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Maintaining the Equlibrum Between You & the Pounds! Here are 10 Tips for Fight the Bulge



May 2nd 2013. In the hot, bustling terminal of the Muritala Mohammed International Airport, relief and exhilaration flooded over me. Relief that I would not be saddled with the aggravating task of clearing my four suitcases, and exhilaration that I was, well, home. I had been away for a decade, and “nothing was the same,” people said. However, it all felt strangely familiar – passengers on the Delta flight handing out concussions while retrieving luggage, same culprits rushing to disembark the aircraft only to queue in an immigration line moving at a snail’s pace, and the heat, oh the glorious heat – like I had been away for ten days and not ten years.

I spent the car ride multi-tasking: engaging in lively banter, taking in the sights, and mentally prioritizing all the delicious meals I needed to try. My mind raced with ideas of what to eat, when to eat, where to eat, who to eat with. I did not visit Lagos for its cuisine, but I was determined to give my taste buds a meaningful, cultural experience.

Everyone had warned me about drastic weight gain. I had no plans of returning to Atlanta looking as though I had eaten my mum and sister in a single meal. I recall my baby sister’s words, while half-hugging me goodbye at the Atlanta airport: “Two things, Rexie. Come back smaller, and come back with a boyfriend!” Right. As though Lagos were a grocery store where in addition to healthy foods, you could purchase men according to taste, size, expiry date and price.

Anyway, I decided to handle these “first world problems” like any smart, adventurous person would: take two weeks to go H.A.M, revert to healthy eating after two-week binge and exercise. My H.A.M. period lasted more than two weeks, I got frustrated locating and PAYING for healthy substitutions, my fitness level suffered some and I returned to Zee in Atlanta about 7lbs heavier. As for the boyfriend demand? Well…

So I’m back in my zone now, 4lbs lighter, reminiscing about my best summer so far and finally being able to relate to the struggle that is staying in shape in good ol’ Gidi. I did not lose weight in Lagos but I did learn exactly what it takes to keep the pounds at bay. And because I’m so generous, here are some tips on how to best maintain your “equilibrium.”

The Oil
Seriously. A LADLE of oil to fry eggs? One TABLESPOON of oil has 120 calories. A ladle is at least five tablespoons. 600 calories. We haven’t even factored in the bread, and you’re already over a quarter of your daily caloric intake (based on the average 2,000 calorie diet). Use cooking spray or one tablespoon of oil (olive oil preferably). You don’t need a ladle of oil for stew either. As for palm oil, stay away from it as much as you possibly can. If you must, use a little quantity. Your egusi isn’t necessarily tastier because it’s red. Half of the fat from palm oil is saturated fat, which raises cholesterol levels and increase one’s risk of heart disease and stroke.

That Rice & Eba life
The average Nigerian diet contains carbs that could make even an Italian stop in his tracks. Yam for breakfast. Rice for lunch. “Swallow” for dinner. Go easy on carbohydrates! Eat cereals (Weetabix is a great choice), oatmeal, omelets, fruits, yogurt for breakfast. You can combine them of course. Remember other lunch/dinner options exist! Sweet potatoes, boiled/roasted plantains, beans, and moin moin, brown rice, lentils, quinoa, whole wheat pasta and more! Did you know you could make cauliflower rice? It is delicious! If you’re going to eat white rice/eba/pounded yam, do it in moderation, will you?

Empty Calories
From Chapman to beer to Shayo (a term I really despise), the Nigerian diet is rife with liquid calories. Chapman at Sky lounge? Check. “Mineral” or beer at the bukka joint? Check. Rosé at Rhapsody? Check. Call me crazy but, drinks are a waste of calories. If anyone ever asked me one of the secrets to losing or maintaining my weight, I’d tell them it was cutting out those empty calories. Why waste the 250 calories on Sprite? Why consume an extra 250 calories? Surely, one must “shayo” every now and then. Drink responsibly. Some of you do it much too often. Even healthy juices should be taken in moderation because they contain a lot of sugar. Water is your friend. Love it. Drink it often.

