GLOBAL FAT LOSS SECRETS
More than 70 per cent of Aussie men are overweight or obese. So we searched the globe for the best ways to drop fat forever
The best lard-blasting tips from eveywhere from Iceland to Singapore.
WORLDWIDE OBESITY RANKING: 84 WHAT THEY DO: EAT TONS OF BEANS WHY IT WORKS In Brazil, lunch isn’t a sub and chips – it’s beans and rice. Brazilians get about 10 per cent of their kilojoules from beans and legumes, reports Nutrition Journal. In one study, people who ate legumes daily lost more weight than those who didn’t. It’s all about the filling fibre and protein. And since legumes are chewy, you end up eating less and staying satisfied.
STEAL IT Make a quick salad of lentils, chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and parsley, says dietitian Erin Peisach. Or heat up a can of lentil soup. At dinner, use lentil or bean pasta in place of the regular kind.
WORLDWIDE OBESITY RANKING : 50 WHAT THEY DO: SKYR THINGS UP WHY IT WORKS Skyr, a thick, plain yoghurt, is an Icelandic staple. It’s packed with protein yet low in sugar, a combo that bodes well for your belly and sets a high bar for other yoghurts. That’s because protein is the most satiating macronutrient, says nutritionist advisor Alan Aragon. Bonus: skyr has a ton of calcium. When combined with protein, calcium helps with muscle preservation.
STEAL IT Sports dietitian Marie Spano suggests a daily skyr snack. Try Procal Icelandic Skyr, which has 20 grams of protein per serve. Eat two if you weigh more than 90kg. And toss in ⅔ cup of berries, says Aragon.
3/ UNITED KINGDOM
WORLDWIDE OBESITY RANKING: 21 WHAT THEY DO: FAST 2 DAYS A WEEK WHY IT WORKS This diet, which involves fasting for two days and staying flexible the other five, is gaining popularity in the UK. “It appears to work,” says Dr Louis Aronne. For people counting kilojoules, fasting is a good way to stay on track. “By shortening the window of eating, some people find it easier to eat less, therefore helping them reduce kilojoules,” says Spano.
STEAL IT On fast days, eat 2500 kj to 3350 kj, the majority of which should be protein. The rest should be vegetables so you get enough fibre, says Spano. On other days, eat as well as you can. Just don’t relive your pizza and pie glory days.
WORLDWIDE OBESITY RANKING: 37 WHAT THEY DO: CALISTHENICS WHY IT WORKS Outdoor training is exploding in Spain. At the top of the docket? Calisthenics. “Many cities in Spain are now installing basic bars,” says Julio César Ortega of Men’s Health Spain. In parks and on beaches, Spaniards use bars for exercises like chin-ups and pushups. Trainer Mike Boyle says moves like these can enhance weight loss for about the first three weeks of a new plan.
STEAL IT Boyle recommends covering these four bases: squat, push-up, chin-up and plank. “You should do as many technically sound reps as you can do,” he says. After three weeks, add a weighted vest to challenge yourself.
WORLDWIDE OBESITY RANKING: 76 WHAT THEY DO: BIKE EVERYWHERE WHY IT WORKS Dutch people bike an average of 1000 km a year. “About 25 per cent go to work on a bike every day,” says dietitian Karine Hoenderdos. Boyle gives biking a big thumbs-up: “If you’re going to point at one thing for weight loss, I like biking the most,” he says. Without ground contact, you’re less likely to strain tendons or sustain injuries from the pounding your joints take during a run.
STEAL IT Start with 20 minutes on a stationary or single-speed bike (opt for the ones with the high handles, Stranger Things-style). They’ll limit flexion, a culprit behind back pain, says Boyle. From there, add 5 minutes every week.
WORLDWIDE OBESITY RANKING: 133 WHAT THEY DO: PACK IN THE TOFU WHY IT WORKS It’s common to find Singaporeans enjoying dishes like yong tau foo – tofu stuffed with ground meat or fish paste. Tofu is packed with protein yet low in kilojoules. “I think it’s one of the best plant-based proteins,” says Spano. Sure, a hard-core carnivore might say there’s nothing like that first bite into a juicy Angus beef burger, but we think Singaporeans might be onto something.
STEAL IT Use tofu as a complement, not the main event. Mix 110 -170g of the soft version with a splash of light soy sauce, a squirt of sriracha sauce and a few drops of sesame oil, says Aragon. Then add it to your favourite salad.
WORLDWIDE OBESITY RANKING: 17 WHAT WE DO: SOFT-SAND RUNNING WHY IT WORKS Hey, we’re doing something right. Find some soft sand, not the densely packed stuff. It may look cushiony, but don’t be fooled: soft sand will give you a better workout. You can ramp up the intensity of your training session without increasing the duration, says trainer Kevin Toonen. You’re likely to burn more kilojoules than you would during your average neighbourhood run.
DO IT Start with soft-sand walking. When you start running, “distances should be varied between shorter, faster runs and longer, slower runs,” says trainer Alwyn Cosgrove. No beach? Run on a soft, grassy bush trail.