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23 Best African Foods for Weight Loss

Are you having a hard time finding African foods for weight loss to help your dieting and weight management goals?

Search no further as you're about to be convinced that there are lots of rich foods in Africa for losing weight.

We all know that when it comes to weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it's essential to choose nutrient-dense foods that can nourish your body while supporting your weight management goals.

On that note, African cuisines are not to be left out as there are a plethora of delicious and wholesome options that can aid in weight loss and promote your overall well-being.

So stay tuned as we explore 23 best African foods that can be incorporated into your diet to support your weight loss journey.

But before that, let's first take a brief look at some tips for preparing an African weight-loss meal plan.

Related: 20 Best African Foods You Need to Try

5 Tips for Preparing African Foods for Weight Loss

Here are some tips for preparing African weight-loss foods or creating a meal plan for weight loss in Africa: 

1. Portion Control

One of the most effective ways to lose weight without compromising on essential nutrients is to control your food portions. This is advised because most African foods can be calorie-dense, so it's important to keep your portion sizes in check.

2. Use Healthy Cooking Methods

Rather than frying or deep-frying, consider baking, grilling, or steaming your foods. This will help reduce the amount of oil and calories in your meals for proper dieting.

3. Use Lean Protein

For effective dieting, you can also opt for a fat-loss diet with lean protein sources such as grilled chicken, fish, or beans instead of fatty meats like pork.

4. Add Vegetables

Vegetables are low-calorie foods in Africa that you can add to your meals to help you feel fuller for longer and also provide essential nutrients. Examples of vegetables include spinach, ugwu, waterleaf, cabbage, carrot, and green beans.

5. Eat More Whole Foods

African foods such as brown rice, plantains, and yams are great sources of complex carbohydrates and fibre, which can also help keep you feeling full and satisfied. 

23 Best African Foods for Weight Loss

Without wasting no more time, here are 23 best foods for weight loss in Africa:

1. Oatmeal


If you need a healthy breakfast to lose weight in Africa, then oatmeal is one weight-loss breakfast food to include in your diet.

Oatmeal is a healthy and nutritious breakfast food that is high in fibre and complex carbohydrates, which help to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods.  

This diet for weight loss is also a good source of vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc, and its nutritional value can further be increased when you add fresh fruits like bananas or berries to your oatmeal.

Also, oatmeal is often lower in calories and sugar than other breakfast foods like pastries or sugary cereals, making it a healthy choice for weight loss.

2. Okra


Okra, often used in stews and soups, is a low-calorie vegetable rich in soluble fibre that's perfect for losing weight.

The soluble fibre in okra helps slow down digestion and stabilizes blood sugar levels, promoting feelings of fullness and reducing cravings.

So, including okra in your diet can be a beneficial addition to your weight loss plan.

3. Amaranth Leaves (Callaloo)

Amaranth Leaves

Amaranth leaves, commonly known as callaloo, are a highly nutritious leafy green widely consumed across the African continent.

In addition to being rich in fibre that helps promote satiety, making you feel full for longer periods, these leaves are also rich in vitamins (A, C, K), and minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium).

So you should be convinced that the high nutrient content of amaranth leaves supports overall health and well-being during your weight loss journey.

4. Amala


Amala is a Nigerian dish made from yam flour and water, and can also be classified among foods that help you lose weight.

This is because it is high in fibre and complex carbohydrates, which help to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods like other weight loss diets.

So you can substitute amala for other high-calorie side dishes like fried yam to reduce your calorie intake whilst enjoying its great flavours.

5. Beans

Beans are a great African weight-loss food because they are high in protein and fibre, which help to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods.

Aside from their fibre content, they are also low in fat and calories, which makes them among the best foods to eat to lose weight.

So, by incorporating beans into your meals, you can increase the nutritional value and make your meals more filling without consuming too many calories.

6. Fruit Salad

Fruit salad is another excellent diet to include in your African diet plan for weight loss because it's low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals.

You are sure to get the best fruits for weight loss with this diet, as it contains a variety of fresh fruits like berries, oranges, apples, pineapples and watermelons, which also help to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Additionally, fruit salad is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without consuming a lot of added sugars or empty calories.

7. Wheat Bread

Known to be among the best breakfast for weight loss, wheat bread is a healthier alternative to white bread because it's made from whole grains, which are rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

Also, wheat bread is often lower in sugar and higher in protein than white bread, which can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods, hence, a good choice for your dieting plan. 

So by substituting wheat bread for white bread in dishes like sandwiches or toast, you can reduce your calorie intake while still enjoying the same great flavours.

8. Moin Moin (Bean Pudding)

Moin Moin is a steamed bean pudding commonly enjoyed in Nigeria and other West African countries. It is made from blended black-eyed peas, onions, peppers, and spices, and mostly wrapped in leaves or moin moin nylon to be cooked and served.

This dish is high in plant-based protein and fibre, providing a sense of fullness and promoting a healthy digestive system.

Therefore, replacing high-calorie snacks with Moin Moin can help manage your weight while supplying essential nutrients. 

9. Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

A Moroccan vegetable tagine is a slow-cooked stew that includes an assortment of colourful vegetables like carrots, zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes.

This nutrient-dense dish is low in calories and provides essential vitamins and minerals while keeping you satisfied.

10. Abacha

Abacha, also known as African Salad, can be a substitute food to include in a weight loss meal plan in Africa.

This Nigerian dish is made from cassava flakes that are soaked, cooked, and then seasoned with a variety of spices, vegetables, and protein sources like fish.

While Abacha is relatively high in calories, it can still be a healthy addition to an African weight loss diet when prepared with healthier ingredients like fresh vegetables for weight loss, lean proteins, and healthy oils like olive oil or coconut oil. So you shouldn't rule it out from your African weight loss meal plan.

