Looking to lose weight? Try a food timetable

Quite a number of people believe a food timetable can make meal times monotonous and boring but did you know that it can serve special benefits, especially for those looking to lose weight? BLESSING GBARADA speaks to nutritionist and Chief Executive Officer, Evergreen Health and Social Care Ltd, Mrs. Yemisi Solanke-Lawal, on why a food timetable is important for overweight people seeking to burn the fat.


From the nutritional point of view, is a food timetable necessary?

Well, a food timetable may be necessary because it helps add to the variety of food you plan to eat thereby making your diet more balanced. It is particularly beneficial for those trying to lose weight because with it, they can carefully plan and remove fatty and non-nutritious foods from their diet.


For someone looking to lose weight, what should one put into consideration before drawing up a food timetable?

The right amount of food in each class of food. There should be more of fruits and vegetables. This should be followed by meat, fish, beans, eggs and other non-dairy sources of protein as well as milk and dairy foods. Then rice, bread, potato, pasta and other starchy foods. Foods and drinks high in fat and/or sugar should be taken in very little quantity.


Can you share a typical meal for someone looking to lose weight?

For a Sunday meal, the person can have a slice of yam (about the size of a bar of soap), 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of oil, mixed vegetable (onions, chilli pepper, tomatoes) for breakfast.

A slice of pawpaw would do for snack.

For lunch, four heaped tablespoon size of jollof rice, mixed vegetable (sweetcorn, peas, carrots), a piece of fat-free red meat and one apple as snack.

One fist size of amala, three heaped tablespoon size of leafy vegetable (for example, edikang ikong soup), a medium slice of mackerel fish would do for dinner. It can be taken with two tangerines. As far as drinks go, at least 1.5 litres of safe drinking water is recommended.


What is the most complex meal you’ve made?

The most complex meal I have made is moin moin.


Can you recall your most embarrassing cooking experience?

That was when I poured dried corn (for chickens) to make beans and corn meal for my dad and his guests. Despite being confident I prepared a nice meal and they were all going to enjoy my sumptuous meal, they all ended up painstaking sorting out the corn from the beans because it was impossible to chew.


Was there a dish you detested eating as a child?

I detested semovita.


Is it still the same now?

Yes, it is still a meal I don’t enjoy.


What exactly didn’t you like about the meal?

I didn’t like the smell.


Is there a meal you can’t do without in a week?

Yam, fried egg, and stew


Are you adventurous when it comes to cooking?

Yes, I am.


Can you share the recipe of a new meal you have recently ventured into cooking?

I recently tried my hands on the Efik soup Edikang Ikong. To prepare it, you will need cooked beef, stockfish head or pieces, ugwu (African fluted pumpkin leaves), water leaves, dry pepper, palm oil, shaki, cow leg, dry fish, ground crayfish, seasoning cubes, salt.

In a pot, add cooked beef, stockfish, pomo, cow leg, shaki, and washed/sliced water leaves then cook for ten minutes. Add ground crayfish, ground pepper, maggi, salt, stir well, cover the pot and cook for about two minutes. Add the shredded ugwu leaves and cover the pot. Simmer for about three minutes. Add palm oil, stir well and cook for two more minutes uncovered.


How did it turn out the first time you prepared it?

It turned out well and tasty, although that was the first time I attempted to eat the soup.