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This week’s TL;DR is a question we have been getting a lot ever since we started to lose weight…you can guess where I’m going with this: how DID we lose the weight?

Basic rundown of what we went over in this video: we really don’t like calling this a diet, because it is more of a lifestyle change that we are sticking to, rather than just a quick fix diet to lose weight. The main step we took was cutting majority of carbs out of our diet including white rice, white noodles, and things made with white flour. Simple rule: don’t eat anything white, except for Cauliflower.

Note: we sure as hell picked the WRONG country to live in for this kind of a diet. HAHAHAHAHaaaaaaaa *sobs* Korean twisted donuts (꽈배기 gwabaegi) I MISS YOU EVERYDAY!!! *ahem* I mean, lifestyle change FIST PUMP TO THE SKY!

I’m sure there is some scientific study out there to back me up, but it seems that if you grow up eating white rice or pasta, your body digests it differently than someone who later on in life incorporates it into their diets. That is the only way I can account for the fact that my Korean friends can eat SO MANY THOUSANDS OF POUNDS OF WHITE RICE AND NOODLES and not gain weight! Seriously, yo: how…how are people here so skinny after eating all those carbs? As for us, white rice just stores fat on us like we are grizzly bears going into hibernation.

It doesn’t help that it is really, really hard to avoid rice in Korea, and no, asking for brown rice is not an option, either at restaurants or for us on this diet. Very few restaurants will have rice with beans in it or maybe a mixed rice with grains but it’s not a common thing. In fact, personalizing your meal is not very common in Korea; you just order what’s on the menu, which is why a lot of people with food allergies/vegetarians have a tough time getting the meal customized to what they want. Growing up in Canada, we really took for granted to be able to ask for no meat, extra cheese, over-easy eggs, whole wheat bread, or for something to be served on the side. In Korea, though, just us asking for rice to be left out, something which isn’t even cooked INTO the meal, is an event that results in us describing our whole diet in Korean to convince the waiter to not waste their rice on us!

The worst part about not eating rice (and I’m sure some of you living in Korea can attest to this) is that if you try to explain to your co-workers, friends, waiter that you don’t want rice, or you only want to eat a little, it’s very shocking. I’ve been told that white rice is very healthy for me, that I’m not eating a meal without the white rice, that if I want to lose weight I should just eat rice. But don’t be discouraged! It is possible to eat tons of Korean meals without rice! Besides giving up on all types of kimbap 김밥 (*sobs*) we stick to soups and stews that serve rice on the side, rather than in the soup, as well as ordering grilled meat in lettuce wraps, grilled fish, and noodles made with buckwheat rather than white flour (Buckwheat’s a good kind of carb). The local restaurants that we visit frequently now know that we don’t eat rice anymore, so we don’t deal with any difficulty there. Otherwise, we do a lot of home cooking and pack snacks to keep us from snapping in the middle of Seoul and eating everything at a ddeokbokki stand.

So what do we eat now? Here is a comparison.

Normal Korean Meal Day for us Before:

1. Breakfast on the run: Tuna salad stuffed rice ball 참치주먹밥 (chamchee jumokbap)

2. Lunch: a bowl of white rice + a soup/stew/fish + kimchi + Korean side dish (usually veggies/seaweed salad)

3. Snacks: fruit, rice cakes 떡(ddeok), steamed sweet potato, stir fried rice cake 떡볶이 (ddeokbokki) or a bowl of ramen

4. Dinner: a bowl of white rice + stew/fish/meat/soup

Coffee: latte or cappuccino

Normal Korean Meal Day for us Now:

1. Breakfast: huge micro green salad with grilled chicken breast, cheese, unsalted cashews/pumpkin seeds, tomatoes, peppers, and low-carb salad dressing

2. Lunch: grilled fish, stew with no rice,

3. Snacks: nuts, berries, hard boiled eggs (easily found at local convenience stores)

4. Dinner: grilled meat, homemade eggplant lasagna (no noodles, just eggplant stacked with homemade meat sauce and cheese)

Coffee: hand drip or Americano (milk free, because milk has carbs in it)

Another thing we didn’t mention that much of in our video: we stopped eating a lot of crap, like all the candies that we were getting. More than that: we watched what we were drinking. Caramel Lattes and Frappuccinos, Gin and Tonics, Beers, Orange Juices: all have ridiculous amounts of sugar in them, and that was definitely adding to our…rotundity.

