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Healthy Weight-Loss Secrets From Around the World

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Have you ever wondered why some countries don't struggle with obesity? Here's why!

Have you ever wondered why some countries don't struggle with obesity? Here's why!

International Diet Secrets

Have you ever wondered about the “diet” secrets and diet foods of those who are healthy, fit, and slim? What do they eat, what is their lifestyle, and what are their secrets to longevity. As well, why don't these countries have an obesity problem? As we all know, obesity and being overweight is an Intercontinental problem. However, there are countries with low obesity rates.

International Obesity Rates

Although there are diet weight loss secrets and diet foods in several countries, the international obesity rates are rising. Over 400 million adults around the world are obese and 1.6 billion are overweight, states the World Health Organization (WHO). There are also 155 million children worldwide that have obesity issues, reports the International Obesity TaskForce (IASO). Out of the 155 million overweight children, 30-45 million children are obese.

Did you know that America has one of the highest International obesity rates in the world? So how do other countries with low obesity rates stay slim and healthy? What are some of the international weight loss secrets and diet foods of healthy countries? Why do these countries not have an obesity problem? What are their secrets?

Melted Goat's Cheese on French Bread

Melted Goat's Cheese on French Bread

1. France

French men and women are remarkably slim and have an amazing healthy glow. But their diet overflows with cream-filled pastries, rich cream sauces, and quality wines and cheeses. Why are they not overweight? This is what is called the French Paradox. So what are their secrets of beauty and the diet foods they eat? What are their weight loss diet secrets?

  • A "green" living diet
  • Eating is a leisurely experience
  • Fresh foods are a way of living green
  • There are three meals a day and no snacks
  • Meals are quite light and portions are small
  • Wholesome bread or pasta is consumed daily
  • Desserts are a treat and portions are very petite’
  • Olive oil is used instead of oils that are highly saturated

Fish (like served here in sushi) is a staple in Japan

Fish (like served here in sushi) is a staple in Japan

2. Japan and Other Asian Countries

For centuries, men and especially women in Japan have been known for their beauty and slender physique. Many studies agree that Japanese citizens live longer and healthier than almost everyone else on Earth. With several traditions and cultural beliefs, their diet foods definitely portray longevity and their secrets of beauty are simple yet complex. Here are some of their top weight loss diet secrets and why many do not have obesity problems.

  • They have a “green” lifestyle
  • They savor every morsel eaten
  • A picturesque food presentation
  • Beautiful arrays of controlled portions
  • They eat large portions of vegetables
  • Rice is served with the majority of meals
  • They eat a large variety of natural soy products
  • Desserts are minimal and usually contain fresh fruit
  • Fatty fish is a favorite and meat is rarely consumed
  • Meals are served on separate small plates and bowls
  • There are four or five different vegetable dishes with most meals
  • green tea is a traditional drink
Wild chestnuts are a popular Georgian food

Wild chestnuts are a popular Georgian food

3. Georgian Cuisine

The Georgian culture has quite the influx of stories that pertain to health, longevity, and vegetarian lore. In fact, many books have been written on the subject of Georgian’s perfect health, secrets of beauty, diet foods, and their ideal weight loss plan and for having some of the longest life spans in the world. Although some experts claim that it is not the Georgians but the Abkhasians (formerly Soviet Georgia) that have ideal health. Yet according to WOW, the Georgians have a low obesity rate similar to France and are seldom obese. The occurrence of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure among Georgians is very low. Some are their International diet secrets are:

  • Great value is placed on longevity
  • Eggs are limited to 2 or 3 per week
  • They have a “green” living lifestyle
  • Honey is often used instead of sugar
  • Goat cheese is the customary cheese
  • Abista, a cornmeal mash, is a major staple
  • Fat from meat or chicken is not used at all
  • Meats are often cooked in pomegranate juice
  • Nuts are consumed often such as wild chestnuts
  • They believe in being attuned to the rhythms of life
  • Favorite foods are pickled vegetables and lima beans
  • Wild barberry (Barberis vulgaris) is picked seasonally
  • Toasts include sayings like “May you live as long as Moses”
  • A lifestyle of light eating and substantial amounts of physical activity
  • Most vegetables are served pickled but are also eaten raw and cooked
  • Meat is eaten 1-2 times a week; chicken, beef, lamb, and kid (juvenile goat)
  • 1-2 cups of matzoni (fermented milk similar to buttermilk) are consumed daily
  • They have a traditional concept of “old” never took root, the word old was banished
  • A common sauce for lima beans contains onions, green peppers, garlic, coriander, and pomegranate juice
  • Large amounts of seasonal fruit are consumed, mostly pears, grapes, and pomegranates
  • Salt is never used and adzhika (pungent/bitter plants mixed with nuts) is used for spicing
  • Western Georgia cuisine is mostly vegetarian food prepared with walnuts and spiced tarragon, basil, and coriander.