Schedule Cheat Days/meals
A cheat day is a designated day where one strays from their normal eating habits. I love me some cheat days. Sometimes I cheat throughout the day, in tiny quantities or have one EPIC meal that lasts me the entire day. Cheat days are beneficial because they work as a “reward” for strictly adhering to a meal plan. They shock the body out of routine, preventing a plateau and boosting metabolism. Notice I said “strictly adhering.” If you haven’t been eating right, do not schedule a cheat day. You do not deserve it. How often should one have a cheat day? I’m no expert but I’d say if you’re just beginning the switch to a healthier lifestyle, have a cheat day every two to three weeks. A cheat meal once a week should suffice. But don’t push it. I find that as you get more accustomed to your new lifestyle, the tendency to ‘cheat’ reduces.

Ask. Research. Say NO
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! I would often ask friends and colleagues where to buy certain foods. Some colleagues, would say, “Americana! You better act like us!” Go online and do your own research. Everyone’s journey is different. Don’t be afraid to make take those steps towards a healthier (even smaller) you, and substitute those ingredients, if you can!!! I’m yet to find someone who thinks white and wheat pasta taste different. And yes, I know we are generally resistant to change but you might find you like it. Hey! Obama is President of America and okadas have been banned, which is neither here nor there but I’m sure you get the point. Change happens. Get with it.
Be prepared to say no to unhealthy choices. Your career requires you to exercise good judgment and control? Oops. Weight management isn’t any different. Losing weight was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done because not only did I witness the will power behind something as inconsequential as eating, I saw the difference little decisions made.

Work it out
Walking from your car to the office building is not exercise and neither is walking up a flight of stairs. You need to engage in physical activities that would burn calories and keep you fit. Go for a run or fast paced walk (please grab a partner!). Gym memberships in Lagos cost a left kidney but that’s no excuse. You can do workouts in your own home, with no equipment! Jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, lunges, wall sits, planks, Russian twists, sit ups…the list is endless. If have access to hand weights, use them! I did everything: 5am weekday workouts, evening treadmill runs, instructing Saturday classes and Lekki bridge routines. If you can afford a membership at your local gym, go ahead *winces*

Sodium, Sodium, Sodium
I’ll keep this short and sweet. Maggi, Salt and Knorr all contain high levels of sodium. If your sodium intake is high, your kidneys try to balance out the excess sodium surrounding your cells by cutting back on releasing water into your urine. This leads to water retention. Water retention equals weight gain. Knorr and Maggi contain MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), a controversial additive which is said to trigger headache and other symptoms in some people. I would love to say I don’t use Knorr/Maggi but that would constitute sin and I’m really trying to get to Heaven. Go easy on the sodium and spice up your food instead! It helps boost your metabolism. Use herbs (thyme, rosemary, garlic, oregano, curry) to bring out flavor food.

Put Away That Fryer
We can FRY food sha! Fried food = calories. It is really that simple! Use your oven! After boiling chicken, I stick it in the oven until crispy. Tastes just like fried chicken, with fewer calories. I also “fry” my plantain and potatoes in the oven. Save those “fried food” calories for when you really need them.

Protein, Fruits and Vegetables
We love red meat. They taste so delicious in soup! Goat meat is a good substitute for beef since it has considerably less calories. If you must eat red meat: eat responsibly. I personally don’t eat much beef but I would say living in Lagos increased my red meat intake some. I usually opt for turkey, gizzards, chicken or hen. As for the other types of meat, kpomo has no caloric value and Shaki (tripe) and cowleg are low calorie. Seafood is a great source of protein. This brings me to the next topic: fruits and vegetables. Eat them! Make them a part of your regular diet. Apples, oranges, mangoes, pineapples, grapes, spinach, avocado, cabbage, bitter leaf, carrots, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower to name a few. Use fruits to stave off hunger between meals. Steam or sauté vegetables –they should be a main part of your meal. Fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of fiber, vitamins and minerals which help in maintaining a healthy weight.