So, yeah! There are more details to our lifestyle change but we’re thinking that this blog post will go on for too long. We’re not giving up all carb foods and banning the existence of chocolate and ice cream to another planet, but we’re trying to be more conscious of how much sugar and processed food we’re putting into our bellies, and just by doing that we’re amazed at how we’ve changed. Apart from losing weight:

1) We have a boatload more energy than before (seriously: we wake up REFRESHED while before we woke up exhausted) and we’re practicing a lot more self control when it comes to eating junky things like ramen (*sobs*) and candy.

2) We’re also amazed at how our tastes have changed. After doing this for a few months now, whenever we do try something that we loved before, we’re amazed at how uncomfortably sweet it is. Like, appallingly so. We’ve lost our taste for sweet stuff now!

3) We don’t have crazy cravings for sweets anymore. It used to be very demanding. We’d be working perfectly find on something, and then we’d stop and say: I need something sweet. If we couldn’t find it easily we’d tear apart our apartment trying to find it, and if that didn’t work we’d go out to buy it (yes, we’re cheap and lazy!)

Lastly, Martina has gone into crazy baking lady mode. Did you know you can make bread out of cauliflower, egg, and cheese? Well apparently Martina does. She’s a crazy healthy baking lady! O______o

So, that’s it! We’ve still got a bit more to go before we’re fully happy with our looks, but we do feel a lot better about them than before. Those last few pounds, though, are just SO HARD TO GET RID OF! We need to exercise more, that’s for sure, and we plan on doing so. We just have some big projects that we have to settle first (namely, trying to set up our business in Korea, which is quite complicated, as we mentioned last week in our TL;DR on Blogging in Korea)

ToFebruary
  1. I just bought and tried the Fuji Apple and the Pineapple Coconut flavors, and I loved them! My only issue is I can’t find anywhere where I can buy these online…seems a little crazy in this day and age. The first two I bought I bought while visiting my mom where Walmarts are everywhere; I live in a big city with hardly any around and everywhere else they seem to be located are out of the way. very nice post about skinny girl diet.

  2. Hi~ This is super late, but I’m trying to become a healthy baker and macaroons are my dream right now. Can I please get the recipe for it? Sorry it’s so so late! Thanks in advance!

  3. jaja forgot to mention one more thing. My MP3 player has fast pumping K-pop songs to get me over the last ten minutes of my work out, and/or to get me to move faster and bring my heart rate up. just thought it was worth mentioning how k-pop ended up being a lifestyle change that keeps me healthier and keeps me entertain. Any chance that you guys are willing to put together a work-out mix with k-pop.

  4. Congrats! On life changes! Seems that many people around me, know off and including myself are making way to a lifestyle changes. Af for backing up your theory of white rice I got nothing. But as far as your taste buds, they become desensitized to sugar and salt in a diet that includes high quantities. If you change your intake on either for entire month you will notice the difference in about a month. In the recent book I browsed through backed such fact. Since I put my two-cents on the subject, I will finalize with some encouragement. Fighting! Aja! Aja! EYK!

  5. I’m not Asian, but I grew up with Italians so I ate pasta ALL the time. I eat a lot of rice and noodles too (I live with my bf who IS Asian lol) but I haven’t gained any weight, so maybe the whole carb tolerance thing is true? :P I did a diet once for people who have IBS (I don’t, my mum does.) and we both had tonnes of energy (after a week of having none lol) and all the junk food we had before tasted like salt and nothing else~ I guess that’s what happened with you guys and the sugary stuff :3 Keep it up! *Cheering EYK*

  6. Hmm… there’s several items you can make out of three ingredients. Unfortunately, they’re the carb-heavy stuff you guys shun now…

