"How you should eat"

This is an exclusive blog by CEO/Founder of ECNG Meal Prep, Priye Karibo. "...You’re sweating with excitement. Your heart is racing. The voices in your head are discussing how you’ll cram those warm slices of pizza or that loaf of agege bread..."

Mix of healthy and junk food

The average N50 plate of rice is about 1.5 cups of boiled rice, add the stew with the assorted pieces of meat and you’ll be in calorie heaven (or hell). The trick to following a successful diet in Nigeria is one word, EDUCATION.

Not what you thought, right? Stay with me, I’ll explain. The standard meal plan will have you cutting down on almost all the fun stuff and have you believe that a healthy nutrition goes hand-in-hand with weeping and lamentation. I’m a strong believer in any diet that consists of natural whole foods that provide complete nutrients to the body but I also believe in balance. Balance means a diet that includes those whole foods for the nourishment of your body and a little of the others that help maintain our sanity in our crazy world.

This is why I promote the 80:20 principle. The 80:20 principle simply means that your diet consists of 80% whole foods and 20% of your favourite soul foods. This will help you create a more sustainable diet but it doesn’t stop there. You need to educate yourself on what’s in your food.

Yes, your diet consisted of salads and chicken breasts all week and you want to cash in on your 20% during the weekend. You deserve it. Last night you hallucinated a little about fried plantain. So you go food shopping. You might even have a list. You’re sweating with excitement. Your heart is racing. The voices in your head are discussing how you’ll cram those warm slices of pizza or that loaf of agege bread into your mouth. Let’s not forget the ice cold soda that’ll wash it down. Dear God!

You’ve probably just ingested 3000 calories of 20%. You didn’t know it was that high, right? If you had educated yourself a little, you would have known that a portion size is 1 slice. Now your 20% is the new 80% and you’re nowhere near your goals.

“But I ate well all week”

You did, but then you ate >1000 extra calories that you did not need. Your body is not going to feel sorry for you and burn it all as energy. It’s going to do what it has always done. Store it as fat for future use.

Remember;

3500 calories = 1 pound of fat

To follow any nutrition plan, it is crucial that you learn a little about your foods. Here are a few of our popular foods and their calorie content;

Plain boiled white rice (1 cup) - 206

Plain boiled beans - 224

Plain boiled yam (100g): 116

Plain boiled ripe plantain (179g medium): 218

1 slice of dodo (fried plantain): 68

Garri (1 cup): 360 Corn (100g): 365

Plantain flour (150g): 437

White bread (1 slice): 80

Coca cola (50cl): 240

Banana (medium): 105

Gala: 330

Olive oil (1tbsp): 119

Canola oil (1tbsp): 124

Peanut Oil (1tbsp): 119

Palm oil (1tbsp): 120

Groundnut (1cup): 854

Cashew nuts (100g): 553

If the last three didn’t give your heart palpitations, you’re stronger than I am. Nuts and oils are calorie dense and should be eaten in moderation. This does not mean they are bad for you. It means they contain more energy in a smaller serving compared to other foods. As the weeks go by, I will show you how to combine whole foods and soul foods to create a sustainable diet. Till next time, I’ll leave you with this portion control chart.

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