Biafra Nigeria World Weblogs


BNW: Biafra Nigeria World Magazine



BNW: Insight, Features, and Analysis

BNW Writer's Block 

BNW News and Archives

 BNW News Archive

BNW: Biafra Nigeria World


BNW Forums and Message Board


Biafra Net

 Igbo Net: The Igbo Network

BNW Africa and AfricaWorld 

BNW: Icon

BNW: Icon


Flag of Biafra Nigeria

BNW News Archives

BNW News Archive 2002-January 2005

BNW News Archive 2005

BNW News Archive 2005 and Later

« Support for International Protection Force for the Niger Delta Basin: Letter to Kofi Anan and Linda Greenfield | Main | Oprah’s Heart Glows for Girls in South Africa »

September 16, 2006

Losing Weight while Gaining Fatso

by Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa --- I love to eat and I get jealous when I see people who love to eat more than I do put on no weight whatsoever. Every little food I overeat shows up on me so I have to watch everything I eat. There are so many enticing foods that I used to eat, but as I get older, those ones, I can not even eat anymore.

If I do, it has to be very little and only once in a while. For the fact that I can not eat them as much or as often as I used to, it becomes a craving. But what the hell, life is not fair anyway. There are people with lots of money that can not buy as much food as they want with it.

There are genes specially made for food. Some on the extreme, who no matter what they eat, never register on their bodies, have inefficient digestive processing system. Some pregnant women can be easily spotted from a distance, of course if their belly is showing. I do not mean those ones. Women develop certain characteristic even when the belly is not showing. There are some that are heavily pregnant; one may not know looking at them from the rear. As soon as they have their babies, they bounce back into shape. But they hardly bulge in pregnancy in the first place. I am talking about naturally gifted women and men who can eat anything and the women even get pregnant and still remain in shape. Ask some of them how they do it, they claim that they work hard at it. Sure!

They are the exercise guru that come out and tell the rest of us how to get in shape. Please give us a break! What gets me is that, if they are lucky to be a celebrity, they come up with all these video about how to get in shape as if they have ever been out of shape in their life. Apart from a few that juggles back and forth in weight gains, these celebrities, physicians and exercise gurus tell the rest of us what they can not do in our skin. A Few of the actresses have been caught performing tummy tuck immediately after delivery of their babies. Working hard at it, eh?

There is nothing more profitable these days than putting up a sign as an expert on Weight loss. Unfortunately, the real experts in this area, Nutritionist, are the least profitable. We do not have to be a nutritionist to be educated patrons of weight loss programs. The most dominant profiteers are the actors, actresses and exercise gurus. Some talk show hosts and psychologist have joined the bandwagon. There is no doubt that celebrity counts for everything, anywhere. The physicians are the next in line, not because it is their field but because everyone listens to their doctors and by extension to physicians on nutrition. I must say physicians as many scientists, have the background in clinical chemistry, physiology and anatomy among other subjects in understanding nutrition. However, the nutritionists are the best on advice about what to eat.

Many diets have gained prominence including the Atkins Diet by a cardiologist. The end result of all the diets is that none of them fits everyone. We have all tried variety of foods and abstained from variety of foods with the hope of loosing weight. Many of us end up frustrated because we gain the weight back after some months. Some people cheat of course, but some of us who have held rigidly to the rituals also fail. What can be going on can be attributed to many factors.

One of those factors is how body regulates any food that we eat and turn it into fuel or energy necessary to perform our daily bodily functions. No matter what we eat in the form of protein, fats and carbohydrates, our body needs energy. Whether we starve or not, the most readily available food that can be converted to energy is carbohydrates. The next form of energy source is fats before that protein is converted. In terms of efficiency, carbohydrates are the best source of energy. In reverse to starving, the body can also store the excess food we eat from the three categories of carbohydrates, fats and protein.

The problem of evidence of good living, as we commonly say, is not necessarily going above our weight to height ratio. As we gain weight, excess food is being stored by the body for later use. In many cases, that later use never materializes especially for those who always have enough to eat and drink. This is where we have problems. How can you store what you may never need?

There are so many psychological and ritual attachments to food. How can we have our money and not be able to eat? Food is part of many ceremonies and the art of preparation itself can be sociologically fulfilling. Comparisons have been made between different Mediterranean diets, French and American diets. Apart from African and Asian diets that are very rich in fiber, which is now regarded good for the prevention of colon cancer, there are other many advantages. African foods are also known to be medicinal, as in bitter leaves, okro and other vegetables like “agbo.” The recent breakthrough, like many, made in sickle cell anemia drug in Nigeria came from refined traditional “ekrube”.

We generally agree now that over processed foods as in flour can trigger high triglyceride that is not conducive to good functioning of the heart. I have friends who have cut rice and potatoes completely out of their diets. Some opt for brown rice. But I look at people in Asia who eat rice with or without chop sticks (how much rice can those pick up?) everyday and they are not obese. The Irish, like everyone else made use of potatoes very well to get them out of famine. There has to be more than eating rice and potatoes to blame for obesity.

Protein diets has now lost the previous popularity because the body has a way of converting any food we eat in excess up to a point until it becomes a problem. The French are known to eat more fats in the form of butter than Americans and they do not have the type of obesity prevalent in American population. It has been postulated that the size or portion of European servings are smaller that that of American. The Mediterranean diets are credited for their variety of fruits and vegetables as the reason we do not see the excessive body weight.

I have come to the conclusion that the best diet is African. Before you call me biased which I am not denying, I think many types of food in moderation are the key to our problem of obesity. I will be the first to admit that many times our food in Africa can be monotonous. If we vary what we eat night and day, we may be able to offer the rest of the world a solution to this problem of obesity. Some of our foods are “hits” outside Africa if some of you had noticed at parties while out of the Continent. Moi-moi, jollof rice, peanut soup, edikaikong. We have other different vegetables; millet, gari and yams in different forms, bush meat, esi-ewu and beef. They complete all the needed ingredients and energy needs for healthy functioning of the body.

It is a conclusive fact that too much fat in the food will lead you to a cardiologist. Some people have tried vegetarian diet to stay away from animal fats. There are essential fats that can be moderately left unsaturated in the body compared to saturated fats that clog the arteries. The point I am trying to make about African foods is that they are not as finely processed retaining most of their fiber and nutrients. Same is true of Asian foods.

Another important factor about our diets is our behavior to over consume because of greed and availability. African man must feel fufu bulging through before his bellyful.
Are we really hungry for triple deck burger or all you can eat when we are out? We know we always deny that we eat too much, even when we do. Do we really need a guru to tell us that we have to exercise and be active, the primary reason we need energy derived from food? It may be too simplistic to say the less energy we use, the less food we should consume. We do realize that brain function as thinking, worrying and anxiety require energy. It boils down to what we overeat is what we see as Fatso. After all, we can notice evidence of too much grass consumption in a fat cow.

Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa

Posted by Administrator at September 16, 2006 01:45 AM


BNW Writers A-M

BNW Writers N-Z



BiafraNigeria Banner

BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer

BiafraNigeria Spacer


BNW Forums


The Voice of a New Generation