Asian Diet: Pros & Cons????

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    Sep 10, 2011 10:31 PM GMT
    I used to be very skinny. But I decided to take a break from school in the US and came back home to Vietnam. Best decision ever. Because since then I've realized that I cannot live without my Asian food. I used to be very picky about food but now I'm hungry for everything Asian, including Asian men, of course.

    Now I'm back to school here feeling better with 16 pounds heavier, and I determine to look better and bigger with the food I already loved. I know it's lucky that my diet are considered by many people as "healthy food". But for some reason, back at home, when I talked to some guys at the gym, comparing their body physique and how they ate, it seems like they haven't dieted in a right way: lots of them have what I would call "hard moobs". The chests, arms, shoulders look big, but they doesn't look "chiseled" and probably still have high level of fat. That simply consolidated my theory that even Asian diet still has some big flaws. It doesn't necessarily meant I will abandon the way I've eaten to follow a new diet.

    My plan is this: I will still use the Asian diet as my base, but some bad parts will be less and good parts from other diet can be added into. I have read couple "fitness books" and haven't had a good view about this plan. So I need some advice from anyone who is following an Asian diet or simply just know a thing or two about this: What need to be eaten less and what need to be more???

    On a side-note: anyone knows a good diet book, particularly for my situation?
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    Sep 11, 2011 3:00 AM GMT
    the only thing wrong with asian foods.. is lots of oil and rice... too many carbs
  • BeingThePhoen...

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    Sep 11, 2011 3:03 AM GMT
    Con: You're hungry an hour later. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Sep 11, 2011 3:09 AM GMT
    Pro: I loves eating and fucking the tight, lithe asses of my Asian brothers...

    Con: An hour or two later, I want to do moar fun and nasty things to his ass... (not necessarily a con, actually...) icon_biggrin.gif
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    Sep 11, 2011 3:33 AM GMT
    Lol alpha u crack me up.. icon_lol.gif

    As for asian diet, I agree less white rice especially. Otherwise brown rice is fine to ingest. Keep the oil down in the cooking and reduce the sodium (less salt) if you can. Other than sticking to high protein foods like tofu, nuts, and meat you should be fine!

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    Sep 11, 2011 3:36 AM GMT
    @GreenHopper: It's true about the rice: Asians do eat a lot of rice. I gained 16 pounds over the last 8 months, mostly because I ate more rice than ever. And since I didn't move my ass very much, all of those carbs move to my tummy.

    @BeingthePhoenix: you are right. That's why I have to eat a lot of rice to keep my energy running. I mean the proportion of a typical Asian meal is this: moderate amount of meat and vegetable with the rest is largely rice. Every time I didn't have enough rice, I easily felt tired and hungry very fast. But I know carb is not always the best thing to gain muscle.

    @alphatrigger: completely inappropriate and totally wrong topic. But I do share that feeling...
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    Sep 11, 2011 3:41 AM GMT
    i eat tons of rice also but it's ALL about using those carbs! Running those carbs off is what I do. I tend to stay away from greasy stir fry.

    When I cook at home I rarely use oil. I substitute it with cooking spray and eat LEAN meats only and LOTS of veges...

    It's all about eating in moderation!! best of luck with ya!
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    Sep 11, 2011 3:51 AM GMT
    namvu99 said@alphatrigger: completely inappropriate and totally wrong topic...


    Mea culpa: I am totally inappropriate. But this may or may not be one of my redeeming qualities ;)

    Kidding aside/to be topical:

    I loooooove rice, but not what it does to me. Mom always said rice, oats, and grits (ground corn meal cooked into a mash, popular in the southern USA) are foods that will "stick to your ribs", i.e. give you a sustained feeling of fullness.

    Almost true: rice/oatmeal/grits skip my ribs and go straight to my gluteal fat.

    I center my diet around a lot of fish and steamed or stir fry veggies, with a minimum of brown rice during cutting phases.
  • danielvn

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    Sep 11, 2011 4:20 AM GMT
    GreenHopper saidthe only thing wrong with asian foods.. is lots of oil and rice... too many carbs


    Wow wow, What kinda Asian food are you talking about? Have you ever had Japanese, Vietnamese, or Korean food before? Don't just assume that Chinese food = Asian food.
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    Sep 11, 2011 4:22 AM GMT
    alphatrigger saidMom always said rice, oats, and grits (ground corn meal cooked into a mash, popular in the southern USA) are foods that will "stick to your ribs", i.e. give you a sustained feeling of fullness.