You’re a little hungry but it’s not lunch time yet, what do you grab? The average Nigerian snack is unhealthy, period. From plantain chips to chin chin, the struggle is real. They are SO high in calories. Keep your unhealthy snacking to a minimum (hey cheat day!), and choose alternatives like fruits, granola bars, special K crisps, almonds, vegetables and yogurt. A friend of mine eats a boiled egg for snack. It raised my eyebrow some, but I can tell you it’s much better than that doughnut you just finished. The day is coming when we’ll have a wide variety of healthier, more affordable snacks. Until then, you’ve got to improvise, and get creative!

And just as a bonus: Having friends/family just as (or more dedicated) to staying in shape/eating well helps! Use them as a support system; make them accountability partners. Allow them to motivate and “snatch” you (literally, in some cases) when you’re getting out of control. Remember you have to put in some kind of effort to achieve a result. Not rocket science? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.

Thank you for very much for reading. Wedding Saturday is upon us. I’m off to daydream about small chops. You should too.
Didi is a twenty something female living in Atlanta. She recently returned from Lagos after a 4 month stint where she experienced some degree of culture shock having been away for 10 years. She chronicles her fitness journey on her blog, Muffin Tops and Love Handles. She shared her weight loss story on BellaNaija {click here to read}. Follow her on Twitter: @Rexie_A.

Didi Amajor aka Rexie is an auditor and the founder of 3to30fitness, a program she started 3 months to her 30th birthday, to promote self-love, support and healthy habits among women. She is currently accepting clients for the summer session, beginning May 2. See her Instagram page @3to30fitness for more details.


  1. Onye

    October 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Where do you find special K crisps in Nigeria?

    • Africhic

      October 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Vcare Opebi., Ikeja

    • iba

      October 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Where can you get the Granola bars or the cauliflower to cook the rice. If you are writing and aiming it at the Nigerian scenario then help make it real by what the average man can. She made loads upon loads of good points though and i appreciate this write up. We use way too much oil. I cant count the number of times we fried and fried fish when i was growing up. oil for fish,clean oil for plantain. Now i just stick it in the oven and even when i return home to Nigeria there shall be no fish or chicken frying in my house. YAWNSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

    • Chelizruby

      October 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Hi come over to my weight loss and wellness blog for free Nigerian meal plans that will help you shed loads of fat. you wont regret it.

  2. Jojo

    October 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Absolutely needed this. Am not over weight or any where near fat considering am a mom of 3 kids. I still fit into my size 10 dress. *wink*. However, I need a reminder in the fruits department. Most times I actually forget fruits exist like seriously! Thanks to Ma hubby who is a fruit fan that keeps me in check. Nice article.

  3. BeRlinda

    October 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I read every word……and what can i say?….thank you!

  4. Heeba

    October 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Diets are expensive difficult to maintain here in Nigeria. The kind of foods you are telling us to substitute is more expensive, scarce to obtain, and refrigerator life is zero (compounded with PHCN issues).
    I find I stick to my diet when I am in the UK or USA compounded with the must walk everywhere in the UK and New York i actually am much trimmer when I come back from a holiday.

  5. jcsgrl

    October 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Well the opposite is true for me when I’m in nja…I lose weight drastically. I don’t know how but I eat and eat like a cow…I mean no restraint whatsoever and I still lose weight. The first week is usually spent purging everything that enters my mouth. the more I eat, the more I purge and then my system normalizes. Fastforwad to yankee, the first week I’m back I don gained 5lbs already. This place shaa! I can’t wait to go back and lose weight cos my weight loss journey here aint working and its about to get cold…sighs oh plus fall’s best tv shows are coming. Yeah nja hear I come

  6. The Fairy GodSister

    October 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Loved this!

  7. Jarula

    October 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Best weight loss tips. I can confidently say I did these & most of the pounds dropped without even exercising. However, I am thinking of relocating to Nigeria for a bit so I am a tad worried as to what to eat & stuff.

