After losing 20 lbs in 5 months, Jenoviva Iradukunda reveals her motivation to lose weight and how she reached her weight loss goal by practicing the One Meal A Day (OMAD) version of intermittent fasting and strength training.
What was your motivation to lose weight?
What mainly motivated me to train and lose weight was watching my grandparents die of chronic illnesses that they could have avoided with good lifestyle habits.
In our family there are a lot of chronic diseases, so I try to avoid any complications related to poor nutrition. I want to be the example for my family that it is possible to control all these health problems and live a healthy life, also, I gained 10 kg in three years. It doesn’t look like much, but for me, who is only 5’2 tall, I felt it everywhere, especially in my knees.
I saw a photo of me in a bathing suit and I didn’t recognize myself. I started having pain in my knee, and when I tried to run, I couldn’t lift my own body anymore, I had become too heavy for myself.
What changes did you make to your diet?
To lose the pounds, I did the OMAD (one meal a day). So, I fast for 23 hours and eat a big meal. During the fasting period, I can drink tea, coffee, Coke Zero. As for the big meal, I try to get all the nutrients, so I eat everything. However, I always eat what I want that day. For example, today I ate two corns with a large steak, with Oreos for dessert and a glass of milk. Another day I eat a big salad with chicken and garlic bread and for dessert a piece of chocolate cake. Basically, I eat until I’m full. when I’m full I stop eating. To get all my nutrients, I also took jujube supplements with my meals.
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Tell us about your exercise routine
I do strength training 4-5 times a week. Normally I train in the morning, and I eat my OMAD at 5 or 6 p.m. I do the legs/glutes 3 times a week, and the upper body twice a week. On days I don’t train, I still go to the gym to walk at least 2 km on the treadmill. I need to move every day now, it’s good for my mental health as it allows me to release any tension or stress.
Where are you now since making changes to your diet and lifestyle?
I lost 20 lbs. I was 155 lbs now I am at 135 lbs. It took 5 months to lose all that weight. The first week was the hardest. I was used to snacking. Every day I wanted to give up. Luckily, I am very disciplined and took it one day at a time. What really got me was looking at a picture of me at 22, I wanted to go back to that size. I wanted to love myself again. After the first week it got easier and easier for me. My big obstacle was people’s judgment of my decision to live a healthier lifestyle. When I refused to eat, they told me that I was starving myself, even though I had never felt better. So, I signed up for support groups on Reddit and Facebook. These are groups with people who have been doing OMAD for several years. It allowed me to feel less alone and above all not to give up. On the groups there were pictures of people who lost weight with this lifestyle, it was very motivating.
With the OMAD, of course I lost weight, but also, I saw a change in my skin. (See photo) I have a natural glow, I grew in confidence, my digestion improved, and I feel less bloated.
What can we find you doing on your off days?
As a nurse, I work a lot, so on my days off, I go to the gym and the rest of the day I just relax in my bed in my pyjamas. That’s happiness for me right now.
What advice would you offer someone wanting to lose weight?
For women looking to lose weight, my advice would be to start. Start by finding a plan, a way of life that you can do for the rest of your life. You also need to have a lot of patience. Look at me, it took me 5 months to lose 20 pounds. You really must go 1 day at a time. Also, it’s not that you don’t lose weight one week that you haven’t lost fat. For example, I had a period of 1 month where I lost no pounds, but my clothes became looser. Don’t just rely on the scale. Be patient with your body, good things take time.
Connect with Jenoviva here @jenoviva8