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Dieting in China.

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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Dieting in China.

Postby The Professor » Fri May 10, 2013 3:53 pm

I've been currently losing weight but only because I've been sick and thus eating less. I do need to make some changes to my diet though, I eat at McDonalds almost everyday which is obviously not healthy.

I really don't like Chinese food that much at all. The meat quality here is pretty low, especially when it comes to street food. I'm not a big pork fan and pork is the main meat here. Chicken often contains cartilage, fat, and often other parts of the chicken you're supposed to throw away. They even eat the head, feet, and the organs. I do like rice and noodles, but I get bored of them pretty quick.

I do like having 煎饼果子 without any meat in it, which is this thing:

Image

I can't find any solid nutritional on it and even my chinese friends don't know if it's high or low in calories and fat, so who knows what it's fattening or not.

Bread here, for whatever reason, seems to have a much higher fat content than bread back in America. I'm just judging from the nutritional info on the package. Does anyone know why this is?

So much of the food I ate that was low fat is either expensive and hard to find, or just doesn't exist here.

I don't have time to cook in the morning and usually eat breakfast at the school. I mostly eat hard boiled eggs and plain man tou, which I'm sure is pretty healthy so no need to make changes there. For lunch I only have 40 minutes to eat, so I don't have time to go home, eat and come back since my commute time one way is about that. I only eat lunch at the school when they have something I like, which is usually only once a week, sometimes twice. Usually they just have rice, vegetables, tofu, and some low quality meat. I often end up going to the McDonalds around the corner.

I'm probably around 170-173 pounds at this point but I'm still considered fat in this country. I'd like to lose about 20 pounds give or take. I know it's still not going to get me any women, I just don't want to be fat anymore.

Can anyone suggest some good low fat foods here in china?
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Postby ethan_sg » Fri May 10, 2013 5:05 pm

If the food in America was really so much healthier than in China, you wouldn't get a 60-70% obesity rate in America, and an almost negligible obesity rate in China.

If you're still overweight after being in China for quite a while, it may be more than a matter of diet. Genetics may play a part too. You gotta start a more active lifestyle, burn more calories, walk long distances (very feasible in Chinese streets), or play a sport or two.

That said, I've seen quite a few very below average looking, probably obese American men with decent looking women in China.

I think your overly negative, pessimistic attitude towards getting women means that more than half the battle is lost - women can sense that negativity and get all the wrong vibes.

Yes looks help a great deal everywhere you go. But relatively speaking, it matters slightly less in China than in many other places, and it's not the sole determinant of success with women.

Your attitude of resignation, however, is a big impediment.
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Postby Everdred » Fri May 10, 2013 5:24 pm

Even though I no longer live there, I can feel your pain when it comes to trying to eat healthily in China. I lost nearly 20 lbs. just by making the move from China to Thailand. I didn't change my lifestyle at all either, just what I was consuming. I was also quite health conscious during my years in China, but I still struggled to keep my weight low. Considering how non-health conscious so many Chinese people are, I find it surprising that so many of them can remain relatively slender. It seemed like all the food around me in Dalian was a health bomb. Short-grain white rice is the preferred rice in China, which is one of the most non-nutritious forms of rice. It seems like practically every stir-fried dish has tablespoon after tablespoon of unhealthy cooking oil. Just watch them cook your fried noodles some day and be shocked at how much cooking oil those noodles get doused in. And forget about finding many dishes that aren't overloaded with refined sugar, salt, and/or MSG. And I don't know where you are in China, but the portions in Dalian were HUGE. One dish was almost always enough to feed two people. I can assure you the average Chinese dish you consume is just as unhealthy as an average McDonald's dish. And last but not least, let's not forget those giant bottles of watery Chinese beer. Just a single one of those has to be at least 150 calories. On an average night of drinking with Chinese buddies, it would not be unusual to down at least 10 bottles of those. Oh, and did I mention Chinese moon cakes? Those tasty little treats usually average 500 to 1000 calories each, depending on their size and flavor. Don't go anywhere near the egg yolk moon cakes!

I also notice that so many Chinese food packages have zero nutrition information or an ingredients list. That really sucks to a health-conscious person like myself. And like you mentioned before, Chinese cuts of meat can be way too fatty and/or nasty. It's definitely not healthy to be consuming the fattiest parts of an animal on a regular basis. And pork is one of the last meats you want as your primary meat. I can also assure you that the food pictured above is NOT good for you. Nine times out of ten they'll be cooked with too much cooking oil, too many egg yolks, and/or with a gallon of mayonnaise plastered on top. Those white mantou are also NOT good for you. They're made from refined white flour, which is basically flour that has been stripped of all it's nutritional value (just like short grain white rice), therefore mantou are essentially "empty" calories. In other words, they're not doing your body much harm, but they're also not doing your body much good either.

