Is it really possible to lose weight, be fit and healthy eating Nigerian food? What if I tell you that there are healthy Nigerian meal plans that can help you lose weight? Many of us feel like there are no varieties of food in Nigeria, such that all we have are carbs, I hear that from people a lot. However, let’s talk about that a little. Firstly, there’s nothing wrong with CARBS (more on this later), secondly, I think we have a variety of foods in Nigeria. Yes, we have lots of carb options, but we also have a wide range of vegetables, fruits, and protein options amidst others.
So the real question is, how do you make your meals feel less boring, enjoy eating your carbs and still burn fat? Well, the good news is that there are Nigerian diet plan that can help you achieve this.
When planning a Nigerian meal for weight loss, there are two things you want to consider, the composition of the meal and the quantity of each component. Now, I’m sure you are familiar with the component part, you probably have an idea of what makes a balanced healthy diet: starch, protein, fats and oil, vegetables, fruits and water.
Now quantity is important because it determines how many calories you end up consuming per day, and that determines whether you’ll lose weight, gain weight or stay the same. To ensure your calories are low enough for weight loss, you’ll need to control your portions, and a simple way to do that is a method called “The Plate Method”. Here’s how you do it:
- Get a plate, and fill up a quarter with carbohydrates of choice, could be “swallow” (eba, semo, pounded yam and so on), rice, yam and so on.
- Another quarter of the plate will have your protein. To keep the calories low, ensure the protein is not fried, and that is lean (i.e. low in fat). For example, with chicken, you’d want to remove the skin at least half the time you eat it; for beef ensure it cuts out as much of the visible fat. Sea food generally comes lean, your fish, prawns, snails and so on, so there isn’t much to do, just don’t fry them!
- Now the last half of the plate will have your vegetables! This is important to help keep you full, and of course there’s all the half with any kind of vegetable of choice. It could be.
- Fats and oil are very high in calories so you want to keep them in check. Significantly reduce fried foods, cook with very little oil, from frying eggs to cooking soups. Here’s my simple rule, if you cook something, and you can see the oil in it or it stains your plate when you serve it, you’ve used too much! Simple! Fats also occur in your salad dressings, butter, avocado, and nuts, and control their quantities as well.
- Then, we have our fruits! You should aim for 2 servings a day, and these can be eaten along with your meal or as separately as a snack. One question many ask me is, should I eat it before or after my meal? My answer is this, it does not matter! Be more focused on actually getting the fruit in your body, do whatever works for you, before meal or after meal.
Here are some practical examples of the plate method in action:
I’m hoping this shows you that you can eat your carbs, and still get amazing results, just like thousands of my clients have. They are able to eat carbs for breakfast, lunch and even dinner and still lose weight, improve their health and feel amazing! Someone once asked, if there are Nigerian diet for flat stomach? The answer is YES!
We’ll be ending this blog with a 2-day Nigerian meal plan because a healthy diet plan is needed for you to lose weight. I’m hoping these meal options or you may want to call it a 2-day food timetable for weight loss, help you appreciate some of the mistakes you are likely making, so you can begin to adjust your portions accordingly.
2-Day Nigerian meal plan for weight loss
Breakfast: 2 slices of bread (preferably wheat for extra fullness) + fried egg (1 whole egg + 1 egg without yolk + fried with 5mls of oil + lots of veggies*) + 1 small apple or orange or banana
Snacks: 2 small fruits- 2 small apples or 2 cups* of diced watermelon
Lunch: 1 cup cooked rice + lots of efo-riro (cook with very little oil) + 1 piece of skinless chicken breast or drumstick
Dinner: Pepper soup- cook without oil + chopped carrots + 1 cup
diced sweet or Irish potatoes + 1 piece of fish or 4 small pieces of skinless goat meat
* Veggies= any mix of carrots/cabbage/onions/spring onions/green, yellow, red pepper/tomatoes/spinach/lettuce and so on
* 1 cup is the standard 250mls. Get a set of food measuring cups, you can order online or buy from vendors who sell baking utensils.
Breakfast: 1 and half cup cornflakes or 1/2 cup oat (measure raw then cook) + 1/3 cup skimmed milk (example Dano Slim) + chicken drumstick + 1 fruit (1 cup watermelon or 1 orange)
Snacks: 2/3 cup Greek yoghurt or low-fat yoghurt
Lunch: 1 small pack of noodles (70g) + lots of veggies + 5mls oil + 1 boiled egg
Dinner: 1 small roasted or boiled plantain + 1 serving fish sauce (see recipe below)
Fish Sauce Recipe (3 servings)
- Smoked or boiled Titus (Mackerel Fish) –1 medium whole fish (or 150g shredded)
- Tomatoes – 3 medium
- Red pepper (Tatashe) – 2 large
- Scotch bonnet (ata-rodo) – 2 small
- Green pepper – 2 medium
- Yellow pepper – 1 medium
- Carrot – 2 medium
- Onion- 1 medium
- Sweet corn – 1/3 cup
- Thyme- ½ teaspoon
- Curry- ½ teaspoon
- Seasoning cube – 1
- Garlic powder- ½ teaspoon
- Cooking oil (Olive or Canola or groundnut oil)- 15mls (1 tablespoon)
- Remove the bones of the smoked titus fish and shred into small pieces.
- Roughly blend tomatoes, pepper and scotch bonnet
- Chop the carrots, green pepper, yellow pepper and onion, then measure 1/3 cup of sweet corn.
- Heat 15mls (one tablespoon) of cooking oil, in a non-stick pan and add the chopped onions. Heat till onions are transparent looking.
- Add the roughly blended pepper, and heat for about a minute on low to medium fire.
- Crush in a seasoning cube, add the curry, thyme and garlic powder
- Stir well, and allow to heat for another 2 minutes.
- Now, pour in fish and stir in
- Add all the chopped vegetables and sweet corn, stir-well, then allow to cook on low heat for about 5 minutes.
- Split content of the pan into 3 equal portions and store in your fridge
- Each portion is one serving
If you have any further questions, kindly leave them in the comments; and if you’d like to learn more about how we are helping awesome Nigerians finally lose weight and keep it off on their favourite Nigerian meals, Click here to find out more.