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Diet Tips from Around the Globe

Diet Tips from Around the Globe

Americans continue to tip the obesity scales when compared to countries around the world where portion sizes, food choices and exercise habits continue to trump those in the United States. We think it’s time to sneak a peek into the kitchens of other diet-savvy countries, so read on to learn about dietary habits from some of the fittest people in the world. Add a few of their tips to your weight loss plan and you’ll be saying, “Au revoir” and "Sayonara" to extra pounds.

Japan: These East Asian diet gurus fill their plates with veggies and rice, using protein as a side dish instead of the main course. What’s more, their main source of protein is fish or soy-based products, eliminating American staples like red meat or chicken. Japanese eaters have also learned to sip a small cup of clear-broth miso soup before eating which, in turn, makes them feel fuller and prevents overeating at the main course.

France: Le Français (“The French”) are known for their rich taste buds, but they also know how to eat small amounts of high-quality food. People in the city of romance eat regularly scheduled meals without snacking, and when eating, nothing is off-limits. But the French will have a small piece of an apple tart, as opposed to a gigantic sundae loaded with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

Italy: They may be the masters of pizza and meatballs, but Italians don’t eat as much pasta and cheese as Americans think. In fact, their typical serving size of pasta is about 5 oz., versus sometimes two to three times bigger portion sizes in America. Olive oil is their main source of fat, and Italians garnish dishes with flavorful cheese, like parmesan, that pack flavor in smaller serving sizes.

One diet-friendly tactic that all skinny countries stick to is consuming smaller portions, so keep that in mind the next time you order a value-sized meal—super-sized portions are sabotaging your weight loss efforts! [The Today Show]

Posted: 7/14/08