Whether you are trying to lose weight or gain weight, it’s all a question of your calorie intake. Calories provide the energy that your body needs to function and stay alive.
They aren’t bad for you. But eating too many calories and not burning enough of them off through activity can lead to weight gain. You may be finding it tougher to exercise while under lockdown due to the pandemic with most of our daily movements restricted.
Watching your weight during quarantine goes hand in hand with your calorie intake. Eating lower or zero-calorie foods such as certain fruits and vegetables is an easy way that might help you keep fit during this quarantine period. Below are some fruits and vegetables that are locally available and you can start consuming them or rather consume them more.
Though commonly categorised as a vegetable, it’s a fruit. I bet you didn’t know that. It is high in beneficial nutrients and aside from being low in calories, it contains a good amount of water and fibre, ideal for promoting hydration and aiding in weight loss. They may not have a ton of flavour, but it can melt fat when consumed regularly. Cucumber can best be used to make salads if you prefer not eating them all alone. One thing to remember is that cucumber aids in short term weight loss by restricting your calorie intake. Whenever you feel hungry, eat cucumber and eat as much as you want as there will still be calorie deficit.
Tomato is added to many of our dishes and it is known to be essential to the African culture. It defines people. Wherever you find African food, be sure that tomato was one of the ingredients. Tomatoes are a great source of protein, minerals, dietary fibre and vitamins. They also make your skin smooth and make it lustrous. Apart from these health benefits, they also help in losing weight. If you want to cut those extra inches and look gorgeous without trying too hard, tomato is the answer. A medium-sized tomato contains about 16 calories and consuming two tomatoes will not only make you feel full but will also cut down your calorie intake and help you create that calorie deficit required to lose weight. Not to forget they are also an ideal fruit for high blood pressure patients.
This vegetable is found in almost every grocery store or supermarket. According to Megan Ware, a registered dietician nutritionist based in Orlando Florida, eating spinach is beneficial for maintaining healthy skin, hair and strong bones as well as helping with digestion, lowering the risk for heart disease and improving glucose control in diabetics. Looking to shed those extra kilos? Then pick up a bunch of spinach leaves. They contain high fibre content and water which may help facilitate weight loss, whether cooked or blanched. Just so you know, spinach is also called Palak.
Remember that exercise and food go hand in hand. Burning more calories than what you eat is of prime importance. Going for a walk early morning before work or in the evening before curfew while maintaining a safe distance from others will do you good. A little push ups in the living room with your family won’t do you harm.
Lizzy is a Food Science and Technology student at the University of Nairobi.