The key to Dieting for weight loss is Calorie Deficit. The calorie contained in food is basically the energy content of that food, so when you consume less calories than your body requires, it is forced to burn fat for energy. It’s why some people have termed certain foods high in carbohydrate as “Bad food”. Basically, you can still have your carbs and keep up to the caloric deficit. Considering the Nigerian menu has always been difficult because most foods typical to a Nigerian home are high in carbohydrate (e.g Rice, Eba, Spaghetti…). Here’s a few tips on how you can manage with them.
1) Watch Quantity: Consider two people, both with the same daily energy requirements. One eats a bowl of rice and beef of say 460 calories, and the other eats 8 slices of whole wheat bread (60 calories per slice) which will sum up to 480 calories. The latter might be seen as the better option, but in the real sense, would not achieve any results because of the quantity he takes.
2) Increase Protein: This has always been very helpful with dieting, because proteins generally do not contain as much energy as carbohydrates but will be very filling. You could try to consume a lot more protein. Also certain proteins like Goat meat is a lot healthier for the dieting process compared to beef. Moi moi, Turkey, Eggs and Chicken are also smart options.
3) Be Smart With Swallows: Normally,the amount of calories contained in the soup would be far less than what the swallows contain. The Caloric values per 1 cup of some popular Nigerian swallows include: Eba- 330cal, Pounded yam (medium sized 12 inch yam)-526cal, Semovita-600cal, Amala-352cal, Wheat-455cal, Fufu-330cal, Tuwo Shinkafa-216cal, Tuwo Masara-260cal.
4) Watch the oil: Even though we established that soups are not major contributors, we can also help reduce the chances by minimizing oil intake.
5) Increase the pepper intake: The secret here is that the spicier the food, the more water you’re likely to take, thus leading to feeling full faster. Also, studies have shown that spicy foods may help increase the body’s metabolism
6) Increase Fiber intake: Fibers are very useful in dieting, theyaid digestion and also give a filling effect (preventing one from eating more). It also eliminates bacterial toxins.Examples of fibers include: Coconut, Pears, Apples, Kidney Beans, Carrot, Oats, Popcorn and Almonds.
7) Listen to your body: Sometimes, your body knows what it wants and what it’s lacking, so even though it might not be on your menu, find a way of fulfilling that need, preferably with the healthier option of what it wants.