Source: Reader’s Digest Asia

Weight loss secrets from across the globe

Whole food diets. Brief fasting. Walking before and after a meal. Tea as the beverage of choice. Some of the best weight loss secrets aren’t secrets at all – they’re deeply rooted traditions practised by people all over the world. “People in the Mediterranean region didn’t sit down one day and say, ‘let’s create a hot diet book,’” says registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix, author of Read It Before You Eat It – Taking You from Label to Table. “Their diet is actually a way of life.” But you don’t have to be a globe-trotter to benefit. In fact, you may not have to leave your house to try these healthy tips.

Italy: A heart-healthy approach

People in Italy and all the countries around the Mediterranean traditionally eat meals rich in fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and whole grains. That’s a snapshot of the famous Mediterranean Diet, which has been proven to improve heart health, support weight loss, and possibly even extend your life, says Taub-Dix. That way of life includes communal meals, big lunches and small dinners, and a focus on fresh, whole foods, plus a little wine if you choose. Sound doable?

Thailand: Spice it up

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, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Nutrition Sciences of the University of Alabama’s Nutrition Obesity Research Center. “[Western cultures] 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.”

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