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did korea make you fat??
« on: August 02, 2013, 08:11:17 am »
I signed up just to ask this because to be quite frank Im very concerned and may just go back home. Last night I went out for my first night on the town in Seoul. I was shocked to see how many over weight foreigners I saw. Im not talking like jolly fat. Some of us are just built that way and it suits us like I always found John Goodman to be an attractive man for example or generic black teddy bear fat guy. Im talking sloppy fat. So many of the guys had man *****, belies and rolls. I dont think this is acceptable for a man in his early 20's. The girls I saw were also guilty of being sloppy. Why I am so concerned is that everyone at orientation looked pretty fit and sexy. Is this what is to become of us? To me its not worth my health to work here. Is there something about the food? Is it that many of you are depressed and turn to food for comfort? Too much beer? If anyone has any insight Id appreciate it because as a single woman I want to have a little bit of fun and adventure while here and if last night was any indication of the dating pool I am going to go into nun mode. The korean men on the other hand were either stick thin or mad fit but I dont really go for Asians. What is going on here?


  • defpunk
  • Adventurer

    • 28

    • March 28, 2013, 09:21:51 am
Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2013, 08:46:27 am »
Most likely those people were already overweight and sloppy in their home countries.  I too have seen many heavy foreigners that also have terrible fashion sense.  This makes it even worse.  But remember Westerners don't put too much emphasis on fashion and upkeep.  Just look at all the fit attractive mothers in Korea or Asia in general!  Very rare to see back home.  Anyway I have seen some fit attractive western men like myself so don't worry!  Be calm and keep looking!   


Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2013, 08:52:02 am »
But it seems odd that people looked good in my orientation thats why im concerned or I d agree with you. Are you in the Seoul area PM me with pics if you are or are willing to travel ;)


Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2013, 08:53:34 am »
i haven't put on any weight since i got here, but i do light weights 3 times a week for 30mins each time, and taekwondo 4 times a week for 1 hour each time, so i'm pretty active.

i think some of the weight gain people experience here can be attributed to the carbs. korean dishes have a lot of carbs in them. also, for a lot of people this is their first proper job after university, and the first time they've had proper spending money rather than living on a student budget all the time. so i think some people go crazy with eating a lot more than they used to on a student budget. the insane amounts of booze people drink here i'm sure doesn't help their weight either, as you mentioned.

i know people personally who have put on a lot of weight since coming here. saw some girls over the last weekend at Ansan Rock Fest i saw for the first time since orientation in Feb, and man they have absolutely ballooned in the last 6 months.

but don't get despondent about the dating scene yet, there are plenty of slimmer guys over here, i know quite a few myself


  • defpunk
  • Adventurer

    • 28

    • March 28, 2013, 09:21:51 am
Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2013, 09:00:51 am »
Well back to the diet part.  Yes some people will drink a lot more due to not driving and a having a strong foreign community where it's always someones birthday, etc...  Also many foreigners will not like all the Korean food during lunches or dinner outings, so they will eat a lot of rice to satisfy their appetite, which I have done a few times when the food was not really appealing to me.  Lastly, most kitchens will be quite small and cooking is a challenge sometimes as well as buying all the ingredients.

That being said, I know there are a lot of foreigners who lost weight, got in shape and started caring about their appearance more.  There are always 2 sides to the spectrum. 

« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 09:19:37 am by defpunk »


  • JCongo
  • Veteran

    • 142

    • December 03, 2012, 10:25:02 am
Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2013, 09:00:59 am »
You would have to really try hard to gain weight or maintain your fatness here in Korea. Honestly I don't know how people do it. I lost 15-20 pounds since getting here, without any real diet considerations. I also walk a lot more here. Portion sizes are also a lot smaller compared to North America, unless you are gobbling up rice I don't see how you could gain weight.


Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2013, 09:09:54 am »
I did put on weight during my first 6 months in Korea.  There are a lot of hidden fats in certain foods that are popular in Korea.  Here are the ones I have eliminated from my diet:

* Instant noodles (some have extremely high fat content)
* Mandoo (I am not certain mandoo has a high fat content.  Just a suspicion.)
* Korean BBQ type food which is very fatty
* Some canned coffee drinks.

Once I stopped eating these I got back to a healthy weight.
"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."  Steve Jobs


  • mikeD
  • Super Waygook

    • 417

    • March 31, 2013, 07:46:49 pm
    • Geoje, South Korea
Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2013, 09:10:29 am »
I don't know how someone can gain weight on a Korean diet. I was a vegetarian for 5 years before coming here and now eat meat since vegetables are so expensive and everything has meat in it. If you are eating mcdonalds and not working out or being active in some way and drinking like a fish, then yes people will get fat. I also live in a rural area where western food is not that accessible so I pretty much only eat Korean food. Working on the 6 pack with my kimchi diet.


Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2013, 09:31:48 am »
I did put on weight during my first 6 months in Korea.  There are a lot of hidden fats in certain foods that are popular in Korea.  Here are the ones I have eliminated from my diet:

* Instant noodles (some have extremely high fat content)
* Mandoo (I am not certain mandoo has a high fat content.  Just a suspicion.)
* Korean BBQ type food which is very fatty

* Some canned coffee drinks.

Once I stopped eating these I got back to a healthy weight.

I should add that I was eating quite a lot of these foods as I was often eating in a hurry. 

