Hold the Laksa! Malaysia Leading as Asia's Fattest Country
Updated: Aug 6, 2018
News that Malaysia is the fattest Asian country in the world isn’t new at all, but the fact stands that Malaysia holds this title till today- with no sign of letting up either. Almost half of the adult population is overweight or obese, and considering the health complications that accompany this condition, this is an issue that needs to be nipped in the bud.
Thanks to our country’s racial and cultural diversity, we’re completely spoilt for choice. Whether it’s Malay, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Western or any other cultural cuisine you can think of, we’ve got it. Access to these cuisines is easy, and santan and oil are present in Malaysian food in excess.
Lack of exercise is also another major contributing factor, which, granted, isn’t completely our fault. We work long hours, and our streets and weather aren’t exactly the most pedestrian-friendly.
How can we lose weight, though? Here’re a couple of tips to help you on your path to a newer, healthier you:
This one is a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how often it’s pretty much neglected. Yes, as mentioned, we don’t exactly live in the most favourable environment for exercise.
All hope isn’t lost, however. You can easily get your daily exercise in by walking around in the mall, or by simply walking up and down the stairs. It doesn’t have to be for an hour. It can be for 20-30 minutes; as long as you’re moving, you’ll improve by leaps and bounds. The gym is also a fantastic option if you have a bit more time and money to spare.
FUN FACT: Muscles help burn fat. So the fitter you are, the more effectively you’ll burn fat.
Drink more water
Not only will water help you stay hydrated, it will also help you lower your appetite. Whenever you’re feeling particularly hungry, try filling up with some water before diving into your meal. Even sipping water throughout the day will reduce those dreaded hunger pangs- which is what we want to avoid. It’s all too easy to overeat when we’re hungry!
PRO TIP: Green tea is a wonderful alternative to water. It is a zero-calorie, fat-burning beverage that should be a staple in your diet.
Fix your diet
Yet another #obvious piece of advice, but like exercise, it suffers from neglect. It may be difficult at first, but to lead a healthier life, it is time to cut out greasy, sugary food from your diet. Instead of opting for nasi lemak, curry or fast food, load up on leafy greens, grains, fruits and protein. Protein is especially important when it comes to building muscle. Load up on this after your exercise routine for maximum effect.
FUN FACT: Nutrition has more to do with muscle-building than exercise does. All the more reason not to skip on protein.
Prepare your own meals
The reason for this is simple: you don’t know what goes into your meals when other people prepare them for you. While this doesn’t mean you should avoid eating out altogether, it would be best to prepare the majority of your meals on your own. At least this way, you’ll be able to control what goes into your diet.
Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. Don’t believe me? The more sleep-deprived you are, the higher the level of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. This stress hormone is one that increases your appetite. If you’ve ever wondered why you’ve been eating more lately (and it just so happened not long after you started having late nights at work), it is simply because of this. Even being deprived of 30 minutes of sleep can make you more susceptible to weight gain, so watch out!
Good luck on your journey to a healthier you!
Written by Crunch's Melissa Kartini