    That is so bizarre to me. Starch, in any form, upregulates my appetite and drives me to overeat. If I want a sustained feeling of no hunger, I'll have an 8oz ribeye steak slathered in butter or half a dozen eggs cooked in a few tablespoons of virgin coconut oil.
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    Sep 11, 2011 4:27 AM GMT
    Too many carbs and not enough protein. Those are the main cons. Stop eating the fried rice and noodles! Just...just put the damn bowl down.

    Depending on the dish, I guess Asian food can go very light and with little fat (e.g., sushi, sashimi, summer roll, etc.) so that's good.

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    Sep 11, 2011 4:44 AM GMT
    Cityaznguy saidToo many carbs and not enough protein. Those are the main cons. Stop eating the fried rice and noodles! Just...just put the damn bowl down.

    Depending on the dish, I guess Asian food can go very light and with little fat (e.g., sushi, sashimi, summer roll, etc.) so that's good.



    This is why I almost ALWAYS will pick sashimi over sushi given the option (less carbs)
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    Sep 11, 2011 5:19 AM GMT
    alphatrigger saidPro: I loves eating and fucking the tight, lithe asses of my Asian brothers...

    Con: An hour or two later, I want to do moar fun and nasty things to his ass... (not necessarily a con, actually...) icon_biggrin.gif


    OOOOH OOOH ME ME ME!!!!!! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Sep 11, 2011 5:43 AM GMT
    Asian meals are essentially very healthy; Lots of fish and chicken, vegetables, spices....
    Lower the rice intake(HA! I know right!), serve olive oil and canola oil and vinegar to enchance flavor on meals. Dont even touch the noodles!
    Up your protein with more eggs, fish, all seafood(as long as youre not allergic) beef, pork, chicken(trim the fat, not eliminate it, you do need a bit of fat for testosterone production).
  • dancedancekj

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    Sep 11, 2011 5:43 AM GMT
    Mmmm... lurv me my rice. And my white rice too. I will kill you to get to it.
    I don't do well on low (veg only) carb diets. I get really lethargic, fuzzy headed, and super super bitchy and crabby. But a moderately low carb diet I can survive on.

    I would also recommend upping the vegetable and protein content. Fish might be a good idea, as would other lean proteins. You could also look into tossing in some beans with your rice for additional protein and fiber (kongbap in Korean) for a no-thinking way of making your rice more conducive towards your goal.

    I think there is a lot to be said for eating similar to your ethnic background. I have found I have an easier time with my weight and digestion chowing down on kimchi and white rice versus the allegedly healthier whole grain bread, despite the white rice being a simple carb and no-no.
  • emailaddress

    Posts: 313

    Sep 11, 2011 5:44 AM GMT
    variety is the key, there are pros and cons in every style of cooking, eat plenty of meat you'll be fine.
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    Sep 11, 2011 6:21 AM GMT
    @alphatrigger: I love that "stick to your ribs" term! In Vietnam they say "white rice is mommy" (I know it sounds off-key in English). Asian everyday's meal is constructed around rice as the main part because it's the most common plant people grow, think of it as corn in the US. Construction workers in Vietnam who mostly are very poor have to eat a lot of carbs like rice or salted peanut to maintain their energy. And @newkid901 was right, it's about how they work off these carb. But rice has an incredible power: it can you help you run for a long period of time without upsetting your stomach. But the bad side is that you get very addicted to it and it's very hard to burnt. I mean, my mom who is a doctor always called me "stupid eater" because I eat too much rice while too little other healthy food. So yeah, I guess the rice has to be cut down a bit. But it's gonna be hard. @cityaznguy: by the time I read your word, 2 bowls of rice were already finished. If I don't have my rice, I feel like a mega-bitch who just wants to cut everyone down. Totally understand how @dancedancekj feels!

    @danielvn: I was about to address that to @GreenHopper: not all "Asian"= Chinese. In Vietnamese, Japanese or Korean cuisine, oil is used much more moderate. I personally don't enjoy eating too much oil.

    @GIGOLOASSASSIN: those are very helpful tips. I agree that I need to increase my testosterone level because I have avoided fat like plague.

    I guess that just like every other diet, extra protein are needed. I kinda understand what direction I need to go through. But what about milk, do you think it's an inevitable part of this? I don't mind adding milk to my diet, I just want to know how important it is, so that I won't skip it.

