Secrets of the Thai Diet

  • Posted onJanuary 29th, 2014

Thai foodWhether you are a Bangkok newbie or a seasoned expat, you never quite get over the way food plays such a huge part of Thai culture and how everyone is always eating, and yet the vast majority of locals are so slim and fit. Food is everywhere, from the basements of malls to the rooftops of the tallest hotels, on almost every street and corner, and the amazing flavors and flagrances of the local cuisine are constantly tempting you.

So what’s the secret? How come Thai people are eating so much and looking so healthy? I’m no expert, and I won’t be fitting into those size 32 levis I had back in college any time soon, but I’ve certainly learned a few secrets of how to eating like a Thai, and it has allowed me to enjoy the wonderful food which this country has to offer without the fear of getting morbidly obese. Here are a few of the basics:

Eat More

Thai Seafood CurryThais seem to be eating and snacking all the time, from that early morning rice soup to the late night bowl of noodles and pork balls, many seem to have around 6 meal times a day. Compare that to a more traditional Western diet consisting of 3 square meals a day, and it’s hard to see how they pack it all in (and still remain so slim).

One secret is in the portions. Compare an average western breakfast, lunch or dinner, to your typical Thai meal, and the Thai meal is likely to be a fraction of the size. In fact many Thai meals would more likely be seen as snacks in the West. Eating little and often is known to be far better for you than eating a fewer but larger meals. Simply out, by constantly consuming food and calories in small amounts it actually helps to speed up your metabolism, allowing your body to be constantly breaking down your food, burning calories and using what you eat in positive ways. Eating 3 large meals a day leaves your body having to store more food as fat.

som tamAnother key to the Thai diet is with the meat. While most Thai dishes have meat in them, it’s usually not much. If you broke down how much chicken is in your average Kao Pad Gai, it’s probably little more than a quarter of a chicken breast, while it’s not unusually for a western meal to contain a quarter of a chicken (if not more).

Drink More

Thai grillThais consume a lot of liquids throughout the day. Bangkok is a particularly hot and humid city throughout the year, and it’s wise to drink at least 2 liters of water per day. When you order a meal in Bangkok you will often be served free water and your glass is likely to be constantly refilled, never leaving you with an empty glass for long. Drinking lots of water not only helps to keep you rehydrated but it can also stop you from over eating, by making you feel full quicker. As with eating lots of small meals throughout the day, drinking lots of water also helps to speed up your metabolism and keep you burning those calories.

Green Tea is also another popular drink in Thailand, and it is known for its ability to increase your metabolism and help the body burn calories quicker. Not only is green tea a popular drink, green tea extract are also used in a lot of Thai dishes from cakes and sweets, to ice cream and smoothies.

Keep it Spicy

Spicy foodIt’s no secret that Thai people love their food spicy but did you know spicy food is another key factor to staying fit and slim.

Medical studies have proved that spicy food can help the body to burn calories faster. Not only this, but eating spicy food can stop you from over-eating, especially when eating particularly spicy dishes. So, while you may avoid the super spicy snacks, and ask your waiters to go easy on the chili, maybe it’s time to start upping the ante and developing you tolerance for spicy food.




  1. reece says:

    Another big factor is the “run through”… many foods run straight through your system – either due to wide spread hygiene issues, the spice, sour food additives, or the popular “plalar” (rotten fish), this certainly helps the young ladies retain such stunning figures…

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