Let’s face it, it is everyone’s dream to eat and not get fat. We all want to be able to consume our favourite dishes as much as we like and not have to worry about having to add more holes to our belts or struggle to button up our jeans. Little wonder why weight loss products are hot-selling products in Nigeria. If you want Nigerian foods for weight loss, then you are in the right place.
The fact, however, is that there is only one natural and surest way to lose weight; when calorie output exceeds calorie intake. In order words, burn off more calories than you consume. On the other hand, there are Nigerian foods known for weight loss. This means that consuming these foods can help you lose weight, what’s more, sticking to these foods and incorporating them in your plan for at least one month, can help you lose your first 3-5kg
Generally, there are guaranteed patterns to losing weight with Nigerian foods. Some of them are discussed below:
1. Consume less carbohydrate-rich foods:
Carbohydrate foods are energy-giving foods. They provide the body with the energy needed to do work. However, excess carbohydrates are stored in the body as fat. This means that when you eat more carbohydrates than your body needs at a particular point in time, it stores the left-over carbohydrate as fat, hence, causing you to gain weight. Typical Nigerian carbohydrate-rich foods are; yam, rice, garri, spaghetti, cornflakes, bread, etc. You can achieve weight loss with these Nigerian foods by consuming less of them.
2. Consume more fibre-rich foods:
Foods that are rich in fibre make you feel fuller for longer, hence, you tend to eat less. Typical Nigerian fibre-rich foods for weight loss are beans and legumes.
3. Consume less Salt:
Even though salt has little or no correlation with weight loss or gain, over-consumption of salt leads to temporary weight gain as it causes the body to retain water. This causes a person to appear bigger than they are. Seasoning cubes used in Nigeria contain a lot of salt. Using these seasoning cubes to cook introduces high amounts of salt into our diet.
4. Consume more spicy foods:
You might be wondering what spicy foods are doing on this list, but you’d agree with me that eating spicy foods cause you to sleep slowly. If you’d like to confirm this, crank up the spice level on your pepper soup or favourite soup and watch how fast or how slow rather, you’ll eat. Eating more slowly is a good weight loss strategy because when you eat quickly, you’d have to overeat before your body signals that it is full. Also, spicy foods make you drink more water, so you’ll feel fuller quickly. In addition, spicy foods raise your metabolism. In summary, increasing the spice level of your favourite Nigerian food can help you achieve weight loss.
5. Consider the calorie content of your favourite drinks:
Drinks, even drinks that are considered healthy, contain calories that can contribute to weight gain. For example, a typical 300ml of malt drink contains 48g of carbohydrates, which is the same as 1 cup of white rice. The point is, when consuming these foods, do well to consider the calories in these drinks.
6. Watch the fried foods:
It is common knowledge that fried foods cause weight gain. Fried foods contain large amounts of oil, which can lead to an increase in weight. A much healthier alternative would be oven-roasting or oven-frying, as this requires much less amount of oil. As such, to enjoy your favourite Nigerian foods and stick to your weight loss program, try switching deep fried dodo for oven-fried.
7. Watch the meat:
There’s no denying the fact that red meat is very important in African and Nigerian cuisine. It stars in a lot of soups, stews and sauces. A good way to enjoy meat in Nigeria and achieve your weight loss goals will be to switch beef for goat meat, as it has less fat and calorie content.
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Nigerian foods for weight loss can be classified under the following groups:
- Olive and Olive oil
- Papaya (Pawpaw)
- Chilli Pepper
- Grains and Legumes
- Ofada Rice
- Nuts and seeds
- Coconut and Coconut Oil
- Nuts (Cashew, Peanuts, and Walnuts)
- Herbs and Spices
- Animal Produce
- Egg (plus the yolk.)
- Natural Yoghurt
- Low-fat Milk
- Seafood (example, crabs, crayfish, etc.)
- Mackerel (AKA Titus)
POPULAR NIGERIAN FOOD COMBINATIONS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
In Nigeria, the word has been classified into two, namely, swallow and other foods. Swallow, refers to soups and their accompaniment, which include eba, amala, fufu, et. Examples of soups are okra soup, vegetable soup, afang soup, etc. The other classification- is other foods, including spaghetti, rice, beans, yam, bread, etc.
