Debunking some popular dieting myths

Over time, I’ve heard a lot of people talk about dieting and refer to statements that might not be necessarily true. Today, I will be debunking a few of them.

1) You can’t have fatty food when you’re dieting: Contrary to popular opinion, the narrative that fatty foods will ruin dieting is completely false. Infact, fatty foods are the necessary for the fat burning process because they activate the necessary cycles for breaking down of stored body fat. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that keto dieting consists of high fat, average protein and low carbohydrate.

2) Meat will make it harder for you to lose weight:While it is true that certain choices of meat contain less calories than others (e.g goat meat being a better option than beef for weight loss), it will not be accurate to say that as proteins are generally a poor source of energy compared to fats and carbohydrate, which means it contains less calories. Meat and other proteins are good additions to meals as they can be filling and help repair body tissues.

3) You can’t eat fun food when you’re dieting:Dieting doesn’t have to be about eating greens and drinking water. The whole point of dieting is eating healthy which shouldn’t disrupt a balanced diet. Since the key factor should be cutting down on foods rich in carbohydrate, there are easy substitutes one can use in preparing their favorite meals. Or if those substitutes might not be convenient, you could consider cutting down on the quantity of those foods and replacing with more protein or fatty foods.

4) I’ve been dieting for two weeks, maybe this isn’t for me: While there are different body types that may react differently to dieting, it isn’t smart to just conclude that there’s no point to eating healthy. For faster results, one may consider exercising often. Even if it doesn’t work after all of these, there are certain techniques that health experts give such as metabolic confusion (one day low carb and next day high carb) that one could try. What works for one person might not work for you, but it doesn’t mean you should abandon it completely. There are different body types (Endomorphs, Mesomorphs, and Ectomorphs) with different effective techniques peculiar to each. Find your body type and what works for YOU.

I hope this article helped clear a few things up. Please leave a comment if you enjoyed reading.

5 Affordable and Effective acne treatments

I’m going to be very real here, the fastest way anybody could effectively treat acne will require a lot of money spent on expensive dermatologists and routinely skin care products. I personally, can’t seem to afford that all of the time, and I’m guessing a lot of students like myself might be having similar problems.

I’m going to give 5 treatments that have worked for ME personally. It’s not a skin care routine, just some effective products. I’m not endorsing any brand with this, so I’d just list the contents, and you can find whichever brand works for you:

1) African Black Soap: Whether you choose to get this from online sellers that sell at thousands per container, or from a local market at a very cheap price, black soap never fails to treat acne effectively. You can see the effects in at least a week or less (if you use it twice daily). Be sure to leave it on your face for about 30 seconds before washing it off so it can cleanse deeper. It also exfoliates as it contains charcoal.

2) Tea tree oil/ Aloe Vera: I know this option (especially the first) might look like it is difficult to find and yes, in truth, the pure form might not be very common in stores. If you can’t get that, there are effective face wipes that contain tea tree oil and aloe Vera extract. You should try them.

3) Cleansers that contain salicylic acid: Naturally contained in berries, salicylic acid can be super effective. Next time you’re getting a face cleanser, you should probably try out one that contains this. I don’t recommend that you use undiluted if your skin is really sensitive. Mine isn’t , and it helped me A LOT.

4) Triple action cream: I know that fake production of these products like Funbact A might have a lot of you doubting it’s effectiveness, but there are A LOT of triple action creams out there that actually get the job done. Try to find one that also maintains your skin complexion while working through it.

5) Cleansers and toners containing grape fruit/ rose water: While this might not be the most affordable on the list, it’s safe to say that it’s worth the price. These products in addition to fixing acne problems, will also help lighten dark spots and generally tone your skin. There are a lot of good brands out there you can purchase.

I hope this list was helpful. Remember that washing your face regularly will also go a long way in helping with acne problems. Let me know if you enjoyed this read🙂

Let’s talk about Birth Control pills: Benefits and Adverse effects

When I say birth control pills, I don’t mean postinor 2 or other emergency contraceptives. Those ones will require an entirely different article to be talked about properly. Unlike emergency contraceptives, birth control pills are required to be taken daily for pregnancy prevention. I’d be talking about the benefits, mild side effects and adverse effects of birth control pills for better insight.

Benefits of birth control pills:

-Regulate heavy/ Irregular periods: Birth control pills are prescribed by clinics as the hormones help regulate heavy and irregular periods.

-Prevent Iron deficiency that is usually caused by heavy periods.

-Decrease risk of endometrial cancer.

-Reduce risk of bone fracture by reducing risk of bone diseases like osteoporosis that commonly affects older women.

Mild side effects of Birth control pills:

The severity of these symptoms may differ in individuals.

