We all love successful transformation stories and we all get inspired by the achievements that others do. Eslam Edris is one success story that would encourage anyone to start now and work on developing healthy eating habits. He is known online with his 200,000 followers Facebook page as “The Fat Slayer,” where he provides his social media followers with tips and support to start changing their eating habits and follow a healthy lifestyle.
Edris who once was the national championship in kick boxing suffered an injury that made him stop playing sports. Adding to that, building a career, getting married, having kids and being busy with other life demands hindered his relationship with sports where he stopped for almost 10 years. However, two years ago he started feeling out of breath most of the time, dealing with high cholesterol due to the excess weight, where he reached 131kg, and he also suffered from back pain, joints pain and other symptoms that made him realize that some things have to change. We’ve met with Edris to get to know more about how he changed his own life and how he is now changing others’ lives.
What motivated you to lose weight and change your lifestyle?
Islam has two daughters,12 years old and nine years old. He says that being overweight, prevented him from playing with his daughters, adding that his bad eating habits affected how his daughters also eat. “I tried so many times to lose weight, but like many, I didn’t succeed, despite the fact that I used to play sports but as many Egyptians, I used to follow my coach’s instructions without having the Know-How. So I tried to follow the same diet I used to follow when I played sports, but I found myself gaining weight even though I used to go to the gym at that time. But again, I wasn’t working out properly to burn all the food I ate.”
“This was my turning point. I went to a friend of mine who owned a series of sports facilities and told him about my intention to start a system to lose weight. I started to follow a healthy eating plan along with a fitness plan that my friend recommended to me. I noticed quite a change in my weight, but at the same time I was wondering why I had to follow that diet, why I am eating this types of food…etc. So I decided to read more and take online courses, which ended up by me taking 14 courses in two years. The most important books I read were, “Good Calories Bad Calories” and “Why Sugar Is Bad For You?”
“Even my wife was suffering from diabetes and her illness was one of the things that made me change my life system. I went to doctors in Egypt, the Gulf, and European countries to no avail, but with a proper healthy eating system, my wife’s sugar level became like that of a healthy person along with getting rid of 60% of the medications she used to take. ”
What is the reason behind the popularity of the “The Fat Slayer”?
When the people around me noticed how much weight I’ve lost, they started asking questions about what I did and how. After that, I decided to create a Facebook page to explain some guidelines about weight loss and named it “The Fat Slayer.” I started sharing my daily routine in terms of food and exercise. What helped the page get more popular is the 4-week meal plan program and how people started losing weight during that period which made, even more, people follow the page. However, I took the decision to remove the program from my page when people started asking specific questions about food alternatives, quantities and so on. I realized during that time that it’s hard for all people to follow the same exact eating plan because every person is different. I resorted to explaining the general idea of managing your food intake and the choice of food, and people can pick their own preferable food to include in their weekly plans.
The importance of fat loss in comparison to weight loss?
I haven’t weighed myself for five months, and I don’t even care about it. Obesity is a psychological illness, not an organic one and the scale is the enemy to those who want to lose weight. For a whole year, I’ve only lost one kilogram on the scale, however, I went down from 22% to 10% fat percentage. This should always be how we measure our progress.
How can a person avoid skin sagging without surgical intervention?
When I started losing weight, I was scared my skin would be saggy due to the huge weight and fat loss. I started to read more about the solutions and communicated with several doctors on how to fight this and treat it.
What really helps is drinking lot’s of water daily, getting exposed to the sun twice a week to get vitamin E and D, sleeping well at night and reducing or quitting smoking if possible, eating vegetables, getting vitamin C and weight lifting exercises.
Many women think if they lifted weight their bodies will become bulky. Explain the importance of weight lifting for women.
It’s a misconception, the criteria here is the level of testosterone, which is lower in women than in men, which makes it difficult to build muscles for women in comparison to men. Those bulky looking weight lifters usually include hormones in their dietary plan, which is not what any normal person does.
How did you encourage your daughters to develop healthy eating habits?
1- My wife and I decided to help each other out to start healthy eating habits for our daughters. The problem that we faced at the beginning was when my daughters went to school, their friends carried snacks and food that were high in fats. At that time, we decided to create creative healthy lunch boxes for my daughters, which made it even tempting for their friends to ask their mothers for the same.
2 – We started limiting eating out gradually, they loved the healthy food and got used to it. And it became harder for them to enjoy junk food. I would encourage them to join me and practice cooking, we would cook healthy meals together where I only replace the unhealthy basic element and leave the rest of the ingredients for them to enjoy…like Ketchup…etc
My daughters eat 21 meals a week. It is possible to let them indulge once or twice or even three times, but there is always a list of forbidden foods such as fried foods.