15 minutes between lessons and hungry.........solution - instant noodles.   If you check the packaging of some instant noodles you will see that some have more grams of fat than chocolate bars.
"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."  Steve Jobs


  • moe83ccc
  • Veteran

    • 126

    • February 25, 2012, 05:53:17 pm
    • Daegu
Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2013, 09:45:39 am »
I lost weight in Korea (15 pounds) because the portion sizes are smaller and I walk so much more. - Here is a hint- walk or ride your bike more, take the stairs not the escalator, engage in vigorous activity for at least one hour 3 times a week, try to drink only on the weekends, eat smaller portions and you will lose weight.

Also I was very sad to learn that a bottle of soju is 550 calories -   :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

That is like a Big Mac in a bottle!! -- consume with caution.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 09:52:24 am by moe83ccc »
The Dude Abides


Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2013, 09:51:13 am »
This is my third time in Korea, and every time I have lived in Korea I have gained weight.  Then when I go back to Canada, I lose most of the weight I gained in Korea.  I don't smoke or drink (at all), so I attribute my weight gain to these factors:

1) White rice and a lack of whole grain foods
2) Instant coffee:  I don't drink coffee in Canada because it's too bitter - I like the sweet stuff, but it's loaded with calories.
3) Fatigue / depression / less exercise cycle: I get depressed and fatigued from the daily stresses of living in Korea, so I have no energy.  I have no energy so I don't exercise as much.  I don't exercise as much so I have even less energy ...

I know what I need to do, but it's easier said than done.  I'll probably lose most of my weight again when I go back to Canada (someday...)


Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2013, 10:11:28 am »
While I've gotten myself slim through vigorous excercise I put on two stone when I first got here. It was because of my mother-in-law's weekend feeding frenzies and general innactivity in my tiny one-room. The oily school lunches didn't help either.


Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2013, 10:12:36 am »
I did put on weight during my first 6 months in Korea.  There are a lot of hidden fats in certain foods that are popular in Korea.  Here are the ones I have eliminated from my diet:

* Instant noodles (some have extremely high fat content)
* Mandoo (I am not certain mandoo has a high fat content.  Just a suspicion.)
* Korean BBQ type food which is very fatty

* Some canned coffee drinks.

Once I stopped eating these I got back to a healthy weight.

I should add that I was eating quite a lot of these foods as I was often eating in a hurry. 

15 minutes between lessons and hungry.........solution - instant noodles.   If you check the packaging of some instant noodles you will see that some have more grams of fat than chocolate bars.

the empty carbs made you gain weight, not the fat


Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2013, 10:32:35 am »
I did put on weight during my first 6 months in Korea.  There are a lot of hidden fats in certain foods that are popular in Korea.  Here are the ones I have eliminated from my diet:

* Instant noodles (some have extremely high fat content)
* Mandoo (I am not certain mandoo has a high fat content.  Just a suspicion.)
* Korean BBQ type food which is very fatty

* Some canned coffee drinks.

Once I stopped eating these I got back to a healthy weight.

I should add that I was eating quite a lot of these foods as I was often eating in a hurry. 

15 minutes between lessons and hungry.........solution - instant noodles.   If you check the packaging of some instant noodles you will see that some have more grams of fat than chocolate bars.

the empty carbs made you gain weight, not the fat

What are 'empty carbs'?   I currently have a diet based on:

*Very high levels of complex carbohydrates.  e.g. pasta, rice etc.
*Low fat
*Plenty of exercise
*A reduction in sugar
"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."  Steve Jobs


  • joeyg
  • Veteran

    • 114

    • November 10, 2012, 11:54:24 pm
    • London - England
Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2013, 10:38:52 am »
If you don't have the mental control to restrain yourself from binge eating and drinking, are unwilling to do exercise to burn off the excess, and you REALLY can't live here if you get fat.

Then, yeah. You'd best jump ship.

On the other hand, why not just man up, do some exercise, and look even more awesome in comparison to all the "sloppy fat" people you seem to loath.

It's your body. No one is going to force you to get fat.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 10:47:16 am by joeyg »


Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2013, 10:51:56 am »
Does no one find it a little odd that person with the user name "milkshake" is complaining about there not being any sexy, fit foreigners and asking people for pictures?
But I'm not a marine biologist....


Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2013, 10:55:58 am »
Honestly you come off like an idiot.  First of all why the hell are you censoring the word "boobs"?  Big deal, BOOBS.  Maybe you should just go home because it's better safe than sorry and you definitely don't want to risk getting sloppy. 


  • Deez
  • Veteran

    • 127

    • June 29, 2013, 02:38:08 am
    • Gyeonggi-do
    more
Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2013, 11:10:31 am »
I lost a lot of weight my first 2 months in Korea, mainly because I couldn't stomach most of the food. I was already slightly underweight prior to my arrival in Korea as I generally only eat 2 small meals a day (and that's on a good day).  Add to that the significant increase in exercise (due to having to walk everywhere), and I lost about 10 pounds. I come from a state with almost non-existent public transportation so I drove everywhere. The most walking I ever did at home was walking around my grocery store to buy food.  Anyway, I eventually gained the 10 pounds back and I was able to maintain that size throughout my time in Korea.


Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2013, 11:23:22 am »
I lost weight, but Korea did make me look much older. This could be because I have been here for almost 4 years, though.


Re: did korea make you fat??
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2013, 11:36:32 am »
Under review.
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.