It was also extremely motivating to experience how my clothing fit more loosely on my body as I lost weight, along with all the compliments that came with it.”

During her transformation, Larissa discovered that she can achieve anything she wants to in life.

“I realised that I have enough willpower and self-motivation to persevere with my end goal in mind. I also learned that I love exercise more than I realised, and that my body, soul and spirit can work together as one.”

Losing weight and achieving success has also filled Larissa with the confidence to try new things, including different approaches to exercise like EMS training and rebounding.

For anyone else who is planning the first step to a healthier life, Larissa recommends taking it one day at a time, and suggests finding an approach that will make the journey as enjoyable as possible.

Know that there is no ‘quick fix’. But simply starting and showing up means 50% of the work is done. All you need to do then is stick to your plan and believe in yourself – become your own biggest supporter!”

Based on her experience, Larissa has realised that the right approach will do more than create temporary change in your life.

“This is a permanent healthy lifestyle change that you can and must maintain for the rest of your life!”

Larissa’s top lifestyle transformation tips:

  1. Listen to your body and do what is good for it.
  2. Stop eating when you are full and only eat when you are hungry.
  3. Give yourself the grace to enjoy a treat and don’t punish yourself for it, because life is short.