What is the difference between men and women in terms of their ability to lose weight?
Women are more likely to stick to an eating plan than men because usually, they control what happens in the kitchen. The only problem that women might be facing is mood swings, which might affect their eating. The solution here is not in having a strong will, but rather finding a distraction. It is important for any person who eats to escape from life issues or psychological issues (especially women) to start eating food that helps in balancing the hormones in the body, like nuts, fruits, protein, and food that contain natural fibers.
How do I know that my nutrition doctor is efficient?
The main problem is that sometimes doctors include some food elements in their plans just to please their clients, others print a fixed plan for all the patients. It is rare now to find a doctor that is treating the cause of obesity. It is important to do an in-body measurement which analyses the percentage of water, muscles, and fats in the body, which helps in customizing efficiently a plan for the patient.
What do you include in your own eating plan?
I only eat red meat twice a week, therefore I mainly rely on fish, poultry and cheese products. I currently eat around 5 to 7 meals a day that include all the necessary nutrients.
What role do you play in strengthening the women’s will?
I believe that women are the main factor when it comes to home management, that’s why I care too much about educating women. If the woman decided to cook clean, the whole family members will follow. When the woman is well educated when it comes to healthy eating, it will be reflected on how her family members eat.
Tell us five wrong things Egyptians do when they try to lose weight:
1 – Blind imitation: When I just follow the same eating plan that my friend followed without making sure if this is suitable for me or not.
2 – It is a false assumption that depending on yogurt with lemon to lose weight is the only thing you need. Eating yogurt, in general, is a good option for weight loss, you can add cinnamon for example because it helps in regulating the insulin level in the body.
3 – The concept of not eating after 7 pm is completely wrong.
4 – God has created our bodies with its natural detox tools, heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs. They work 24 hours with high efficiency. Weight loss on a detox diet means losing water and muscles, but you can’t lose fats in only three or four days. Fat loss can be around 400 to 800 grams maximum per week.
5 – Exercising only without managing the food intake is common among many. Some think that exercising is enough and they can indulge in whatever they crave. However, that’s completely wrong.
What do you think about weight loss surgical operations?
The most common weight loss operation is balloon surgery. All over the world, this operation is done as a complementary process for heart patients. It’s done to those who need to lose weight quickly to get medically treated.
There are other surgical operations such as cutting and turning the stomach path. The disadvantages of these operations are irreversible and can last a long time. During that time, the stomach becomes so sensitive to food and can’t handle any amount of food, so usually patients either throw up if they tried to eat much or they depend for a long time on liquids adding to all of this the pain that comes after a surgical operation.
I’ve asked many of my followers to share their experience if they went through a surgical operation for weight loss and I couldn’t imagine the tragedies and complications that many have gone through. The problem also is if you love eating sweets a lot, the operation won’t prevent you from doing so and you can start gaining weight because of the high sugar and caloric intake.
Surgical operations, are expensive and can cause many complications. Adding to that the sagging of the skin which would require extra surgical operations, the hair loss, and nails damage. If a person decides to go under the knife, they definitely need a doctor to follow up with their nutrition and make sure they are getting the nutrients their body needs. The easiest longer way to lose weight is following a healthy eating plan and working out, which is much safer.
What are the foods that you still can’t resist?
I am crazy about cheesecake, and I love burgers and I make sure I eat it on my free day. Despite the fact that I completely stopped eating any kind of fried food. I can indulge in a cake or half a mango…etc
What do you recommend to those who are trying to lose weight and follow a healthy diet?
I always advise my followers to avoid saying that they are on a diet or eating clean in-front of their friends. Peer pressure works best during that time. I recommend that they also try to choose well what they order out in any restaurant, like eating grilled and avoiding restaurant cooked carbohydrates.
What are the certificates or courses that you have that allow you to provide nutrition and sports guidance to your followers?
– Certified International trainer in the International Association of Mathematical Sciences (ISSA)
– A course in dietetics, therapeutic nutrition, advanced nutrition and food sensitivity.
– Specialized courses in energy sources, weight control, muscle anatomy, nutrition for athletes and food psychology.
– A course in the formation of muscle and muscular endurance and the factors and variables of acute exercise.
– Course muscle hypertrophy – muscle fibres -Hyromatic levels -Genetics predisposition -Treatment of body defects.
– Course of sports drugs and the science of supplements.
– Advanced training workshops from the International Federation of Bodybuilding, Fitness and Sports Academy.
I was selected by the Regional Office of the United Nations for Women to raise awareness of gender equality and achieve equal opportunities.
And one of the activists in raising awareness in improving the quality of life for women through sport and healthy nutrition.