4. The Tarahumara Indians of Northwest Mexico

The Tarahumara Indians or Raramuri, as they call themselves, of Cooper Canyon, Mexico, have extremely impressive low blood sugar levels, minimal diseases, and little to no obesity issues or overweight problems. For centuries they have been known as knowledgeable farmers and amazing runners. In the last few decades, the Raramuri have been known worldwide for their long-distance running abilities. The translation of Rarámuri is "runners".

The Raramuri live in small wood or stone cabins, in caves, and under cliffs. Their environment is peaceful and remote, devoid of modern technology. Their diet foods are basically meatless. The main staple consists of beans and corn (maize). The people also enjoy potatoes, apples, and occasionally freshwater fish, sheep, or goats. A favored meat dish is small game with herbs. More topmost International diet secrets of the Raramuri are:

  • Diet is low in fat and cholesterol
  • They live an extremely “green” lifestyle
  • Herbs are often used and salt is minimal
  • Quiet, considerate, and peaceful people
  • Their food has high nutritional qualities
  • The diet is high in complex carbohydrates
  • Chili peppers are a necessity and in many dishes
  • Running or "foot throwing” has always been a tradition
A delicious Greek salad

A delicious Greek salad

5. Greece

Greece and the rural people of Crete have one of the world's lowest rates of disease, obesity, and overweight populations. In fact, Greek people have been culturally known for their longevity and robust health. Their life is filled with celebrations that overflow with healthy feasts, vigorous dancing, lively music, a healthy diet, and song.

Greek diet foods are filled with a large array of dark green vegetables, spinach, purslane, dandelions, and fresh fruits such as pears, grapes, figs, and plums. Fresh herbs and spices are a big part of cooking, using mustard, garlic, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, cinnamon, fennel, and cloves. The Greeks eat a well-rounded list of whole grains, pasta, beans, and lentils. Olive oil, fresh nuts, and Kalamata olives are used often. The preferred meat is fish; usually cod, tuna, or flounder.

There are many Greek dishes that contain goat or sheep’s milk cheese such as feta. And for dessert, a small slice of baklava filled with ground walnuts and honey or yogurt with fresh fruit. Some of Greece's top International diet secrets for staying healthy and slim are:

  • Laughter is essential
  • Dining is never rushed
  • Fish is eaten in moderation
  • Green” living is a lifestyle
  • Dancing is a common activity
  • Lamb is eaten only on special occasions
  • Olive oil is considered a gift from the gods
  • The most common toast is "to your health", which is "stinygiasou”


World Health Organization:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Marry on February 01, 2018:


mecheshier (author) on September 24, 2016:

Thank you very much. I do hope it was helpful

Payal N Naik from Mumbai on July 05, 2015:

Very nice information.

mecheshier (author) on February 25, 2014:

Ditto :-)

Angie Peterson from Greenville on February 25, 2014:

Thank you so very much :)

mecheshier (author) on February 24, 2014:

Hi Angie

Yes, I do enjoy your Hubs very much. :-)

Angie Peterson from Greenville on February 22, 2014:

Hello :) And you are very welcome, I am still trying to do more hub"s I hope you enjoy mine as well ?

mecheshier (author) on February 22, 2014:

Hi Angie Peterson

Thank you. I am glad that you enjoyed the article.

Angie Peterson from Greenville on February 22, 2014:

I love the article, it was very informative. i can not wait to read more....

mecheshier (author) on January 27, 2014:

Thanks Nan for the great feedback and votes. Hey, I checked out your link and it is not active. I tried.

mecheshier (author) on January 27, 2014:

Thank you Your feedback is well apreciated. TY for the votes. :-)

mecheshier (author) on January 27, 2014:

Thanks htodd. I am glad that you found the post interesting

mecheshier (author) on January 27, 2014:

Hi Sehar..Thank you for the wonderful feedback. I am glad that you like the post. As well, thanks for visiting my website. :-)

Sehar Nadeem from Stoke On Trent on January 27, 2014:

A very well-written informative article indeed.