-Nausea

-Weight gain

-Headaches (sometimes migraines)

-Missed periods

-Decreased libido

-Mood changes

-Breast tenderness

Adverse effects of Birth control pills: There are not any confirmed and proven adverse effects of these pills, but they have been linked to when taken by older women :

-Increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as Blood clots and stroke.

-Increasked risk of high blood pressure.

Birth control pills for younger women are safe and provide 99% protection from pregnancies when taking correctly, daily and preferably at the same time of the day. Older women are advised to opt for more permanent and non hormonal contraceptives such as the IUD.

I hope you found this article helpful, let me know what you think in the comments.

Hot Bath VS Cold Bath

If you thought the only factor to consider when picking the temperature of water you use to have your bath is the weather, you should probably think again. In this article, we’d be discussing the pros and cons of both so that it’d help you better make decisions before you draw that bath:

HOT BATH- Pros:

1) Deep and thorough cleansing: A hot bath will ensure will help open your pores and thoroughly cleanse your skin.

2) Improved Sleep and relaxation: If you’re aiming for a stress free day with a lot of rest and relaxation, you should very likely draw a hot bath. The heat will reduce hypertension (relieving headaches caused by hypertension) and dilate blood vessels which will have your brain thanking you all day. It will even help relax your muscles.

3) Reduces Nasal Congestion: A hot bath will help with relief from respiratory congestion and it’s symptoms.

HOT BATH- Cons:

1) Elimination of Natural oils: The heat from a hot bath will rid your skin of it’s natural oils that aim at moisturizing it. Hence, you might need to make up for it by properly moisturizing afterwards.

2) Itchy skin and worsening of skin conditions: if you are familiar with conditions like eczema, the drying of your skin will very likely make it worse. The heat will also cause release of histamine which could lead to itching.

COLD BATH: Pros:

1) Keeps you alert and focused: If you have a long day ahead of you at work or school, you should probably consider taking a cold bath. It basically wakes your body up and keeps you forcused and alert for whatever the task might be.

2) Retain moisture and tighten pores: A cold shower will leave your body’s natural oils intact, by tightening pores and retaining the moisture.

3) Helps reduce inflammation and muscle soreness: A cold shower will help better in managing skin problems like acne, and since it contracts muscles unlike a hot bath, it will help improve circulation and reduce soreness.

Other benefits include: Stimulate immune system, may help with weight loss, glowing skin.

COLD BATH- Cons:

1) Worsen Nasal congestion and other respiratory symptoms: Because your body had already reacted to the cold, you will find that having a cold bath will only make your condition worse as it will take longer for your body to warm up.

2) Not the best option for hypertensive patients and patients suffering from conditions like atherosclerosis: Since cold water increases circulation, it may not be the best option for patients suffering from these conditions.

5 Makeup items and their DIY replacements.

Have you ever been in a situation where you ran out of a makeup product and couldn’t get any more to use immediately? Well, same. We’d be giving a replacement for 5 make up products each. Who knows? You might be lucky enough to have some of them around when you run out of a product.

1) Primer: If you ever ran out of this, there are many replacements you could use, but I would recommend Aloe vera gel + moisturizer because of the added benefits this would give your skin. You could find replacements like Milk of magnesia and Vaseline online, but none of these would get the job done as well as aloe vera gel without any side effects.

2) Contour/ Blush: I put these two in the same outline because the answer to both is the same thing, Eyeshadow. A brown eyeshadow would serve the purpose of contour and a pink (shades may differ depending on skin tone) would serve as replacements for the blush. Be sure to take it easy though, because eyeshadows are generally more pigmented than other make up products and a little would go a long way.

3) Concealer: If you ever run out of concealer, a simple replacement would be your foundation. If you would rather something not as thick and heavy, you could opt for a full coverage cream or some tinted moisturizers.

4) Bronzer: The answer to this is pretty simple. One can use an eye shadow colour with yellow, orange or red undertones. It could be shimmer, powder, cream or matte.

5) Colour corrector: Liquid lipstick can be a really good replacement for colour correctors. An orange or red lipstick will work best for you if your imperfections lean towards a darker shadow. It could also help cover dark circles with an orange or pink shade, when you apply your regular concealer over the bright pigments and blend.

5 Altè Fashion items for Nigerian Private University Students.

​​​If you are a fan of Alternative fashion that attends a Nigerian private university like I do, you would probably understand why this article was created. One would think that it would be nearly impossible combining that style with the exaggerated decency expectations of the schools.

Below are a few fashion items that could serve as substitutes for the styles that might not be in line with the dressing code:

1) Turtleneck: Turtlenecks are probably the most underrated styles. They give a seemingly professional and organized look and do the exact opposite of showing extra skin which is goodnews for the school part and even better news for your wardrobe because they give such a dramatic effect to your outfit. These can be worn to both casual and corporate activities in school.