  8. Anne

    October 3, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    timely! thanks for this. u’re a great writer too.

  9. Bee

    October 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Nice…no one still says shayo tho.

    • Rexie

      October 3, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      LOL, oh really? Point taken. #blamebeingawaytoolong

  10. sparkle

    October 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks a lot, really love this nd i hope that it helps

  11. i no send

    October 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    lol….i was munching on chinchin and nuts while reading this had to drop the plate when i got to the part bout snacking…….*covers face*

    • iba

      October 3, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      LOL bless you.
      Bella Naija commentators are the best

  12. The Original Beebee

    October 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Babe went to QC..she was fat back then! Glad shes taken
    concrete steps to watch her weight and stay healthy..

  13. [email protected]

    October 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I beg to differ on the special k and granola bars for
    snacks those things contain sugar and please if it is sweet it has
    sugar don’t kid your self. as long as its shelf life is more than
    one week there has to be preservatives in it. For snacks I keep a
    bottle of ROASTED groundnut and cashew nut in my cupboard at work
    its healthy and can help you drink lots of water. Try also seasonal
    fruits like garden egg, walnut, Ube mgba(for my Ibo peeps). just
    was them well before you eat because of the germs they have been
    exposed to in traffic and market place

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      October 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      No!! Cashews are evil!!!! Have you read the calorie content on the back of their packets? It’s like 5 = 250 calories or something. Stop snacking on them. Unless you absolutely can discipline yourself to 5 nuts a day and even then, not every day.

      I imagine groundnuts are nearly similar in calorie contents.

  14. Wunmi

    October 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing this useful peice Rexie. My dear is not
    easy o. I stopped eating red meat cos I was diagnosed with uterine
    fibroid and my online research shows a certain connection btw
    consumption of red meat & estrogen production. I know I
    need to work on my discipline level with other food; I’ve really
    tried to lose weight but I just keep adding weight infact I’ve just
    decided to settle for weight loss supplements. I am tired of being
    called orobo and friends telling me how fat I am now. I hate
    reunions cos the weight issue is always a subject. Lets see how it
    goes after I reduce considerably due to the suplmnts

    • roundpeginasquarehole

      October 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Don’t know which online research you read so I’m not going to dispute it, but fact is black women are predisposed to fibroid than other ethnicities. The reason for that is not yet known. Now whether you exhibit the symptoms is another thing. Thing is most people with fibroid don’t have symptoms and some do.

  15. frances

    October 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    @[email protected],roasted groundnuts contain 5calories per
    nut and r so tempting,its hard 2eat little sef so easy on d bottle
    u keep in ur cupboard o…this was really helpful,thanks rexie.

  16. spicey

    October 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I really need this article. Haaa, I have gained so much
    weight 3 months after my first baby. Worst still, I have thrown
    caution to the wind regards my daily food habits. From my chicky
    size 8 to a painful 12, i am beginning to feel helpless. Useful
    tips here to try. Thanks

  17. yetunde

    October 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    All dis dint work 4 me o. I lost 40kg in 5months and dint find myslf takin any of dis. fruits n veggies did work tho. So happy I actually lost d fat n my self esteem returned! *yipee*

  18. Miss Fab

    October 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm


  19. Mz Socially Awkward...

    October 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    I love it! And regarding what you said about Knorr/Maggi cubes – I’m sticking my hands over my ears and singing “lalalalalala” so I can pretend I didn’t hear it. ‘Cos I love me some Knorr!! Although, a friend of mine showed me a new technique of using red onions in copious amounts to cook which (she claims) practically obviates the need to use any Knorr or Maggi.

