Tips to healthy eating and exercise for Nigerians

The things we eat!

Since I started a regular diet and exercise regimen almost two years ago (late 2012) I have changed my view and habit towards food.  True, I still crave and take those favourites of mine: ice cream with nutmeg and chocolate flavour, the occasional pizza, that cream… but it is occasional and in general I now read labels more.

I have learnt many lessons about weight loss and diet.  You may find them useful. Here are some:

–  It is possible to lose a tremendous amount of weight:  I did it.  Read this post where I relate it all.  As at that post I lost 10kg; now it’s 20kg.

–  Nigerians eat too much carbohydrate, much more than is good for us.  We think of the present moment, of the enjoyment and fullness it gives and we eat to socialize, not bothering to think of the moments afterwards.  We eat way beyond the natural feeling of fullness.  Think pounded yam, think eba, think rice, rice, rice.

– We do very little exercise.  There are many excuses, and good ones too.  The weather is too hot to exercise (do it early in the morning or in the evening); there is no time (there is time for whatever we really want to do – just as we ‘waste’ too much time idling at work or gisting or just lying around). We prefer to take the elevator, those shining new inventions that give momentary pleasure, save us what we imagine to be precious time but deprive us of a chance to do some small exercise.

– We use too much red palm oil in our food.  Reduce it.

– We use way too much sugar.  I did not use sugar for more than one year.  I replaced it with sweeteners.  Ok, ok, people say sweeteners are not healthy, they cause cancer and stuff (I’ve no proof), so sometimes I now replace with honey.

– We should take more fibres.  They help you feel fuller and they improve your metabolism.  You go to toilet more regularly and keep down less.

–  Eat regular meals.  Three square meals and regular interviews and a snack in the evening.  Starving yourself is not a good option for it makes you binge afterwards.

– Eat like a diabetic.  It’s healthy eating and it gives you enough.

– Eat plenty fruits.

– Eat a third of your usual carbohydrates, replace the rest with vegetables.

– Vegetable is not ‘grass’.  You may call it grass in a derogative way but it’s your mighty good friend.

– Ah, and do some exercise.  Running is good and easy because it involves no partner and no hassles. (No moss, no fuss).  You get up, wear those clothes and run out the door.  No fancy preparations.  Run at least 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes.  Don’t worry, I don’t like running but seeing what it’s done for me, we tolerate eat other.  You can make it easier on you by using an mp3 player to listen to some music.  I’m tired of music so when/if I don an mp3 player I use it to listen to audio books.  I’ve read plenty of action and drama novels that way.  Sometimes I just want to feel the noise around me, feel my breath and hear my feet stamp so I don nothing.  Another consoling thought that should make you get out and run.  Tell yourself: nobody is forcing me to do this, if I get tired along the way, I can just stop running and walk.  You’ll see, when you get out and the temptation comes to walk, just tell (deceive) yourself, ok, just a few more steps, a few more steps… and you’ll run all the way.

–  I run against traffic so I see oncoming vehicles.

– I love to run in the rain.  It reminds me of my childhood and brings so much fun to the whole thing.

– Don’t worry that people on the road see you running.  Enjoy yourself, and besides, if you look closely you’ll see a look of admiration and happy envy on their faces.  They know it’s good and wish they can do it.

– Happy weight loss friend.

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