Nigerian foods are typically high in carbohydrates, fats and proteins and such can easily lead to weight gain. One way to lose weight even from eating Nigerian foods is to substitute high carbohydrate meals with low carbohydrate alternatives.
Here are some Nigerian dishes to help you lose weight
1. Keto Jollof Rice/Cauliflower Rice: I think we would all agree without a doubt that the Nigerian jollof rice is truly iconic, even beyond West Africa. What if I told you that you can still enjoy your Jollof without having to worry about your weight? The secret is by replacing the high-calorie rice with cauliflower. Cauliflower rice is prepared in the same way. Cook it with your favourite jollof rice spices, tomato blend, and chicken/beef stock and enjoy your favourite Jollof flavour and taste.
2. Peppered Goat Meat: As discussed earlier, goat meat is low in fat and calories compared to beef. Pepper goat meat, popularly known as asun is a Nigerian food that is great for weight loss. You can pair your asun with your cauliflower rice or eat it as a standalone dish.
3. Keto Native Jollof Rice: also called palm oil rice, this food is similar to the jollof rice, but differs in that this is made with palm oil. So go ahead, throw in your cauliflower rice, palm oil, roasted catfish and locust beans and enjoy your favourite Nigerian food, while keeping your weight in check.
4. Baked Whole Catfish: remember how we talked about oven baking your Nigerian foods for weight loss instead of deep-frying? A good example would be oven baking your catfish. Catfish is a nutrient-dense protein that aids weight loss. Simply marinate your catfish in your favourite spice blend and bake it in the oven.
5. Nigerian Chicken Stew Efo Riro: (Spinach Stew) The soup goes splendidly with plain cauliflower rice or low-carb fufu dishes like cabbage fufu. Made with a generous amount of spinach, proteins like beef, goat meat, chicken, smoked catfish, etc, this dish packs all the nutrition you need and much more. It offers another way to enjoy Nigerian foods for weight loss. Plus, spinach is very healthy and good for you!
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6. Nigerian Pepper Soup: In Nigeria, pepper soup is a delicious soup made with proteins, broth, pepper soup spice, and a generous load of pepper. This assorted meat pepper soup is made with different types of offal meat (assorted meats) like tripe, liver, and kidney. Pepper soup is spicy and makes you eat less. Common pepper soups in Nigeria are chicken pepper soup, goat meat pepper soup and assorted pepper soup.
7. Keto Amala Swallow: This is simply an eggplant amala meal that is made from eggplants! This is a great substitute for high-carb Amala, a popular Nigerian fufu dish. The eggplant turns a grey colour when cooked, which is similar to Amala.
Eggplant Amala is usually made from medium-sized eggplant because the large ones might have a slightly bitter taste. When blended, drained, and cooked with psyllium husk, it comes out as a replica of Amala. This meal can be paired with black soup or blended okra with stew.
8. Cabbage Fufu: One substitute for the starchy, high carbs meals on keto, is cabbage fufu, which is made primarily from green cabbage and psyllium husk. Pair this low-fat food with your favourite soups and enjoy!
- Draw Soup (Ogbono Soup)
- Nigerian Egg Stew
- Peppered Gizzard
- Nigerian Peppered Snails
- Egusi Soup
- Ofada Stew (Ayamase Stew)
- Nigerian Fish Stew
- Eggplant Stew
- Cauliflower Fufu
You don’t have to starve or resort to eating once daily, to lose weight. You will only harm yourself. In addition, the truth is, that no Nigerian food will cause you to lose weight. No food will cause you to lose weight. What matters is the overall diet. Replace the high-calorie foods with low-calorie substitutes as seen above. This plan will work if they make up the majority of the majority of your Nigerian diet plan and are eaten in the right quantity.
Also, another tip is, to drink as much water as possible. Water makes you fuller. So, take as much water as you can, before and after eating your favourite Nigerian food for weight loss.
Read Also: 7 Side Effects of Not Drinking Enough Water