When you think of China you really do not think about gaining weight….. right?… I mean the majority of Chinese people are slim and maybe a size 2 ….on a good day… all soaking wet… so the first thing you think is … heyyy…. I will go to China and lose weight……and eat healthier than in America.. or where ever your home country. …. Well.. I have a rude awaking for you….. most people end up gaining weight in China… yep…. it is true. There are many reason why people gain weight here but these are usually the main reasons and the most common reasons
First, Chinese food in China contains a large amount of oil, not the canola oil or olive oil you can use back home.. but vegetable oil and fish oil…. they stir fry everything in a lot oil… they even pour oil all over the meat before they BBQ it… yep… you can pretty much take a dish and turn it sideways and the oil will pour off of it. We have all learned that too much oil is not good for you… however in China it is a kind of seasoning. Even if they are adding water to the dish, there is usually quit a bit of oil floating on the top.
Second, Chinese food has a lot of salt. Between the soy sauce, the fish sauce, the hot sauce, the broth cubes, MSG and the actually salt…. it is loaded with salt… high blood pressure on a plate. Every spice used in Chinese cooking has salt added to it. Pepper salt, pork seasoning, chicken seasoning and even fish seasoning… all contain a large concentration of salt. I have been here almost 11 years and I have yet to see a low sodium product in the supermarket. (it is one of the reason I have high blood pressure now) ….. even if you ask for no salt or low salt… they add something else that has salt in it. You cannot win.
Third, Rice…. yeah… rice… Chinese people eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner….. if not rice then noodles… those are the two main staples…. rice or noodles. Rice is the main dish… the meat and the vegetables are the side dishes. Therefore, you will be given a huge bowl of rice with just a tiny bit of meat and a pretty good size bowl of vegetables…. of course your first thought is … hey vegetables are good for you…. yes they are… however, when they are loaded with salt and oil…. it changes the health benefits just a tad.
The forth and finally reason why you will gain weight in China is because food is cheap and available everywhere….. I mean everywhere… street vendors are on every street selling all types of delicacies that you will want to taste… even if your aren’t hungry. You will see this guy selling small cakes… or that guy selling meat on a stick… or that guy with a half a pineapple on a stick…. and you just end up buying it and eating. If you are not careful.. you can end up eating all day long trying to keep up with your Chinese friends and colleagues. Because they are always snacking on something and offering it to you…. and you know it is rude to say no.
Chinese people use food as a way to welcome you to their home, or thank you for a job well done. They eat at all hours of the day and night…. it is unbelievable how much a people who are so small eat in one day. I have tried to narrow my meals to only 3 times a day… and I try to limit what foods I eat… due to my sensitive stomach… the wrong foods.. can put me in the hospital….. Speaking of foods putting you in the hospital… Chinese food isn’t the safest…. but that is another blog.
Mind you… Chinese people walk a lot, and some even go to the gym, ride bikes and run… but we foreigners .. are usually working so much or most are not discipline enough to go to the gym regularly or go jogging every day… well at least I’m not….
So… if you think moving to China will cause you to have this great weight loss because of the food.. you will be disappointed… however, because your body has to adjust to the new food and it takes awhile… you will spend a lot of time in the bathroom for the first month or so….. now that…. will get you your weight loss….
until next time…