Friday, 12 July 2013


Hey guys, as earlier promised, here comes the part 2 of the "want to lose some weight" article. I'm not going to bore you with talks about counting calories as I know well that we don't count calories in Nigeria. Most of our natural foods don't come with how much calorie is in 1 plate of rice or 1 wrap of moi-moi for example as they haven't been properly researched. The closest as a matter of fact you can get to counting calories in Nigeria is in the processed foods. However, if you are on the side of the world where you can comfortably count your caloric intake, well then, I say lucky you!

In keeping your diet in check, there are a few things you should first;
  1. Know your baseline weight and body mass index (BMI) this is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. So if you weigh 60 kg and you are 1.7 meters tall your BMI is 60/(1.7 x 1.7) = 60/2.89 = 20.76. Which is normal. The Normal BMI of an adult is 19-25, below 19 is underweight, 25-30 is overweight, 30-35 is obesed, 35-40 is moderately obesed and >40 is morbidly obesed. If you measure your weight in pounds (lbs) divide by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms (kg)
  2. Know the normal caloric intake even if vaguely for your age, sex and activity level. Men generally have a higher caloric intake than women because they are mostly taller, weigh more and generally expend more energy. The average caloric intake for a woman is between 2000-2500 kcal, while that for men is between 2500-3000 kcal. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you'll be more on the lower limit and a more active lifestyle will be on the upper limit of that figure. Also as you get older, your need for calories drop as your metabolic rate drops. Know you normal daily intake: Are you one that eats all carbohydrate meals three times a day? How heavy are your meals?
  3. Know your baseline health status: are you hypertensive or diabetic? Do you have a condition called hypothyroidism which makes you gain weight whether you are starving or not? do you have any chronic diseases that require you to be on specific diet plans? For example, patients with a liver disease are required to be on a high carbohydrate diet and a low protein diet.
  4. If you are diabetic? you are already required to cut off some stuff from your meals like soda (mineral drink) and sugar. Some doctors say remove all forms of carbohydrate from your diet. Well, I say remove the carbohydrates with excess calories and replace with ones with lower calories.
  5. Remove processed sugar and replace with sweeteners that contain aspartane.
  6. Reduce the levels of fatty foods intake: concentrate on white meat and fish instead of red meat, remove the skin from your chicken before cooking to reduce cholesterol. You can eat egg as long as it's just the egg white. 
  7. Add fruits and veggies to your diet: My dear Nigerians, veggies don't mean only the vegetables leaves like pumpkin leaf, green leaf, bitterleaf, oha and Co. Because I know this might be difficult to pull off due to our varied cultural backgrounds worldwide and even in Nigeria alone. Feel free to add carrot, cabbage, cucumber, lettuce and broccoli e.t.c.
  8. Some spices are actually medicinal like garlic and onions help to lower cholesterol levels. Another nut good for your blood cholesterol is the walnut. 
  9. If you are diabetic, stay clear of sour sop and pineapples because of their high glucose concentration. An individual with a renal disease should beware of bananas as they are high in potassium.

Now to the methods off cutting down and loosing the weight. Know that this should be added to your exercise routine. If you are just starting out, with no diet or exercise plan, then be sure to modify your diet before you move on to modify your activity level (exercise).

Think of it this way, assuming your daily intake is 1500 kcal and you expend about 700 kcal in your daily activity level, it interprets that you have 800 kcal excess (unused) everyday. By the time you have done this for 3 days, you have an excess of 2400 kcal already. A value 1.5 times more than your daily intake. Same continuous intake and activity level for a week puts you at an excess of 5600 kcal. Suffice to say that any carbohydrate or fatty intake in excess is stored in the body as glycogen which the body can convert back to glucose when it feels you need it. While any excess protein is excreted out as the body has no storage unit for it so it can get converted back.

To lose weight, you need to reverse the intake and activity but gradually, for if you move from 1500 in and 700 out to 700 in and 1500 out, you'll be loosing 800 kcal everyday but that 800 wouldn't be just fat, it'll include muscles even up to the heart muscles making them weak and unable to carry you. 

Step 1: Start on the road to loosing some weight gradually but consistently by cutting down your diet by a third and maintaining your normal daily activity level. So let's say you remove a third of the 1500 kcal, you'll have 1000 kcal to take in, still you carry on with your regular daily activity that removes 700 kcal and you have 300 kcal left which is way better than the former 800. do this for 2 weeks then step up your activity level by incorporating a bit of exercise of say about 100 kcal while maintaining your new diet intake.

Step 2: Now you are taking in 1000 and using 800, leaving 200 as the excess. You haven't started losing the weight yet but you are no more gaining as much. step up again the exercise to 1000 kcal. Now you take in 1000 kcal and use 1000 kcal. We are getting to the good part i'm sure as you are neither gaining or losing at this point.

Step 3: Step up the exercise or activity level even more to a comfortable place and maintain your diet. So let's say now for instance, you take in 1000 kcal and use up 1300 kcal. What has happened? you have begun to lose those stored up fat and glycogen by loosing 300 kcal everyday.

Step 4: Cut you intake to a half of the very first input of 1500 kcal while maintaining your current activity level. This point gives you an intake of 750 kcal and an output of 1300 kcal and you are now loosing 550 kcal. WONDERFUL! isn't it? Before you know it, you have burnt up the entire excesses.

For People whose diet make it impossible for them to count calories, start by dividing each meal you take in into 3 equal parts, eat 2 parts and leave the third, then when you get to the step 4, divide your current portion into 4 equal parts, eat 3 parts and leave 1 part. That way you have achieved cutting down to a half of your former caloric intake.

Very important to note that it is best to eat foods rich in carbohydrates and fats in the mornings as the fact is for most people, most daily activities are carried out during the day and more protein meals, fruits and veggies for dinner as most of us tend to go to bed without much activity after dinner. Always take your fruits, remember an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

This is a long process, don't expect instant results as you only start losing in the step 3. Keep a food chart. It is a record of all the foods you take in in a day, Do this on a daily basis to monitor your improvements. Make sure not to eat any additional stuff after your dinner which should be taken before 8pm. No junk foods and no in-between meals unless recommended by your physician

**The figures used for this calculation are not a strict rule please. They are for illustration purposes.


  1. Weight gain is inherited. Here's some science to prove it

    See if the link opens. If not I'll BB you the add

    1. Agreed, Obesity may have genetic predispositions, but over-eating, eating the wrong foods at the wrong time and a sedentary lifestyle further worsens it. There is also the issue of hypothyroidism. Thanks for your comment. I also checked out the link you sent


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