So I'm back from vacation and have been spending the last few days just trying to get on a regular sleeping schedule. I guess you could say I'm jet lagged, but I was on this sleeping schedule before I even left! It's surprisingly tough to wake up at 7am when you've been used to going to bed at 6am. But since I've been back from China, I've also been binging on some good ole American cuisine *cough*in-n-out*cough*. Don't get me wrong... the food in China is freaking good and I could eat it all the time. Just craving the stuff that's harder to find there. I will be on some sort of regiment soon though (come Monday), so just getting in the foods that will be missed.
But when I was in China, I noticed something that was kind of odd to me. It isn't a new discovery as my friend and I noticed this last year when we went on the same vacation, but everyone there is so skinny. I don't get it. A "healthy" looking person by our American standard would be considered obese over there. Actually, I should clarify more. In Taiwan and China, they weren't skinny as in unhealthy skinny... they were just skinny. It was rare to see someone that would probably be average weight in America. It's not like they eat a lot less than we do here. They actually eat a lot over there... and the food is plentiful with all the street vendors and night markets. And it's not like the food is especially healthy compared to how it is here. They aren't absent of McDonald's or KFC or Pizza Hut. They even drink a lot (at least the people I hung out with) So how do they do it? Here are a couple of my theories:
- The food IS actually healthier. I've had pigs blood, bites of what seems to be just pure fat, and a lot of carby foods like noodles... but their ingredients are more pure. You won't find a lot of preservatives in their foods or processed foods or anything like that.
-They have better eating habits. There isn't a lot of binge eating going on over there. But everywhere you go, you see someone nibbling on something. They eat more frequently, but in smaller portions, so when they do go home or go out to eat, they won't eat as much. This keeps your blood sugar level and steady throughout the day, thus increasing your metabolism.
-They live more active lifestyles. At least I think they do. Seems like a lot of people would take public transportation and just walk around everywhere. Despite taking great advantage of the metro system (so much better than BART btw... by far) and taxis to get around... we still did a fair amount of walking to get to places. It felt like a workout just to get to places.
-They drink a LOT of tea. Almost any place you eat at, you can get or will be served tea. They drink tea almost as a replacement of water, so in a way it's like drinking super water. The health benefits of drinking tea is undeniable and fills a long list: they have antioxidants that protect you from disease and cancer, it raises your metabolism, has fluoride which is good for your teeth, strengthens bones, boosts your immune system... all with 0 calories and great taste. But beware. Adding milk and sugar can totally undo all these benefits, so it's best to just have it pure. I will probably add a post about tea sometime in the near future.
What do you think? What are your theories to why on average, the physique of Asian people appear to be so much healthier than American people?