Take in any documentary examining the differences in lifestyle between most Asian cultures and their western counterpart, and one thing will become clear above all else: They are slimmer than “us.”
In the North America and large portions of Europe, processed foods are commonplace, and we also have extremely different exercise regimes in terms of what we’re required to do each day to go about our lives.
This has led to a stark contrast between the two civilisations when it comes to the average body type, evidenced by the fact adult obesity is now reported to be above 20% in the United States, according to State of Obesity.
Come with us on a journey of exploration to the east and take in the many factors in play as to why you are fat and your Asian equivalent is not.
1. Something’s Fishy
Anyone accustomed to the ways of bodybuilding or fitness in general will know fish is one of the most protein-rich, low-fat, low-carb food sources on the market, but we just don’t eat enough of it.
In Asia, fish is an almost daily dietary staple and provides much of the beneficial oils a body needs to stay in tip-top shape, which contributes much more to a slender frame than Kentucky Fried Chicken and burgers would.
2. Mastering the Squat
What would you say if we said you’ve been pooping wrong your entire life? Sure, potty training is something we all get past at an early age, but what if we’ve been teaching such a simple practice the incorrect way?
As detailed by IFLScience.com, we were designed to squat when we excrete waste, just like our primate ancestors, and our hamstrings should touch our calves while we go to the toilet, rather than sitting on a bowl.
This second example—the Western way—is unnatural and crunches our digestive systems together in a way that stunts our ability to poop. So, for the optimal experience, get low, low to the flo’.
3. Season For Flavour
As the years have rolled by and cooking from jars has become more acceptable in everyday culture, many of us have lost touch with the herbs, spices and seasonings that were once so essential in the kitchen.
Not only do are rubs and spices a less calorific method of adding flavour to a dish, things like garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, and cumin also provide very important micro-nutrients that help keep factors like blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control.
4. Feet as Transport
It’s common knowledge many of us in the United States and Europe have an easier way of things when it comes to transport compared to our Eastern brethren, which impacts the amount we exercise.
The heightened levels of footfall in Asia means they generally burn more calories just going about their daily lives while we’re in our cars oblivious to the energy we’re not expending.
Don’t believe us? Ask yourselves who has truly mastered the walk:
5. Sour Over Sweet
One very important aspect in regards to this topic is that Asian people tend to consume far fewer sweets than we do, and this can be down to income or general availability of such products.
Instead of Wham bars and Twinkies, many Asian cultures look to flavoured teas and drinks to curb their sweet cravings. This writer knows which one sounds healthier.
6. Prevention Above All
Medical care is a big deal in any sector of the world, but while the United Kingdom has the National Health Service (NHS) and the United States has its own care programme, most Asians are nowhere near as lucky.
As a result, medicine in many Asian countries is geared toward preventing illnesses as opposed to treating them, leading to a more informed population, not to mention one that’s more equipped to stop conditions before they start.
7. Processed Foods a No-Go
Something we’ve already touched upon in the sweet department is the availability of certain foods above healthier options, and processed foods are a major part of that.
When many of us in the west are hungry, we can have food at our door in 30 minutes at almost any time of the day; those on the other side of the world can’t necessarily call upon that option, and that’s a major help when it comes to body composition.
8. Let It Ferment
Fermentation is a process used largely in southeast Asia that adds good bacteria for the digestive system and removes a lot of toxic properties.
9. Digestion is Key
Time is precious, but in the hum-drum life of the west, we tend to whiz through our meals as though we’re against the clock, rather than enjoying the occasion and the food we consume.
Chopsticks help ensure consumption times are increased—and for the good of the body—not to mention the digestive tract benefits from a slower, more gradual process.
10. Seaweed Wrap
A seemingly unimportant point, but just wait.
The thyroid hormone is responsible for the regulation of metabolism in our bodies, and an iodine deficiency is one of the leading causes behind an under-active metabolism. This is where seaweed comes into play.
While we in the west get about 200 micrograms of iodine on a daily basis, many Asian consume somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 micrograms largely thanks to seaweed, meaning their metabolic systems are in overdrive compared to our own.