If I was in your position again, I would take advantage of the abundance of available fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts for sale. Peanuts are a dime a dozen at any Chinese supermarket or convenience store. Avoid any "flavored" peanuts because the flavoring is usually just made from salt or sugar. Eat raw peanuts or roasted peanuts. There are also usually tons of hand fruits like apples, pears, and Mandarin oranges for sale. I would also try to keep your red meat consumption low and try to increase your white meat and fish consumption. Dalian is right on the sea, so finding nice seafood there was not a problem. Also, when you go out to eat Uyghur-style kebabs (a common favorite for many Westerners), cut down on the fatty lamb kebabs and opt for some of their grilled fish instead. If that's not an option, just don't eat the fatty parts of the lamb kebabs. And avoid deep fried Chinese foods altogether. In other words, don't be touching those golden mantou. You don't have to completely cut out stir-fried dishes, but at least keep them to a minimum, and try to get the ones with vegetables instead of meat. If at all possible, tell the cook to go easy on the cooking oil (I know this is usually not possible). A good rule of thumb is to have just as much of, if not more of, vegetables on your plate as you do meat. Also, never order more than one bowl of rice per meal. The amount of rice you consume per meal (especially white rice) shouldn't be bigger than the size of your hand rolled into a fist. So pay close attention to the amount of rice that goes into your favorite fried rice dishes.

One Chinese dish you should be consuming is hot pot, but make sure you mostly eat vegetables and fish in your hot pot. Avoid eating too much of that thinly-sliced, super fatty lamb that generally goes into a hot pot. That lamb won't be doing your body too many good favors. Just take a good look at how much white you see on that red lamb meat. All of that white is pure fat. Most boiled fish dishes, such as the Sichuan ones, are also relatively safe. 麻辣串 are also generally quite safe, assuming you mostly go for the vegetables. Unfortunately, other than the few tips I mentioned above, I don't have much other advice to offer you. I struggled with my weight in China, just as I did back in America, but I've found managing my weight to be no problem here in Bangkok. Sure, there's plenty of unhealthy dishes to be had here, but there's also just as many healthy ones. And by the way, of course regular exercise would also be greatly beneficial for your health, but you asked for diet tips, not exercise tips, so I won't go there.
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Postby kai1275 » Fri May 10, 2013 5:27 pm

ethan_sg wrote:If the food in America was really so much healthier than in China, you wouldn't get a 60-70% obesity rate in America, and an almost negligible obesity rate in China.

If you're still overweight after being in China for quite a while, it may be more than a matter of diet. Genetics may play a part too. You gotta start a more active lifestyle, burn more calories, walk long distances (very feasible in Chinese streets), or play a sport or two.

That said, I've seen quite a few very below average looking, probably obese American men with decent looking women in China.

I think your overly negative, pessimistic attitude towards getting women means that more than half the battle is lost - women can sense that negativity and get all the wrong vibes.

Yes looks help a great deal everywhere you go. But relatively speaking, it matters slightly less in China than in many other places, and it's not the sole determinant of success with women.

Your attitude of resignation, however, is a big impediment.


If the person is obese with a decent Chinese gal, he has other things of interest they want. Anything from green cards, money, house/cars/stability, chance to have mixed children, a laowai that will accept them and their children from past relationships, etc. Nothing wrong with that though. As long as they happy with that, Im happy. Chinese women are hands down the most practical women. They rarely do anything that has no reasoning behind it.
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Postby The Professor » Fri May 10, 2013 5:39 pm

ethan_sg wrote:If the food in America was really so much healthier than in China, you wouldn't get a 60-70% obesity rate in America, and an almost negligible obesity rate in China.


America has more low fat options than China does. That's a simple fact.

Americans are fatter because they eat larger servings and are more likely to snack throughout the day. The cost of food when compared to the average salary is lower in America than on any other country on Earth. In other words, 20 percent of the average person's income in America is able to buy more food than 20 percent of the average person's income in any other country. This obviously leads to them buying, and eating more food. Also just because there are more low fat alternatives in America doesn't mean everyone will opt to eat more healthy.


ethan_sg wrote:I think your overly negative, pessimistic attitude towards getting women means that more than half the battle is lost - women can sense that negativity and get all the wrong vibes.

Yes looks help a great deal everywhere you go. But relatively speaking, it matters slightly less in China than in many other places, and it's not the sole determinant of success with women.

Your attitude of resignation, however, is a big impediment.


Get rejected as many times as I have and let's see how optimistic you are.

I'm far from the only laowai I know that can't get women here.
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Postby fschmidt » Fri May 10, 2013 6:22 pm

The Professor wrote:America has more low fat options than China does.

