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Going on a weight loss diet and you need some low-calorie Nigerian food options? Well, you’ve stumbled on a gold mine!
Whenever anyone thinks about going on a diet, they associate it with hunger and misery, but what if it doesn’t have to be like that, what if you can be on a diet and still be satiated from your meals?
Well lucky for you, I’m going to cover the healthy Nigerian foods that are actually low in calories and will help you lose weight, not a bullsh*t list of every food.
You should know that overeating any food can lead to weight gain, so you still have to add these foods gently into your diet.
These foods, when compared to other high-calorie foods and your daily calorie intake, will show you how crucial they are to your weight loss goals.
So, drop that coke in your hand, and let’s dive in.
This is the most popular and talked about option in the fitness industry and it is worth all the hype.
Chicken is one of the highest sources of protein, and due to its high protein presence, you don’t require too much to feel full.
Tip: Please don’t fry it when going on a diet, have it boiled in a soup or grilled with a little oil.
Goat meat is underrated for how low in calories they are. It is a lean meat, and they are also really high in protein.
It is considered to be one of the healthiest red meats out there and also has low amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol.
Beans are a nutritional powerhouse and should always be a part of your diet.
It is high in protein and a good source of fiber making it a perfect filling food.
It can be transformed into delightful, low-calorie dishes like bean porridge and moi moi which are one of the best Nigerian foods on a diet.
Nature’s nutrient-packed ball-shaped goodness, eggs are not only delicious and high in protein but also low in calories.
Tip: Have it boiled when going on a diet to maintain its calorie value.
If you’re trying to lose weight fast, remove the yolk, the egg white alone contains just 18 calories!
It must be good to know that the catfish you eat out with friends in the park is low in calories.
It is an excellent source of B vitamins and protein and is a guilt-free delicious meal option.
Tip: To work best on a diet, have it as pepper soup, or grilled with little oil.
Which Nigerian doesn’t like a can of sardine with bread and egg?
Except you’re trying to lose, remove that bread from the sentence.
Sardines are rich in omega-3s, high in healthy fats, vitamin D, calcium, and a heavy load of protein, all while being low in calories.
Tip: If you’re trying to lose weight, drain out the oil and have only the fish.
Check out this post if you struggle to build healthy eating habits!
If you want a guilt-free, delicious, high-protein, and filling healthy food addition to your meals, shrimp is a top candidate.
Creamy, tangy, and low in calories. Though a bit on the expensive side, Greek yogurt is a versatile addition to your diet, perfect for snacks or breakfast.
It is rich in protein and calcium, a combination of nutrients that leaves you feeling satiated.
Sweet potatoes are your savior from hunger when going on a diet.
They’re highly hyped in the fitness space for being low in calories and containing a decent amount of fiber.
This combo allows you to eat more and helps you feel fuller for longer, leading to reduced eating, and thus, weight loss.
Tip: If you want to lose weight, have it boiled, steamed, or grilled to keep the calories low.
The Fada in ofada rice must mean Fa-da of all rice because it sure acts like it.
It contains 10 times more vitamins B1 and B6, 3 times more B vitamins and fiber than regular white rice all while being low in calories.
Pretty sweet huh?
When it comes to fruits, watermelon is top tier for weight loss, the high-water content in it leaves you feeling full and satisfied.
Watermelon is made up of 97% water which makes it a perfect mix between sweet, hydrating, and low calories.
These little red gems pack a punch of flavor without piling on the calories, making them a great snack option to add to your diet.
This tropical fruit not only tantalizes your taste buds but is also a low-calorie sweet addition to your meal plan.
It contains an enzyme called papain, which helps in the digestion of protein.
A bowl of fruit salad made with watermelon, pineapple, and pawpaw, is surprisingly filling.
Try it out!
If you haven’t heard already, guava is considered the super fruit!
It has four times more vitamin C than oranges, more potassium than bananas, and four times more fiber than pineapples, all while being low in calories.
That’s insanely good.
This delicious Nigerian staple contains a healthy number of resistant starches.
