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)

  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. The ability for some people to deal with the white rice and for others not to starts with the amount of salivary amylase they produce. If you produce a lot, you will be able to digest starchy food better. Here a a great article by Denise Minger on why there is no one perfect diet: http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/01/how-to-figure-out-what-diet-is-right-for-you/

  3. I JUST REALIZED THAT YOU GUYS ARE ON KETO! OMFG, Any advice? I’m gonna start keto tomorrow and see how it goes :)

  4. Do you guys work out? If yes, then what type?

  5. I don’t think if you grow up eating pasta or rice it makes you digest it differently. It’s the fact that many people eat fatty meat and dairy with their carbs that inhibits the proper digestion of carbs. It’s not the carbs that make you fat, it’s the myocellular lipid (fat in our food that is stored in our muscle cells) which inhibit sugars going into the muscle cell, and so the sugar stays in the blood until it is stored as body fat. raises your insulin. and if you are sensitive to this insulin increase, you become obese.

    If you eat a low fat diet, which is much easier to maintain than a low carb diet, the levels of myocellular lipids in your muscles decrease and you can burn through carbs and burn calories 16% faster. That 16% doesnt seem like much, but over time you will lose weight. You wont be so hungry or want to snack either. your brain and other organs will have enough carbs for energy, and because you eliminate meat and dairy, you can eat veges, beans, fruits and grains which are high in fibre. thus, keeping fuller for longer.

  6. I want to know all the nerdy subsitutes Martina uses in her cooking. Martina if you see this please add it to this post! That would be awesome.

  7. Just wondering where or how do you guys buy all those alternatives here in Korea?

    • You can get all of the items Martina explicitly mentioned (coconut flour, honey, agave syrup, baking powders etc) and much more from Iherb.com, and they have flat rate 4.00 shipping to Korea, AND the stuff gets here in a jiff! I am in love with Iherb.

  8. That sounds a lot like the Paleolithic Diet (which I just started). Even if it’s not, I’m sure that a lot of the recipes and tips would help you guys. The main thing for going paleo is cutting out the breads/carbs/grains and sugars also. Pinterest (kinda the mature/artsy tumblr) has lots of great recipes and such (if you need an invite, I could send you one). You guys look even more amazing and good luck!!!

    P.S. Love your videos so much~! <3 *Goes back to lurking*

  9. I’ve never been so happy to have eaten tons of rice all my life ^^ I recently lost quite a bit of weight as well, but since I’m pretty picky about veggies (especially cooked veggies) I could never do it the way you guys did =P

    However, less junk – check! I also made an effort to eat less – smaller portions (I was in such a habit of overeating delicious food almost my whole life. Nowadays, I rarely over stuff myself. Self control, what??) and exercise more regularly. That one was hard, since I’m quite lazy, and don’t enjoy (or want to pay for) gyms, but now I force myself to workout at home ^^

  10. TLDR Question – now that you’re living in South Korea long-term and have jobs with no colleagues, what do you both do to meet people and make friends?

  11. well, I’m an Asian since birth and eat white rice like, 2-4 times a day (shocking huh?) and not even gaining weight (even if I gain weight, it just around 1 or 2 kg, which is not really affecting my body image and my weight will just back to the normal around 3-7 days). I think it’s about metabolism? You westerner usually eats bread/potato after all, which has lower carbs and sugar than white rice.

    And just be careful about no carbs thing. Not healthy. Maybe you can change the white rice into red rice (idk if the stores there has it, but here in Indonesia, you can find it in supermarket). It has lower carbs and will help on your mission to lose some weight :D also it’ll keep you stuff for long hours!

  12. Original!!!! Best. Word. Ever.

  13. @simonandmartina:disqus my main motivation for losing weight is rule #1 in Zombieland:CARDIO. You can’t outrun zombies out to eat your brains if you’re all pudgy. LOL. that rule also reigns supreme in Survivor, Grand Theft Auto and Resident Evil. (^__^)

  14. @simonandmartina:disqus good job on your lifestyle change! I’ve been eating rice since I was little but I’m going to try what you guys are doing. BTW Simon always wears the best tshirts. Right now it’s the totally awesome bad-ass care bears. :)

  15. Can you do the ‘My Girlfriend Does My Makeup Tag’ for Simon?

  16. question for next TL;DR
    How do you feel about PSY popularity with Gangnam Style and what does it mean to K-pop? Or anything in the general area of the question ^_^

  17. I really like your TDLR session. Thank you for sharing your life

  18. Keep up the good work Simon and Martina!
    I have a question for your next TL;DR
    What do you do for your video openings with the music? Does someone do it for you? Or do you have an application for it, and if you do, what do you use?

