Alright guys, now we all know there are huge misconceptions out there about Nigerian meal and how it’s mostly unhealthy because of the heavy amount of carbohydrates and starch found in them. Yes, there are a lot of ‘bad foods’ out there but Nigerian food is actually one of the most healthiest foods in the world. Why? Because our foods are organic and unprocessed.
We cultivate most of our food (i.e yams, cassava), we pluck our own fruits and vegetables from the trees in our backyards, our meat isn’t processed, our eggs don’t go through any special treatment but comes straight from the chicken and into the frying pan. So why do people believe they can’t eat Nigerian food and be healthy? The key to a healthy diet is simple:
-Having a balanced meal
The number one reason people struggle with belly fat and weight loss in general is that their meals are typically not balanced. A balanced meal involves 60% vegetables, 20% protein and 20% carbohydrate. Four things consist of a fat burning meal:
The foundation-Protein: Protein provides satiety, building blocks for your muscles and has the highest thermic effect of food.
Vegetables: Veggies provide satiating fiber and are naturally low in calories. Nutrient deficiencies are associated with obesity, diabetes and other abnormalities so be sure to eat 1 serving of veggies with every meal.
Fats: Healthy fats from sources like Avocados, olive oil, whole eggs…support hormone production and aid the body in using its own fat for fuel when eaten in the right proportion to other macronutrients.
Carbohydrates: Carbs are energy sources like fats and like fats your needs will vary. Sweet potatoes, squash, beans, lentils and rice are good carb sources.
When eating, practice the SOfit® 2/3 plate method (This is explained in more detail in my 8 week Weight Loss program ebook).
A visual that may help you is this: divide your (main) meal plate into “thirds;” cover one-third of your plate with a lean protein (as listed above) one-third of the plate with veggies and the other one-third with your carbs. Here’s an example below;
On this plate you have your vegetable sources, a good portion of carbohydrates and then your protein.
Here is a sample meal plan for one day:
Breakfast: One fried egg or scrambled egg, a slice of whole wheat bread and a side of chopped avocados.
Lunch: Vegetable salad (can contain cucumber, fresh tomatoes, spinach, sliced garden egg, cabbage, lettuce, carrots etc), chicken breast (boiled or grilled), a palm sized portion of rice with stew.
Snack: An apple and a table spoon of peanut butter.
Dinner: A palm sized portion of beans, vegetable mix and beef (grilled or boiled).
Always make sure you have 1 serving of protein in each meal. The key to a healthy Nigerian meal is moderation.
Other healthy food tips are:
Avoid frying your foods too much (unless you use a healthy oil option like olive oil) instead bake, grill or boil your meat, plantain, fish, etc.
Fried foods tend to be high in calories and trans fat, so eating a lot of them can have negative effects on your health like heart disease.
Stay away from Added sugars found in beverages and foods: Sugar-sweetened drinks like sodas, juices and sweet teas are loaded with fructose, a type of simple sugar. Consuming fructose increases your hunger and desire for food more than glucose, the main type of sugar found in starchy foods.
Drink ENOUGH water.
Eat more protein: When it comes to fat loss and a better looking body, protein is the king of nutrients. You don’t need to restrict anything to benefit from a higher protein intake. Protein can reduce hunger and boost metabolism, but you won’t lose weight if you don’t eat fewer calories than you burn.
This article was written by Sandra Okeke; connect with her on IG here