Updated: Sep 21, 2020
Each culture has simple tips for staying slim and losing weight. Here are the top 30 easy weight loss tips from 30 countries across the globe.
1 / Canada: choose tasty and satisfying foods
In Canada and Quebec, they have a few strategies to limit our caloric intake without having the impression of depriving ourselves. For example, in Canada, they suggest you choose tasty and satisfying foods, so it is easier to eat them in small quantities. It is also suggested that you do fun physical activities, such as biking or inline skating, rather than going to your local gym.
2 / Thailand: eat spicy to lose weight
Thai cuisine is one of the spiciest in the world. If it is true that hot pepper increases metabolism, the real advantage of spicy dishes is that they force you to slow down. When you eat quickly, as is often the case in North America, you do not perceive the body's satiety signal in time and tend to ingest more food than is necessary.
In addition, certain foods typical of Asian cuisine, such as ginger, are full of health benefits. Indeed, ginger even has positive effects on dopamine, which can improve your mood! In popular culture and media, dopamine is usually seen as the main chemical of pleasure.
Still in the sphere of spices, cinnamon is also considered a food that has a beneficial impact on motivation and mood. Even better, these spices and condiments add no extra calories, but on the other hand, lots of flavour!
3 / Poland: eat more often at home
By eating at home, you can more easily choose what is on your plate. This will make it easier for you to include foods that are healthy and beneficial to your health, such as low-fat dairy products or lean proteins. You can also try to integrate a maximum of superfoods with many health benefits. (Spinach and other leafy greens, mushrooms, cauliflower and broccoli, chillies, pumpkin, carrots, beans, asparagus).
Poles spend an average of only 5% of their budget on eating out. In restaurants, you tend to eat less healthy and richer food, which explains the increase in obesity over the past 30 years. Therefore, to save money and pounds, take a note of the number of restaurant visits or takeaways you make each month and how much you spend there, and gradually reduce the frequency.
4 / Brazil: eat rice and beans to stay slim
If Brazilians are thin, it’s because they eat rice and beans at almost every meal. Research indicates that, compared to that adopted in the West, a diet based on these two ingredients reduces the risk of being overweight by 14%. Rice and beans are low in fat and rich in fibre, which stabilize blood sugar. Another positive point about beans: the proteins they contain have a positive impact on mood. We're back to dopamine again!
5 / India: do yoga to shed pounds
Yoga has many health benefits. Yoga is seen in particular as an antidote to stress as well as increasing flexibility, but rarely as a method for losing weight. In fact, the results of a recent study indicate that the body mass index (BMI) of the followers of this discipline is generally lower than those who engage in other disciplines. This phenomenon is explained by the fact that yoga is practiced on an empty stomach, and that, depending on the postures, it helps develop muscles, which stimulates metabolism, thus helping to burn more calories. It could also be because it promotes attention; when you are full, then you are necessarily more aware of it.
Alternatives to Yoga include pietra fitness, pilates, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, tai chi, callanetics, barre, swimming, qigong, parkour, gyrotonics, martial arts, climbing.
6 / Norway: walk outside and move with your family
Whether in the morning, at noon or in the evening, walking on a regular basis is a great way to shed pounds, but it also improves mood by increasing energy levels. It is a deep-rooted habit among Norwegians to go out with the family for a hike or cross-country ski tour. Grandparents, parents and children participate. It's up to you to start the tradition right now and invite all your family members to take a stroll in the neighborhood or a hike in the forest!
7 / Switzerland: take a bowl of muesli
The oats, fruits and nuts that make up this blend are all associated with better health and maintaining a normal weight. Created over a hundred years ago by a Swiss doctor to feed hospital patients, muesli is now consumed by the Swiss for lunch or as a snack in the evening. In appreciable quantities, soluble fibre can lower bad cholesterol by 10%. The fibres in muesli slow digestion, prolonging the feeling of satiety. However, read the product label carefully: depending on the brand, the sugar content can vary from 2 to 14 g per serving.
8 / United Kingdom: reduce your portions
Reduce your portions to lose weight effortlessly. Both in restaurants and at home, the British prefer to take small portions, a habit that could be a vestige of the rationing imposed on them during the Second World War. Nutritionists warn against overly large meals, which inevitably make you fat.
