Korean diet to lose belly fat by a weight loss NUTRITIONIST

korean diet

Korean diet to lose belly fat?

Does the Korean diet make you lose weight?

The simple answer is YES!

One of my friends is Korean, and I’ve been eating his mom’s food for over a decade now.

I know full well about the Korean diet and man it is full of yum. You get a whole helping of meat, vegetables, and a bit of rice.

Not to mention that I often go to Korean barbecue restaurants when his mom doesn’t cook. So, if you need to know how the Korean diet can help you to lose belly fat, you have come to the right place.

How to lose belly fat on the Korean diet

In 1998 to 2009, a study about the traditional Korean food found there is a direct correlation between decreased risk of metabolic syndromes such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excess body fat around the waist.

[source: The traditional Korean dietary pattern is associated with decreased risk of metabolic syndrome: findings from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1998-2009.]

A traditional Korean meal consists of fermented products, seasoned vegetables, grilled proteins, soup, and a little bit of rice. The rice part is essential. 

Now, I always eat a massive plate of rice because I am a glutton after all, or maybe I was just brought up that way.

Growing up in the mountain regions of the Philippines, born in a farming family; I’ve experienced the farming life. I was brought up to eat lots of rice because it was cheaper than meat. It also meant I could work longer without getting hungry for a more extended period.

The first time I ate with my friend’s family, it was surprising how little their rice bowl was.

Their rice bowl was so tiny I thought it was for a baby i’ve never been introduced to before.

Watching them eat from that little bowl was amusing, as much as my friend’s family was shocked at how much rice I ate.

I asked for five bowls of rice as the dinner went on, and I’m not even that big of a person who needs a big meal to be satisfied. The bowl was that tiny.

No wonder Koreans are so skinny, I thought to myself. By eating more vegetables, meat, fermented products, and little to no simple carbs is how to you can lose your belly fat with a Korean diet.

Korean fad diets

I have seen many types of Korean “fad” diet that are unhealthy and not sustainable in the long run.

From eating only jelly all day, to cucumber for dinner to having only bananas for breakfast. 

Let’s go over some of these Korean fad diets.

Korean jelly

korean jelly
Courtesy of Hadatube

To do this diet, you replace your meals with jelly. Looking at the ingredients list which includes, water, erythritol, konjac gum mix, citric acid, peach concentrate, calcium lactate, tomato extract, turmeric root extract, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, artificial peach flavor. Your body won’t be getting enough vitamins and minerals to run your system. Essentially, do this diet long enough; it will be detrimental to your health.

Banana diet

This diet involves eating only bananas for breakfast with warm water. You can have any traditional Korean meals you like for lunch and dinner. Snacking only on a banana. There will be no more eating after 8 PM. Going to bed before midnight. Keep in mind to stop eating when you are almost full. I don’t see any extremities in this diet other than limiting yourself to only a banana. Also, having only a banana, which is carbs and sugar, in the morning is not ideal. Adding some protein or a bit of fat can make you feel sated for longer. Preventing the need for binge snacking and overeating. Other fruits can help improve metabolism. Fruits like oranges, strawberries, and blueberries help to burn fat. The following is a typical banana diet meal plan:

  • Breakfast – 1 or 2 bananas with a warm glass of water.
  • Lunch – kimchi, rice, and proteins.
  • Dinner – traditional Korean dinner, similar to lunch.

Paper cup diet

noodles in paper cup

To do this diet, you are allowed a portion equivalent to 200 ml cup. So what is allowed in the cup? Surprisingly healthy. You can pack in some rice, side dishes, fruits or vegetables. This diet is a great way to control your portion, but what if you are bigger than average? Your calorie deficit shouldn’t have to be worth just a cup. Your ideal calorie target could be more. Having a meal equivalent to a 200 ml cup will make you feel lethargic, weak, and no energy for the day. 

The deadly diet

chicken breast with salad

In this diet, you are allowed to have a chicken breast fillet with a salad without the dressing. Almonds are allowed for snacks; any other type of food, banned. Weight training and cardio should also be incorporated. When it gets too hard, you can have a day off and eat as much as you want then resume the diet the next day. Critics named it the deadly diet since you are eating small amounts and expending it by weight training and cardio, I agree. You need carbs to replace the glycogen lost due to resistance training. You need carbs or fats to burn to get you through the day. Forgetting the other food groups will have your body craving for more nutrients.

