The longer I’ve lived in China, the more I realize there’s no secret to staying slender. Sure, it’s tempting to dismiss it as genetics, but I’m now convinced it’s all about lifestyle. Here are a few simple observations on why Chinese are thinner than Americans. (Disclaimer: It’s changing. Fast. As Western foods, drinks and lifestyles gain popularity, body types are getting larger here, too.)
1. 少吃高热量零食：在任何美国城市的街道上你肯定能够发现手里拿着各种零食的人：香草拿铁咖啡，冰砂，能量棒，早餐玉米煎饼，肉桂煎饼之类的。在中国，那些手里拿着零食的人要么是外国人，要么是零星的几个年轻的中国人。他们已经开始去学习西方那些不良的饮食习惯。在中国朋友的家里提供的零食都是像圣女果，瓜子，草莓或者橙子之类的东西。他们一般每天的吃饭时间很有规律，并且在6点吃完晚餐之后 半夜就不吃零食了。
1. Less High-Calorie Snacking: Walk on any U.S. city street and you’re guaranteed to find someone with something in their hand: a vanilla latte, a fruit smoothie, an energy bar, a breakfast burrito or a cinnamon soft pretzel. In China, the only ones you see walking with their mid-afternoon snacks are foreigners or the occasionally younger Chinese - the generation that’s starting to mimic unfortunate Western habits. If I am served snacks at a Chinese friend’s house, it’s usually cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, strawberries or orange slices. They also tend to eat regular meals at the same times every day, with dinner at 6 p.m. and no midnight snacking.
2. No Clean Plate Club: Eating communally with family style plates encourages less overeating. Instead of feeling the need to finish your own dish, you just eat what you want. Ideally, you stop when you’re full. Plus, there’s only so much you can shovel with chopsticks, which forces you to slow down. Smaller bites also help your body realize when it’s full.
3. Less Liquid Calories: Sure, we’ve all heard the stories of Chinese businessmen’s affinity for the hard alcohol baijiu, and its vomiting-inducing toasts. But many of my female acquaintances would pick a green tea over a margarita any day. If they do drink, it’s in moderation. When it comes to non-alcoholic thirst quenchers, Chinese frequently choose tea or hot water over fruity smoothies and calorie-laden soft drinks.
4. Balancing Intake: Several Chinese friends have told me they skip dinner or eat very little if they have a big lunch. There’s a culture of moderation. If you eat a lot one day, it’s OK, but you hold back the next. Massive buffet lunches are great, and people will indulge, but that means veggies and a little rice for dinner.
5. Cooking Fresh at Home: While Chinese restaurants often use lots of oil, home cooking is generally pretty healthy. My taxi driver last night, a 50-something male, told me that he and his wife cook in every night he’s not working: vegetables, lean meat and sometimes fish. “We get fresh vegetables from the local market - none of that processed Western food,” he said. “Cooking fresh stuff at home is the key to being healthy.”
6. Little Dairy and Less Dessert: There’s no such thing as cheese plates and thick cream sauces at your average Chinese restaurant. In fact, there’s rarely any dairy-based products at all. Forget your beloved crème fraiche, buttermilk, aged cheddar cheese and clotted cream - all of those delectable but calorie-rich foods are out. For dessert? Chinese restaurants substitute a decadent dessert list of crème brûlée, black forest cake and lemon tarts with simple slices of watermelon. Bonus: it comes for free.
7. On the Go: In a city like Shanghai where cars are still reserved for the upwardly mobile or taxi drivers, people walk a lot. If they don’t walk, they’re running to catch a cab, or standing in a crowded bus line. When they transfer subway lines, they’re climbing stairs and walking across long connector corridors. There’s no such thing as driving from your front door to the grocery’s store parking lot and back home again. Even if you have an office job, moving is part of daily life here.
8. 烦人却善意的忠告: 去年，我从美国度假回到中国后长了几磅。体重增长的很少，没有哪个美国朋友会注意到，或者是，即便他们注意到了他们也不会说。然而，中国人却十分的“善良”。一个朋友捏了捏我的胳膊，对我那松弛下来的胳膊品头论足;另一个朋友则建议我在接下来的两周每天晚上只吃苹果。增加的体重是很少的——只有5磅——我很震惊他们依然要拿这个说事。但是之后我认识到了其作用。通过对这件事的评论他们让我认识到了体重增加的事实。我没有每天晚上吃苹果，但是我很可能会拒绝下一个冰激凌或者是巧克力棒，或者我会多锻炼一点。通过讨论体重的增加，在体重变得不可收拾之前中国人就可以帮助彼此去意识并控制体重了。
8. Irritating but Well-intentioned Reminders: When I came back from a vacation in the U.S. last year, I had put on a few pounds. It was a small enough amount that none of my American friends noticed, or, if they did, they would never dream of mentioning it. The Chinese, though, went crazy. One friend pinched my arm and commented on the increased flab, while another Chinese acquaintance suggested I just eat apples every evening for two weeks instead of dinner. It was such a minor weight gain - we’re talking 5 pounds - that I was shocked that they’d even comment. But later I realized the effect. By commenting, they were making me aware. I didn’t eat apples for dinner, but I probably refused that next ice cream or chocolate bar, and maybe worked out a little harder. By being open to talking about weight gain, Chinese help each other realize and control it before it becomes too hard.
2010-07-29 23:54 编辑：kuaileyingyu
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