Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Feeling a little chubby.....

Lately I've been starting to feel a little chubby.... I mean, my jeans still fit, but I just have to work a little harder to keep the rolls hidden. According to the scale, I've only gained about a kilo (2.2 pounds) since coming, but I think that I've just lost lots of muscle and gained lots of flub. Why is this??? I go to dance class three days a week, I walk home from work every day and I walk to work at least 3 days a week. I don't eat much fattening food, since most of my diet is pretty Korean, and I only eat a big helping of meat about 1-2 times a week.

I think my three biggest problems are my carb intake, my meal times, and my relativly sedentary schedule.

Carb intake? I would say 85% of my meals involve a big helping of white rice. I've practically gotten to the point where I don't feel like I've eaten a meal unless there is some rice involved. What have I eaten this week? Lunch everyday has been rice and curry with vegtables (no meat). Dinner Monday was Chamchi (tuna) jjigae (stew), with a bowl of rice on the side. Dinner tuesday was Deopbab of somesort, aka cabbage, pork, some other vegtables in a spicy sauce with a huge helping of rice. Dinner last night was Dolsot Bibimbab. This is rice, egg and vegtables and chili sauce, served in a burning hot stone bowl. Yummy yummy....

See, I'm not eating unhealthy things, but just lots and lots of rice. And if I don't order rice, I probably order something with ramyon and or ddok (the rice cakes like ddokboki)

Meal times? Well, I finish work at 8 (8:40 on T/TH) and after that we head downstairs to the little Kimbab restaurant for dinner. So, I'm eating pretty late. After dinner, then I head to dance class.

Sedentary schedule? Well, my arms were pretty toned when I used to work at Aquatec back in VT, because I was always carrying around heavy jugs of water and giant buckets of water (water is really heavy... esp. salt water). Now, what do I use my arms for? Writing on whiteboards? Yea, not so much excercise. I try to walk to work when I can, but I spend so much time sucked into my computer world when I am at home that I'm often running late because I didn't get into the shower early enough or something. At work, I'm only standing half the time that I'm teaching. Often I sit for almost the entire class... depending on the students and the material....

When I first got here, I would climb the stairs to my 7th floor apartment just about every day, but I think I stopped that once I started going to dance, figuring I didn't need the workout... maybe I should go back to that?

Anyway, I was hoping someone would have a suggestion for me as to what I can eat that doesn't involve rice or noodles. I like soup, but I'm never full unless I put some rice or something with it...


  1. I'd recommend drinking tea. There's something it that helps inhibit your appetite. Might help lower that hungry feeling.

  2. You've hit the "hidden" secret to weight loss and keeping the trim/fit look already. If you cut out most starch products (rice, noodles, potatoes, and bread), the weight will drop off rapidly. The only thing being you will still crave those foods as these are the foods that convert directly to sugar in your bloodstream. Being hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) myself, I know all about that. The best way to handle this is to eat more often, about every 2-3 hours. But, try and eat whole grains instead of "white" starch products with your main meals and in between meals. Eat your rice with a meal, but eat only a small bowl's worth. Eat the noodles, but, again, only a small amount. Try and find brown rice and soba noodles (whole grain buckwheat) if you can. Then, the in between snacks should be fruits, whole grains, and more fruits. You need the slow release sugars to keep your energy up and to stave off that feeling of not being full. After a few days/weeks, depending on your metabolism, your body will get used to the smaller amounts of food at main meal time and you will no longer feel hungry all the time. Hope this helps.

  3. So, I guess the question is.... what can I eat in Korea?? Yea, it's easy to find that stuff at home, but what can I eat for meals here??? Either to cook at home, or in restaurants?

