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How to join team #fitfam in Nigeria



Have you skipped eating everything that gives you pleasure (Ice cream, chocolate, pizza and cookies) just to lose weight but it seems like it isn't working? I feel the pain and the struggle, that used to be me. If you know me personally, you know I used to be bigger than I am now and it was really annoying. The comments from church and extended family member saying "Bibi, take it easy you will soon burst" or "you are getting fatter and fatter" or "have you tried using slim tea"😑😑. I always mumble under my breathe "thank you I have a mirror at home" or "can you just mind your business", sometimes I just walk away. I was frustrated and the negative comments were not helpful at all.

I know the struggle and I have been able to work hard to shed some weight off. Here are some tips that helped me lose 15 kg (35 pounds) recently:

Meal prep
I understand that it is almost impossible to eat out and stay healthy or lose weight. You don't know exactly what restaurants put in their meals. Their aim is for you to enjoy the meal so they can use as much palm oil as they want with zero regards to your cholesterol levels. We have to learn how to stop eating out every time and learn how to make our own meals. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If you fail to plan what to eat every week it is almost impossible for you to remain healthy or lose weight.

Learning how to plan your weekly meals can be fun and easy. Buy your carrots, green beans, and bell peppers. You either chop them all and freeze them for the week or you dice them the night before. Having these fresh veggies ready makes it easy in the morning to whip up stir fry, proteins and carbs of your choice. I hardly have meals without veggies, it is called balanced diet for a reason. I am very intentional about eating balanced meals. For example this week, I made stir fry ( purple onions, yellow peppers, carrots and green beans) to serve as my veggies, sardines as my protein and boiled potatoes as my carbs. In less than 30 minutes in the morning, you have lunch/breakfast for the day. To see results, you have to be very intentional about planning your meals. If you find it difficult to figure out healthy foods to prep for the week, you can reach out to Dr Jane. She is a lifestyle doctor and can help you achieve your fitness and wellness goals without breaking the bank.

Portion control 

Okay, this is so important! You can have ice cream, chocolate, pizza, cakes and cookies but how much are you really having? Let's use cookies, for example, you know the famous Maryland cookies, the serving size is 2 cookies. The whole pack is 1,116 calories, 53 grams of fat, 152 grams of carbs and the list goes on. Imagine if you absent-mindedly eat the whole pack at your desk in one seating 😨. That means you have eaten roughly half of your daily caloric requirement. The average person ought to consume 2000 to 2500 calories a day. After the cookies, you go on to eat some poundo yam and egusi soup for lunch. Without specificity, that is like 3000 calories already then let's say you eat some rice and goat meat for dinner. You have obviously eaten way above your daily caloric requirements, which results in weight gain or obesity over time. A day like this is not indicative of overfeeding, in reality, it is a normal day for some people. I have a food scale and quite frankly it has helped me with portion control. 

It is important to control your portions when it comes to eating. Even healthy foods when eaten in large quantities can result in weight gain over time. It is very important for us to feed our stomach and not our eyes. I have special bowls and cups that I use to eat, it has really helped me with my portions. Additionally, drinking some water before food helps as well.



Caloric and macro counting

This is not an obsessive behaviour for people, it is actually normal to know and record what you eat daily. A good app I used to record what I intend to eat is Myfitnesspal app. So before I even meal prep, I enter everything I want to eat and the quantity to see the caloric measurements and how my macros add up. The challenge with this is many of our Nigerian foods may not be readily available on the myfitnesspal app but there are creative ways to enter them into the database. You can also create your recipes on the app. If you can see in the pic, I have set my daily macros to be 45% Carbohydrates, 30% fat, 25% protein. Nutritionist suggests this depending on your dietary needs and lifestyle - 45% to 65% Carbohydrates, 10% to 35% protein and 20% to 35% fat. So you can eat a chocolate bar and be fine. You just have to ensure the serving size is decent and doesn't exceed your macro allocation.

As shown in the images above, logging your food in the app shows you if you have exceeded your cholesterol, sodium, potassium and other nutrients sources for the day as well. It also shows you the foods that contributed the most to your caloric intake per day. In summary, the app helps become intentional about what you eat.

Warning - Whatever you do, do not search for any Nigerian swallow on the myfitnesspal app, you will break your own heart.

Physical Activity

I know this one gets everyone's eyes rolling. It doesn't have to be HIIT or something intense for it to be classified as a workout. If you work at a desk you spend a large chunk of your life seated and that is very bad for you. If you take public transport to work, there are opportunities for you to spend 10 to 15 minutes walking. If you drive, a 15 minutes walk in the evening won't kill you. Physical activity is important for everybody, thick or slim. Being skinny is not an indication of wellness, move your butt! Skip the elevators, take the stairs. There are many little lifestyle changes that can add up to making you more healthy. Myfitnesspal app can help you record your physical activity from your phone or you can enter the details manually.

Diet

There are a lot of weight loss diets out on the internet. Don't rely on Google to help you pick the best one for you. I actually have a story talking about my keto diet experience. I tried the Keto diet because it was a huge trend in weight loss, my doctor wasn't pleased. Check out my post on The Nigerian versus the keto diet. It is always advisable to talk to your doctor before you start any diet. Don't play with your health!

Intermittent Fasting

The inability to say no to food and the little snacks we eat here and there adds up to weight gain. I personally do an 18 hour fast daily to reduce my caloric intake. It is not for everybody. If you think you can't do without one meal a day, you certainly shouldn't try intermittent fasting. So daily I starting eating at 8am and my last meal of the day is at 2pm or 3pm. This way I cut our night eating and unnecessary snacking after 3pm, Asides from weight control there are so many evidence-based benefits to intermittent fasting as explained on healthline.com. Don't be scared, there are different kinds of fasts. You would be surprised that you can do it consistently and turn it into a lifestyle.

Other #fitfam tips include;
  • Be kind to yourself if you mess up; there are 365 opportunities in a year to start afresh.
  • Drink water, limit soda intakes
  • Make smoothies, they are a good meal replacement. Ensure you watch your portion and measure your intake. It is possible to gain weight from smoothies
  • Have an accountability partner that is firm but encourages you
  • Be patient, you can't lose weight overnight. Consistency is key!
"The best investment you can ever make is in your own health" - Stuart Hodgson


Let's be friends on Instagram. Check out pictures of meals for inspiration on my Instagram page, Forks by Bibilamour, I follow back.😊😊


With love,
Bibi.



Comments

  1. Your advice is so on point! But fufu and egusi is so good! I'm glad you mentioned reducing the size rather that cutting it out altogether. Great job girl.

    ReplyDelete

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