  7. Hey, this is pretty much the same lifestyle my mom has been forcing upon my family for two years now :) it’s actually really great!! I don’t even miss the carbs anymore and I’ve realized that when I don’t eat at home I miss the cauliflower and sugar free treats :P 

  8. You should stop eating cheese to drop the last few pounds. Dairy’s very fattening

  9. Simon an Martina,
    TLDR ques:
    since you two have so many fans all around the world,you have to name your fanclub right?so,,what name are you gonna pick for it?and why? :)

  10. Wow, that awesome! My girl friend and it are doing something similar enough. Have you guys heard of Paleodiet? 

  11. can we have some recipes :D

  12. I never had a problem gaining weight eating rice but I tend to put on weight when I eat excessive amounts of pizza or fast food..

  13. Wow! Reminds me to shred tons of pounds too TT.TT

  14. I read once an article about a doctor in Korea specialized in eating disorder and anorexia (one of the very few), who had to study in Japan because nobody knew what anorexia was in Korea when he started his specialization. I remember he said there was still a huge misinformation about eating disorders in South Korea and even that many nutritionists advise terribly unhealthy diets as healthy. Dieting in South Korea means “getting thin”, not “getting healthier”. Due to lack of general information and medical treatment, anorexia cases are severely underreported. However Korea Times posted an article that estimates one in five Korean women are undernourished.

    Considering K-pop nutritionists are paid to keep idols ‘thin’, healthy or not, it’s quite
    likely some idols, who are born with a different body type, might be suffering health issues later in life, if they keep this regime.

  15. TLDR Question!!! :)

    I was just wondering how popular plastic surgery and looks are in Korea? I hear that South Korea has the highest amount of plastic surgeries. How much do Koreans care about their looks and why are they so focused on their looks?

  16. TLDR Question~~~ 
    I was just wondering if it is common to see kpop idols on the streets in places like Seoul. If so then where would you most likely see them and are they as nice and glamorous as they seem on shows?

  17. What was the SCARIEST thing you’ve ever seen in Korea?

  18. hell yeah FERGALICIOUS is awesome!!

  19. I eat lunch for all breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. o_o

  20. I’m Asian, I need my carbs (rice, noodles, bread, potatoes), otherwise I don’t get the feeling of “fullness”. But yes, it does seem my body has gotten used to so much carbs, that carbs don’t make me gain weight. The body is a strange thing…

  21. What about fruits twice a day? When I was on a lifestyle change, I was on a similar diet, and my “sweet candy” was a whole apple, pear, or orange. IT WAS AWESOME when I could finally have that fruit. XP Having fruits that have alot of dietary fiber is really beneficial. I should really start that diet again, it really made everything work better! Kudos to you two doing so well! :] Fighting!

  22. I was really excited during this video to see several of my favorite brands pop up. It would be very interested to see a video of some health food stores showing natural health care products, essential oils, organic foods, etc. I like to make my own home products and cook with raw ingredients, would that be difficult to do where you live? Thanks for all your hard work!!

  23. “DON’T TAKE IT IN THE BUTT!” ROTFL Nice~ :D

  24. So I live very close to Bob’s Red Mill. They have an AMAZING store. If I were to send a healthy care package what would you prefer?

    • @eatyourkimchi:twitter  YES. This. I’m sure we are not the only ones who wish to support you (Simon and Martina) with your health goals. I work in a supermarket in the U.S., and I’m sure I could get some items for you if you needed them, whatever they may be. If you need anything at all, I hope you would feel comfortable to let all of us fans know, because I, for one, would be super excited to be able to help you guys out in whatever way I possibly could. There is a box in my room slowly accumulating items for our dearest kimchi couple, but I’m afraid all the sweets that were there (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Ranch Doritos) somehow found their way onto the collective frame of my entire family…..sorry…and….you’re welcome(?). Lol. But if you guys need health food stuffs or whatever, that certainly won’t be something my family will find and devour. :P

  25. Lol I’m Asian and even though i grow up eating rice and all they are still bad for my weight. But i can’t say no to them! I actually get depressed and unlike sweets which gets more sensitive after abstaining. Rice actually gets more fragrant delicious?

