How To Be Skinny Like Koreans - Why Are Koreans So Skinny?

In one of my previous posts, I asked the question why Asians are so skinny. Now, it's time to find out especially what makes Koreans so thin.

In order to be skinny like Koreans, you have to think like Koreans. And this goes mostly for how they eat, what their attitude towards weight is and perhaps also what their daily routine is like. So, let's see how to be like skinny korean girls and guys.

picture courtesy of imagerymajestic /

Why are Koreans so skinny?

When I checked out Korean cuisine, I quickly noticed that Koreans share a lot of similarities with other Asian cultures when it comes to food. They eat a lot of rice, vegetables and meat. They also enjoy fish and seafood, which sometimes leads to typically Asian seaweed dishes comparable to sushi.

Then, of course, there is kimchi. You can't talk about Korea if you don't talk about kimchi. What may be the typical national dish is actually very sour and hot. This is an indicator of how Koreans tick. They are not so infatuated with fast food like people from the west are. They have a completely different taste, it seems.

What's the deal with calories?

Whenever you read about a group of people staying skinny, you hear about calories. So what is going on with Koreans then?

In my opinion, it's more about the sugars than the overall calories. Let's say that Koreans sometimes eat kimchi, often eat rice, sometimes eat vegetables. The kimchi is already so sour that it gives the stomach a sense of being full. That's the known power of acid, especially vinegar. Then, the rice is also interesting because it's slow carb. Even though a lot of carbs are involved, rice has complex carbs that release sugar over time. With additional vegetables added, we can say that Koreans probably still eat better than most people in the West.

Think of typically western food: The burgers we eat make our blood sugar level go up, then it crashes, then we are ready for more food.

The power of tofu noodles

One food that's probably very much associated with Asia is tofu. But tofu is not only a good meal replacement for vegetarians, it can even be used as noodles. Koreans also eat tofu, and maybe it's one more reason why they are skinny. Try to use typically Korean foods and sooner or later, you will hit the right spot with a Korean diet.

Seafood, seafood, seafood

As mentioned before, Koreans eat seafood just like many other Asian countries with access to the sea. Fish and other animals of the sea, in addition with seagrass, have various benefits in a diet. One is that they are very rich in protein and extremely low in carbs. They also fill your stomach very quickly. And the fats are very healthy for you. Keep the meals simple, don't add unnecessary carb bombs as side dishes. Or try the Low Carb Side Dishes on this website.

What to drink and not drink

Apart from fermented foods like kimchi, seafood and tofu, there is one often overlooked fact about Asians in general, and I believe this goes for Koreans as well. They may sometimes drink western beverages sold in groceries and supermarkets, but they will also like to stick to their tea. Can you imagine a fat American (or a fat European) drinking a cup of tea while eating fast food? I don't even believe the English with their tea time will mix these two together. However, it's not pure coincidence that Asians are slim as long as they live in countries where tea plays a big role. We should pay more attention to what we drink, not only what we eat.

How to make a Korean diet work

1. Eat the typical foods

This includes kimchi, seafood, lots of cabbage and other vegetables in general. Avoid foods with added sugar. Try to skip the rice, you can replace it with other side dishes that are popular in Korea, like tofu.

2. Stick with tea

If you want to lose weight the Korean way, drink traditional drinks of Korea, not americanized versions. Promise yourself you will drink what people drank 200 years ago. If it's too complicated, stick with water. That's a traditional drink throughout the whole world. Better than sugared water with artificial coloring.

3. Use Korean spices and herbs

Even if you don't eat the typical Korean dishes, but stick with The Basics Of A Low Carb Diet, you can still add the flavor of Korean food to honor the rules of Korean cooking. These include soy bean paste, chili paste, garlic, onions and other spices that can be found in Asian shops. Go to these traditional markets and get some help from the people there. Who knows, maybe they will have a secret or two that makes the meals even better.

4. Weight loss rules are universal

Although Koreans are among the slimmest people in the world, it's not all genetics and good metabolism. The reasons why people become fat or why they lose weight are the same throughout the world. If something in your diet doesn't work, find out which of the 20 Reaons Why You Can't Lose Weight applies in your case.

5. Get a Korean mentality

Not everything about a diet is based on nutrition. There are other factors. Most Koreans are very active, probably spending a lot of time at work. Be active too, and exercise if you have a lot of free time. Also meditate. Meditation is an Asian art often dismissed as spiritual nonsense by other cultures. You shouldn't make that mistake. A lot of weight loss happens in the head. Balanced mind, balanced body. Also get enough sleep, it's part of the whole thing.


Somehow it's difficult to only look at Koreans when talking about weight loss. There is so much more than just one culture doing the right things to stay slim, thin or skinny. These people simply do what any thinking person would think of. To avoid too much sugar, to stay active, to live in accordance with nature... at least to some point. Staying connected with your inner self certainly helps - that's meditation.

If you are about to lose weight the Korean way, let me know how it goes by leaving a comment. You can also tell me about your favorite Korean recipes or what else is important when trying to be skinny like Koreans.

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