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Gaining weight?
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darkjedidave



Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Location: Shanghai/Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, I've gained about 70 lb in the last 2 years living in Korea. For me, it was 3 things: eating a LOT more white rice (very high in calories), having a desk job (I work in in IT for an international school when I used to move around all day with Geek Squad) and starting Xanax for stress. But I've made an eating and exercising change and managed to lose 20lb in the last 3 weeks, hopefully be at my goal by Christmas.
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DrugstoreCowgirl



Joined: 08 May 2009
Location: Daegu-where the streets have no name

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a lot of people gain weight because they drink a lot more here than they did back home. I've actually lost weight since coming here.
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mmstyle



Joined: 17 Apr 2006
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gained weight both times I moved here. When I am out of the country for 10 days or more, I always feel better. Korean food is often chock full of MSG, which I have discovered my body can't handle.

Is white rice really that bad for you? Do the people who are saying that do so because it is a carb (I've never been one for low carb, but I do believe in low sugar). Why is it so bad? ...off to look it up.
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UknowsI



Joined: 16 Apr 2009

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AsiaESLbound wrote:
I haven't had pizza yet, but see pizza restaurants. It's pricey.

Go to the small pizza restaurants and not the family restaurants and you'll get pretty good pizzas for ~6000 won. Pizza Maru is my favourite.
darkjedidave wrote:
Unfortunately, I've gained about 70 lb in the last 2 years living in Korea. ... .But I've made an eating and exercising change and managed to lose 20lb in the last 3 weeks, hopefully be at my goal by Christmas.

I hardly knew it was possible to gain and lose weight this fast.

Personally I lose some weight here because it's difficult to get something to eat at my uni, so I end up not eating much. I have to make an effort to eat regularly not to lose more. I don't eat western food at a restaurant more than once a week, so that might be some of the reason. Usually I eat a tiny breakfast, then a huge lunch, then a small meal around 6 and another small meal late in the evening.
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Chucky



Joined: 21 Apr 2010

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I came back to Korea I was a lean and ripped 135 pounds.

Now, 7 months later, i'm weighing in at 165.

I've been hitting the weights though so a lot of it is muscle. But I definitely see some fat on my ass and sides too.

It's from eating cafeteria food. And the long cold winter where I didn't really do very much outdoor excercise.
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SeoulMan99



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been losing 4.5 lbs (2kgs) a week since I've been here. I typically walk at least 4 miles a day, and some days it approaches 8 miles. I think I simply eat less here than in the States, and unless you're lazy and take taxis then you will walk a lot. I recently joined a gym and with 40 minutes of cardio + all of the walking the weight is just falling off. I still drink two nights a week and eat Kimbap/rice daily.
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McGenghis



Joined: 14 Oct 2008
Location: Gangneung

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beware the anju! Koreans won't tipple without something to nibble. It CAN be fruit or dried squid, but it's often something starchy fried in oil. If you're fond of the drink, you'll find yourself chewing a lot. Which is weird.

I recommend getting a cheap bike from gmarket or at least bringing a decent pair of trainers.
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ashland



Joined: 05 Dec 2008

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:20 am    Post subject: Re: Gaining weight? Reply with quote

amcnutt wrote:
I've heard many people state that they've gained weight in Korea. I'm going to be there in a few months, and I was wondering why this is.
I thought Korean food was quite healthy, and many Koreans aren't overweight.
Do people just eat a lot of rice? Or do people eat out a lot at restaurants (which can have lots of calories in sauces and stuff)?
I just wanted to know what to watch out for. I'm not overweight or skinny, pretty average weight but I don't want to balloon in Seoul Razz


you need to control your appetite and work out on a regular basis. that's all it takes to stay in shape. don't blame anything else.
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jizza



Joined: 24 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whether you gain or lose weight eating Korean foods will of course depend on the person's eating habits, portion sizes, and food choices.

I will say this: Korean food isn't always healthy.

First of all, the majority of dishes use gochujang and are heavily sauced. The sodium level must be off the charts.. because almost everything here is salty.

Second of all, rice is a main staple of the diet. This in of itself is not a bad thing, but eating too much can be a problem.

What about Ramen? Have you seen the guys standing in 7-11's wolfing down ramen bowls? There isn't anything healthy about ramen. It's high in sodium, carbs, and probably a bunch of other things I'd prefer not to know about..

And then you have all the 치킨집 (chicken houses), 호프 (drinking houses with side dishes), and drinking in general - which is part of the culture - and you have a recipe for weight gain.

