It's not just people in your country who are overweight. There are people who struggle with weight gain all over the world. Maybe you're tired of hearing the same old diet and exercise advice from your corner of the globe and wonder if people in other nations have new and enlightening weight loss tips.
Well, wonder no longer! Here are eight things people do around the world to stay fit and trim.
Large portions lead to large waistlines. Solution? Eat smaller portions. Some countries seem to apply this trick better than others. For example, a large soda at McDonalds in Japan is roughly the same size as a medium soda in the United States.
Spicy foods like hot peppers are known to increase your metabolism and slow the rate you eat your food, both which help you lose weight. Thai food is one of the spiciest you'll find. Chilies, cardamom, turmeric, cumin, curry, and garlic are a few of the many spices used in Thai foods.
It's a well-known fact that frequently eating restaurant food contributes to weight gain. When you cook your own food you get to choose what ingredients go in your food and it's easier to limit your portion sizes. Folks in Poland know that eating out is a luxury to enjoy only occasionally. Compared to American families, many who spend more than a third of their food budget on eating out, Poles only spend five percent.
There are more bikes than people in the Netherlands. Everywhere you look, people are riding bicycles as a way to get from place to place. More than half of Dutch people use their bicycle as a primary means of transportation to get to work and run errands. Cycling is a great way to burn calories and stay fit. A half hour at a moderate pace can burn nearly 300 calories.
Eating between meals isn't the norm in many countries. While your habit is a mid-morning coffee break and an afternoon snack break, people in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Scandinavia are more likely to only eat at mealtime. If they do snack, it's usually on nuts, fruit, or whole grains. If you’re downing snack foods that are high in unhealthy fats, calories, and added sugars, reconsider your snacking ways.
Nearly half o fall Americans skip the most important meal of the day compared to only a quarter of Germans. The other three fourths aren't eating donuts and fast food, but are filling up on whole grains and fruit. Research shows those who regularly eat breakfast weigh less, have more energy, and eat fewer calories throughout the day.
Rather than rushing through every meal, follow the example of those in France, Spain, Greece, and Italy who savor and enjoy the tastes, flavors, and atmosphere of mealtime. Eating slowly and mindfully is one way to avoid overeating. You may think the longer you eat the more you eat, but studies show the opposite is true. It takes your brain 20 minutes to realize your stomach is full, so when you're eating slowly you're better able to listen to your body's signals.
A second important weight loss lesson to learn from Mediterranean countries is to replace unhealthy saturated and trans fats with fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These heart-healthy fats are found in olive oil, canola oil, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.