    Also, I’m going to beg to differ on two points.
    1. Au contraire, I feel healthier when I’m in Naija and lose weight whenever I go on holiday there. The evidence which proves this can be seen in my trado outfits which I sew there and they fit me perfectly in my tailors showroom in PH but all of a sudden they need to be let out some months after I’m back in the UK. In fact, here’s another form of proof – when I used to live in Nigeria, I never experienced this particular phenomenom of belly fat which lies just below the navel. You know the kind I mean? It’s like a roll of flesh that sits just above your pelvis. What the heck is that?? My Naija tummy was f-l-a-t all the way down, despite the consumption of red meat, red oil, kpekere, chin chin, etc (and you need to consider I was a size 12 in Nigeria and then dropped right down to a size 8 once I commenced ‘student life’ in Abz). Now, I’m a size or two smaller but feel bloated all the time! Not cool…

    2. Prawns are chock full of calories!!! Shocking, right? I know, since I’ve been munching away at them with the perceived knowledge that they were good for me. But my reasononing has now been corrected and I now consume in much smaller amounts. Yes, I know you said “seafood” but I thought I should highlight that key fact about prawns. All other scaly fish (I can’t really say the same about every kind of fish) remain a great source of healthy proteins 🙂

    • Skinny gogo

      October 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Same for me too o. Maintained a skinny weight all my life and then balloned two dress sizes when i moved to the US in under 2 years. Naija food mehn, noring do am at all. Our bodies have been conditioned to digest it wella plus the stress in that place. Little wonder the majority of people gain weight when they relocate. Food for thought, pun intended. The obesity level in 9ja now cna now be traced to our fast food eating culture. before all dem tfc, sweet sensation, this bar, that ice cream place, dominoes and co came and made the situation worse

    • roundpeginasquarehole

      October 3, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      hahahahaha! your own better. shey you were a size 6 in naija, me I was 2, 4 at most. And I could eat like a horse. Everyone thought I was anorexic or something. Came to jand and in less than 1 year went up to a size 8. Thanks for pointing out the good stuff about our food, especially the minimal processing. It’s high time people stop insulting naija food in the name of diets by including things that you can’t necessarily find in naija.

      And for those that buy foods/snacks labelled as reduced fat, reduced sugar, reduced this, reduced that, ask yourself what they have replaced the reduced ingredient with because they surely still have to make up the weight to be contained in the packet!

  20. *Real* Nice Anon

    October 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    The struggle to stay fit is very real. Still, we struggle on.

  21. Berry Dakara

    October 3, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Good job, cuh!

  22. roundpeginasquarehole

    October 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Sorry to burst your bubbles here but I find little or nothing wrong with most naija food. They are definitely not as unhealthy as jand food. I don’t live in america so I can’t talk about that. The only thing I find wrong and that is down to the individual cooking and eating is perhaps use less oil, control your portion size and incorporate fruits and veg. It doesn’t have to be some exotic fruit and veg there are loads of fruits and veg in naija. Oh and exercise. Doesn’t have to be in the gym. Jogging for around 30mins once a week will do.

    What is worrying is the number and rate at which fast food joints sorry ‘eateries’ are springing up. I mean the west is trying to move away from fast foods and encourage people to eat healthily and cook from scratch sometimes. No o, its the eatries we are now embracing in naija.

    Don’t get me started on the chicken and fish here, even the so called organic. I can boil and cook naija chicken in stew without grilling or frying and I can use the stock without blinking. With jand chicken, I have to grill the chicken after boiling and skim off litres of oil that miraculously appeared after boiling. Same with fish. I can’t cook the fish here without grilling firs, tin ba fe je ki aya rin mi!

    • Skinny gogo

      October 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Thank you. I find this article very condescending to 9ja food. My own personal experience i was a size 6 in 9ja. Very difficult to find clothes, I had a car that i drove everywhere in Lagos. Relocated to the US with no car and taking the metro and bus everywhere i still gained weight to a size 10 in under 2 years. People told me i looked better but i missed my skinny self because i finally lived in a place i could find clothes to buy and i had gained weight. I went back to 9ja food only and i dropped a dress size back to size 8 and i have been a size 8 for 3 years plus now. There is nothing wrong with 9ja food. Portion control and don’t eat like a glutton. All the frying she is talking about, for someone who lives in the South, does she know how much they fry everything. Even Okra they fry, their chicken nko. heart attack on a plate. You can preach diet but don’t dum down our food and raise foreign food as the pinnacle of healthy eating. Our food is even healthier because it are fresh, organic, minimal processing, you just have to eat in moderation. My bowl of Edikaikong with orisirisi and a small amount of pounded yam which i had for dinner made with fresh ingredients and 1 cooking spoon of palm oil is more perfect for my body than some yeye oyinbo food. I have my swallows for dinner almost every day and I am still a size 8.