Low fat usually means high carbs which is actually more fattening. America's low-fat high-carb diet is the worst. Watch this:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evcNPfZlrZs[/youtube]
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture
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Postby ethan_sg » Fri May 10, 2013 6:33 pm

Exactly how bad looking are you? Why don't you post a picture? If you really are that ugly, we'll all sympathize. But looks are relative so if you're really ugly, you don't represent the norm. And I've seen many mediocre looking western males dating decent chicks in China. The thing is there are so many decent looking girls in China, they can't all be hooking up with multimillionaire supermodels. That is not the case in obese USA.


ethan_sg wrote:I think your overly negative, pessimistic attitude towards getting women means that more than half the battle is lost - women can sense that negativity and get all the wrong vibes.

Yes looks help a great deal everywhere you go. But relatively speaking, it matters slightly less in China than in many other places, and it's not the sole determinant of success with women.

Your attitude of resignation, however, is a big impediment.


Get rejected as many times as I have and let's see how optimistic you are.

I'm far from the only laowai I know that can't get women here.
[/quote]
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Postby The Professor » Sun May 12, 2013 7:50 am

ethan_sg wrote:Exactly how bad looking are you? Why don't you post a picture? If you really are that ugly, we'll all sympathize. But looks are relative so if you're really ugly, you don't represent the norm. And I've seen many mediocre looking western males dating decent chicks in China. The thing is there are so many decent looking girls in China, they can't all be hooking up with multimillionaire supermodels. That is not the case in obese USA.


I'm not a walking freakshow, but I'm ugly enough to be "ugly". I'm not posting my picture so I guess you'll have to take my word for it, or not.

Most of the laowai I know who date chinese women are young and fairly good looking. Some are "mediocre" but none are ugly. Every ugly guy I know here, laowai or local, is alone even though I know many of them have tried to get a girlfriend.

A lot of the good looking young laowai guys I know are dating women much less attractive than they are.

I have a big social circle with both laowai and locals in it and I have only met one guy who is actually pulling above his weight since moving to china. On the other hand I know plenty of guys dating down, some significantly so. I have met foreigners who have outright said that they've lowered their standards since coming to China.
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Postby ethan_sg » Sun May 12, 2013 10:21 am

Well I've got to tell you that my experiences and my observations from my own social circle in China have been completely different from yours.

But it's useless trying to refute each others' subjective experiences - we can can only report what we've seen.

Which part of China are you at anyway? I assume that you're teaching English and must be earning an income of at least 8 to 10k rmb, if not more, plus free lodging?

I won't deny that looks do matter everywhere you go, albeit to varying extents, but I would suggest that if you're in the bottom 20% percentile in terms of looks, plus you're not Chinese by ethnicity (I assume you're white), then you should probably target girls from villages and small towns - the 农民 girls, girls from humble backgrounds with little income prospects, and probably no better than average looking. These girls will value the relative financial security you'll bring, and place much less emphasis on looks and image. But you're going to have to learn to speak some Mandarin, because many of these girls tend not to speak much English.

I do think that most men are definitely better off in China than developed countries where the women have become spoiled bitches, but for men in the bottom 20% of looks which you seem to suggest you are, if my suggestion above doesn't work and you really want a woman, I would suggest you try Thailand or the Philippines as a last resort. Fat, overweight, obnoxious looking white men get decent women in those places all the time. Especially in the Philippines, looks are way down the priority list for women - as long as you're a bit of fun and not absolutely broke you'll find yourself a girl.

Personally I find Chinese girls far more attractive both physically and intellectually; I do just fine with Chinese girls and would be happy to live there long term, but if your situation is really that bad, I hope you take my suggestions above.


The Professor wrote:
ethan_sg wrote:Exactly how bad looking are you? Why don't you post a picture? If you really are that ugly, we'll all sympathize. But looks are relative so if you're really ugly, you don't represent the norm. And I've seen many mediocre looking western males dating decent chicks in China. The thing is there are so many decent looking girls in China, they can't all be hooking up with multimillionaire supermodels. That is not the case in obese USA.


I'm not a walking freakshow, but I'm ugly enough to be "ugly". I'm not posting my picture so I guess you'll have to take my word for it, or not.

Most of the laowai I know who date chinese women are young and fairly good looking. Some are "mediocre" but none are ugly. Every ugly guy I know here, laowai or local, is alone even though I know many of them have tried to get a girlfriend.

A lot of the good looking young laowai guys I know are dating women much less attractive than they are.

I have a big social circle with both laowai and locals in it and I have only met one guy who is actually pulling above his weight since moving to china. On the other hand I know plenty of guys dating down, some significantly so. I have met foreigners who have outright said that they've lowered their standards since coming to China.
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Postby xiongmao » Sun May 12, 2013 1:27 pm

I'm slowly losing weight in China. I don't know what I weigh. But I've been gradually using the inner notches of my belt so I must have shifted a few pounds.

I eat junk here, but the key thing is I don't each as much here as I did back home.

If you want to shift the pounds here then buy a lot of fruit. Or make 0 calorie/0 price dishes like the spicy Hunan cucumber thing (cucumber is 0.8 RMB, just chop up and marinade in soy sauce and dried chillies).
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