11. Couscous

Couscous, a staple food in North African cuisine, is made from crushed durum wheat semolina, and it's a good option for a diet loss food plan.

This African diet is also a great alternative to refined grains and offers a lower-calorie option while providing essential nutrients like selenium and magnesium.

In addition, Couscous can be paired with a variety of vegetables and lean proteins, making it a versatile and weight-friendly meal.

12. Brown Rice / Ofada Rice

Known to be one of the good foods to eat to lose weight, brown rice is a healthier alternative to white rice because it is less processed and contains more fibre, which helps to keep you feeling full for longer periods.

This African weight loss food is also rich in vitamins and minerals like manganese, which helps to support healthy bones and skin.

So by substituting brown rice for white rice, you can reduce your calorie intake while still enjoying the same great flavours.

13. South African Bobotie

Bobotie is a savoury and mildly sweet dish from South Africa made with minced meat (often beef or lamb), spices, and an egg-based topping.

To make it more weight-loss-friendly, you can consider using leaner meats and reducing the amount of added sugar without compromising on flavour.

14. Bitter Leaf Soup

Bitter leaf soup is a traditional African soup made from bitter leaf, which is known for its detoxifying and anti-inflammatory properties.

Just like most diet food for weight loss, bitter leaf soup is also a good source of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, and calcium, with low calorie and high fibre content.

Additionally, you can include lean protein sources like fish or chicken in the soup to increase satiety and make it a more filling meal.

15. Plantains

Plantains are a staple food in many African countries and can be prepared in various ways depending on your taste buds.

They are also a good source of complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre, which provides a steady release of energy and keeps you feeling full for longer.

However, if weight loss is your goal, it's advised that you choose baked or boiled plantains instead of fried versions, so you can enjoy this delicious food without unnecessary added fats and calories.

16. Grilled Fish

Grilled fish is another excellent African food with low calories that is perfect for your weight loss program.

This is so because fish on its own is high in protein, which helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied, and the little calorie content in it means you can eat a larger portion without consuming too many calories.

Additionally, grilling your fish helps to retain its nutritional value while minimizing the amount of added fat, making it a healthy and tasty option for weight loss meals.

17. Garden Egg Sauce

Garden egg sauce is an African dish made from garden eggs, tomatoes, onions, and a variety of spices that makes it one of the healthy meals for weight loss.

This is also coupled with the fact that garden eggs are low in calories but high in fibre, which makes them a great addition to your weight-loss diet.

Moreover, the tomatoes and onions in the sauce provide additional vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and potassium which is good for your health.

You can also pair garden egg sauce with a lean protein source like grilled fish or chicken to create a healthy and filling meal that is perfect for your diet plan for weight loss.

18. Chakalaka

Chakalaka is a spicy vegetable relish commonly served with bread, pap (maize porridge), or as a side dish.

It typically includes beans, carrots, tomatoes, and a variety of spices with nutritional content that contribute to losing weight.

Also, the high fibre content of chakalaka aids in digestion and supports weight management by promoting a feeling of fullness.

19. Papaya

Papaya, also known as pawpaw, is a tropical fruit widely consumed across Africa. It is a rich source of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as dietary fibre.

The enzymes in papaya, such as papain, assist in digestion and may help to break down proteins, promoting a healthy gut.

Therefore, including papaya in your diet can complement your weight loss journey while providing a burst of natural sweetness.

20. Pepper Soup

Another one of the healthy foods to lose weight in Africa is pepper soup, a spicy and flavorful soup made from a variety of ingredients like meat, fish, or vegetables.

Pepper soup can be grouped amongst fat-burning foods because it is often spiced wii peppers and other pepper soup spices, which can boost metabolism and aid in weight loss.

Additionally, pepper soup is often low in calories and high in protein, which makes it a great option for foods to help lose weight.

So by pairing pepper soup with a side dish like boiled yam, you can create a healthy and filling meal that is perfect for weight loss.

21. Boiled Yam

Boiled yam is also one of the best diets to lose weight, as it is high in fibre and complex carbohydrates, which help to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods.

You can substitute boiled yam for other high-calorie side dishes like fried yam or rice, to help reduce your calorie intake.

You can also enjoy boiled yam with other low-calorie African foods like efo riro or garden egg sauce.

22. Groundnut Soup

Groundnut soup is a Nigerian soup made from groundnuts, spices, and a variety of vegetables, meats and fish.

Groundnut on its own is a great source of protein, healthy fats, and fibre, which can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods.

Therefore, cooking groundnut soup with spiced ingredients like ginger, garlic, and chilli peppers, can boost metabolism and also aid in weight loss.

You can also pair groundnut soup with a Nigerian side dish like amala, to create a healthy and filling meal that is perfect for your weight loss program.

23. Vegetable Salad

Last on our list of African foods to lose weight is vegetable salad, a great African weight-loss diet that helps you lose belly fat due to its low calorie and high fibre, vitamin, and mineral nutritional content.

You can also include a variety of vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers to increase the nutritional value of this meal without consuming too many calories.

Additionally, you can add a protein source like grilled chicken or boiled eggs to your salad to make it more filling and satisfying.

Bottom Line

Creating a diet plan to lose weight fast is largely dependent on other factors like portion control, your cooking method and choosing foods with low calories.

Therefore, by combining healthy eating habits with regular exercise and reduced portion sizes, achieving your weight loss goals should not be far from you.

Also, best believe that you can find lots of these weight loss African foods on MyDelbina with ease, as we are just one call away to assist your dieting journey.

So here's to a healthier, more vibrant you, embracing the best of African cuisines for your well-being. 

African Food,Dieting,Weight Loss



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