  26. You guys have an oven? When I watched your apartment tour I don’t recall an oven in your kitchen. -__-

  27. Can I ask a TL;DR question?
    Kpop is making its waves over in Japan – how about vice versa?

    How popular is Japanese music in Korea?

    I know Yamashita Tomohisa performed at M Countdown once, and I heard something about Perfume having a concert in Seoul….but other than that? Do Japanese songs get played in Korea? How big is the Jpop fanbase in Korea?

    PS. While I was typing this, I noticed an extremely relevant ad on the sidebar, lol. Looks like Junsu is gonna have stomach fat all his life :p

  28. In Malaysia, you can see rice EVERYWHERE! I eat tons of rice everyday, I think it’s because Asians have a different body type to Americans/Europeans etc. Considering that we’re like 2 heads shorter than regular Americans but my family have the tall/skinny genes and I was 160cm at 11. True Story. Back to the question, I eat tons of rice, with chicken, oily vegetables (bunch of em’ I SAY!) pork and a lot of unhealthy..stuff… But I never seem to even gain weight.

    But I’m the skinniest in class (blame my genes) and I eat like a lot, and MUST EAT EVERY HOUR. I think it’s because I’m a Malaysian Sooyoung sorta? But I do a lot of sports.
    Every once in a while, whenever I go to the canteen… “Woah! Why are you so skinny! Eat more!” “Your arms and legs are like bones! Eat more!” “Are you sure you’re not anorexic?”

    I don’t get people saying that I’m like a bamboo stick running in the field, I mean, I get it that I’m really skinny but don’t point it out >.< It's so annoying T^T 

  29. Well whatever you’re doing Simon & Martina, it’s working! I’ve noticed it over the past couple of weeks how great you two look. Metabolism processes are slightly different in Westerners compared to Asians (this is just due to evolution and genetics as rice has been a staple food in the Asian diet for a looong time) so it’s actually beneficial to cut down the carbs. If you’re craving for some noodles, there is such a thing as shirataki noodles that is just made of water and plant fibre – no carbs whatsoever. :)

  30. Your definitely onto something about having been raised with rice and being able to stay skinny. I remember growing up the local Chinese restaurant that we went to all the time told us we ate more rice then Chinese people. >.>  (FYI I’m not even remotely Asian. T_T) Keep up the good work and I know you’ll be able to shed those last pounds!

  31. LOL oh boy i haven’t heard fergalicious in ages……. now i must go add that to my work out playlist :P

  32. Pssshhh BEE ESS! White rice ain’t healthy, I mean it’s healthier than other “white food” equivalents, but if you’re on a diet white rice is your number one enemy in Korea just because you’re eating it practically with every meal. My Korean health coach told me that in order to lose weight I had to cut all rice and concentrate in protein and veggies; my relatives were always disconcerted about it and worried I’d pass out for not eating rice lolololol, lost 24 pounds in two months.

    I’m not sure how it is, I’m Korean but grew up in an American country, and rice (and other white carbs) are my number one enemy too, so it must definitely be something with eating it all the time, I don’t know, it’s crazy.

  33. This sounds really interesting! Do you have a book recommendation with receipts? Or did you find your information in the internet?

  34. me too please?  lmgymgirl at yahoo dot com (written out to avoid spambots)  Thanks!

  35.  Was just about to post the same – please Martina?

  36. Question for next TLDR- I know that when Martina sprained her ankle, you went to the hospital for that, but what do you do in Korea when you need other medical related tests/checkups/etc done? Do you go for checkups, eye exams, dental cleanings, etc in Korea, or do you do that when you go to Canada to visit? Are there a lot of English speaking medical facilities and is medical insurance an issue? Thank you. :)

  37. I would love to see a video of you guys perusing a health-food store(s) to show us the options in South Korea. I was very excited to see several of my favorite brands in this episode, and am curious to discover whether they have health food stores like North America with all-natural beauty care, essential oils, and what varieties of healthy ingredients.

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