If you are planning to lose weight, then you have to focus on eating foods that are low in calories. Many people think the only way to lose weight is by skipping meals or fasting, but it is not very sustainable. Rather, you should try to eat meals that are low in calories. You gain weight when you eat foods that are high in calories, the same way you lose weight when you eat foods that are low in calories.
Everything you eat has some amount of calories, but some foods contain fewer calories than others, and those are the type of foods you should be eating more of if you are planning to lose weight. In this article, we would be looking at some examples of low-calorie foods you should be eating and why.
1. Nsala Soup
A lot of Nigerian soups are low in calories; however, nsala soup is one that stands out. Nsala soup or Ofe nsala is a staple Nigerian soup prepared mainly with spices, small pieces of yam, utazi leaves, and flavored with ogiri or iru. It is a very light soup and is easy to prepare. Nsala soup is also very low in calories and should be added to your weight loss diet. Other low-calorie Nigerian soups are ewedu soup, vegetable soup, miyan kuka, and ogbono soup.
2. Tiger nuts
Tiger nut is an edible tuber that is widely eaten in Nigeria. It is known as Ofio in Yoruba, aki Hausa or Imumu in Igbo, and Aya in Hausa. Tiger nuts are also low in calories. In fact, 28 grams of tiger nuts contain about 140 calories. It is lower in calories compared to almonds, cashew nuts, and groundnuts. Furthermore, tiger nuts are rich in many nutrients and may act as a natural aphrodisiac.
3. Fonio (Acha)
Fonio (Digitaria exilis), also known as Acha in Nigeria, is a tiny variety of millet grass species that is highly nutritious. It does not contain a lot of calories, as 45 grams (quarter cup) of fonio has about 170 calories. Fonio is equally low in cholesterol, sodium, and fat but is an excellent source of B vitamins and fiber.
4. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a popular snack in Nigeria. It is an amazing source of protein that can help reduce cravings and help with weight loss. Greek yogurt is also another low-calorie food in Nigeria. In fact, 150 grams of Greek yogurt contains about 130 calories. However, the amount the calories varies from brand to brand and how they are made. They have many other health benefits and are nutrient-dense.
Eggs are another nutritious food that is low in calories. According to research, beginning your day with protein, like eggs, would make you feel less hungry during the day. One good thing about eggs is that you can have them with anything. So you can reduce your rice or bread intake by supplementing it with more eggs instead. You can choose to have it boiled or fried.
6. Whole Grains
Making the decision to switch to whole grains has a lot of benefits, including lower calorie intake. Whole grains are also loaded with more nutrients compared to processed grains. Some examples of whole-grain foods include brown rice, millet, corn, whole wheat, and more. You can decide to eat whole wheat bread due to reduced calories. Eating more whole-grain foods would help cut down your calorie intake.
You can also eat potatoes if you are planning to lose weight as they contain fewer calories than other foods. Potatoes have also been ranked as the most filling food, which means eating them would make you keep hunger away most of the time. Just keep in mind that eating boiled or mashed potatoes are the right way to go, rather than having it in the form of chips.
8. Fruits and Vegetables
Eating fruits and vegetables is also another thing to consider, as they have fewer calories than other types of foods. Fruits like pawpaw, watermelon, grapefruit, apples, and vegetables like carrots, cabbage, cucumber, garden eggs, sour sop, tomatoes, and so on, have very low calories and lots of nutrients, which makes them great.
While it may not seem like it, oats are very low in calories but are also quite satisfying. Oat is rich in fibre, which fills you up for longer and also promotes regular bowel activities. This means that you would not feel hungry as often as you do after eating oats. Oats are also very nutritious as it contains loads of other nutrients, including iron, selenium, zinc, protein, carbohydrates, and much more.
Starting your day with a bowl of oats would go a long way in ensuring you are satisfied for most of the day without adding a lot of calories to your body. Oatmeal swallow is a Nigerian swallow that is loaded with nutrients and also low in calories.
Legumes like beans, cowpea, and peas also have low calories with high amounts of nutrients. In addition to that, eating them would induce a feeling of fullness and a reduction in appetite levels.