Chicken breast diet

You get four chicken breast fillets for the day, that’s it. Out of all the diets mentioned, this is the most extreme. You will lose weight by cutting out the other food groups, but you will be severely malnourished. Avoid like the plague. The popular Korean pop group, BTS, popularised this diet. Of which, two members, only ate breast fillets for one entire year. After the year, they vowed not to do it ever again. But for them to be able to maintain it for one full year is very impressive and dangerous.

Imagine eating only jelly for the whole month? Chicken breast every day for one year? How about bananas every breakfast for the rest of your life? No thanks!

I’m not saying it doesn’t work, quite the opposite, you will lose weight guaranteed. But you will be severely malnourished. Also, once you stop, you will quickly gain it back by reverting to your regular diet. 

That is how and why people put the weight back on after a successful weight loss. Successful maybe, but the methodology is terrible for your health.

You need to stop doing these kinds of diets, and you need to learn how you can lose weight and maintain it the healthy way. 

The typical traditional Korean diet is the healthiest way of losing belly fat without the need for these types of crazy and extreme diets.

Why are some Koreans, blubbery?

man holding belly fat

Have you ever wondered why most Koreans are skinny? According to the CIA’s factbook on the world’s obesity rate of 2016, South Korea is number 184, at the bottom of the list.

Do you know where the US rank? It is number twelve in the world. Do you know one of the significant factors? Diet. 

If you’ve ever been to Korea, you will find that there aren’t much or any overweight Koreans.

But there are the anomalies, the rarities, the 4 percent of Korea that is obese. 

This number is continually increasing. Mainly due to the popularization of the Western diet. 

The western diet consists of bread, fried potatoes, sausages, bacon, eggs, pancakes, syrup, butter. 

Look at the usual Korean breakfast. You get rice, soup, meat, a whole array of side dishes. Typical dishes include grilled short ribs, leafy salad, bean sprout rice, stewed fish, cucumber soup, kelp, radish, and kimchi.

Do you see where I am getting at here? Grilled, salad, bean sprout rice, stewed fish? So healthy and nutritious. If you are a westerner or raised as one, if you see that in your breakfast plate, you’d be aghast, horrified, and taken aback.

That’s because you never grew up with those types of food. It’s all about the acquired taste. 

Now to answer why are there some chubby Koreans. 

The Western diet in South Korean culture certainly plays a big part in the continued rise of South Korea’s obesity rate. 

There are other factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, overeating, autoimmune diseases but the correlation between Western diet and obesity is prevalent in other countries.

In a study of the Western diet in the Lebanese culture, there was a significant increase in obesity.

The Western diet consisted of high consumption of poultry, eggs, red meat, mayonnaise, fast-food sandwiches, pizza, and pies. 

The traditional Lebanese food included a high intake of vegetables, legumes, bread, rice, pasta, and bulgur.

The eggs and red meat shouldn’t be a problem, but the high sugar and fat content of condiments, and fast food are to blame.

[source: A Western dietary pattern is associated with overweight and obesity in a national sample of Lebanese adolescents (13–19 years): a cross-sectional study]

South Koreans obesity rate will continue to rise if the new generation forgets about their traditional South Korean diet.

Skinny Korean diet—don’t do it 

k pop group icy

Watching those skinny Koreans on K-Pop TV makes you wonder what they eat? How do they stay skinny?

Well, there are fad diets, as mentioned like the jelly diet and all sorts. Why do you put your body through such rigorous ordeal? 

There are so many ways to stay slim without starving yourself.

What’s so healthy about being skinny? I’ve seen Crazy Rich Asians. The cousin (Astrid) of the main character, Nick Young, was so thin. 

Just have a look at those arms, they look like they are going to break off.

astrid leong arms
Courtesy of Crazy, Rich, Asians

What is it with Asians obsessing over having a skinny figure? It just looks too unhealthy. Why not have muscles, while looking slim? You’ll look and feel so much better than being skin and bones.

Would you rather look like you haven’t eaten for days? Or, look like you can smash through a wall while looking hot?

Korean weight loss diets are effective. However, you need to stay away from fad diets and concentrate on traditional Korean food.