For some people, moving abroad can be a very stressful experience. The more adventurous expats might think it is the good opportunity to discover new cuisines and exotic food. In both cases, you will likely face a cultural shock that can lead to bad eating habits… and weight gain. We strongly encourage you not to fall into this trap! Expatriation surely opens a whole new horizon on gastronomy, but make sure to adopt the right eating routine to avoid the “fat expat” cliché.
Say good bye to junk food and food chains
As we explained, new country means new food, new restaurants. Everything seems to be pushing you to try more and more local food. And there is nothing wrong with that! In some countries, you will come across delicious street food, just around the corner. It can even be very price competitive. This is definitively the best way to discover the local culture, at any given times. Nonetheless, in some regions of the world, local cuisine is not always very healthy and can be quite caloric. That is exactly when you should alternate between different dishes, always favouring vegetables and fruits.
Of course, you can, and should, make exceptions and occasionally eat in a fast food chain if that is what you enjoy. But, as always, it is all about balance.
Change your shopping habits
When you go shopping, it is time to pay more attention to your grocery list. Buy fresh products and avoid as much as possible processed, industrial, food as they often are too sweet or too salty. This will enable you to greatly decrease the risks of having diabetes or cholesterol. You should, by all means, limit purchase of unnecessary goods and only buy what is needed for you to cook at home. In addition to better control your budget, it will allow you to focus more on your diet when you eat at home, and thus counterbalance outings to restaurants. Enjoy what you have bought by preparing nourishing meals and spacing them out. Snacking is, and always will be, your biggest enemy!
Drink a lot – not alcohol
Maintain a high hydration of your body is critical to stay healthy. Drink water frequently to stay hydrated throughout the day, even if you are busy working or running errands. This is very important if you live in a warm country, but even more in cold-weather countries because you would not necessarily feel that you are dehydrated.
In a country with high risks of water contamination, you should always make sure to always have clean water with you at home. If you are not whether tap water is clean or not, you can boil it before drinking it to avoid any health issues.
Have enough sleep and physical activity
These two factors are essential even though they are not directly related to nutrition. They impact significantly your gut health, in a bad or good way.
Indeed, not having enough sleep can trigger inflammation in your gut, which causes you troubles in the morning. The digestive system still operates when you are asleep but a little bit slower. That is also why it is not recommend having a large meal before bedtime.
A balanced diet always goes hand in hand with physical activity! Try to find your own workout routine and exercise at least once a week. Read all about the importance of workout, and live a long and prosperous life.