Finally, although the idea of working out and making conscious healthy eating choices has been catching on recently, it's still a relatively new trend. At least in Seoul, the city doesn't seem to be designed for outdoor activities like running or biking. You can certainly do it, but there's a lot of traffic and pollution and just lack of fresh, clean air in general.

Also, finding affordable nutritional supplements and other nutritional foods can be difficult. If I want to buy quinoa or a salad, for example, there isn't anywhere to go. I don't know if you've seen the dishes that pass for salads here but lets just say that even a vegan wouldn't touch them.

My weight has stayed about the same in Korea, because I found a gym and watch what I eat in general.
I know a lot about nutrition and I don't think Korean food is necessarily healthier than Western food. Just like Western food, Korean food includes a lot of choices, some healthier than others.
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Jane



Joined: 01 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gained a little bit of weight last year in Korea, probably because I had a desk job and ate too much Paris Baguette.

But, I went home for 4 months over the winter, and I lost weight! And I wasn't even trying to eat great.

After 3 weeks of back in Korea, I can feel myself gaining weight.

What's that about? Shocked
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saram_



Joined: 13 May 2008

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's just the basic nutrition and physiology rules really isn't it for most people?

Korean food can't be blamed for gaining weight..surely!
Ok people may have their gripes about the nutritional level of this and that Korean food but as long as foods are taken in moderation and a decent level of exercise is maintained then weight gain shouldn't really be a big issue..

The main reasons I believe why (some) people gain weight here are-

Getting older (slower metabolism)
Difficulties in joining clubs or being active..(again slower met)
Too much fast food and choco etc (maybe cos of stress) and a lack of knowledge about suitable Korean foods.. Eating bibimbap a few times a week for example cant be too bad for u!! (and there are plenty of other dishes that I think are quite healthy overall)
Too much alcohol and eating the unhealthy bar foods like chips etc that many people like to have with their drinks

Gaining some weight at the start of you tenure here though I think can be kind of expected/accepted for many while trying to figure out routines etc and where to get the healthiest (any) foods..
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eamo



Joined: 08 Mar 2003
Location: Shepherd's Bush, 1964.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bloopity Bloop wrote:
probablylauren wrote:
My solution (well at least I'm fooling myself) is Bibambap. I figure its better than the Battered/Fried Fish/Pork cutlets or BBQ Chicken and Beer.

Plus it's cheap.


Oh no. Not the BBBAP! Wait til Senior finds this thread, lol.

I'd rather eat BBQ chicken than bibimbap anyday. White rice is one of the worst things you can eat. Totally useless and killer on your blood sugar level.


So true...........I've cut out rice and most heavy carbs. My blood sugar level was borderline diabetic.

Since I cut the carbs 6 weeks ago I've lost 3kg's (good thing, I was 10kg's overweight) and probably have a much better blood sugar level.........I'll get the test done soon.

Those carbs'll kill ya.
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probablylauren



Joined: 18 Jul 2009
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I have been seriously educated now.

I will do my own research on the white rice situation tomorrow. If that's true (and it seems a few of you are pretty adamant about it), i need to seriously reconsider my diet- since a lot of my lunches at school are heavily based on rice

Thanks
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LikeFrostOnRoads



Joined: 09 Mar 2010

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My theory is everything in moderation.

I eat rice everyday (with sauce!), but I vary my other carbs and take in a fair amount of vegetables. Fruits, too. I only eat tofu, fish, and as a guilty pleasure, chicken. But I lost desire for beef and pork a few years ago, before Korea, so that's just me. I make sure my primary liquid intake is water (plus 100% OJ for breakfast). I drink on the weekends and drunkenly pick up fried street food (it's too delicious to stumble past!) and have a weakness for ice cream, so I'm not the best eater overall.

But I also bike to and from work each day (10k total) and then take the stairs up to my school (10F). I workout someone inconsistently, too.

All in all, I struggle to keep the weight on! I've only lost maybe 3-4kg since coming here, but my weight was pretty low for a guy as it was.
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byrddogs



Joined: 19 Jun 2009
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrugstoreCowgirl wrote:
I think a lot of people gain weight because they drink a lot more here than they did back home. I've actually lost weight since coming here.


That is the most likely the thing for weight gain here. Hey, It's a drinking culture, and if I drink, I get hungry and that leads to bad eating habits. Lay off the booze and no worries. But then again, lay off the booze and Korea gets boring pretty damn fast.
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