Just checked your website "living green" very nice with unique recipes.

mecheshier (author) on November 18, 2012:

Thank you yoginijoy

I am glad you found the post interesting. Please get back to me about the diet of your Georgian friends. I would love to know what they say.

yoginijoy from Mid-Atlantic, USA on November 18, 2012:

Hi! I really enjoyed this hub, especially the focus on regions and ethnicities and how their food relates to health. Very interesting! I have a few students from the country of Georgian presently so I will ask about their eating habits. I find it fascinating.

Great topic!

mecheshier (author) on September 13, 2012:

Hi dwelburn

You are absolutely right, well said. Thank you for such great feedback.

David from Birmingham, UK on September 13, 2012:

Interesting what you can learn from other cultures isn't it? As much in terms of their attitude and general lifestyle as their dietary habits. You've got to pick out the good bits from the not so good though. Great hub.

mecheshier (author) on July 11, 2012:

TY. Yes it was interesting doing the research. I first started looking at the most overweight countries and then thought "Why not the least overweight". My research led me to amazing diets and dispositions. I suppose we really are what we eat. :-) I bet the visit in Japan was wonderful as well as educational. I would love to visit Japan.

Thank you for such great feedback.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 11, 2012:

This is such an interesting article. I learned so much. It is interesting to know how others manage to be healthy and enjoy foods. Lots of secrets we all need to know. The only one I really knew about were the Japanese. My family and I lived there in the seventies and learned of the raw fish, soups, the green tea. The ladies shopped for food on a daily basis.

Voted up.

mecheshier (author) on May 30, 2012:

Thank you maryeybee for the great post. You are right, the secret is portions, healthy food and exercise.

maryhoneybee from Richmond, Virginia on May 30, 2012:

I loved reading about other cultures' diets in this hub. Well done! The "trick" to staying slim, healthy and youthful in a nutshell is probably portion control, having a colorful diet, and staying away from the processed stuff! And of course getting plenty of exercise. Thanks for the wonderful hub! Voted up.

mecheshier (author) on May 26, 2012:

Thank you kerlynb! You are so right. The fast food joints have made a large footprint and many healthy diets and not in a good way. I think one can learn a lot about eating healthy from cultures that have healthy diets.

kerlynb from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on May 26, 2012:

A well-written and researched hub, congratulations! Voting your hub up, useful, and interesting! I particularly like the way you highlighted the Japanese diet. Japanese people, particularly those who live in the southernmost islands of Okinawa, eat lots of raw fishes, natto, soba, and miso, and drink plenty of green tea, really nutritious foods that many people say are one of the reasons for the long average life expectancy of the Japanese. Unfortunately, Japanese people themselves said that their young generation has been shunning traditional foods for fast foods - hamburgers, french fries, and fried chicken, which we all know can lead to obesity and a host of other diseases.

mecheshier (author) on August 06, 2011:

Hi Nan

Thank you for such wonderul feedback. I am happy to hear that you are losing weight in a healthy way. I tried both links, the host for skinnyoverview is not working. Keep up the healthy lifestyle.

mecheshier (author) on August 06, 2011:

Thank you Your feedback is well appreciated.

Nan Mynatt from Illinois on August 06, 2011:

Excellent hub! I get hungry just looking at the receipes, they are delightful. I marked you up. I am losing weight and earning money at the same time check out my movie: and on July 27, 2011:

well done - clear, concise and filled with good information

voted up, interesting and useful


mecheshier (author) on March 16, 2011:

Thank you irene.trel. I am glad you found it useful.

irene.trel on March 16, 2011:

this is very useful..great hub and the food and eating part is very interesting =) this one is also helpful

mecheshier (author) on February 06, 2011:

Thank you tykk6una, I am glad that is was useful.

tykk6una on February 06, 2011:

very useful. Thanks

htodd from United States on February 02, 2011:

Great and interesting hub ..Thanks for sharing

mecheshier (author) on February 02, 2011:

Thank You lostwillee. I think it varies on the Hub

lostwillee from Ft Lauderdale, FL on February 02, 2011:

Love the content. Do you find that you get better adsense, and amazon results when you provide info on multiple diets or with just one product category?

mecheshier (author) on February 01, 2011:

You are welcome stevesmith856. I hope you found it helpful.

stevesmith856 from New York on February 01, 2011:


Thanks for posting such a informative information....

Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on February 01, 2011:

interesting information on foods in different countries.

mecheshier (author) on February 01, 2011:

Wow, that is impressive! I am sure that what you are eating and your portions have a lot to do with your success, not just the abstinence of beer. Keep it up! from Vancouver / Bangkok on February 01, 2011:

I am on a diet now .. strictly Thai food! I lost 10lbs so far 2 weeks in. But I stopped drinking beer as well!

mecheshier (author) on January 31, 2011:

Thank you surale for the wonderful feedback. Yes, so many go on a diet... but one forgets "diet" includes lifestyle as well as what we eat.

surale from pakistan on January 31, 2011:

your hub is beautifully created and very useful for a good diet i love it .

mecheshier (author) on January 31, 2011:

Thank you pepalive. It was a most interesting study.

pepalive on January 31, 2011:

Interesting read. Very well presented.

mecheshier (author) on January 28, 2011:

Thank you Bronson. It was a great Hub for my favorite activities: writing and research; and subjects: healthy living and food.

Bronson_Hub from San Francisco, CA on January 28, 2011:

Love it!

mecheshier (author) on January 26, 2011:

Thank you Active Nutrition

Active Nutrition from Sammamish, WA on January 26, 2011:

This was fascinating. Great information. Thank you.

mecheshier (author) on January 24, 2011:

Do you have French blood Cathy? You are eating exactly how I eat; leisurely, non-preserved, eat chocolate when the craving strikes. Yes, it is amazing on how much more energy a person can have when healthy choices are made.

Thank you Cathy for the great feedback.

Cathy Crowley from Dallas Texas on January 24, 2011:

Hi friend,

I really enjoyed your article and the ideas that It has given me will Definitey expand my global culinary vision. It seems as though I have had an epiphany

over the past few years as it applies to my diet and health. Since I have started thinking like a French lady and eating in a leisurely manner,cooking with fresh non-preserved foods and not dening myself of foods and wines that I love. I have unlimited energy and just feel great! Bon appetit

mecheshier (author) on January 23, 2011:

Thank you Lis. I think my stats lead to not only food we eat to reamin healthy but lifestyle play a big factor, plus food portons and exercise. I will have to do a chart to compare what these countries have in common.

Thank you for the wonderfulpost.

liswilliams from South Africa on January 23, 2011:

Brilliant hub, crazy stats there. I had a fantastic salad at a Macdonalds in Italy. Don't think I would get the same in the States. Thanks for the hub.

mecheshier (author) on January 23, 2011:

Thank you ImChemist. I am glad that it was helpful.

ImChemist on January 23, 2011:

Thanks for this helpful hub , i rated it useful.

mecheshier (author) on January 22, 2011:

Hi gajanis786. Yes, you are so right. Not only are adulty obesity stats rising, but our children are quickly becoming obese. I tell people all of the time, small efforts accumulate. Every little bit of effort adds up. Lifstyle is definitely the key!

Thank you for such wonderful feedback.

gajanis from Pakistan on January 22, 2011:

Very good information.....indeed obesity is becoming most worrying point for for most nations.....the fact is that besides collective efforts...people should take individual steps also to solve this problem.....and a little change to the lifestyle will make pay big dividends as far as this problem is concerned. Thanks.

mecheshier (author) on January 21, 2011:

Bret, I hear what you are saying. Maybe we should start helping one another instead.

brett on January 21, 2011:

american women are extremely large and completely undesireable that must be why so many american dudes (mainly white) are hooking up w/asian and latinas go figure.Not saying aloy of guys aren't obese but this has been my observations.

mecheshier (author) on January 20, 2011:

Really. Wow. This was a fun piece. I might add more countries later. Thank you for your wonderful post

Rouillie on January 20, 2011:

Good read, I particularly like the cooking and ingredient aspects of the Georgian diet, as I'm familiar with most of these ingredients...