9 / France: Family meals that last to lose weight
French people like to relax while eating. About 96% of French families eat together in the evening. Supper lasts an average of 33 minutes on weekdays and 43 minutes on weekends. In contrast, over the past 20 years, there has been a marked decrease in the number of family meals and the time taken. Surprisingly, we eat less when the meal when the meal takes longer to complete. It takes about 20 minutes from the time you are full to the time your brain registers your feeling of fullness. So if you eat more slowly, you will eat less.
10 / Germany: have a good breakfast!
Almost 75% of Germans take the time to eat breakfast: whole grain cereals, bread and fruit are on the menu. Nutritionists have long advised against skipping breakfast, and the results of recent studies confirm the importance of this meal.
Researchers have discovered that, in the person who does not eat breakfast, the simple sight of a caloric food causes a stronger reaction of the reward centre of the brain; one is then more likely to give in to temptation.
If there was only one change to alleviate the obesity epidemic that is now raging, it would be to make sure everyone had breakfast.
11 / Russia: grow your fruits and vegetables
The dacha, traditionally a small summer cottage, has through the centuries become a real institution for Russia's mainly urban-dwellers in the Russian countryside where 51% of the population spend their holidays and weekends, almost always include a garden. In Russia, people grow their own fruit and vegetables, thus their food is more nutritious. In addition, they can store any surplus.
12 / Finland: practice Nordic walking
It’s one of the favourite activities of the Finns. It only requires a pair of inexpensive, lightweight walking sticks; they ensure balance, an important element when you are old or when you are moving on slippery ground. Better yet, as they use the arms, shoulders and torso, the sticks make walking a complete workout that can burn 20% more calories. The results of recent studies indicate that Nordic walking can increase caloric expenditure by 65% without having the impression that the exercise is more intense. No matter what time of year it’s an easy way to get more out of your daily walk.
13 / Netherlands: get on your bike
In the Netherlands, there are more bikes than there are inhabitants: there are 18 million bikes for a population 16.5 million. Worldwide, approximately 2% of the workforce commutes to work by bicycle, while in the Netherlands, the proportion is 40%. In some areas of Amsterdam, the traffic lights are even synchronized with the average speed of travel by bicycle. It is true that you have to cope with cold winter temperatures. However, you can still get on your bike when the weather is good whether it is for shopping, commuting to work or just for fun. Either way, you are less likely to gain weight.
A simple bike ride can burn 500 calories an hour; if you speed up or go up hill, you can burn up to 1,000 calories.
14 / Malaysia: use turmeric in cooking
This key ingredient in curries grows wild in the Malaysian jungle. Curcumin, one of its compounds, can help burn fat. In a recent study at Tufts University in Boston, two groups of mice were given high-fat food. The first group received curcumin in addition. The results indicate that this group gained less weight than the second. Researchers believe that this turmeric compound counteracts the formation of adipose tissue (body fat to the likes of you and me. So it's a good reason to add it to your curries or stir-fries.
15 / Hungary: eat more pickles
Hungarians like to eat their vegetables - cucumber, pepper, cabbage, tomato - in marinades or pickles. These products help you to stay slim, probably because of the vinegar they contain. The results of an increasing number of studies indicate that the acetic acid of vinegar contributes to lower the blood pressure and the blood sugar level, and to prevent the formation of adipose tissue. However, if you are monitoring your salt intake, read the product labels, as marinades can sometimes be very salty.
16 / Japan: take a nap to lose weight
In this fast-paced country, there are many who take a 20 or 30 minute nap. It seems that chronic sleep deprivation increases the risk of gaining weight. Research demonstrates the role played by the two hormones, leptin and ghrelin: the first contributes to the message of satiety sent to the brain, the second triggers hunger. The less you sleep, the lower the leptin level and the higher the ghrelin level. Many people think they are hungry when in fact they are tired! Instead of a snack, they need a little sleep.
