Statistically, Asians are the thinnest people on Earth. “That’s genetics,” you will say. But this is only partially correct: Traditions and habits also play an important role in staying fit. We have revealed 10 secrets that help Asians stay fit without strict diets or exhausting exercise.
Why Are Most Asian People Slim And Trim?
10. Attitude to Food
In addition to the quality and quantity of food, your attitude towards them also influences your body. In the West, food is not only a natural necessity but also entertainment – an approach encapsulated in eating contests.
It’s not that Asians don’t like to eat. They love food like anyone else, but ultimately, this is just one way of sustaining life to them.
9. Portion Size
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As a general rule, Asians prefer to eat small portions; they like to choose from a variety of dishes and try several during the same meal.
Studies confirm that even a small amount of reduction can lead to weight loss. Cornell University volunteers ate small portions during lunch but continued to eat what they wanted for the rest of the day.
As a result, each of them lost 1.1 pounds (500 g) in 2 weeks. This experiment also disproved the belief that a person will compensate for a calorie deficit by eating later.
8. Cooking Methods
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Ethnic restaurants adapt their dishes to the tastes of the local population, so it may seem that their dishes are almost always fried.
This is not exactly the truth: Asian cuisine certainly has a lot of fried food, but this is not the most popular method of cooking; many recipes include steaming or boiling. The main thing is to stay within limits.
7. Fermented Foods
Miso Soup, Kimchi, Natto Soy – These are just a few typical Asian fermented foods. Being products of lacto-fermentation, these foods act as natural probiotics.
Its consumption contributes to weight loss, especially the loss of visceral fat that accumulates around the abdominal organs.
It’s hard to imagine Asian cuisine without fish and seafood, which contain omega-3 fatty acids.
In addition to its beneficial effects on the immune, vascular, and reproductive systems, omega-3 contributes to weight loss.
The researchers conducted a three-week experiment that showed that under the same conditions (calorie restriction and regular exercise), the group that received omega-3 capsules lost 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds) more than those who took the placebo.
5. Lots of Greens
As mentioned earlier, Asian dishes are rarely served in large portions, but this doesn’t apply to vegetables, especially green vegetables – they are eaten in substantial quantities.
Another important difference is the taste: Western vegetable dishes often seem bland to Asian palates.
4. Tea Instead of Cold Water
Unlike Europeans and Americans, Asians generally wash their food not with cold water or soda, but with hot, usually green, tea.
There is an opinion that cold water, especially in combination with fatty foods, slows down the digestion process and can lead to weight gain as a result.
3. Healthy Desserts and Snacks
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In Asia, wide popularity is enjoyed by sweets and snacks based on rice, seaweed, and red beans, as well as nuts, seeds, and fruit. These treats are certainly much healthier than the fries, cookies, and cakes with which we are familiar.
Surprisingly, this habit is related to high population density. Big-city residents use public transportation instead of cars; They also live in small apartments in areas where shops, laundries, and other public places are within walking distance.
For this reason, a typical Asian travels a greater distance in a day than an American who generally travels by car.
1. Exercise and meditation
Traditional Asian medicine pays a lot of attention to disease prevention and seeks to eliminate the root of a disease, while Western medicine works mainly with its consequences.
That is why meditation, Tai Chi, and other activities are widely practiced in Asia to prevent the development of certain diseases, including obesity.
Bonus: a 1-Minute Exercise For a Flat Stomach
All you need is a surface you can lean on (like a table) and 1 minute of free time.
How to do that:
- Stand with your back to the table, straighten your shoulders, and lift your chin, as shown in the figure.
- Raise your hands and start reaching out, alternating right and left hands. Do 4 repetitions with each hand.
- Turn the torso to the right (with the feet in the original position) and touch the table with the hands; repeat the same with the left side.
Do this exercise every day for 1 minute and you will notice the first results in less than a week.