Just came back from Thailand. I noticed that the Thais take lots of rice and refined sugar. Almost every dish, and even fruits are flavoured with sugar. Even if you buy can drinks or 3-in-1, the drinks taste sweeter than the Malaysian equivalent. A lot of meat dishes are served sweet. Guess many Thais have sweet tooth.
Yet, majority of Thais are slim. You get on the BTS (skyway train), shopping malls, markets- you will see majority of men and women there are slim. Makes me wonder why…
Then I noticed the food portion that they take. Most of the time, they are contended with eating rice with just one dish. Or a bowl of soup noodles (portions are served small). Yes, they take sweet stuff but not to the extreme. Most food are taken with small portions- and they walk a lot and take lots of public transport. They use bridge to cross busy roads and you seldom see anyone panting as they are climbing the stairs. They do it effortlessly- meaning, Thais are physically fit and that would translate to a higher metabolism. They may have the obesity gene but it is dormant.
In Thailand, I could avoid rice but not the sweet stuff. Because there I normally do not eat solid food after noon, I could take more sweet stuff and get away with it 🙂
But of course, I still limit my intake and try to eat more fibre (in fruits and vege).
Still, despite eating sweet food there, I do not feel tired or lethargic. Which convinces me that our state of mind play a very important role in our success of food control. In Thailand my mind was calm and at peace because I was on holiday and away from work. Therefore my positive state of mind was able to override any hunger signals and tiredness. At work, stress is common and as such, I (and many others) tend to turn to sweet/fried stuff to divert our minds away. The challenge is how to maintain a peaceful and positive mind in all situations.
Also, after taking sweets, I am having problem weaning off them when I am back….