• Gain or lose weight with Nigerian Food

    Gaining or Losing Weight with Nigerian Food

    The general misconception that Nigerian food is unhealthy is a theory I whole-heartedly disagree with. It’s in the application that results are seen. For example, if one chooses to have tiger nuts (ofio,aya) – which by the way is considered by many Nigerians to be healthy- every day of the week for two weeks without any form of exercise, that person can expect to see some changes when they climb their scale. 

    Nigerian food in my opinion is healthy when used appropriately. There is also the myth that every one working the surface of the earth is trying to lose weight. This is not the case. A growing number of people are looking to gain healthy weight as well as those looking to lose weight. Nigerian food can help with that. 

    Gaining weight with Nigerian Food

    You do not have to stuff your face with carbohydrates to gain weight with Nigerian food. You have to still ensure that everything is done in the right proportions. For example, In addition to your breakfast of dodo (fried plantain) and eggs in the morning, you can add an avocado smoothie drink to help with your calorie intake. It is important that whatever your weight gain goals are, you target the right ingredients to include in your diet plan. Some foods that can help you with healthy weight gain are; 

    Groundnuts – You can have in form of Ose Oji

    Dates (Dabino) – Date Pancake recipe

    High – fat dairies like Yogurt – Banana Milo Pudding with Yogurt 

    Oat-based Recipes – Oat Fufu

    Chicken, Beef, Pork, Goat Meat dishes

    Yam, Potato, Plantain, Local Rice, Acha dishes

    Coconut milk, Avocado dishes etc.

    Soups like Banga, Egusi, Beniseed etc. are great for healthy weight gain

    These food groups and many more would be helpful in gaining healthy weight with Nigerian foods however, it is important to still maintain healthy proportions with these foods and consult with a dietitian when creating a meal plan. 

    coconut shaki soup

    Losing Weight with Nigerian Food

    Losing weight with Nigerian food can sometimes prove to be a problem for many people. Thankfully, books like 9jafoodie’s LIN has revolutionized the way people view Nigerian foods in the weight loss category. From dishes with less oil to low carbohydrate based dishes, it is important to consider the foods that can aid your weight loss goals. 

    Weight loss friendly foods are;

    Green Vegetables – Ugwu (Pumpkin leaves), Bitter Leaves, Spinach (Efo Tete) based Dishes

    Beans Pottage without Oil or extra Carbohydrates

    Okro Soup without Oil

    Efo Riro without Oil


    Chicken Breast, Lean Beef

    Boiled Potatoes

    Pepper – Ata Rodo etc.

    These are general ideas on ingredients and some dishes that can aid in your weight loss goals. 

    Shrimps and vegetables

    To address the question “Does Nigerian Food Make You Fat?” My answer is No because it depends on the proportions you eat, the time of day you are eating these foods, how often you are eating it and what your unique body type can digest. For example, some people can eat Jollof rice everyday and not gain a pound, while others can smell the jollof rice from the pot and put on a few pounds lol. While that is a bit of an exaggeration, everything in moderation is key.

    Are you on a weight gain or weight loss journey with Nigerian Food?


    View more write-ups from other Nigerian Food Bloggers

    All Nigerian Recipes

    Mummy’s Yum

    9ja Foodie

    Nigerian Lazy Chef

    1Q Food Platter

    Dobby’s Signature




    4 comments on “Gain or lose weight with Nigerian Food”

    1. Pingback: Does Nigerian Food Make You Fat? - All Nigerian Recipes Blog

    2. Flo Reply

      Oh Atim! Tell me about the struggle to gain weight or even maintain the tiny one you gained on this same Nigerian food diet that is being accused.

      If there’s an ability to either gain weight and lose weight while eating foods from Nigeria, that says something great about our food. It means that it is so varied and must be one of the best foods in the world. If only we can prepare it in healthy ways and eat the correct portion for our body type!

      Thanks so much for the food ideas for everyone. 🙂

    3. 9Jafoodie Reply

      I am definitely with you Atim! it’s all in the approach. This “Oyibo” diets that people are celebrating are based on the same fundamentals as traditional Nigerian diet. We just need better research and education on our local ingredients and how to use them for better health.

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