FITNESS FUNDI: Media personality Mika Stefano, lost weight and became a health advocate.
For years, well-known socialite-turned-celebrity, Mika Stefano was known for bringing the latest tabloid and celebrity news to South Africans, from the red carpet and through social media.

But after suffering from kidney stones, Stefano turned his life around and started eating healthily and lost over 30kg. While his journey with weight loss started after his health scare, Stefano says maintaining a healthy lifestyle was his personal choice.

“I realised I needed to try to become a bit more healthy and I joined the gym. At first, it was because of the health scare. Then, I wanted to become fitter and healthier, but I fell in love with the healthy lifestyle,” said Stefano.

In the past years, we have seen many celebrities become more health conscious, either by exercising more or eating clean and putting their health first, despite their busy lifestyles.

Unathi Msengana is one of the most-talked about local celebrities turned fitness fanatic She lost over 30kg in the past few years and regularly posts about her journey on social media to inspire others on the health wagon. Another local celebrity who has fared well on his weight loss journey is singer and former TKZee member, Kabelo Mabalane, who still inspires many following his drug addiction.

Internationally, people are still in awe of former American Idol contestant-turned-singing sensation, Jennifer Hudson, who dropped five dress sizes down, from size 44 to 34 - thanks to clean eating.

Stefano says, during his weight loss journey, he was so intrigued by fitness that he even enrolled at a fitness school.

“I wanted to study because I was often invited to TV shows and I wanted to have a good idea of what I was talking about,” said Stefano.

Now he facilitates gym classes at SWEAT 1000 and has taught over 5000 people, including celebrities such as Pearl Thusi, television presenter and actor Maps Maponyane, Danny K and MoT from Micasa.

But what keeps Stefano motivated to keep losing weight?

“Seeing results really becomes addictive. Eating broccoli and waking up early isn’t fun, but when you see the results of all your training and dieting, you remember why you can’t stop. I always do that when I feel discouraged, I remember why I started my fitness journey, and this helps me remember why I’m doing this,” he said.

Currently, he trains with weights four times a week, splitting the training days into leg, shoulder, chest and tricep, and back and bicep workouts.

Stefano does three SWEAT 1000 classes a week focusing on high intensive training and adds heated yoga.

His go-to lunch meal includes 150g chicken breast, served with low-fat mayonnaise on a whole wheat bread roll, with tomatoes and lettuce.

“It sounds extremely boring, but any gym bunny will tell you, it’s all about consistency,” he says.