    • 4.0

      October 3, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      At what point did she imply that foreign food was the pinnacle of healthy living? I don’t see an attack on Nigerian food, merely a suggestion on healthier preparation and healthy choices. I’m sure the people in the south can apply this to their own lifestyles. There’s no need to be defensive, this article is clearly aimed at people who need it. If you stay skinny without eating healthily then you’re lucky but don’t attack someone who’s sharing what works for her in order to help others. Keep it moving x

    • roundpeginasquarehole

      October 3, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      roundpeginasquarehole October 3, 2013 at 4:52 PM
      hahahahaha! your own better. shey you were a size 6 in naija, me I was 2, 4 at most. And I could eat like a horse. Everyone thought I was anorexic or something. Came to jand and in less than 1 year went up to a size 8. Thanks for pointing out the good stuff about our food, especially the minimal processing. It’s high time people stop insulting naija food in the name of diets by including things that you can’t necessarily find in naija.

      And for those that buy foods/snacks labelled as reduced fat, reduced sugar, reduced this, reduced that, ask yourself what they have replaced the reduced ingredient with because they surely still have to make up the weight to be contained in the packet!

    • zsa zsa

      October 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      I dont think she was being condescending about our food but rather pointing out areas where our food can be a bit unhealthy. My husband and i visited a naija restaurant in NYC some weeks ago, i went for the edikaikong(sp) with pounded yam while hubby got oha soup. LORD HAVE MERCY! The oil in my soup scared the crap out of me, it was also heavily seasoned with salt and possibly MSG. Hubby and i had to mix soups to neutralize the tastes cos we were quite hungry.
      The issue with naija food is mainly preparation. Like the author said, we really dont need that much oil in our soups and stews. In most cases its not even about weight gain but about overall health…you can be a great size 4 and have a heart attack or kidney failure.
      I cook both naija and “foreign” dishes at home, i make healthier versions. Less oil, less salt, less or no red meat, loads of veggies and were all pretty healthy….hubby’s long time HBP is all the way down, plus he lost a couple of inches off his waist sine he moved to the US.
      The fruit situation in naija tho is something else. Last year during a visit hubby wanted some grapes, he picked a handful and the vendor says 1500 naira. He dropped it and got some barely ripe mangos instead.

    • Bimbo

      October 4, 2013 at 10:17 am

      Let’s try to educate ourselves please. Losing weight DOES NOT mean that you are healthy. Get it right please. Also, did she say American food is healthy or did I miss something? Smh

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      October 4, 2013 at 10:19 am

      @Zsa Zsa, babe you can give me those Naija mangos over oyibo grapes ANYTIME (yes, even tho I’m a total cheapo who tries to only buy grapes at Asda, I still begrudge the £2 I spend on that packet that I’ll consume in less than 2mins).

      The abundance of great tasting juicy fruit is what I miss the most about Naija. I used to buy baskets of mangos, oranges, tangerines…. Basins of sower-sop, pawpaw & avocados…. Delicious MASSIVE pineapples & watermelons that tasted like pure sugar… charter carrots from the mallam wheeling his barrow up and down the street…. 🙁

  23. hilda

    October 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Yes yes Fruit and Veg all the way.
    My sister died of cancer and since our diet and exercise is linked to cancer, i have made changes.
    Even started a business making fruit arrangements at events.
    Love it!

