I thought that was a nice and cheeky way to title this blog post. Really, though: do not let any diet plan cheat you out of enjoying the foods you love – well, unless they’re just plain ridiculous (somebody tell me why there’s such a thing as fried butter)? The crux of your sustainable, healthy eating, and exercise plan is balance. The finer details will follow as time goes by. Don’t buy into unrealistic or unsustainable ‘diet’ options. You’re in it for the long haul, so think long-term. Speaking of long term: boy, can weekends pose the ultimate threat? Those Saturday mornings when pancakes, waffles, fried yams and akara are calling your name. Don’t forget about Sunday, when Sunday rice is literally the highlight of the day. The good news is: you can eat in moderation. The bad: well, there is no bad. Healthy eating choices do not and should not have disadvantages. Of course, we might need to reorient our minds as to what “disadvantage” means. Nonetheless, when your diet plan is overly restrictive and you can’t enjoy life the way you should, please rethink it. Let’s get to how to attain balance this weekend. I hope you like the photo – I thought of themeasuringcup readers when I was using the medicine ball during the week J
- Sunday Rice: I know, Sunday rice – the holy grail of Nigerian kitchens. What’s not to love? The chewiness and warmth of jollof, the soundness of good fried rice – the kind that all the vegetables are freshly cut and just presents itself nicely on your plate, or the kingpin of it all – rice and stew. Kai,* why would a plan compel you to cut this out of your diet? I never cut it out of my diet, and I’m 12kg lighter and going strong J. Look at it this way: you cannot cut out rice from your diet as long as you are living (unless you really don’t enjoy it), so why cut it out when you’re trying to lose weight? Did you know that since rice is a simple carb, it’s relatively easy to burn? Did you also know that you don’t need a huge portion of rice to be satisfied? Don’t cut rice out. Reduce your rice portions. Switch to brown rice if you’re seeking more fibre. Diversify your rice portfolio. Grate some cauliflower into your rice to ‘increase’ the volume of rice without adding calories. Add quinoa to the side of your rice to enable you reduce the amount of rice, while still enjoying your rice; bulk up your rice with peas and legumes, and eat a healthy amount of veggies with your rice – make your rice (or whatever is scared to your food culture) go far! These tweaks are sustainable – they’re not hinged on any special diet, but are lifestyle adjustments I have made that help me enjoy my rice in peace.
- Attending Functions: Those small chops.** What to do with them? I can bet that 90% of my readers have a wedding or event to attend this weekend. If you’re in Lagos, it’s probably a wedding. Now, what to do with all that food in front of you? Firstly, eat before you attend a function. You’ll be less hungry and make better food choices. Also, plan, plan, plan. I will certainly write a post on how to eat at a Nigerian function. For now, my main tips would be: eat before attending, and plan (adjust) your portions for the day with the function in mind, and don’t mindlessly eat at a function. It’s tough, but doable.
- Sweat: This weekend, break a sweat. Find the time to do some form of exercise. Remember that you’re in no hurry. I recommend cardio if you did not exercise during the week. It’s a fast and efficient way to burn calories with the least risk of hurting yourself if you don’t know how to use gym equipment, or just aren’t well versed in exercise routines. Exercising will help you feel more balanced. It’s alone time, so it’ll help you clear your mind. Also, you’ll be more conscious of what you’re putting in your body when you’ve worked to burn calories. Most of all, it releases happy hormones.
This weekend, focus on your portions, try not to eat mindlessly, and break a sweat. Actually, break more than one sweat. Get drenched! Stay the course – you deserve it.
till next time,
· * Kai – It’s an exclamation. Similar to “gosh, come on” etc.