While we in the U.S. have a good understanding of how to lose weight, we’re still one of the most overweight countries on the planet. Our diets are the primary culprit. We eat large quantities of processed foods with added sugars and artificial flavorings. We don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables.
To alleviate our weight problem, it makes sense for us examine how people in healthier countries are eating and living. Here are 7 of the most interesting secrets of weight loss from around the world:
Eat at Home like the People of Poland
Poles spend far less on restaurants, fast food, and food delivery. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they spend as little as 5% of their food budgets eating out while Americans spend 37%. Eating at home more often isn’t one of the most veiled secrets of weight loss, but it’s a sure way to take more control over your diet. When you cook your own meals, you can control what ingredients you use and make smarter choices.
Eat Breakfast like the People of Germany
Studies have shown that 75% of the people in Germany eat breakfast every day while only 44% of Americans do. Eating breakfast is an important part of your diet because it kick-starts your metabolism and starts your day off with much-needed energy. You don’t have to eat sausage, however. Try hot cereals, fruits, and yogurt.
Eat More Fish like the Japanese
Being an island nation, Japan has a long and rich maritime history. Their coastal fisheries date back to the early 1700s and fish is the primary meat in most Japanese diets. They don’t eat nearly as much red meat as people in the U.S. Fish is lower in cholesterol and bad fat than other meats. It also contains healthy oils and other nutrients.
Make Lunch your Biggest Meal like the People of Mexico
Lunch, or comida, is one of Mexico’s best-kept secrets of weight loss. It’s often the biggest meal Mexicans eat each day, while dinner is usually the biggest meal for us in the U.S. When you eat especially late, you may be going to bed while you’re still digesting. You won’t wake up as hungry, so you may skip breakfast or eat something small and fast. Many have reported that eating a large lunch makes them eat less at other meals.
Drink More Tea like the People of Turkey
Turkey drinks more tea per capita than any other country in the world. Teas are full of antioxidants and generally contain lower levels of caffeine than coffee. You can use tea to replace lattes, Frappuccinos, and other unhealthy coffee drinks, too. If you prefer your hot drinks with milk and sugar, try drinking tea straight up for a while. It might seem difficult at first, but your taste buds will eventually change so you can enjoy the unique flavors of different types of teas.
Eat Slowly like the People of Italy
If you look at the Italian fare we typically serve in the states, you’d be surprised to learn that Italy was ranked as the healthiest country in the Bloomberg Global Health Index of 163 countries. What Italians actually eat regularly is a bit different than what you’ll find at Olive Garden, however.
Italians typically eat more fruits and vegetables than we think and they take time during their meals to enjoy one another’s company. When you eat slower, you’re more likely to stop when you’re actually full. You’ll have less chance of overeating. It’s also common for Italians to go for a walk as a family after dinner, which can aid digestion and burn a few calories.
Eat Smaller Portions like the French
Upon first glance, the French diet seems to consist of large numbers of carbohydrates like bread and pasta as well as fatty meats. But French people don’t eat the volumes of food that we typically do in the U.S. When they eat dessert, they’ll typically have a single pastry, not a handful of donut holes. Yogurt is a staple of French breakfasts, and it’s common for them to eat less meat on their sandwiches at lunch time. In fact, fatty foods are usually enjoyed only occasionally, a couple of times per week.
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