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Low calorie Nigerian Foods

25 Low Calorie Nigerian Foods That Will Make Your Diet Easy

Are you going on a weight-loss diet and need some low-calorie Nigerian food options? Well, you’re in luck, so stick around. 

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 satisfied with your meals?

Well, lucky for you, I’m going to cover the Nigerian foods that are actually low in calories and will help you lose weight.

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.

List of low calorie nigerian foods

List of low calorie foods in Nigeria

1. Chicken Breast

Plate of grilled chicken breast
  • 100 grams of boiled chicken breast contains 165 calories.

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 content, you don’t have to eat too much of it 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.

2. Goat Meat

  • 100 grams of goat meat contains 143 calories.

Goat meat is underrated for how low in calories it is. It is considered a lean meat and is 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.

3. Beans

  • 100 grams of bean porridge contain 144 calories.
  • 1 wrap of moi moi contains 239 calories.

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 some of the best Nigerian foods on a diet.

4. Eggs 

  • 1 whole egg contains 71 calories.

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, then consider removing the yolk; the egg white alone contains just 18 calories!

5. Catfish

  • 100 grams of steamed catfish contain 105 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 a little oil.

6. Sardine

  • 1 can of sardines (93g) contains 191 calories.

Sardines are a great option for weight loss due to their heavy protein content. If you’re having canned sardines, you should consider removing the oil to reduce calories. 

Sardines are rich in omega-3s, high in healthy fats, vitamin D, and calcium, 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!

7. Shrimp

Grilled shrimps
  • 100 grams of steamed shrimp contain 99 calories.

If you want a guilt-free, delicious, high-protein, and filling healthy food addition to your meals, shrimp is a top candidate. 

Not only are they low in calories, but they also supplement other dishes, turning bland foods into cuisines, which may make healthy eating more enjoyable. 

8. Greek Yogurt

  • 100 mL of unsweetened Greek yogurt contains 76 calories.

Creamy, tangy, and low in calories. Though a bit on the expensive side, Greek yogurt is a versatile addition to your diet and is perfect as a snack or for breakfast.

It is rich in protein and calcium, a combination of nutrients that leaves you feeling satiated.

9. Sweet Potatoes

  • 100 grams of boiled sweet potatoes contain 86 calories.

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.

10. Ofada Rice

  • 100 grams of ofada rice contain 116 calories.

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 and 3 times more B vitamins and fiber than regular white rice, all while being low in calories.

Pretty sweet, huh?

11. Watermelon

  • 100 grams of watermelon contains 30 calories.

When it comes to fruits, watermelon is the top tier for weight loss. Its high-water content leaves you feeling full, satisfied, and refreshed.

Watermelon is made up of 97% water, which makes it a perfect mix of sweet, hydrating, and low calories.

12. Strawberries

  • 100 grams of strawberries contain 32 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. 

You can add strawberries to yogurt, oats, or even make a refreshing strawberry shake.

13. Papaya or Pawpaw

  • 100 grams of pawpaw contains 32 calories.

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 proteins.

A bowl of fruit salad made with watermelon, pineapple, and pawpaw is surprisingly filling.

Try it out!

14. Guava

  • The average guava contains 38 calories.

If you haven’t heard already, guava is considered a 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.

15. Boiled, Unripe Plantains

  • 100 grams of boiled unripe plantains contain 122 calories.

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 plantains are a satisfying choice that fits well in a healthy weight loss diet.

16. Cucumber

  • 1 medium cucumber (250g) contains 30 calories.

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.

17. Cabbage

  • 100 grams of cabbage contain 23 calories.

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. Just be careful not to add too much salad dressing to it.

Tip: Keep the salad dressing low when eating it or get a lower-calorie salad dressing.

18. Ewedu or Jute Leave

  • 100 grams of cooked Ewedu contains 41 calories.

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.

19. Lettuce

  • 100 grams of lettuce contain 15 calories.

Lettuce is a crisp and refreshing vegetable that is a fantastic choice for those aiming to shed some pounds. 

When you want to eat foods like rice or spaghetti, consider adding lots of lettuce on the side. It contains some amounts of fiber and protein, making it a satiating option.

20. Cauliflower

Cauliflower and a bowl of cauliflower rice
  • 100 grams of cauliflower contain 25 calories.

This is a perfect option if you want a healthier, low-calorie substitute for rice.

If all you did was swap rice for this alternative, you would  lose lots of weight. You can literally eat so much of it while digesting very few calories. 

Cauliflower doesn’t taste as good as rice; however, it doesn’t have to be bland either. 

If you want to enjoy it, grate the cauliflower and prepare it the same way you would make fried rice.

21. Whole-wheat Pasta

  • 100 grams of whole-wheat pasta contain 124 calories.

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.

22. Oats

  • 100 grams of oats contain 379 calories.

If you want a breakfast meal that will leave you satisfied, then oatmeal is a great choice.

They contain a good amount 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.

23. Cottage Cheese

  • 100 grams of cottage cheese contains 84 calories.

Cottage cheese is a low-calorie food that contains a rich supply of protein and is sure to leave you satisfied until your next meal.

Regardless, you should still be mindful of the portion size of any cheese.

24. Pap or Ogi

  • 1 bowl of prepared pap contains around 200 calories.

Pap is one of our Nigerian staple breakfast meals, made from fermented maize. It is low in calories, especially when prepared without excess sugar.

25. Pepper Soup

  • A bowl of pepper soup can contain 200 – 400 calories, depending on how much meat is present.

Pepper soup is a flavorful and spicy delicacy that can be relatively low in calories, depending on your 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:

  • Okra soup
  • Bitter leaf soup
  • Ogbono soup
  • Afang soup

Make Your Nigerian Meals More Filling

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.

1. Add Ingredients high in fiber

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 slow digestion, which keeps you feeling full for longer.

2. Add more protein

The proteins you consume digest slower than other nutrients. This means you feel fuller on lower calories, thereby reducing cravings and overeating.

3. Serve with a large portion of salad

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.

Tips for Eating Less Calories on a Diet

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.

1. Drink lots of water while eating

Taking sips of water in between bites helps trick your brain into getting those ‘full signals’ thus, allowing you to feel fuller quicker.

2. Eat slowly

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.

3. Track calories

Tracking or counting calories can seem difficult and strenuous to most, but it is a sniper approach method for reducing body fat.

Final Words

And there you have it, 25 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 are so many 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.

Faysal Tahir
Faysal Tahir
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