[an error occurred while processing this directive] Skinny Secrets Around the World - Steven and Chris

Skinny Secrets Around the World

With more two-thirds of North Americans considered overweight or obese, it makes sense to look abroad for some much needed diet advice. Nutritionist Theresa Albert shares some of her favourite skinny secrets from around the world.



In Mexico, the largest meal of the day is lunch, not dinner. Eating a smaller meal at night allows the body to focus on regeneration rather than digestion while you sleep.

Skinny secret: Eat larger meals early in the day and keep dinner light.


Rice and beans is a South American and Caribbean staple. Studies show that a diet high in rice and beans can reduce the risk of becoming overweight by almost 14%.

Skinny secret: Add a daily dose of rice and beans to your diet for a major fibre boost.


Although there are a number of reasons French women don't get fat, one of the most important is that they don't deprive themselves of things they love. Instead, they eat delicious (albeit decadent) foods but in much smaller portions. They also don't snack.

Skinny secret: Don't deprive yourself of what you love; simply be conscious of portion sizes.


The Mediterranean diet is considered the most heart-healthy thanks to its abundance of colourful vegetables, fruits, nuts and fish, but it's the healthy fats that truly make it a skinny superstar. Diets rich in good fats, such as nuts and olive oil, keep you feeling fuller, longer.

Skinny secret: Enjoy a drizzle of high-quality olive oil with your meals or a handful of nuts to keep you feeling satisfied but remember to keep your portions small.


Nearly 40% of India's population is vegetarian. Studies show that vegetarians generally weigh between 6% and 17% less than meat-eaters. Vegetarian diets often contain less fat and more fibre than non-vegetarian diets.

Skinny secret: Try meatless Mondays or eating at least one vegetarian meal per day.


Thai food is considered some of the hottest in the world, and there is some evidence to link spicy food to increased metabolism and appetite suppression. Spicy food forces you to eat more slowly, which gives your body more time to realize that it's full.

Skinny secret: Spice up your diet with a little cayenne or chili peppers. Can't stand the heat? Capsaicin (the magic ingredient in peppers) is also available in supplement form.


The Okinawans in Japan subscribe to the Confucian principal of hara hachi bu. Translation: Eat until you are eight parts full.

Skinny secret: When you sense the very first twinge of fullness, stop eating. Eat until you're satisfied, not stuffed. It takes the brain 20 minutes to realize you're full.


People in Iceland actually consume five times more fish than the rest of the world (i.e. 200 vs. 35 pounds)! Fish is high in essential fats that can help control appetite and block fat formation. In fact, researchers at UCLA report that eating six ounces of fish four times per week can double the effectiveness of any weight-loss plan.

Skinny secret: Eat more fish!


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