  4. Actually, if you eat rice as a staple, it's not going to be a real big problem UNLESS you eat too much of it. A 3" to 4" diameter heaping bowl of rice is fine as part of a meal. Just don't have 2 or 3 of them. That's all. And, only have 2 main meals a day (lunch & dinner). All the in between meal "snacks" can be fruits, some type of grains, nuts, yogurt, etc. Just stay away from the "white" starch type items. Plus, when eating main meals, keeping the portions small will allow your stomach to shrink over time and then you will not need to eat as much to feel full anymore. This does happen. Additionally, and contrary to what you may read in the popular press, you CAN eat as much meat and vegetables as you want. They will NOT make you gain weight. It's the simple carbs (rice, noodles, potatoes, starchy stuff) that make you gain weight. You may have heard of the Protien Diet, or the Atkins Diet. This is the principle it is based on. Without starch products, you lose weight no matter how much other stuff you eat. Simple fact of metabolism and how our bodies work.

    Oh, and the thing about trying to do more physical activity does NOT work either. For weight lose to occur during physical activity, you must be at "target heart rate" for a minumum of 20 minutes a day EVERY day. This does not count the approx. 10 minutes of warm up and the approx. 10 minutes of cool down prior and after to target heart rate activity either. Doing more physical activity outside of these "excercise" parameters only tires you out. Nothing more.

    Anyways, I just told you some basic "secrets" that most people would be paying a personal trainer hundreds, if not thousands, to learn piece meal at a time. But, these two are the main basics to nutrition and fitness. Everything else is just hyperbole designed to take your money from you a little (a lot) at a time.

    Hope this helps, too. Love your blog entries btw. Great slice of life stuff.

  5. Thanks for the advice. Glad you enjoy the blog!

  6. You're very welcome. Keep it up. And, good luck with your new schedule.

  7. I know what u mean about it being hard to find things to eat in Asia... I mean, low-fat, low-sugar, low this, low that.. forget about it! Also, in China, all the food is swimming in oil.

    I love Korean food, it is much healthier than Chinese food. I also eat rice all the time, but I feel it's much better to eat rice than to eat potatoes or pasta.. so I won't give up my new addiction :)

    But why don't u try to eat some more meat? Especially lean meat, like fish and chicken. Also, spicy food is great, it fills u up faster (as it has so much taste, and also, u cannot eat it as 'fast' as 'normal' food), and it really speeds up your metabolism! Doesn't Korea have some famous spicy chicken? And what about tofu stew? Tofu is like... 90% protein and very little carbs and's not only tasty, but also filling and healthy!

    Finally... fruits fruits fruits... if u eat dinner so late u should make sure u have some snacks during the afternoon so that u don't get too hungry and overeat at night.

    As for 'cutting carbs' I wouldn't recommend it unless it is something u are planning to do for the rest of your life. Some years ago I was quite weight obsessed and decided to cut a lot of carbs (which is shit -because I love rice, pasta and bread!) and yeah, the weight dropped off rapidly... I went from 65 to 58 kg in a month!! (I did a lot of running at this time too). but... once I started eating carbs again I gained back the lost kilos and also got a lot of stomach problems. Every time I ate carbs my stomach would swell and I sometimes woke up in the morning completely bloated. This was AWFUL and no kilos in the world are worth it!! So I recommend u to do some 'lifelong' changes that u can keep up, rather than settling for a quick fix. I still have some stomach problems (even though I normally have a 'flat' belly I can never wear tight clothes because the stomach might swell at any time of the day, without any warning) and if I could go back in time and re-do my stupid carb cut... I would! Good luck! And enjoy that bibimbap.. YUM!

  8. Spicy chicken? Yea we got that... I think it's called Bundalk. Actually, translated it means fire chicken.. hehehe... anyway, i actually had that for dinner last night for the first time. It was pretty good, though, I'm used to spicy korean food, that burned my mouth off for real. It's good though. I guess the only diet problem with this food is that it's usually accompanied by quite a bit of beer. Hehe... I like to say I'm gona diet, but do I actually ever change anything? Not really. I bought myself some oranges this week. That's about it. Then I took the bus to work every day. I want to learn how to make jjigae, which is a korean stew thing. there is tofu stew or kimchi tuna stew... I have a recipe for both. Just got to be brave and do it.