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Eating while on holiday

I have spent 16 days in Thailand and was just back a few days ago. My work and preparation for the trip kept my completely busy from updating this blog. Each time, prior to my vacation leave, lots of things will crop up and I will be swamped with endless things to complete. But on the bright side, I’ve learned to enjoy and appreciate my holidays better after havng to work very hard right before it:)

I’ve been always curious about how a majority of Thai people are slim despite taking rice and sweet stuff (their drinks are sweater those sold in Malaysia). Any Thai restaurant or hawker stall that sells noodle soup will have the following for patrons to put into their soup: grounded chilies (it’s very hot), sugar, pickled chilies and black soya sauce (kicap). And many people will scoop about two teaspoon of sugar and chilies each into their soup.

Curious, I asked my Thai friends as to what is their secret of staying slim. They told me:

  • unlike the Chinese, they are generally not crazy about fried stuff. Mainly they take spicy but not fried food
  • yes, they eat a lot of rice but work hard. For those who work in the office, they take the effort to exercise, either jogging or the walking during commuting to work
  • portions of food are relatively small- a bowl of rice with just one or two dishes

Not eating after noon

While I was in Thailand, I observed 8 precepts with a friend of mine as part of the Buddhist tradition. One of the precepts states no solid food after noon. That means, I only take breakfast and lunch, and do not take any solid food after 12pm. However, there are some allowed food such as seaweed, sweets, canned drinks (with no fibre) and sunflower seeds after noon. No bread, milk, cakes, fruits or anything with flour in it afternoon. To me, it’s easier because I need not worry about what to take for dinner. So almost every evening, I only have a packet of seaweed and coffee (with no milk but with Coffeemate).

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What I’ve learned from this:

  • I can eat lots of sweet stuff in the morning like a packet of wafer cubes, followed by almost 2 plate of rice nearing noon and not put on any weight because I do not take solid food in the evening.
  • when the mind is relaxed and happy (like when on holiday), the body don’t seemed to mind to go without food for a while.
  • and nope, I don’t seemed to suffer from fatigue due to sugar addiction problem. It could be due to the fact I’ve made lots of effort to exercise prior to my trip. Exercise helps to improve the metabolism and the increased body circulation from exercise helps to make food digestion more efficient.

My body had gotten used to stop eating after noon. Before this, I had a bad habit of needing to snack right after lunch. I realised that the urge to have something sweet after lunch or have something for tea is just a matter of habit. Like any habit, you can acquire new habits to break old ones. It just take effort and patience to overcome the initial hurdle or withdrawal before the new habit sets in.

So I am trying to keep my new habit for as long as I can. Today, my boss took us out for lunch. I took my fruits along and ate at the restaurant right after lunch. My body understands that after the meal, that’s it. Also, I have not been taking dinner- and do not feel the need to eat. But I know soon, I will be back to dinner again.

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