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Healthy Chinese Eating Habits

Weight control without starving yourself? Well, some healthy Chinese eating habits may just help to achieve this goal, check here to see how Chinese eat and keep slim:) 

There is a UK TV show called  "You are what you eat", mainly about what you eat can affect your body weight. Sometime I can’t help wondering: what about HOW you eat? 

I notice there are people asking questions like why Chinese girls are so slim? Well, there are many reasons, but here I just want to focus on some healthy Chinese eating habits which I think are helpful for weight control.

Balance of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

My mother always tells me what she learnt from old Chinese tradition, “Breakfast should be good, lunch be full and dinner be light”. The idea behind is not difficult to understand.

Chinese Get Balance of Breakfast Lunch and Dinner.

(Illustration created by Rui for china-memo.com)

Breakfast should be important as it ensures you a good start of the day. A full lunch gives you enough energy to go through the day. Dinner should be light or just half full; otherwise all unburned energy will be put on your waist.

But nowadays many people just do the opposite, skip the breakfast, grab a quick lunch and finish the day with a big dinner (plus dessert even). No wonder weight control becomes so difficult. 

Three Meals, No Snacks Time

Unlike in the UK where there is a “tea (break) time” for people to grab a cup of coffee and snacks, but there is no such “snacking” time in China.

Although there are “tea houses” in Sichuan, they are more likely for the retired people gathering for a chat and games. Then there is Morning Tea (Zao Cha 早茶 / Dim Sum) in Guandong but that is a luxury feast for brunch.

Usually most Chinese focuse on three meals every day, no small meals or snacking time in between. I think this is very healthy way of eating since less snack time, less sugar / fat/ calorie intake.

Of course Chinese girls do eat snacks but not having a particualr time slot to do so, and with much healthier choices than sweets and chocolate bars. (see more Chinese Meat Snacks and Chinese Fruit and Seeds Snacks).

Have Dinner Early

Dinner time in Chinese family maybe around 7pm, but of course, it depends on how late you get back to home.

Early dinner is helpful for weight control, because the earlier you finish dinner, the more likely those calories can be burnt before you go to bed. Otherwise, the unburnt calories would turn to fat.  

Soup After Meal

Unlike the West where soup is for starter, Chinese homemade soup is a dish served with the meal (as we usually do not take the soft drinks when having meals).

Some people may just have soup once they finished the meal. My friend from the north of China called this "Liu Feng" (溜缝), meaning "fill the gap" (within the stomach).

I realize this is just a good way to make you fill full after dinner, particularly because Chinese don't have any dessert or yogurt in daily meals, therefore having a healthy homemade soup seems to be a wonderful alternative.

Chinese Meatball Kelp Soup.

Basically, these healthy Chinese eating habits are similar to some weight control approaches in the West, such as less snacks, less sugary drink, no eating after 7pm or 8pm. So I guess whether they can work or not still depends on the individuals.  

How do you think these healthy Chinese eating habits? Do you think they are helpful for weight control? Share your thougths and leave the comments below.

You may also like see more about Chinese Daily food and Chinese homemade soup and Chinese Snacks.

Chinese Homemade Soup
Chinese Snacks by Fruit and Seeds
Chinese Breakfast


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