Siv Ngesi, never one to shy away from controversy, is turning heads again.
Recently, IOL reported that the actor and presenter, whose drag queen character Sivanna caused a stir last year, lost 11 kilos in 11 weeks – leaving many wondering if it’s safe and doable.
Nutrition in weight loss
According to nutritionist, Nicola Drabble, it is possible.
“A healthy guideline to lose weight is half-a-kilo to 1kg per week so this weight loss is both achievable and realistic. There are some fad diets where people lose between 5-10 kilos a week and these should be avoided.”
Ngesi explained that he had cut refined sugar and carbs for 77 days.
Drabble explains: “Some carbs contain empty calories and spike sugar levels but not all carbohydrates are the same. It is difficult to asses if Ngesi included ‘good carbs’ into his diet which contain a lot of fibre such as wholewheat bread and cereals which are good for gut health which can impact on the immune system.”
Drabble, who has been a nutritionist for 20 years, adds: “You need at least 25 grams of fibre per day, which can be found in skins of potatoes, bulgar wheat, whole wheat couscous.
“Oftentimes, you will find that people will appear to lose a lot of weight by reducing carb intake drastically as carbs are stored in the liver with glycogene and water and often the water weight is dropped.”
What about supplements?
One of the things mentioned by Ngesi in his instagram post about his journey is that he took supplements and vitamins in addition to his diet.
Steve Mululu, a body and lifestyle transformation coach based in Sunninghill, says supplements are only to be used in addition to a good eating plan or exercise regime.
“A good supplement is only there to supplement something else and to help, people should not get confused.”
People may be confused when traversing their pharmacy aisle and seeing rows of supplements, protein shakes and other pills.
He explains: “In the fitness world you get supplements which suppress the appetite. These are not useful. In fact, it can cause a life and death situation and it is not sustainable.”
Good supplements to take are those that help with the digestive system and contain digestive enzymes which will help get access to nutrients, he says.
“You cannot supplement good nutrition with protein shakes and replace meals with them.”
Is pole dancing the answer to compliment Siv Ngesi’s diet?
One of the main reasons Ngesi lost 11 kilos in 11 weeks was to partake in a pole dancing competition, which he won. Part of his training included cardio and of course, pole dancing.
According to Gareth Naidoo, a personal trainer with 17 years of experience and a former trainer on The Biggest Loser SA: “Pole dancing is an ideal way to strength train as you [are] working with your own body weight. It is an excellent form of functional training which helps with weight loss.”
He also explains that while many want to look good in their bikinis and speedos for the upcoming festive season, it is not just about the aesthetics when it comes to weight loss.
“Aside from looking good, it’s also about what goes on inside the body, things like how the blood pumps, resting heart rates and oxygen flow, your Vo2 max [a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen your body can utilise during exercise] are all important.”
The weight-loss journey is not sustainable in Ngesi’s format.
Naidoo warns: “Remember, he was training for four hours a day. It was a moment in time for him to train for something specific. It is not a long-term sustainable programme.”
Both Drabble and Naidoo also mentioned that each person’s weight-loss journey is different and that there are varying factors to consider when going through the journey, and that body types play a big role.