Using Real Asian Snacks to Lose Weight

I was sipping boba and munching a Chinese napoleon at one of my favorite Asian cafés the other day when I began pondering America’s biggest problem. No, not the budget deficit — the blubber surplus.

In the end they may turn out to be the same thing. The cost of caring for all those people suffocating under layers of fat will eventually smother us in debt as well.

Here’s my suggestion to those who are serious about losing weight but just can’t give up those snacks that get us over the workaday hump and stressful interludes in our personal lives. It’s my Asian Snack Diet (ASD). The great thing about ASD is that your craving for snacks can’t possibly spoil your diet because the snacks are your diet!

It’s simple — just eat all the Asian snacks you want for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also eat as much fresh (uncooked) fruits and vegetables you want. But you can’t eat any real meals disguised as snacks. Even though they sell spicy popcorn chicken, Korean barbecue, curry, omelettes, ramen and kimchi-fried rice at Asian cafés, those are actually meals because they are hot, cooked dishes.

On the ASD you can stuff yourself with snacks like shave ice, boba, red bean buns, daifuku (mochi stuffed with red beans), dried squid, napoleons, wasabi peas, kimchi, cheesecake, frozen yogurt, brick toast topped with peanut butter, chocolate and strawberries, etc, but nothing with cooked rice or fried or baked potatoes.

There are sound psychological, physiological, economic and sociological reasons why ASD works (I should know because I’m on it about half the time and am one of the trimmest people I know.) After a couple days of gorging on sweet snacks, you start craving real food. Since meals are off limits, you are forced to munch goodies from the approved list — like carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, bananas, apples and the like. In a few days you’ll find yourself eating more veggies and fewer sweets. In fact, you’ll eat more fresh veggies and fruits than you ever did before while temporarily losing interest in snack foods. Before you know it, you’re on a mostly low-calorie vegetarian diet. And since most of us don’t live or work near Asian snack shops, we are likely to lapse into a few days when we don’t even bother going out to buy more Asian snacks and content ourselves with binging on fruits and veggies.

A few weeks on the ASD will lose you some fat and help develop an appreciation for fresh veggies and fruits — which is really the key to a healthy diet. And by the time you come off the ASD, you will crave wholesome meals without obsessing about your favorite snack foods all the time.

ASD works best in cycles. A week or two on ASD, followed by a normal diet for a couple weeks, followed by another week on ASD. You can also follow a regular routine of alternating ASD with normal meals. For example, go on the ASD on weekends and revert to regular meals during the week, or vice-versa.

Try it. What have you got to lose?