Fit for fashion: When food meets fashion

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The Global hospitality industry was the most hit by the ravaging coronavirus pandemic that saw cities around the world shut down and brought to their knees.

Survival, rather than tours and culinary experiences became humanity’s topmost priority, but with vaccines now available and hope seen rising on the horizon, no doubt, the global hospitality industry is shaking off the dust and gradually bouncing back with new ideas that expose how food should be seen and consumed.

Unlike before, the food culture has transcended beyond consumption to exploring uncharted territories like fashion. It’s why global brands that represent fashion and style are creating food subsidiaries — Vogue Cafe, GQ Bar, Louis Vuitton and Giorgio Armani restaurants. They understand the nexus of food and fashion, thus creating a brand that delivers wellness as a lifestyle.

The concept of cause and effect now applies to food and fashion as visible and material things. The phrase, “you are what you eat” is directly relevant more than ever, serving as a watchword for people adopting health and wellness as a way of life in a changing world.

In Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial city, the trend of fitness and wellness is underway. Here, Millenials and baby boomers form a considerable percentage of the working population, and food is viewed differently. They are now taking to healthy eating to transform their bodies and feel a lot more good about themselves.

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Tucked in the busy streets of Younis Bashorun street in Victoria Island, Lagos, is Pitstop Lagos is a restaurant leading the trend of wellness as a lifestyle. Pitstop Lagos is Nigeria’s first wellness-inspired restaurant with a growing community of cyclists and fitness enthusiasts committed to health as a lifestyle.

At the core of the restaurant is to enhance the quality of life by promoting a healthy lifestyle that builds a functional society made of better humans.

Quality food equals a healthy lifestyle.

To build a more confident and emotionally balanced society, the quality of food consumed contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
In her book, the Food that fits, Dietitian Lori Reamer explains how the quality and quantity of food you eat contributes to appearance and physique.

“Food is the outfit you wear every day,” Lori writes. “Though you can take off your clothes after a long day of work, you’re stuck with the food and nutrients you ate that day. Excess food quantity is an obvious example — if you eat more, you wear more pounds. And they’re not so easy to take off.”

To stay trimmed and fit, eating complex carbs as found in whole grains (brown rice and oat), fruits, vegetables and legumes (peas and beans) is better than consuming many simple carbs like parboiled rice or white bread. Choosing lean proteins low in saturated fats and limiting the amount of red and processed meat you consume are vital for wellness and fitness.

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At pitstop, low-calorie meals with a mix of herbs and spices are favoured over high-calorie dishes. Its healthy menu contains foods with no seasoning that comes with side effects.

For instance, Pitstop’s Fish Tacos with Yogurt, Coriander and Mexican Spices is a low-calorie healthy meal that delivers both quality and nutrients value.

Staying fit for fashion

Beyond adopting a good lifestyle through low calorie and healthy meals, staying fit and ripped is the second part of the food and fashion nexus. For years considerable research has shown how the clothes and accessories humans wear can contribute to self-esteem.

Cognitive psychologists Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky have discovered how clothes can affect a human’s psychology state. They call it Enclothed Cognition: The clothes you wear and how they appear to people around inspire confidence or low self-esteem.

For instance, men with an incredible physique (read as six-packs and bulging biceps) and a good fashion taste are likely to be more comfortable in their skin than men with low physical fitness and an eccentric sense of style in a formal setting.

Also, men who exude both qualities (fitness and fashion) are anchored to be comfortable financially at first sight.

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In a survey conducted in Lagos Nigeria by Pitstop Lagos and its agency partners, 55% of the respondents said that being fashionable is a significant motivation for their fitness routines and wellness choices. Hence, Pitstop Lagos focuses on building a non-membership wellness community that plays host to cyclists, runners and fitness enthusiasts. The mission here is simple: To help people look good in outfits and achieve personal and career success.

“Beyond offering a low-calorie meal, we also have a wellness community that caters to fitness, ” says Aminadab Adegboro, the founder of Pitstop. “The nexus of food and fashion is an all-time motivation, especially for a working population whose survival partly depends on looking good.”

When you combine a good exercise program such as brisk walk, cycling and running with low-calorie and healthy foods that keep your weight in check, smart clothes will remain smart on your body, and you’d be filled with confidence to work.

Combining quality meals with a good fitness regimen is a surefire way to achieve food and fashion nexus.

Festus Iyorah is a Nigerian freelance journalist and photographer covering global health, conflict, social innovation, gender equality, technology and development. His work has been published by Al Jazeera, Guardian (UK), Mail and Guardian, Newsdeeply, Ozy, Stanford Social Innovation Review, World Politics Review and more

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