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#NascoMoments: What Nigerians Should Know About Fitness and Weight Loss

Season One of Nasco Moments has come to an end, and what better way to wrap up the season than to discuss something that is of great importance to nearly all of us?

Many people are obsessed with losing weight. Weight loss products and programme available around the world show just how large the market is. Even if you’re not looking to lose weight, you most likely have at least one loved one who does. As the show host, Joy Isi Bewaji, pointed out, even for people who aren’t “fat” there’s still that pesky little problem of tummy fat to deal with; just look at the men and women around you!

As usual, the guest Joy selected was equal to the task. US Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant and Weight Loss Coach, Iwo Akinyoyenu, did a great job of demystifying weight loss. If you missed the show, you can find the audio clip by searching #NascoMoments on Twitter. Until you get to listen, here’s the meat of what you missed:

Calories are not evil.

The much talked about calories, widely touted as the enemy of the human body, are actually not bad. They are just given a bad rap by people who don’t understand how the body works. We need energy to survive. Without it, our cells will die and we will perish. Calories are the energy we get from the food we eat; your body needs them. The problem with calories actually stems from the imbalance brought on by ingesting too much and expending too little. Fat has more calories than proteins and carbs, and that’s why it often needs to be burnt.

Your lifestyle is more than likely killing you.

Lifestyle changes have led us to become more sedentary. We have cars to go everywhere, we take the lift instead of climbing stairs, we pay people to run errands for us, and we have more to eat. Is it any wonder that we are ingesting so many calories and yet expending so little energy? Even the host agrees she has never walked on the streets in her estate with her children, and I’m sure many listeners could relate.

Poor diet is the culprit when it comes to tummy fat.

Observe your environment and you’ll find that everyone seems to be sporting a tummy one size too big, male and female alike. Why is this? “Our diet is poor,” Iwo says. Calories ideally should come with vitamins and minerals that build and repair, but we eat too many empty calorie foods that just fill us up and provide little or no nutritional value. On top of that, we eat too many saturated fats, and we snack a lot. According to Iwo, the average Nigerian eats large portions, and the tummy is elastic so when you eat too much, it expands. When you eat too much, your body digests what it can and leaves the rest, and as days turn into weeks, months and years, your tummy just keeps expanding, a testament to fat deposits.

It’s true that you should always eat breakfast.

I rarely feel hungry in the mornings, so when Joy mentioned that she’s hardly ever hungry in the morning, I was glad to know I’m not alone. Experts say that breakfast is the most important meal, and Iwo explains why. “Imagine a car running without fuel,” she says simply. That’s what skipping breakfast does; it has you running empty. “People who don’t get hungry, their metabolism is asleep and needs waking up because that’s dangerous.” Oops!

You can deal with tummy fat and body fat in general. How? Iwo outlines a few steps.

  • Come to a point of self-awareness. Don’t live in denial. You can see a doctor for a health assessment or visit her website, fitfabandalive.com to download an assessment.
  • Act now, and seek the right method for you. The best lifestyle changes are those that are gradual and can be sustained. Don’t take the all or nothing approach, it’s not sustainable.
  • Reduce your portions. “Portion reduction alone is magical,” says Iwo, who lost 20kg just by reducing her portions alone.
  • If you’re really serious about weight loss, it’s best to seek professional help. The information widely available on the internet is not tailored to suit you and your peculiar lifestyle and history. You need your own diet plan.
  • Exercise helps your heart rate and gives you a positive feeling. Even if you are pregnant, there are exercises you can do in addition to eating well – unless of course, a doctor asks you not to exercise.

Clearly, there’s so much to learn about fitness, exercise, and weight loss. Joy hopes to have Iwo back on the show again, and we are certainly looking forward to that. In the meantime, you can contact her via Whatsapp on 08023226519, or search for her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @fitfabandalive‎. She has a 12-week fat flush challenge she guarantees you’ll love.

Of course, there was NASCO Trivia, and one NASCO goody bag is up for grabs for the lucky listener as usual: Name one award NASCO has won from 2014 to 2015, and it could be you. Send your answer to 08033286604 or tweet it using the hashtag #NascoMoments.

 

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Joy Ehonwa

Joy Ehonwa is an editor and a writer who is passionate about relationships and personal development. She runs Pinpoint Creatives, a proofreading, editing, transcription and ghostwriting service. Email: pinpointcreatives [at] yahoo.com

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