Healthy Nigerian breakfast Options for Weight Watchers

It is often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As the name implies, breakfast breaks the overnight fasting period. Eating breakfast boosts energy levels and replenishes glycogen levels which have been used during the overnight fast. As soon as you wake up and eat, the body gets to work again and processes such as metabolism that require energy expenditure begin hence it is so important to start with the day with a very healthy breakfast. 

Oftentimes, the question of what to eat for breakfast arises amongst many people, especially weight watchers. Losing weight on a Nigerian diet is not as easy as it seems, this is because most of the food we eat is full of carbs. It has been said in our previous posts that being overweight or obese is known to be caused by eating too much (especially fats and sugary foods) and moving too little. To lose weight, you must keep two things in mind:

  • Eat fewer calories
  • Burn more calories than you consume

This should serve as a guide to your overall diet choices and help you identify healthy breakfast options. 

Identifying healthy Nigerian breakfast options

Identifying healthy breakfast options can be difficult in many Nigerian homes. This is because almost every Nigerian food you can think of is loaded with carbohydrates. While its carb content is one factor, the cost of healthier breakfast options is another, especially in larger families hence you just go for what is either available e.g. garri, yam, rice, etc, or what’s affordable e.g. Tea and bread. Another factor considered in choosing Nigerian breakfast is the time factor- the time taken to make the meal. 

Tea and bread are a staple Nigerian breakfast, and some people prefer this served with fried eggs for a better taste. A slice of white bread contains somewhere between 67 to 135 calories. Many people would eat about 5 slices, with two eggs fried in oil ( about 200 calories) and a big cup of tea (high in calories too). Some people prefer unsliced bread which is difficult to control portions or account for their calorie contents. At the end of the meal, you may have consumed about 900 calories on breakfast alone as against the recommended daily calorie intake of 2000-2500. Considering all these factors, identifying Nigerian breakfast options is quite simple. Since the goal is to lose weight, you have to eat fewer calories, and there is one simple rule to this:  Any food that has a sweet or sugary taste is probably high in calories and should be avoided. Fried foods should be avoided as well.

Healthy Nigerian breakfast guide For Weight watchers

  • Water: Studies suggest that a glass of water before meals help reduce daily calorie intake by increasing your feeling of fullness, thereby aiding weight loss.
  • Fresh Fruits: Fruits are good sources of essential vitamins and minerals and are rich in fiber. Fruits will help get rid of toxins and clear up our systems leading to weight loss. Fruits high in water content increase your feeling of fullness thereby reducing cravings for snacks and fast foods later on.
  • Smoothies from fresh fruits and natural yoghurt and milk
  • Tea and bread: Relax! I know we have talked about this and I hope I didn’t scare you earlier. Of course, you can still enjoy this meal but be sure to monitor the quantity of milk you use. Low-fat milk is good but if you can’t afford this, you can use a small quantity of your favourite milk. Lipton tea and green tea are excellent options to consider. Avoid cube sugars at all costs (1cube of sugar =16 calories) and if you must use a sweetener, a small portion of honey is good. 
  • For bread, go for two slices of whole-wheat bread rather than white bread(sliced because unsliced bread makes portion control difficult), and for egg, you may want to boil rather than fry. Don’t eat more than one egg. Avoid butter/margarine. 
  • White oats e.g. Quater-oats are excellent sources of dietary and soluble fibres and proteins. Milk and sweeteners should be added in controlled amounts
  • Pap (Akamu/Ogi): Especially the ones made from guinea corn. A controlled portion of this is okay for breakfast and can be eaten with boiled beans or Moi Moi. Control is the keyword here so you might want to monitor the quantity you eat. Also, be careful of how much milk you add to your pap. Soya milk and Honey are good sweeteners to use but in controlled portions. Avoid cube sugars. 
  • Boiled plantain preferably unripe plantain can be eaten with vegetable or fish sauce.
  • Avoid soaking garri in the morning, especially with sugar
  • Soft drinks, coke, sodas, fruit juice should be avoided in the morning. Here are some of your favourite sodas and their calorie content.
  • Fried foods like fried yam, potatoes, plantain, akara, pancakes, etc should be avoided for breakfast if you are serious about losing weight
  • Rice, eba, fufu, and yam are high-carbohydrate foods. A small portion of any of these is okay for breakfast. Yam must be boiled not fried and served with vegetable sauce. A small portion of your favourite swallow is served with either okra or vegetable soup. 
  • Fast foods such as pizzas, burgers, milkshakes, chicken, and chips should be avoided in the morning.
  • Avoid Pastries for breakfast


The importance of breakfast can not be overemphasized. In the morning after an overnight fast, glycogen stores are low. Breakfast boosts energy levels and replenishes glycogen levels that have been used during the overnight fast. This energizes the body for other functions as well as provides energy for your daily activities. Breakfast can help in weight loss because it affords you the luxury of time to make better food decisions and fills you up before you are even hungry so you don’t feel hungrier during the day and resort to unhealthy high-calorie options like snacks, fast foods, and drinks.

Skipping breakfast is very common in many homes and for many reasons such as waking up late, having no breakfast available, trying to lose weight/intermittent fasting, being tired of a particular breakfast routine, or religious reasons like fasting and prayer, and many more. If for any reason you have to skip breakfast, be sure to make up for the nutritional content in your lunch and dinner.

Post Disclaimer

The information contained in this post is for general knowledge purposes, composed of personal experiences and theoretical research. It should, in no way, be construed as professional medical advice. Kindly contact a trained and licensed practitioner if you need personal and professional counsel.

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