Struggling to shed some extra pounds? You may want to try out some African Foods to aid your weight loss journey. There are a variety of African foods that help you lose weight and as well lead a healthy lifestyle.
What are these African Foods that can help one lose weight? There are a variety of African foods that help you lose weight, such as spinach, egg, brown rice, green plantain, kidney beans, oats, lean beef, cashew nuts, and so on.
However, losing weight is more difficult these days. A lot of people never get it right even after trying out different weight loss plans—along with meals. So for your needs, this article is going to dig deep into other routines you can add to foods to aid weight loss, as well as other facts about weight loss.
Let’s dive in!
Can I Lose Weight with Just Meals?
While meals are essential for weight loss, you can’t rely on just meals to lose weight. Focusing on eating the foods that help you lose weight isn’t enough. Staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and exercising are also necessary for weight loss.
Water provides you with energy to exercise longer and speeds up metabolism. And after your exercising session, especially a rigorous one, sleep helps repair your muscle tissues. So, ensure you exercise, stay hydrated, and also get enough sleep.
What Exercises Are Best for Weight Loss?
There are two types of exercises to focus on; cardiovascular exercise and weight training.
Cardiovascular Exercises to Consider
Walking is a beneficial exercise, which can easily be incorporated into one’s daily routine. Around 100 calories are burned if you walk a mile. To burn more calories, try walking on slight inclines like hills, staircases (ditch the elevator), and so on.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) such as running in intervals (running upstairs and walking when descending) helps burn calories. Plus, it continues to burn your calories for about 48 hours after the exercise.
When you run on a treadmill or track, you’ll burn about 33 to 35 more calories than you would when walking.
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This exercise is preferable over running because it doesn’t stress your joints much. You can opt for low resistant cycling, which involves long distances or higher resistant–such as hill rides.
If you’re not the outdoor type, there are fitness centers and gyms where you can exercise indoor on stationary bikes.
Weight lifting helps in building lean muscle mass, which allows your body to burn more calories for several hours after the exercise. It also helps in raising resting metabolic rate (RMR) and strength building.
Before you start weight training, make sure to warm up by doing aerobics activities or brisk walking for about 5 – 10 mins. Warm muscles aren’t as prone to injuries as cold muscles. However, to correctly get the training procedures, try talking to a trainer at the gym about your weight loss plan for better coordination.
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Also, weight training will make you tired. Treat yourself to a great meal consisting of foods that help you lose weight.
How Often Should One Exercise to Lose Weight?
When exercising, there must be a balance. Doing too much of it leads to overeating, and doing less leads to little to no changes over a long period. The recommended duration is 250 minutes per week. You can exercise daily for about 35 mins. If you can’t exercise daily, then skip a day or two.
10 African Foods that Help You Lose Weight
Below are 10 African foods that can help you lose weight. Note that some of these foods don’t originate in Africa but are mostly eaten in many African countries and are easy to get on the market.
Leafy greens like spinach and a few others speed up weight loss process as they are low in calories but rich in insoluble fiber, which aids weight loss. Before you begin eating this, ensure you have your meal appropriately planned. If possible, you can see an expert to advise you on how to include spinach to your diet for weight loss purposes.
Despite being a source of protein, eggs also help in boosting metabolism due to the presence of high amino acid. This nutrient helps in building muscles, which are a necessary replacement for fats. Eggs are rampant in Africa and quite affordable. You should eat them in moderation to avoid gaining weight instead of losing. Seek professional advice on how to go about eating eggs for weight loss.
3. Brown rice
Brown rice is a better alternative to white rice when choosing carbohydrate foods that help you lose weight. A half-cup serving of brown rice has 1.7 grams of resistant starch, a nutrient which burns fat and boosts metabolism. Moreover, it’s low in calories. Though brown rice is not so popular in African, it’s been eaten in a couple of African countries.
4. Green plantain
Green plantain is much better than yellow plantain when trying to lose weight. The green ones have resistant starch, whereas the resistant starch of the yellow ones has turned to sugar. And the resistant starch aids weight loss by boosting metabolism and reducing fat. Green plantain can also be referred to as unripe plantain.
5. Kidney beans
Kidney beans aid in weight loss, as studies suggest. Per serving, there are more than 5 grams of protein and fiber in kidney beans. It also contains resistant starch, which is nearly 2 grams in a half-cup serving. All these nutrients are needed for weight loss.
The calories level of oats is low, and the fat it contains is just 1.5 grams. Aside from being one of the foods that help you lose weight, it also aids digestion. You can use oat to prepare porridge, swallow, and crunchies to snack on. Oats are much available in Africa and are being used for specific diets. You can start using them to aid your weight loss journey.
7. Lean beef
Just like other foods rich in protein, lean meats also help in weight loss. It has less than 4 grams of fat per 100 grams. Try preparing Sega wat, a spicy Ethiopian beef stew.
8. Cashew nuts
If you feel like snacking, then try cashew nuts. It contains magnesium, which regulates your metabolism of fat and carbohydrate. However, cashew nuts are high in calories, so consume a little of it.
Avocados help in burning calories after a meal. Also, it’s a filling meal, especially when you cook it with sweet potato or prepare it as a fruit salad. This is one food in Africa you can find easily. So you won’t have difficulties getting it for your weight loss race.
Walnut contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and plant-sterols, which helps in controlling appetite. These nutrients also help in suppressing hunger. Walnuts can be found in most African countries; you can find them in any popular food market.
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Foods that Cause Weight Gain
While you’re looking to lose weight and doing anything possible to reach your goals, a little mistake of eating certain foods can sabotage your effort. So, there are certain foods you should avoid in order not to ruin your weight loss plans. Below are some foods you should stay away from:
- Processed meat
- Unprocessed raw meat
- Sugary foods
- Pastries and cakes
Being overweight has several health consequences. Of course, no one loves to be so overweight, it robs you of confidence, and for some people, they become introverts. It is only wise to maintain a fit body instead of being overweight.
If you were wondering if African foods can help one lose weight, now you know! These foods can also help you maintain a balanced weight, so try to incorporate them into your meals to lose extra weight and keep fit! Don’t forget that exercise is required to fuel your weight loss journey.