Losing weight with Nigerian foods

Weight-loss is one challenge that can prove very challenging, especially in a country like Nigeria where most of our foods are carbs. People who desire to lose weight and maintain a weight-loss lifestyle are at a loss what foods to eat to help jump start their weight-loss journey. They end up jumping from one unsustainable diet to the other, getting discouraged, hungry, irritable and even broke in the process – as most of the foods they need to eat for these diets are actually expensive.

We got Dr. Chinasa Trinitta Amadi to speak to the “Women of WIvesroundtable” on a better way to lose weight in a country like Nigeria – taking our kinds of food and the standard of living into consideration.
These is what she told us

There are so many information online about weight-loss. But the key to sustainable weight-loss is Exercise and healthy eating. Now the exercise part is usually a challenge with most females. What i ask clients is “how bad do you want to lose weight?” You have to decide to start exercising and convince yourself that you will get up from your bed, 15mins before your usual time and exercise. You don’t need to start big. You can start with 5 mins exercise beside your bed. Even if it’s just jumping. But the truth is you have to start. Just like learning, as time goes on you will start increasing your intensity and duration. Find what works for you. Exercise, asides from aiding weight-loss is good for your overall health.

Now to healthy eating

Most people say it’s difficult to lose weight in Nigeria because most of our foods are starchy. Or that healthy eating is expensive. Well, Then you need to do more research on foods around you.
The first thing i always advice is “Start with what you have but watch your portions”.
Now there are these measuring cups that bakers use for baking. If you are serious about portion control, that should be your measure guide. Those cups cost an average of N600 in the open market or $1 in the dollar store. Get them. Aim to not eat more than 1 cup of whatever meal you want to eat.
Remember these foods are measured cooked. So take for example you want to eat rice. Boil for the family, then use your cup to scoop out your portion into your plate and eat. Another thing is water! I have heard people say that water makes one fat. Please, don’t fall for that lie. Not water you drink does not make you fat. Water in fact is very good for weight-loss.
When you want to eat, Take a glass of water first and drink water as you are eating. You will feel fuller faster. Aim to drink at least 3 L of water daily. If you are a sweet tooth and water feels too bland for you, slice in oranges or apple or cucumber into the bottle you are drinking from, It will enhance the flavour.
Vegetables. I don’t understand why people in Lagos will be looking for Kale and Brocolli when there is Ugu, efo, green and other local options. After one will say, eating healthy is expensive. No, it is not o! You just need to search the right foods. If you are in Jos, or in Obodo oyibo (abroad), you can afford to eat all those foods.
Eat what is around you. Make sure at every meal you include vegetables. That way you will be gaining nutrients and losing weight. The cheapest protein (which is not so cheap anymore) are eggs. No! Eggs will not increase your cholesterol. 2 eggs and a cup of green tea for breakfast is actually very filling and boiled eggs are very good for weight-loss. Try to include a protein to every meal.

And No! Beans have very little proteins in them, and are majorly carbs. So eating a lot of them can actually make you fat. Make healthier alternatives. Instead of always eating yam….substitute it for sweet potatoes which are actually very good for weight-loss.
Have you tried sweet potato porridge before? Kai! You will not eat yam porridge again. Aim to fill your carb choices with complex carbs like beans, oats, sweet potatoes, corns, peas lentils, etc .
Peppersoups are so good for weight-loss. Spicy foods enhance metabolism. And peppersoup is very feeling too.

I don’t like the idea of dieting because it is not sustainable.
How long exactly do you want to be on a fruit fast? Or for how long will you eat only protein? Once you include the other food groups back in your dieting the weight will moonwalk back into your life…like it never left.
So eat what you have around you, but in small potions.
Question: How does one lose belly fat?
Dr Chinasa’s reply: Belly fat requires patience. You cannot lose an isolated part of your body weight. Once you change your meal approach for 4 weeks, yo will definitely see a change in belly fat.
Reduce your carb intake. Increase your protein intake. Start running. Runnng shrink belly fat like ogini. Don’t bother about sit up yet. Reduce the fat. Then tone.


Information by Dr. Chinasa Trinitta Amadi: Founder – Ariella Fitness. Author – “Eat to Lose Weight”.
Website – www.ariellafitness.com
IG – @ariellafitness

Article compiled by Amaka Obi (From a #Talkarena session in “Women of Wivesroundtable” – A closed Female Only Facebook Group)

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