Sunday, January 30, 2011
Weight Loss Secrets for Around the World
Thai food is among the spiciest in the world. Hot peppers raise your metabolism, but the real benefit of food with a little zing is that it slows your eating, says James Hill, PhD, past president of the American Society for Nutrition. 'Americans eat too fast,' he says. 'By the time your body signals that it's full, you've overeaten. Eating slower is a good weight-loss strategy, and making food spicier is an easy way to do it.'
If you walk into a McDonald's in London, the clerk won't ask if you'd like to 'supersize' that. This option was discontinued in the U.K. after it accounted for less than 0.1 percent of sales. The Brits prefer smaller portions-perhaps a lingering vestige of the frugality instilled by World War II rationing, says Simon Hartley, executive editor of Reader's Digest U.K.
In the United States, McDonald's has backed off supersizing too. But a large Coke here still contains 100 calories more than one in the U.K., and there's no such thing as a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Great Britain. Take the hint: Who really needs to eat a half-pound of meat at a sitting?
The Mediterranean diet. The Asian diet. The French women have their own diet, too. When it comes to weight control, it sometimes seems as if every culture on the planet has the answer -- except us!
* Fabulous foreign food doesn't have to be fatty
* What we can learn from the French way of eating
* Take it slow -- no matter which cuisine you favor
As our collective girth steadily grows -- and with it, our risks for heart disease, stroke, and even some cancers -- experts say it's time to sit down at the international dinner table with something more than dessert on our minds.
"There is no real mystery as to why Americans are gaining weight. We have a body that needs roughly 2,200 calories a day to survive, and a food industry that insists on producing and pushing 3,700 calories a day. Do the math and you'll see what's going wrong," says Steven Jonas, MD, PhD, a professor of preventive medicine at State University of New York at Stonybrook, and author of 30 Secrets of the World's Healthiest Cuisines.