17 / South Africa: take an infusion of rooibos
Rooibos, meaning 'red bush'; is a broom-like member of the plant family Fabaceae that grows in South Africa's fynbos. The leaves are used to make an herbal tea that is called by the names: rooibos, bush tea, red tea, or redbush tea. Popular throughout the country, rooibos tea is more robust than green tea and naturally sweeter. By replacing your specialty coffee with the latter or any other hot drink without cream or sugar, you could save thousands of calories per month. Liquid calories are stealthy, and a single cup of fruit juice provides 100. By cutting 100 calories a day, you could lose 4.5 pounds in one year.
18 / Korea: Adopt kimchi as a condiment
Kimchi, a Korean national dish, is made from a mixture of cabbage, ginger, garlic and peppers, all fermented very slowly. It is an integral part of the daily life of Koreans (who consume around 30 kg per year on average), as an accompaniment or as a main dish. It is so popular; there exists a kimchi museum which is dedicated to it!
And its virtues are now recognized outside the country of the calm morning. This little spicy dish is credited with countless merits, including the low rate of obesity in Korea - one of the lowest in the world.
Thanks to the multiple bacteria formed during fermentation, kimchi is very beneficial for the digestive system - crucial for keeping a healthy weight.
In addition, the richness in nutrients and probiotics of kimchi does not prevent it from being very low in calories (32 calories per 100g). Finally, this condiment, which is abundantly spicy, contains capsaicin, a molecule known to increase thermogenesis: by causing heat in the body, it pushes it to expend more energy, which is great for melting any superfluous fats. It also acts as a natural appetite suppressant.
Still not convinced? Kimchi also has many health benefits in general: it regulates cholesterol, boosts flu immunity and helps the body fight many diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
19 / United States: toy with your senses
Smells, sounds and colours can help regulate appetite. In any case, this is demonstrated by several studies conducted in the United States. Wacky? Not that much…
Eating in a room with blue walls will decrease appetite. The explanation? The blue colour does not mix well with gluttony, because it is associated with mould and other unappetizing substances.
Without repainting your entire kitchen or dining room, you can try using accessories, such as plates, napkins or even blue lights. Otherwise, blow out the candles and have a neon supper. It has been shown that the soft and intimate lighting of certain restaurants has the effect of uninhibiting eaters, and therefore making them greedier. Artificial lights, on the other hand, which are intense and unflattering, encourage moderation.
Relaxing background music would be beneficial on two levels. First, by encouraging slowing down the rhythm and therefore also chewing more slowly, this increases satiety and promotes good digestion. But also by providing overall relaxation, which removes the temptation to "eat your emotions".
In addition to being exquisite, the scent of vanilla will reduce sugar cravings. A study of 160 participants found that wearing vanilla scent patches significantly reduced their appetite for sugary foods and drinks.
20 / Vietnam: get up early
At dawn or even a little before, the Vietnamese are already up and about. These early hours are used for a multitude of activities: work, household chores, but above all, exercise. As soon as the sun rises, it is not uncommon in large cities to see groups of morning sportsmen (of all ages) doing aerobics or gentle gymnastics around the parks and lakes.
Some studies suggest that early risers are generally thinner and healthier than those who get out of bed later in the day.
Researchers have established that in a sample of more than 1000 people, those who woke up before 7 a.m. on weekdays reported more signs of well-being and were more inclined to eat breakfast: two factors of importance for a healthy weight.
Getting up earlier also means going to bed earlier and therefore benefiting from restful sleep (since poor or insufficient sleep would on the contrary lead to an increase in appetite and weight gain). In addition, like the Vietnamese, getting up at dawn allows you to have time in front of you to start your day gently and develop healthy habits: meditate, exercise...
21 / Mexico: eat a hearty lunch
Most North Americans eat most of their calories in the evening at supper. But Mexicans traditionally eat their biggest meal in the early afternoon, between 2 and 4. A good way to avoid going to bed with a full stomach.
In addition, when you eat less at night, you tend to have more appetite in the morning: ideal for enjoying a hearty breakfast, a crucial meal in maintaining a healthy weight. In general, the last meal of the day should be the lightest nutritionally.
