I never thought I’d go on a diet plan. It just sounds like something weird you see on TV, for you know, weirdos. My motto is usually “if it’s not sustainable, then I’ll pass. But after I have tried exercising, reducing my portions, not eating past 6pm, intermittent fasting, drinking 10 tankers or water, and flying to the moon upside down, I finally gave in. Maybe a “diet plan” is what I needed after all to get the flat belly I once had before two kids. So I decided to try 9ja Foodie’s Lose It Nigerian (LIN) Belly Blaster plan. Here’s how it all went –
I did the plan with Oko mi, because you know, he too had his little daddy belly that he wanted to lose. So, naturally as a team, we divvied up the duties. He did the grocery shopping, and I did the cooking. I actually had fun making the recipes. They were easy enough, unlike the typical Nigerian 600-step recipe – boil the meat, roast it, fry it, then bleach the oil, then behead the crayfish, and did you forget to soak the stock fish last night? Nah, Lord knows I don’t have patience for alladat. So, I made our meals for most of the week and we were all set, fully armed, all sugary snacks tucked far away in the pantry, because God forbid temptation.
It started out all cute and dandy, but soon reality started to set in. The kids were not about aunty Ronke’s sophisticated ata rodo smoothie, so I had to make two different smoothie variations every morning. My morning routine with two kids is already enough of a production and I didn’t need anything extra. I know what you’re thinking – “why didn’t you just prep in the evening?” Because I didn’t want to, okay? Night time also has its own different production, and by the end of it all, ayam tayad.
The second reality for me was that the menu was quite repetitive. Initially, I thought it was perfect because that meant I didn’t have to cook a storm. Plus sebi I eat rice all the time anyway? It’s just switching up rice for cabbage, kini big deal? The first time I had the tilapia dinner, I was like “this diet thing is heaven!” My father owns a fish farm, and we ate catfish all the time. But bruh, by the third tilapia dinner, I was definitely tilapiad out! Oko mi is still crazy about that cabbage recipe though. It’s now going to be part of our menu options.
Most importantly though, the LIN plan inspired a lifestyle change. Here’s what I mean –
1. It taught me discipline. Listen, I’m the kind of person that before the Lord touched me, could eat a whole bag of chips and wonder where it all went. Do you have coworkers who keep a jar of chocolates on their desk? Are they even humans? Like how does a person even have that much self control?? Kitkat, M&Ms, Hershey’s kisses all staring you right in the face. Sometimes, all you need is for someone to tell you, “nah sis, you can’t have that carb or that junk,” for it to really sink in. That’s exactly what the LIN Belly Blaster plan did for me.
2. Belly blast, literally! The lunch recipe for week 1 is a cabbage stew medemede. Trust me when I say that it will blast the bloating and fat out of your belly, literally. Get ready for a dedicated appointment with the almighty throne in the White House at your home every single morning, guaranteed.
3. No added sugar. My eyes were opened to how much added sugar and ijekuje I consume. The LIN belly blaster plan restricts your snacks to one piece of fruit, one serving of veggies, plus one little banana-oat ball thingy per day. No chocolate chip cookies, no store-bought juices, no finishing your kids’ cheetos if they leave the bag half empty, no plantain chips, none of the things that I love so dearly. You bet this was when my work decided it was a good idea to give us free donuts and popcorn every other day. I had an imaginary aunty Ronke following me everywhere and cheering me on as I sat in the corner of the conference room, jejely snacking on my celery sticks. The good news is I did not die from consuming less sugar. Moving on, I’m going to be more intentional about my snacking.
4. Less carbs. If Father Abraham gave me his blessings, I could eat jollof rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All of a sudden though, I don’t have much interest for rice anymore. When you deny yourself of something, you realize you can actually live without it… that just felt like a good quote… not that I am going to live without jollof rice, because what then will be the point of existence?? I’m also going to reduce fried foods in my diet (though beans and dodo forever remain bae). I know I’m all late to the air fryer game, but I finally just ordered one from Amazon, and can’t wait to start using it!
5. Moderation is key. I’ve always been good with watching my portions, and will continue doing this. I have learned that I really don’t need that much food. A large cup of smoothie is enough to keep me alive till lunch time, especially on days I don’t work out in the morning. Most days, I even skipped the morning snack that the plan allows (but I may have cheated and had two snacks after lunch… judge me not!). But yeah, one of the biggest takeaways is that moderation, moderation, moderation is everything! Carbs are not bad for us, but when we decide to eat an entire basket of french fries as if Jesus is coming soon (well He is), then that’s the problem.
Why did I stop the plan after 5 days? It’s simple. I lost 3 pounds in 5 days, or maybe it was my scale playing tricks with me. Either way, I wasn’t going to risk it. I’m already skinny and I don’t want to disappear, I just want my little belly pouch to go away. So I stopped. Also, the beginning of Coro is the end of all diet plans. Like aunty Ronke says, “fitfam ti lazzdent”. Although I stopped the plan, the lifestyle lessons will forever remain with me.
Do I recommend the plan? Absolutely! The foods in the diet plan are very relatable to my very Nigerian taste buds. On some days, we had pepper soup for dinner, and it doesn’t get better than that! I’ve followed Ronke Edoho (9ja Foodie) since the days she used to inspire us to fry puff-puff (well she still does, because balance is key). Now, I am all gingered up by how she has used her weight loss journey to create a unique table for herself by developing a healthy meals plan based on the Nigerian foods we already know and love. I also love that she is helping many people across the world (including myself).
If you’d like an episode with Ronke on my podcast, say Aunty I!
Have you tried any 9ja Foodie LIN plan, or would you consider trying one? I’d love to hear your experience.
P.S Can someone invent a belly blaster machine already? You know, like a hot iron you wave over your belly to melt all the fat out through your pee or sweat or something?
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