Friday, 14 October 2016

Nigerian food and weight gain or loss

For most Nigerians, eating is a pleasurable experience and you really can’t blame anyone for wanting to eat more than required. The way our foods are organically grown and cooked is guaranteed to give anyone a form of exhilarating pleasure. By piling up tasty meals dense in calories and flavor to nourish the body, the inner mechanism of the human body responds to this in different ways hence the classification below. Here's a reasonable analogy that best explains the reason why.   
When it comes to food, there are three types of people or better still 3 body types you’re bound to come across in Nigeria. These body types best explain why some people pack on weight easily while some find it very hard to put on a few pounds; Those that gain weight by eating very little, those that cannot gain weight even if they eat a whole elephant and those that are simply in between both extremes. So if you’ve been beating yourself up over not gaining enough or gaining too much weight, this is for you. 

The Ectomorphs: (Broom, Bones, Lekpa, Toothpick )
If you’ve been called at least one of the above names, you might actually fall under the ectomorph category. And no, this isn’t your fault but part of your biological make up.
Ectomorphs tend to either eat a lot of food or eat little because they get filled up quicker and this usually results in little or no weight gain. Due to the biological make up of people in this category, they tend to burn calories really fast even when they do little or no physical work. This is usually due to having a high basal metabolic rate (high metabolism)

Here's a scenario;

Faith my good friend doesn't work out, sometimes she forgets to eat meals. Even if she does, there are always leftovers on the plate. She loves to snack on little things like biscuits and soft drinks with little nutritional value and calorie content. Her real meal in a day might just be the two wraps of garri with the bowl of soup she took in the afternoon and washed down with a small cup of water. Now tell me how faith would end up gaining weight because even if she doesn't work out, she ends up burning more calories needed for internal functions than is required.

Dieting tips to gain weight

* The required daily intake for the normal functioning of the body is between 2000 (for women) - 2500 (for men) calories per day. To gain body mass as an ectomorph, you'd need about approximately this amount to see results. This means you have to eat the right healthy meals with excellent nutrition. 

* Forget about eating three square meals a day. Make that number five square meals a day. You can do this by dividing your meals into prepacked portion sizes so you don't skip a meal. 

* If you can't eat large meals all at once, break the meals into portions. Your hand knotted into a fist is one portion size. 

* Eat calorie packed healthy meals

* Calorie dense foods i.e Nuts(groundnut (try peanut butter), almond, walnuts) , Soya milk, Full creme milk, Chicken/ beef/ fish, cheese, Full creme yogurt, Eggs, Sweet / Irish Potatoes, Avocados, Leafy vegetables (Ugu, Green, Shoko, Spinach), Brown Rice (abakiliki, ofada), Olive Oil should be a good start.

The Endomorphs: (Orobo, Bull dozer, Puff puff, Fatty )
If you’ve been called at least one of the names listed above, you might actually fall under the endomorph category. People in this category tend to either eat alot or even little but find it difficult to burn off excess calories. This is because they have a low basal metabolic rate (low metabolism) than everybody else in the pack, so their bodies cannot burn fat effectively.

Here's a scenario;
Johnny my friend goes out to jog every morning. After jogging in the morning, he'd settle down to eat 2 packs of hungry man sized noodles (sometimes 3 and this is not a joke) + 2 eggs, sometimes he mixes it with sardine then he'd wash it down with a 50cl bottle of soft drink. In the afternoon he'd consume 5 wraps of garri with soup filled with assorted meat. In the evening he'd go out, get 3 sticks of kebab, 2 pork chops, 3 sausages then a can of beer. At 2 am in the middle of the night he wakes up, checks the fridge for bread with cheese and yogurt. At the end of the day, he eats about 4 square meals with a calorie content of over 3000 a day. Now tell me how johnny would end up losing weight.

Tips to lose weight
* If you want to lose weight you have to burn at least 3500 k/cal per week. This is about 1 pound of fat per week because 3500k/cal = 1 lb. Whatever you do, your meal intake should be less than 2000 calories. 
you need to burn off about 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume per day or between 3,500 and 7,000 calories per week.

* Don't skip meals. Eat 3 square meals a day but reduce the portion size of meals you take. Your hand knotted into a fist is one portion serving.

* Eat whole grains rich in fiber, drink lots of water, take lots of vegetables. Meals like these are bound to make you feel full quickly while giving your body the nutrients it needs to function properly.

* Foods such as oats, leafy vegetables (moringa, ugu, spinach, green), fruits, fish should make up 70% of your diet while carbohydrates should be about 30% of your diet.

The Mesomorphs: (Buff, Trim, Hourglass, Fit)
If you've been called any of the names above, you might actually fall within this category. Most people in this group are gifted with what is termed the genetically perfect body type.
For most ectomorphs and endomorphs, this is dream body weight they aspire to achieve. The mesomorph is somewhat the median weight between the ectomorph and endomorph and therefore displays qualities from both. They've got a larger frame and bone structure. Mesomorphs don't have to worry about what they eat because they can lose weight just as quickly as they gain it if they want. This makes it easy for them to achieve that perfectly defined body they want.

Here's a scenario:
Teejay my sporty friend eats everything that comes his way but in moderation. For him, converting fat into muscle is really easy especially when he works out regularly. In the end. he ends up with a symmetrically built body with moderate body fat. 

Tips to maintain weight
* Eat regularly to maintain body mass. This means you have to eat the right healthy meals with excellent nutrition.

* If you can't eat large meals all at once, break the meals into portions. Your hand knotted into a fist is one portion size.

* Eat calorie packed healthy meals

Whatever weight issues you might be experiencing, have it at the back of your mind that you’re not alone in this. So, what category do you fall under and how did you remedy the situation.

Check out more on this from; 
1q Food Platter
All Nigerian Recipes
9ja Foodie
Mummys Yum
Nigerian Lazy Chef


  1. Body type plays an important role when it comes to the effect a particular food has on our bodies. This is why we can find people of all shapes and sizes within the same nuclear family yet they eat from the same pot. Sadly this is often overlooked.

    Thanks for breaking it down with excellent examples Dobby! :)

    The Naija names you gave the different body types, eh? Broom, bulldozer, Puff Puff. Abeg add longthroat, fido dido, toothpick for ectomorphs because that's my group and I was called all that and more. :D :D

    1. Hahaha!!! toothpick? Done! :D :D.

  2. Hahahhahah.. these names are very serious Adaobi! I completely agree with you. We are all different and we need to eat for our body type.

    1. Awww!! Thank you 9jafoodie :)

  3. Now, i've learnt body types plays a role. I'm sure many people are like me and never have given it a thought. Thanks for this.

    1. You're welcome chioma :)

  4. goamazing_2:56 am

    It can but it depends on your portion size. Not every1 knows the kcal in agege bread n it doesn't even say on the packaging. A lady finishing 1 #50 bread in the morning is close to her normal estimated daily calorie, however they could have pounded yam as dinner. All Nigeria meal is so yummy and good, mostly organic and healthy. The best way to weight loss with Nigerian meal is portion size, lots of our veggies and organic fruits which we are surrounded by and can be get from market. Even pepper do us good( boost metabolism). #it all depends on us as an individual# πŸ™‚ But honestly nijia food they tempt person oo. Too aromatic and delicious#well nourished too. Ok bye

    1. Thanks for the insight goamazing_

  5. I fall under Mesomorphs. I have 4 kids but some people don't believe it. Thanks Dobby.

    1. Wow!Lots of people would love to be in your shoes Angie.


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