Written by Temitope Alao-Sanni, RD

Calories have now become a very popular word and I am contemplating whether to define it or not. Alright, for clarity sake, calories can be simply defined as the scientific term for “energy” in your food. Yes! Your food has energy and when the energy you get from your food is more than the energy your body uses up from physical activities, or your internal gym (what’s that?! Find out in the here) you tend to store that excess energy in your fat cells.

Do you now see why calories have become such a common word and what’s more? Counting them! Well if you still don’t see why, here it is; For the first time EVER in our world today, there are more obese and overweight people than underweight people, so much that 1 in 3 adults are obese with people of African descent accounting for a large number. “Wow! This is not good” you say, same exact thing the obese population thinks, “this is not good for me”, “this is bad for my health” etc. hence many people turn to “help street”.

Help street is a very wide street that has A LOT of help stores, unfortunately, most of these stores do not have a license and are not regulated by any-body. This means they may not fully understand how to actually “help” YOU even though they mean to. For instance the idea of counting calories for weight loss is one that has spread like wildfire in “help street”, but it is not the best way to go. Basically, the way each person makes their own food is different and those ingredients that make up your food, eerrr! THEY ALL HAVE CALORIES! down to your salt! (By the way, is salt bad for me? Find out here) So, to truly get the number of calories in your food is close to impossible except, like Registered Dietitians, you are trained to calculate or estimate this. However there is something more important and definitely easier for you to do than counting calories for your weight loss goals.


One of the biggest risk factors for obesity is an individual’s dietary habits, how do you eat the food you eat? Think about the most popular foods you know; rice, pap, eba, yam, fufu, spaghetti, beans etc. how colorful are they? Not quite you say? Then where would these colours come from?

FRUITS and VEGETABLES, yes! Vegetables don’t always have to be green or blended. Carrots are vegetables and even purple cabbage! When you strive to eat at least 7 colors everyday (including white) in recommended portions, you can kiss counting calories goodbye for good, be more at peace with yourself and your spoon and develop better non-mathematical relationships with your food. Did you enjoy reading this? Please leave a comment.