My weight loss journey from 130kgs to 80

Before and after: Ngorok says while in school, he mostly ate junk foods that made him add more weight. Courtesy PHOTO/Godfrey lugaaju

What you need to know:

  • Moses Ngorok used eating as an escape from troubling thoughts.
  • He would eat to mask his fears and the more he ate, the more he piled on kilogrammes.
  • An unexpected weight loss at university gave him the courage to fight and attain his dream weight.

Weight management is a two-way affair. You either want to lose or gain weight. But for most people with weight problems, there is stigma and discomfort that always accompanies the struggle, especially if peers throw negative comments towards you.

Moses Ngorok, a 29-year-old commercial lawyer, says his struggle with weight gain started in childhood. “I was big and because of my size, I was nicknamed big fish at school,” he says.

Ngorok attributes his weight gain to unhealthy eating habits. “Because most people in my family are overweight, I knew that I was predisposed to becoming big. This depressed me and as a result I started eating whenever I felt sad. Eating became my escape and therapy and at 14, I weighed 130 kilogrammes,” he narrates.

Ngorok says he ate relentlessly whether during the day or at night. “There are times I would wake up in the night and eat with relish. In the morning, I would realise that I had eaten all the leftovers,” he recalls.

Weight loss journey
When he joined university in 2OO8, Ngorok’s weight loss journey started. He reveals however, that it was not intentional.

“After joining Uganda Christian University, the change in diet caused me to lose 18 kilogrammes to 112 kilogrammes. I lost the weight because there I could not eat like I used to. I was operating on a tight budget which meant that I had to rely on the food provided by the university,” he notes.

However, Ngorok says although he had lost considerable weight, he was still big. He purposed to lose the extra weight and set his target weight at 80 kilogrammes.
In 2015, he was advised by a female colleague to start the juice diet as a way of losing the extra weight. “I started juicing and within one week I had lost 10Kgs,” he says.

The diet
With juicing, you extract the juice from fresh fruits or vegetables. The resulting liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) found in the whole fruit. It significantly reduces calorie intake and the fewer calories you consume on a juice diet, the more rapidly you will lose weight.

Side effect
Ngorok notes that although juicing was a very effective method of losing weight, he would feel weak and with time, he could not continue with the diet. This forced him to carry out his own research which he says helped him to come across the concept of eating a low carb-diet and learning how to count his calorie intake per meal.

“In 2016, I started eating foods with less calories. I ate mostly vegetables and fruits such as watermelon and apples. I also started walking for 45 minutes everyday,” he explains.

Ngorok says his choice was sustainable, flexible and affordable and it helped him lose at least one kilogramme per week. “Today, I weigh 80 kilogrammes. This was my target weight and all I have to do is to ensure I maintain it,” he says.

According to Dr Dennis Katanku Musoga, a dietician at Uganda Heart Institute, a number of Ugandans fail to achieve their desired weight target because they start dieting without knowing the exact number of calories the body requires.

“Our bodies are different and each needs a varying diet. What worked for your friend may not necessarily work for you. Before beginning a diet plan, consult a doctor for advice on what best suits your body,” he advises.
He further cautions against skipping the required meals as a way of reducing weight saying it is dangerous. “Instead, eat all meals but reduce your calorie intake and exercise regularly,” he advises.