Living the Sunshine Life

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How do Germans stay so thin?

It dawned on me this evening that I’m working to lose weight for this trip, only to be eating at restaurants that serve beer, breads, pork knuckles, and other hearty foods. I asked my good friend Gem about this, and what she said made a lot of sense.

I’m likely to be spending much of my time in Munich, home of the famed Oktoberfest where beer is drank by the pint alongside pretzels and fried pig knuckles. Yum. In searching for restaurants to add to my must-do list, I keep seeing dishes that look heavy and not diet-friendly — like this one. This person posted a picture of their delicious looking fried and breaded pork (two cutlets) plated next to what appears to be a sliced potato and cheese side. That’s gotta be a thousand calories at least. 

So I desperately wanted to know how the heck are Germans so thin! I asked my all-knowing best buddy and writing partner Gem about it…

JC: Sag mir (Tell me): How are Germans so thin?

Gem: Germans, on average, tend to be thinner than people from other countries, like the US, for several reasons:
  • Active Lifestyle: Germans are known for being active. They often walk or bike to work and school, and hiking is a popular pastime. This regular physical activity helps to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Portion Sizes: Portion sizes in Germany are generally smaller than in the US. Restaurants and even supermarkets tend to offer smaller portions, which can help people consume fewer calories overall.
  • Healthy Diet: Traditional German cuisine includes a lot of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. While they do enjoy their sausages and beer, they also eat plenty of salads, soups, and lean meats.
  • Eating Habits: Germans tend to eat their main meal at lunchtime, which can be better for digestion and metabolism than eating a heavy meal in the evening. They also typically have a lighter evening meal, often consisting of bread, cheese, and cold cuts.
  • Limited Processed Foods: While processed foods are available in Germany, they are not as prevalent as in the US. Germans tend to prefer fresh, locally sourced ingredients and home-cooked meals.
It’s important to note that this is a generalization, and not all Germans are thin. However, these cultural factors do contribute to a healthier lifestyle overall, which can lead to lower rates of obesity compared to other countries.

Well, that makes sense. I’m planning on getting a bike while in Germany, since it looks like of the places I want to go are a bus or train ride away — or a quick bike ride away — from where I’ll be staying. The food market in the oldtown area, in the heart of Munich, is about 45 minutes by bike and about the same if I go by bus. 

When I lived in Taipei, I biked everywhere at all hours of the day and my body definitely was, well, tighter. I felt a lot better. And I didn’t feel guilty about trying everything at the nightmarket.

Gem’s answer also pointed out that the food will be of better quality. Right now, I’m trying to kick some bad habits, like eating poor quality food that’s served in my town’s restaurants. These eateries essentially buy food from distributors because they’re deemed “safe,” and then the food gets reheated or cooked in oil and salt. My legs have been blowing up lately because of all he salt and fat, and my health has declined so much. A few weeks ago, I told my other half that I cannot go out to eat any more unless the restaurant serves decent food. Quite frankly, that decision rules out most if not all of the restaurants in a 30-mile radius. 

I mean, just look at the photos for two Turkish restaurants in Munich — the portions are completely different than you’d get here in Florida.  

The plates have less meat, and the plates aren’t filled with food. And do you see that little scoop of rice? I probably gobbled down three scoops’ worth of rice at dinner tonight. I’ve gotten used to full plates, so I’m going to have to change my mindset on portions and control what I eat. 

Right-o. Get the bike, eat what I want, get thinner and healthier. I think it’s a good plan. I think there’s also a pretty good possibility I won’t be coming back to the US! (j/k…kinda sorta)

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