So don’t take my next sentence to be offensive. It is just a fact. If you look around you, that is if you are in Nigeria, you will see a lot of overweight and obese people, including my self. Now, look at the image above, that is exactly what you should not be eating for dinner. Read below and you will understand what I am trying to say.
I tried to lose weight for years without success, in fact, I kept gaining weight despite all my endeavours, but in the past 8 months, I have successfully lost 7 kg. I have realized that the key to losing weight is not approaching it like a sprint but like a marathon. You should approach it like a 3-5 year plan, not like something you want to do in 3 months.
This is because you need a strategy that you can continue for many years to come. If you rush to lose weight, you will rush to gain it back.
So first, what about exercise? Yes, it is important to exercise if you can. If indeed you can exercise on a regular basis then kudos to you. For many, exercise is a luxury especially if you are older or have bad knees, some are simply just too busy to make time to exercise.
The main thing I have done so far is work on what I am eating. This has worked wonders for me and my goal is to lose another 10 kg over the next year.
So what exactly did I do?
I was fortunate to meet with a nutritionist and would like to share what I learnt with you. If you have any questions, leave them below, and I will do my best to answer them.
The first thing I did was cutting out carbohydrates from my diet. This included removing anything that tastes sweet. I removed bread, reduced rice. Yes, I know these are difficult to do but if you want to lose weight, you have to take the bull by the horn.
My breakfast was just tea and oranges. When I make my tea, I avoid sugar. Sugar is the enemy. I barely used any milk in my tea. That was my approach. In fact, I haven’t used sugar in over a year. If you are lucky to get zero-calorie sweetener, you can use that as a substitute.
I would like to focus on dinner because this is the part I struggled with during the weight loss process. The foods you eat after the hours of 6 pm have a great impact on your metabolism. The typical Nigerian dinner is very heavy in carbohydrates typically eba, yams, and rice.
You see, that is where the problem was and what my nutritionist pointed out. I was eating too many calories in the evening with the carbohydrates, and as I have gotten older my metabolism has changed, and as such, maybe I cannot handle those calories as well. Also, I am certainly not exercising as much as I would have done so many years ago when I was younger.
So now that you have read the above paragraph, you need to ask your self – how many calories are you eating especially at night. You have to realize that eating late can be challenging as the food you eat at night may not be broken down calorie-wise the same way you break down calories you eat during the day.
When you make your dinner, how many carbohydrate calories do you have in it? You need to eat fewer carbohydrate calories.
So how do you do this- you have to reduce your ration of eba, reduce the rice, reduce the yam and increase the protein and vegetable. It is also helpful to avoid eating late at night- eating at least 2-3 hours before your go to bed is healthier than eating just before you sleep.
Especially, eating in the middle of the night is certainly a bad idea. So, easier said than done right? How do you reduce the carbohydrate calories in your dinner without getting hungry?
Here is what I did. I knew that I was going to get hungry by reducing the eba, rice and yams. So instead, I substituted with some beans. I also bought a lot of carrots and fruits. These foods have a lot of fibre and keep you full longer. I also got more protein by eating more fish and boiled chicken. I also only ate healthy snacks.
However, the most helpful thing I did was to get a calendar, and every day that I ate a low carbohydrate diet, I marked it on the calendar, and slowly and surely, the weight started to come off.
Yes, I did try to exercise whenever I could, because exercise increases fat burning and accelerates the process. However, I wasn’t regular at exercising. Well, that is what I did and it worked for me, so hope it works for you.
Let me summarize the steps I took to lose 7 kilograms.
1. Reduce the calories in your diet especially at dinner and at night. You can do this by substituting rice, yam, eba, with proteins, vegetables. Your carbohydrate portion should be less than one-third of your total meal. If you can completely exclude them, by all means, do so. I also avoided any fried foods.
2. Avoid eating late dinners.
3. Avoid sugar completely in your diet.
4. Get a calendar, every day you go successfully reduce the carbohydrates in your meals, mark it and somehow it continues to motivate you to do so. Some people give themselves a cheat day. I didn’t.
5. If you can exercise, this will accelerate the weight loss process. Exercise as simple as walking will be helpful. If you can run, even better.
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