2) Bucket Hat: Because it is considered a simple headwear, this hat can be worn to any casual event. It gives this subtle, cool and mysterious look that every lover of Alternative Fashion would definitely want.

3) Sneakers: This one shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering how popular it is. Plus, it’s just shoes! Meaning it doesn’t trigger anyone into making complaints, unless of course if you wear it to corporate activities like classes.

4) Vintage Shirts: You should really consider getting these to your wardrobe if you haven’t already. They give an aesthetic sort of look to who wears it. They also speak volume in uniqueness, because as stylish as they are, a lot of people haven’t discovered them.

5) Baggy Trousers: These give a very carefree and cool look on people depending on how what you wear it with. Alte fans will definitely love the aura it brings.

Bonus: Other items that will be very helpful in this category include- The Durag, Fanny Pack, Beanie (headwarmer) e.t.c

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DIETING: Nigerian Menu Edition

The key to Dieting for weight loss is Calorie Deficit. The calorie contained in food is basically the energy content of that food, so when you consume less calories than your body requires, it is forced to burn fat for energy. It’s why some people have termed certain foods high in carbohydrate as “Bad food”. Basically, you can still have your carbs and keep up to the caloric deficit. Considering the Nigerian menu has always been difficult because most foods typical to a Nigerian home are high in carbohydrate (e.g Rice, Eba, Spaghetti…). Here’s a few tips on how you can manage with them.

1) Watch Quantity: Consider two people, both with the same daily energy requirements. One eats a bowl of rice and beef of say 460 calories, and the other eats 8 slices of whole wheat bread (60 calories per slice) which will sum up to 480 calories. The latter might be seen as the better option, but in the real sense, would not achieve any results because of the quantity he takes.

2) Increase Protein: This has always been very helpful with dieting, because proteins generally do not contain as much energy as carbohydrates but will be very filling. You could try to consume a lot more protein. Also certain proteins like Goat meat is a lot healthier for the dieting process compared to beef. Moi moi, Turkey, Eggs and Chicken are also smart options.

3) Be Smart With Swallows: Normally,the amount of calories contained in the soup would be far less than what the swallows contain. The Caloric values per 1 cup of some popular Nigerian swallows include: Eba- 330cal, Pounded yam (medium sized 12 inch yam)-526cal, Semovita-600cal, Amala-352cal, Wheat-455cal, Fufu-330cal, Tuwo Shinkafa-216cal, Tuwo Masara-260cal.

4) Watch the oil: Even though we established that soups are not major contributors, we can also help reduce the chances by minimizing oil intake.

5) Increase the pepper intake: The secret here is that the spicier the food, the more water you’re likely to take, thus leading to feeling full faster. Also, studies have shown that spicy foods may help increase the body’s metabolism

6) Increase Fiber intake: Fibers are very useful in dieting, theyaid digestion and also give a filling effect (preventing one from eating more). It also eliminates bacterial toxins.Examples of fibers include: Coconut, Pears, Apples, Kidney Beans, Carrot, Oats, Popcorn and Almonds.

7) Listen to your body: Sometimes, your body knows what it wants and what it’s lacking, so even though it might not be on your menu, find a way of fulfilling that need, preferably with the healthier option of what it wants.

What to do when an Asthmatic person is having an attack and you can’t find an inhaler?

You might’ve been in this situation before, but if you haven’t, trust me, it’s not a good thing. Sometimes you might not be close enough to the individual to know exactly where their inhaler is located. So here are a few tips on what you can do:

1) Stay calm: The first thing you want to do in this situation is to ask the patient to remain calm as restlessness will only worsen the situation for the patient. How you might ask? Asthma is basically a condition of inflamed and narrow airways with extra mucus making it difficult for that individual to breathe. So it makes sense that the first thing you should do is try to make maximum use of the little oxygen that the individual is getting.

2) Eliminate what triggered it: For example, if it is a situation where people were smoking in the room, take the patient away from that place. It could also be alcohol as it contains histamine that is released by the body during allergic reactions. If you’ve known the person long enough, and are aware of any triggers in the past, do your best to eliminate them.

3) Help them sit up right: In this position, the airways remain as unobstructed as possible, which might help reduce the severity of the condition.

4) Ask them to steady their breathing: When the breathing is taken more slowly and steady, there will be efficient usage of whatever oxygen the patient is getting. Panting will do the exact opposite as the difficulty will only grow worse.Also try pursed lip breathing (breathe in through nose, breathe out through pursed lips for twice as long) and belly breathing (breathe in with hands placed on belly).

5) Assess the severity of the condition and seek medical help: This is self-explanatory as there isn’t much you can do to end the attack completely, considering you are not a professional.

6) Try some Home remedies: Assuming it’s not possible to get medical help immediately, one should attempt remedies such as caffeine and eucalyptus oil as research has proven that they could help relieve symptoms of asthma.