22 / Burma: Put the meat aside
In many Asian countries like Burma, when it is not completely absent, meat is only a small part of the menu. Often this is due to economic factors. This was also the case in the past in the West, but as societies flourished, meat became an ordinary dish and no longer a treat. "
In 2011, meat consumption in industrialized countries was 78.9 kg per person. However, going back to smaller portions of meat can reduce your intake of fat, cholesterol and calories. A typical Burmese meal, for example, consists of a tasty stir-fry of noodles with fresh vegetables, broth, and raw vegetables - a way to refresh the palate while filling the stomach with low calories.
23 / Italy: favour quality over quantity
Italians favour home-made and first-class ingredients. For this, there is no need to ruin yourself by buying luxury products or spend hours in the kitchen.
It can be as simple as simmering sliced tomatoes with fresh garlic, herbs and olive oil, rather than buying a large jar of ready-made marinara sauce. In a few minutes, the calories provided by sodium, saturated fats and additives too often contained in industrial dishes are avoided.
In addition, we will always tend to take more time to enjoy a homemade meal, especially if it has been prepared with premium ingredients. The feeling of satiety is therefore increased and the portions reduced. Our way of eating matters almost as much as the content of our plate.
24 / Japan: agar-agar
Agar-agar is edible seaweed known for centuries by the Japanese for its slimming properties. Sold in the form of dehydrated filaments or powder, it is a powerful natural gelling agent which easily replaces gelatine in cooking. Its caloric intake is almost zero and it is rich in minerals (calcium, phosphorus and iron). Composed of 80% fibre, agar-agar, when consumed, triples in volume in the stomach and thus moderates appetite.
In addition, its fibres and gelling properties adhere to some of the fats and sugars consumed, which increases its eliminating and detoxifying action.
In short, agar-agar increases satiety and decreases the number of calories ingested, while providing interesting nutrients.
Devoid of taste, it is easily incorporated into food, provided it does not exceed 3g per day (due to possible its laxative effect).
25 / Spain: eat slowly
The faster you eat, the less time your taste buds have to absorb the flavours of the food, and the more it takes your appetite to satisfy itself. The Spanish have long known the virtues of enjoying every bite. They created tapas, an assortment of small dishes, which are generally enjoyed with family or friends.
A tapas meal involves taking breaks between each bite and taking your time to chew, especially if you stop frequently to chat.
This practice has proven its slimming properties: research has shown the average BMI of those who eat slowly is significantly lower than those who gulp their food down.
If more research is needed, the main reason for this discrepancy could be that it gives the stomach time to send satiety signals to the brain.
26 / Italy: A fresher house!
A study by the University of Turin shows that people who live in overheated homes are more prone to obesity than people whose thermostats stay around 20 ºC. When you're cold, your body expends energy to warm up your metabolism and body temperature in the health zone...
Not only will you help your body burn calories, but you will also save on heating costs. Walking or stretching can warm the cooled muscles while burning calories.
27 / United States (Cleveland): Know how to say no
Do you tend to put the needs of your friends and loved ones before yours? This empathy is certainly charming, but it can also make you eat more calories. People who devote themselves excessively to others tend to overeat during social activities.
Have a goal to set yourself to lose weight: the first thing to do is to recognize your own vulnerability to peer pressure during a social event. Then you have to define your food choices in advance to make the right decisions when you are offered food. It is important to understand that your food choices are up to you and that if you still have trouble refusing what you are offered, try to be polite and firm. Compliment the appearance of the dish, but make it clear that you are on a diet and hesitate to do no more than taste.
28 / Italy: Sleep
A good night's sleep reduces overweight. Researchers at the University of Turin have calculated that the risk of obesity drops by 30% with each hour of sleep.
Sleep is a major factor in balancing healthy weights and people who lack it tend to eat more (sleep deficit interferes with the action of leptin, the appetite suppressing hormone) and do less physical activity. Lack of sleep increases fatigue and also reduces one's motivation to exercise.
The challenge: improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. Sleep between 7 and 9 hours a night. To improve the quality of your sleep, keep your bedroom cool and in the dark, without a TV, cell phone or tablet. Do not smoke or eat large meals before bed and be active throughout the day. Since people who do physical activity sleep better, try to do moderate or intense exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
United States (Baltimore): Plan your meals
Plan your meals to lose weight more easily
An analysis by the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore found that people who ate impulsively generally weighed 10 kg (22 lbs) more than others.