    Something stupid: the last two weeks I have eaten a lot of Chinese food at my school's cafeteria. But those sweet and sour chicken is not what I'm hungry for. I came there just to stare at that handsome Asian chef. Oooh, things I do for lust....
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    Sep 11, 2011 6:32 AM GMT
    What about kelp noodles, are they good? And you can buy low-sodium or even sodium-free beef or chicken seasoning. I have to try that. I love Ramen noodles so much. but it's just made out of refined white flour and vegetable oil and a huge amount of sodium. icon_neutral.gif
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    Sep 11, 2011 6:32 AM GMT
    Balance is key.

    All three macronutrients - carbs, fats, and protein - in various degrees of mixture are critical for good health.

    Discovering what that balance for your body (because everyone's metabolism is slightly different) and how to adjust that for your fitness goals or for specific tasks is a major part of knowing yourself.

    I've been on a very protein intense diet lately which leaves me more than a little drained by mid day .... but very very horny.

    Long distance driving is not fun, and I found that chugging sweet coffee and chocolate/peanut butter cups kept me awake when I needed them.
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    Sep 11, 2011 7:17 AM GMT
    Asian diet = smaller portions/meals.

    A few of my friends that grew up in the States most of their lives, occasionally go overseas to see their relatives. Most common complaint is that they're always hungry while visiting. They're so used to eating larger meals here. icon_lol.gif
  • danielvn

    Posts: 222

    Sep 11, 2011 9:02 AM GMT
    Not always true, I eat like a beast ! lol
  • kuroshiro

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    Sep 11, 2011 2:21 PM GMT
    Well that's the thing about rice and a majority of Asians (not necessarily in the US I gather)... Their diet is a high-carbohydrate cooked diet of essentially rice. So, according to studies, they seem to display a pancreas approximately 50% relatively heavier than that of Americans. So by that, the salivary glands of Asians are also larger which indicates that the pancreas and salivary glands were forced to undergo considerable hypertrophy to furnish the additional enzymes required.

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    Sep 11, 2011 3:04 PM GMT
    I wonder if anyone that eats rice as a staple has any Ab definition? Rice is highly acid forming so it's a disaster for a diet already to acidic.
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    Sep 11, 2011 3:08 PM GMT
    I only eat Asians if they're low carb. And then never on date night, they give me gas.
  • neosyllogy

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    Sep 11, 2011 3:27 PM GMT
    So "asian food" being too broad a category aside (since you've narrowed down what you're talking about), 2 things:


    1) The way to make sure a diet is healthy for "asian foods" is the same as for any other. Especially if you're looking for a more chiselled physique. It's probably not what you want to hear. : Count calories and count macronutrients.
    Figure out how many calories you want per day, and estimate (closely!) every meal you get. It's time consuming at first but it's the only reliable way to ensure you're not over or undereating (once you've done it for a long time you can relax a bit, knowing you can go back). Second, count the % of fat, complete protein, and digestible carbs in your diet. That ratio is important. You can be flexible, but you need to get a minimum of, say, 25% of your calories from each (NOTE: 25% of calories, not 25% of grams of food, which is different). So, if you want, go ahead and get 50% of your calories from rice/carbs, but make sure you're hitting your mark for protein/meat and healthy fats. If you don't have enough protein and (obviously) don't work out enough the energy from those carbs can't do much other than turn to fat.

    2) If you're really into white rice, noodles, and the like (all of which are simple, fast burning carbs that will quickly be used) AND you want a lean physique then you'll be well served by eating lots of small meals. It's not an absolute must, but the alternative is being hungry for a good part of the day. Quickly digested carbs eaten in large quantities at a single sitting will give you more energy than your body can use. The excess energy will be stored as fat. You can either eat a lot in one sitting then go through a fasting phase to burn it off (which kinda sucks in my opinion), or you can eat lots of small meals (say 300 calorie meals, maybe less depending on your weight/activity level) so that you're not over feeding yourself. (More complex carbs, like brown rice, sweet potatoes, vegetables, etc. don't require as many meals because they digest more slowly and more grudgingly give up the energy in them).


    So, it's not "easy". But if you want to get fit on a simple-carb heavy diet those two/three things above are what you almost have to do. (And, while it's a lot of work at first, it does get much easier after a few months of adjustment icon_smile.gif