The Gymnasium, popularly referred to as the gym has become somewhat a ‘’fashionable epidemic’’ these days. Many individuals both young and old have developed a sudden habit of frequenting the gym.

Ghanaian dishes
Ghanaian dishes
To many, it’s a healthy activity while to several others it’s because they don’t like their current body figure. Some guys go there for muscle gain, some women go there for body shaping , many old people go there to keep fit.

However, a very disturbing observation is the fact that some people go to the gym in order to lose weight and after several months of workout, they still remain the same or sometimes worse off than they started. This can be largely attributed to their dietary patterns. You can’t eat ‘’Junk’’ food and hit the gym right after to burn those calories only to come back and eat it again. In Ghana, there are a variety of tasty meals and one may just get tempted to eat anything because of hunger and taste.

There are a few foods that when taken in satisfactory amounts can help one lose some weight and get into the preferred shape. Jumia Travel, Africa’s leading online travel agency visits a few Ghanaian dishes that help control weight.

Boiled Plantain with Palava Sauce – Mostly a preserve of many Akan homes, boiled plantain with palava sauce (Kontomire) is a very tasty local dish. It contains several nutrients like potassium and vitamins which aids in metabolism. It is also a very good diversion from the usual banku/kenkey or rice meal that contains a lot of carbohydrates and can easily bloat you. Some call it ‘’ampesi’’ but if you happen to be in Ghana and you are looking to check your weight, enjoy it’s great taste and don’t worry about getting fat!

Banku with Pepper and Salmon – At first glance, banku seems a no go area for you if you are seeking to control or lose weight right? Hold your horses! This meal goes with pepper and Salmon. The pepper, when made well with a good amount of onions and tomatoes provides a high amount of vitamins while the salmon has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, proteins,phosphorus and vitamins as well. Helps to keep your weight in check! Not always fried fish or chicken, if you checking your weight, smoke some salmon and grind some pepper. Your banku is set!

Jollof rice with Fish – The age old debate about ‘’Ghana Jollof’’ will never die but while we think about the taste and aroma, let’s remind ourselves that it is a good meal when you are trying to control your weight as well. Especially when you eat your jollof with fish and not chicken or red meat. Even the jollof itself is prepared with a ‘’sauce’’ or stew which is often high in vitamins. Ensure to limit the oil usage and accompany the jollof with fresh leaves/salad and some tuna or fish. You can enjoy your favourite food and not worry about the Gym. You will be fine.

‘’Omotuo’’ with palm nut soup and tuna – It’s Sunday after church and you can’t wait to get home or to that ‘’chop bar’’ to have a feel of the special ‘’omotuo’’. This is basically rice balls. Often accompanied with soup and some fish or meat. However, to ensure that you are not gaining some extra calories, enjoy your omotuo with some palm nut soup and tuna. Avoid lots of red meat or chicken. Groundnut soup is also delicious and can be used as variety but at best, palm nut soup is your go-getter. The soup , which is rich in minerals, vitamins and essential oils is good for our health and should always be preferred over the friend and oily foods that only add up weight.

Boiled Rice/Yam with Garden egg stew – Another alternative to the palava sauce (kontomire). With the popularity of fried rice and chicken or Jollof and chicken, many young people have almost forgotten about this meal. In the not too distant past, garden egg stew was a delicacy to enjoy. Either with boiled yam/plantain or with rice. This is also very good for weight control because of it’s high amounts of manganese, potassium, calcium and dietary fibre. The dietary fibre helps in metabolism and this allows for proper weight control and good health.

Health is wealth and excessive weight gain is only accompanied by lowered self confidence, health problems and extra costs for gyming, medication etc. Prevention is better than cure. Watch what you eat and you will eat happily ever after.

Credit : Bennet Otoo, Jumia Travel