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According to the burnt out search engine that brought you to this page, you desire to know the secret of how Korean women, and more increasingly the men, are so impossibly thin. We’ve seen how they can eat a family sized portion of carbs and top it off with soju yet still weigh less than your average, robust American toddler. It’s time to spill the beans. No, it’s not magic weight loss senzu beans.  The reasons are a combination of factors genetic and otherwise.

To better break it down let’s analyze every aspect possible. Firstly, there is immense pressure to be thin. Thin is akin to potential success in the job market. If there are two candidates for the same job the better looking and skinnier of the two will more than likely be chosen. There are weight loss powders, pills, vinegars, girdles, and diets galore promising to make your emaciated dreams come true. The subway walls are plastered with weight loss surgery advertisements where bodies can be sculpted like clay through enough suction and bandages. Instagram and facebook ads display straps to slim your face, massagers to dissolve fat, and powders that will enable you to eat like a monster. They are inescapable. KPop has industrialized beauty standards. There is a beauty prototype and society pressures women to conform. There is no “eye of the beholder” it’s become “beauty of the double eyelid holder.” Deviating from the standards is dangerous and diversity would be frowned upon if the jaw wasn’t botoxed during lunch break recently. If that isn’t aggressive enough go into a random Korean family’s home and you can hear a mother berating her daughter to lose more weight while simultaneously complaining she didn’t eat enough rice. Disclaimer, it is not actually advised to go into a random strangers house.

 

Societal pressure and plastic surgery aren’t enough to make weight dissolve permanently, however. How is it that that a petite frame could stuff away 5,000 calories during a night out with her friends but manage to keep her weight in check? That night of binging will probably be followed by 3 days on a cucumber or sweet potato diet. If foregoing food isn’t the preferred method, a couple hours walking very slowly on a treadmill quite often will do. Either way there is a pattern here.

There is no secret lifestyle or gifted genetic pool with revved up metabolisms. It’s an energy in and energy out game.

In summary, the main reason that Koreans or any person on this good Earth remains thin is –drumroll, please– calorie deficit. That’s it.  Maintaining a calorie deficit takes willpower. Balancing calories after your ideal weight is reached is a lifestyle. Remember that thin doesn’t mean there aren’t fat stores and disregarding health can result in muscle loss. Therefore thin doesn’t necessarily equate healthy. Simply put: maintain a caloric balance according to your weight goals. Put in the hard work, and you too, can resemble your favorite idol.

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How many diets did you try last month?

 

Note: According to the Korean Herald Seoul Metro will soon, “introduce a ban advertisements for plastic surgery in Seoul’s subway stations. “

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