  24. Bex

    October 3, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I’m with you on substituting knorr, maggi etc for actual spices to add “character’ and taste to otherwise blah dishes.

    Check out my food blog
    Don’t forget to read, comment and COOK!

  25. naana

    October 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    “weight is not your enemy/you will look like a t.b patient if you loose weight.”
    i dont even give them ear cos they are the same ones who’ll tell you how FAT you look.
    just eat what you think is good and in moderation.
    water is the best friend and also eat at least a fruit or vegetable everyday.

  26. I love this! its a constant reminder that i should keep pushing, weldone dear

  27. Rexie

    October 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    First of all, I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who read this article. It’s very greatly appreciated!

    @Mz Socially Awkward: Lol, I enjoyed reading your reply. 1 cup of cooked prawns has 152 calories. 1 serving size (3oz) of Tiger Prawns is 95 calories. This is in no way a substantial amount. Prawns are rich in protein and Omega 3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation in blood vessels, joints and are good for the heart. They also contain calcium, vitamin B and vitamin E. In addition, compared to other meats, they have less calories. One argument that could be made against prawns though, is the cholesterol level. Shrimp contains as much cholesterol as an egg (166mg per serving) but again, I guess this is where moderation comes in. What I am trying to say is, the benefits far outweigh the calories.

    I should have expatiated on seafood. Truth be told, I began eating seafood only a few years ago after I switched to a healthier lifestyle. However, based on some research, I found that salmon, trout, striped bass, flounder, shrimp, tilapia, crab and scallops are among the healthiest fish and seafood.

    @[email protected]: Sugar is not the enemy. Fruits contain sugar as well. There are granola bars with lower sugar content which serve their purpose when not overeaten.
    As far as your groundnut/cashews snacking, so long as they are raw and dry roasted then I am inclined to agree with you! Nuts are a great snack! They contain monounsaturated fat (good fats!), vitamins and other nutrients. For the record, 18 cashews have 163 calories.

    @Heeba: Although I do not live in Nigeria, I can definitely relate since most of my friends/family live there. Even people who have access to EVERY TYPE OF FOOD POSSIBLE struggle, so trust me when I say, I understand your plight. I must however add that majority of the foods listed are quite accessible in Lagos. It’s all in the creativity and doing what works best for you.

    @Skinny gogo: Let me first of all start by saying I commend you for shedding your US –gained weight and keeping it off. It’s very admirable! Secondly, I would like to point out that in addition to many other factors, change of location/environment contributes significantly to weight gain. One moves to America and takes up a new lifestyle in an attempt to adjust – new eating habits (because of what was say, readily available), new schedules, new social calendars etc. This explains why you, or anyone else would gain weight in a different country, and why I would gain weight in Nigeria, having been away for ten years as explicitly stated in the article.

    In addition, just as body temperature is programmed to stay at 37 degrees celsius, so is body weight naturally regulated to stay within a range. This range is called the Body Weight Set Point, and is determined by hormones, chemicals and hunger signals. A set point basically tells your body what it should weigh. Your set point can either be raised over time (by over eating) or lowered (through adopting and maintaining a healthier lifestyle and exercise). This could explain why you went back to the size 6 or 8 that you originally were before you relocated for a short period. It could also explain why people lose weight and keep it off.

    Nigerian cuisine to me is by far one of the best. Maybe I’m biased but I love it! However, I’d be doing myself a disservice if I did not admit that some methods of preparation and consumption are completely contrary to healthy living. Same can be said for my southern friends over here.

    @The Original Beebee: Thank you very much! It is still a struggle as I have fitness goals I am yet to reach but, I hope my insight can inspire someone else.

    Thank you again!

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      October 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks for the correction, you’re absolutely right, it’s cholesterol and not calories which prawns have a high level of… And thanks for the clarification regarding nuts as well, the only thing is that with the ones you buy off the shelves, you’re never quite sure how they were prepared even when they’ve got “Wholefoods” plastered all over the packet…

  28. Miss Anonymous

    October 4, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Nice write up!

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