  19. I have a question! You guys are my inspiration when it comes to many things but what I love the most about you is how much of a healthy, fun and loving relationship you have. I always tell my girl that I hope we manage to have such a great relationship throughout the years, so, do you have tips for a healthy and longlasting relationship?

  20. Hello from South America~ If you could please answer my question it’d mean a lot to me c:

    Have you ever met an english teacher who wasn’t actually an english native speaker? And I don’t mean a Korean teacher teaching english, but a foreigner.
    Information about teaching other languages in South Korea in the internet is scarce, too, so I thought that even though you’ve stopped teaching, you might have for instance come across an italian teacher, or maybe a spanish teacher.

  21. Question for TLDR!!!
    What do you guys think of the massive sudden popularity of Gangnam style? It’s become a huge hit here in the US – It’s #1 on iTunes top single and I heard it on the radio the other day.

  22. NEXT TL;DR question:
    ummm we all know that south korea is still at war between the north. what is the situation like in south korean right now, is there news everyday about it, and do people feel safe living there? if an actual war break out, would you guys come back to canada?

  23. Hi Simon and Martina! I did the same thing too – though I started with much smaller steps at first. I was 231 back in 2006 and slowly made changes. When I got to Korea I was at 205, and that’s when I started doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, cut out white carbs and most wheat, switched to only black coffee or water, etc. Are you using iHerb for your coconut flour and what not? I get all my flax seeds and coconut oil from them.

    This month I hit what you’re at! I’m at 151. Congratulations to us! I don’t cook much, but I do rely on chicken breasts from Costco and eggs, and I recently started using a crock pot.

    My favorite homemade Korean food is guerranjjim. So easy to make and no carbs.

  24. Question- how are Koreans reacting to the racist models at the new Hollister opening? I’ve seen comments online, but is it being discussed a lot, in the news, etc? Is it contributing to peoples dislike of foreigners? Your thoughts?

  25. Hey Simon and Martina, i’ve been wondering, how did you came up with the name for Spudgy :D

  26. I lost weight unintentionally during the three months I spent in Korea. To the point that my Korean friends and roommates were giving me concerned looks, boxes of strawberries and bits of toast. Then I discovered that they sell nutella at homeplus, and evening snacks of nutella and toast (or just nutella. From the jar. With chopsticks) seemed to check the weight loss.
    I lost weight because the cafeteria food I was eating was pretty awful and contained almost no meat and I wasn’t used to packing down large amounts of white rice like my Korean friends. Also, I hated waiting for the elevator and lived in an 8th floor dormitory. Lots of exercise built right in to my day.

  27. I have a question that’s been bothering me for a while now and the new GD vid “That XX” brought it back to the front of my mind. Are there socks in Korea? I’m sure there are but the men in dramas and mv’s never seem to wear them. Why?

  28. Hi Simon and Martina. So i’ve always realized in Korean dramas or anything really the men always wear shoes without socks, at first I didnt like it but Im accustomed to seeing it now, but is that some fashion trend in Korea?

  29. I have a question! Martina you used to say korean clothes didn’t fit you, now that you’ve lost weight, is it still an issue?

  30. Hi I have a question for you guys

    Do you have any trouble from entertainment company when you do review on their artists? or how do you get to interview artists?

  31. Hi guys! Question about this TL;DR – I was eating really healthy before I moved to Korea and I’ve only been here a little over a week but I noticed a dearth of health-food places. Where’s the best food store to shop for some of the things that popped up in the video? So easy to find in these states but I haven’t really seen them yet here… help?

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. 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*

  35. That took a lot dedication and hard work. Sound advice but not that many people are that dedicated.

  36. I was wondering, what are you all thinking about kids in the future? Do you want to have any someday? Just curious :) Not sure if that would be long enough of an answer to make into a TL;DR, but I thought I’d ask on here anyways!

  37. Heya Guys!! I have a question (but I’m fairly new here so you might have already answered it), Are there any unusual (or highly amusing) ‘young people’ sayings in Korea? Like slang phrases or anything?

  38. Hi Simon and Martina :) I have a question for your next TL;DR
    You were able to raise all the money for your fundraiser in 7 hours! What are you going to do with extra money you receive with in the 40 days? Also 7 hours how did that feel?

  39. I dunno where to officially ask stuff like this.. hurr derr.. uh.. but oh what the heck might as well just ask here. Being a very jealous woman and planning to go to Korea with my boyfriend in the future, I have always wondered what it would be like for a couple to go there and have so many gorgeous guys and girls around all the time. I get jealous if we have an attractive female waitress, so what is it like to constantly be surrounded by people your significant other might find extremely attractive? Have either one of you ever gotten jealous?

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