So you want to lose weight and you really do not know how to start?
For a sustainable weight loss, though it requires a lot of discipline and motivation, it is better to focus on lifestyle changes that will make a considerable and effective difference in the long run.
This will help you not to deprive or starve yourself unnecessarily and end up being frustrated with no good result.
Who said it was not possible to lose weight safely on a Cameroonian (237) diet?
Here are some pieces of advice to help you in that light:
1. Eat less starchy food
When trying to lose weight, it is extremely important for you to watch your carbohydrate or starch intake.
Note that the body (through an elaborate process) stores excess carbohydrate or starch as fat and continuous excess carbohydrate consumption may result in increased weight gain.
It is therefore recommended to cut down on carbohydrates to force your body to lose weight by using up stored energy (fat).
Some Cameroon-based starchy foods: Garri, yam, fufu, miondo, cassava, rice, bread, millet, potatoes, plantains, pounded cocoyam, cocoyam…
2. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Vegetables and most fruits are low in calories and fat, and high in fibre – 3 essential ingredients for successful weight loss.
They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Some Cameroonian-based vegetables: Folere leaves, eru (okok), okra, cassava leaves, okongobong, sweet or bitter leaves, cabbage, fluted pumpkin leaves, green beans…
This is how a healthy plate should look like. Image source: Institute
3. Consume less oil
Oils are high in calories. Avoid using oil when you don’t have to (as far as greasy sauces are concerned), and if you must, use only a small amount.
As for greasy sauces, eat them only occasionally.
Some Cameroon-based oily or greasy sauces: egusi stew or soup, egusi or groundnut puddings, groundnut soup, njansa soup, ndolé, palm nut soup or achu soup.
4. Cut down on alcohol and sweet drinks
A standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate.
Over time, drinking too much extra liquid calories from alcohol and sweet drinks can easily contribute to weight gain.
Water still remains the best zero calorie drink.
5. Don’t skip meals
My dear breakfast skippers, skipping breakfast won’t help you lose weight.
Infact, you are more often than not miss out on essential nutrients . You may end up being tempted to snack more on foods high in fat and sugar throughout the day because you feel hungry.
Eating meals at regular times during the day helps burn calories at a faster rate.
6. Use a smaller plate
Using smaller plates can help you eat smaller portions.
By using smaller plates and bowls, you may be able to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry.
It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full. o eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.
7. Cut down on high calorie snacks or street foods
It’s extremely easy to consume high calories snack and ignore the calorie count.
It is okay to indulge every now and then, but do not underestimate their effects on your diet.
Some Cameroon-based high calorie snacks: chin chin, puff puff, caramel, groundnut, buns, plantain chips, chocolate, biscuits, sweet fizzy drinks…
Carry healthy snacks in your bag such as whole fruits, so you are not forced to buy unhealthy street snacks or foods.
This last point isn’t about food, but weight loss cannot be achieved with food alone.
To lose weight, you have to create a calorie deficit. his can be achieved by trying to expend more energy or calorie than you consume. An easy way to that is through exercise.
A good start is to get to walk for at least 30mins a day.
Get help! If you have to lose five kilograms or more, consult a diet specialist and a health professional because you will need regular follow-up.
If you are instead concerned about gaining weight (at a BMI of less than 18.5 kg/m2), don’t worry we got you covered! Check out how to safely gain weight
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