It is a fiber-like nutrient that slows down digestion, leaving you feeling satiated, and contains fewer calories than its ripe counterpart.
Boiled unripe plantain is a satiating choice that fits well in a healthy weight loss diet.
Crisp, refreshing, and low in calories, cucumbers are a hydrating fruit that adds crunch to your salads without adding extra pounds to your waistline.
It contains vitamins A and K, and a decent amount of soluble fiber.
Cabbage is very low in calories, making it an excellent choice for those watching their weight.
It’s versatile, allowing you to use it in salads, stir-fries, or wraps.
Tip: Keep the salad dressing low when eating it or get a lower-calorie salad dressing.
Ewedu is a beloved leafy green in many of our great Nigerian dishes, it is not only nutritious but also low in calories.
It contains some amounts of antioxidants, B vitamins, and omega-3s which is a bonus for a healthy diet.
Lettuce is a crisp and refreshing vegetable that is a fantastic choice for those aiming to shed some pounds.
It contains some amounts of fiber and protein, making it a satiating option.
This is a perfect option if you want a healthier, low-calorie substitute for rice.
I’m pretty sure you’d lose lots of weight by making this choice alone, and it doesn’t have to be bland, grate it and prepare it the same way you make fried rice.
Try it out!
When you’re craving a more filling form of pasta, whole-wheat pasta is your friend.
It contains more fiber than traditional white pasta, helping you feel full and satisfied without the extra calories.
If you want a breakfast meal that will leave you satisfied, then oatmeal is a great choice.
They contain high amounts of protein and fiber, which can keep you fuller for longer and reduce cravings for around 4-5 hours.
Be mindful about adding too much to it, so the calories don’t add up.
Cottage cheese is a low-calorie food that contains a rich supply of protein and is sure to leave you satisfied till your next meal.
Regardless, you should still be mindful of the portion size of any cheese.
Pap is one of our Nigerian staple breakfast meals made from fermented maize.
It’s low in calories, especially when prepared without excess sugar.
Pepper soup is a flavorful and spicy delicacy that can be relatively low in calories, depending on the choice of ingredients.
Go for lean protein sources like fish, goat meat, or chicken, and go easy on the oil in the soups to keep them great for weight loss.
Other decent calorie soups include:
You’ve gone through the low-calorie foods in Nigeria, Now, let’s go through a few tips that can help you feel fuller and more satiated from your meals.
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body doesn’t absorb and doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels.
Adding foods high in fiber to your diet plan helps by slowing digestion, which keeps you feeling full for longer. It is also a nutrient found in foods suitable for diabetics.
The proteins you consume digest slower than other nutrients, this means your feelings of fullness signals stay activated for longer, thereby reducing cravings and overeating.
Whenever you want to eat foods like rice and spaghetti, add a bunch of salad to it.
If you’re trying to lose weight, make that ‘main’ look like the side allowing the salad to occupy your plate.
You know the low-calorie foods, and now know the ways to make your foods more filling, let’s jump into a few tactics you can use to eat fewer calories in your meals.
Taking sips of water in between bites helps trick your brain into getting those ‘full signals’ thus, allowing you to feel fuller quicker.
When you eat slowly, your brain gets enough time to process all the food entering your system, and when given adequate time, it sends those fullness signals quickly.
Tracking or counting calories can seem difficult and strenuous to most, but it is a sniper approach method for reducing body fat.
And there you have it, 25 fantastic low-calorie Nigerian foods for weight loss! These options are not only delicious but also satisfying.
From protein-packed chicken breast to nutrient-rich goat meat, fiber-filled beans, and moi moi, to refreshing watermelon and strawberries, there’s a plethora of choices to keep you full and on track.
Aside from your diet, consistent physical activity is also required to burn calories, when you burn calories, you also burn fat, leading to weight loss.
Staying at a healthy weight can reduce your risk of heart disease, which is something you should always consider.
So, say goodbye to hunger and embrace these flavorful, low-calorie Nigerian foods on your weight loss journey.