staying slim

Body&Soul

Staying slim as a Pole

Shocked by chubby Brits, Dorota Bawolek explains why Polish women don’t get fat

One of the first things that strikes people who come to the UK from Poland is how chubby everyone is. On the contrary, what is often noticed about the Polish influx — and there are a lot of us now, 350,000 registered workers since May 2004 — is how fit and healthy we are. My English friends at university in Birmingham often ask me how I stay so slim, but I’m not obsessed with dieting and have never considered myself fit. I am a typical 24-year-old Polish girl; back in Poland almost every girl looks like me, and I eat like a typical Pole.
The daily diet of an average Polish person contains four or five small meals. The food is simple, always freshly made, with lots of vegetables. Snacking or eating ready-made meals is not common. The mornings start in a similar way to the ones in Britain. We like to have a cup of coffee and some people eat hot porridge or cornflakes, but more commonly sandwiches are eaten. Yes, we eat sandwiches for breakfast! However, they look nothing like the baguettes stuffed with mayo or bacon that you get in England. On the contrary, our open sandwiches are usually made with a couple of slices of wholegrain bread, with butter (not margarine), ham and some tomato or cucumber.
NI_MPU('middle');Before describing the next meal in the Polish diet I must explain that there is no direct translation for the word “lunch”; instead we have a “second breakfast” at about 11am. The sandwich shops that are so common in the UK have not made their way to Eastern Europe yet. Therefore, if you do not want your work colleagues listen ing to your rumbling belly, you must prepare something for your “second breakfast” at home. Besides, a typical Pole is usually sensible — if not tight — with his money and would never spend his zlotówki (Polish currency) on something that could be prepared much cheaper and healthier at home.
So what’s in the Polish “second breakfast” bag? There are a couple of sandwiches, an apple or an orange and yogurt. And there are no crisps. Once again, our not-so-modern lifestyle and eating habits save us from obesity. I was born in 1982 and didn’t taste a crisp until I was 10. You may think, poor child, never had any crisps; well we didn’t eat much chocolate either, or have fizzy drinks. Why? In the 1980s and early 1990s Poland was still under a Communist regime and these products were considered to be produced by capitalists. And now that I can see the “crisp effect” on you Brits, I think that I have definitely not missed out on much.
Instead we had our own kids’ snacks, equally tasty and much healthier. While out playing, my friends and I used to snack on sunflower and pumpkin seeds. In winter, mothers and grannies baked delicious cookies, from natural ingredients, and as soon as summer came we stuffed our mouths with every seasonal fruit that was ready to chomp: strawberries, cherries, currants, gooseberries, apples, pears, plums, anything edible that was growing in the garden and local neigbourhoods. The “naughty” kids like me always preferred the fruits pinched from neighbours’ gardens; they tasted better and picking them from where you were not allowed to was so much fun.
Even as we get older our tastes stay healthy and the fashionable food among Polish youngsters today are yoghurts and fruit smoothies with thousands of flavours. The most popular smoothie in Poland is a carrot-based drink supplemented with other fruits, such as banana, peach, raspberry and apple. It’s my favourite drink and I would be the happiest Pole in the UK if I could find it in Sainsbury’s one day.
During weekdays many children eat dinner at 1pm at cantinas at their school, where instead of Turkey Twizzlers you find freshly made soups and meals, such as boiled potatoes, chicken and lots of salads. Adults have their hot meal at 4pm or 5pm, when they finish work, and this is always freshly made too. During the week it is usually one dish, such as pierogi (dumplings with mushroom and cabbage or minced-meat stuffing), or zur (soured rye-flour soup), or barszcz (beet soup) with potatoes and sausage. We have cabbage with nearly every meal. In Polish supermarkets ready-made meals, such as pizzas or lasagne, remain the most expensive items and an average housewife will never spend money on a bag of frozen chips, as it is cheaper to make them yourself and you don’t risk taking in extra salt.
If you look in a British shopping basket and compare it to a Polish one, you will spot the difference in the size of vegetables. Polish parsnips and cucumbers are usually much smaller than those in the UK. However, since the Polish veggies grow naturally with no additional pesticides they taste much better and are healthier. Greens, such as lettuce, are beloved food in Poland and Polish housewives know thousands of recipes for seasonal salads that are prepared and served on almost every occasion: dinners, birthday parties and family meetings.
Another Western food discovery that has not been cultivated in Poland yet is the takeaway. They exist, but it’s not a cheap option. A kebab costs 6zl (£1) and this is how much you are paid for one hour’s work as a shop assistant or a waiter. If a British person had to pay £5 for a kebab, I’m sure they would reconsider.
Polish people try not to eat too late. In the past, the main family meal was in the early afternoon and supper — a few sandwiches — was served no later than 6pm. Nowadays the Western lifestyle and work duties have changed eating times and supper is later but never after 7.30pm, but some people skip this meal or take a light option. My dad, for example, goes for a couple of sandwiches with jam and a mug of hot milk. I have a piece of toast or a hot chocolate. However, some of the old traditions survive, such as eating at a table with your family and a switched-off TV. Yes! It’s much better for your digestion process not to watch telly.
The weekend menu is, of course, different and more sophisticated. Sunday dinner has two courses; chicken soup with noodles is served as a starter and the main course contains boiled potatoes, a piece of meat and a selection of salads and seasonal vegetables. The typical drink served with dinner is called kompot, a fruit drink cooked by mums and grannies in summer and kept in jars on cellar shelves. We don’t drink wine with meals and it is a myth that the Poles are always drinking vodka, we have it only at special occasions, such as a wedding. When I go out with my friends, we drink lager but not as much as you Brits.
Since Sunday is a popular day for family visits, it is obligatory to have a cake, but not served straight after dinner. After a big Sunday lunch many Polish families go for a walk, ideal to burn calories after a meal. After this, coffee, tea and cakes are served and we chat, chat, chat. Polish people can talk for “England”.
You may think now: poor Poles, they do not eat crisps, chocolate, or fizzy drinks. But I can assure you that we love our food, so why not try the Eastern European way of eating and lose a few pounds? Weight less in Warsaw
20 to 25 per cent of the UK population is obese, compared with 10 to 15 per cent in Poland, says the European Association for the Study of Obesity.
The International Association for the Study of Obesity says 27 per cent of UK children aged between 7 and 11 are overweight, compared with 18 per cent of Polish children.
Research from New Mexico University found that Polish women’s risk of breast cancer tripled if they went to live in the US because they stopped eating as much cabbage. In Poland they eat about 30lb a year. Scientists say that raw cabbage contains two enzymes, myrosinase and glucosinolates, that protect against cancer.
Eating only small amounts of processed food, as in the Polish diet, will keep your salt intake low. According to a 2002 Unicef nutrition report in Poland, the average person eats 6g of salt a day, whereas the FSA estimates its 9.5g in the UK.
The World Health Organisation says the Poles drank 6.68l of pure alcohol per person in 2003 compared to the Brits who drank 9.29l per person.

 
Fish oil and exercise, a recipe for weight loss

Reuters

Fatty acids found in fish known to slow the impact of ageing on human brain can also help in weight loss when consumed along with moderate exercise, an Australian study found.
The University of South Australia study found that daily doses of fish oil containing Omega-3 fatty acids helped obese people burn off excess weight.
"The Omega-3 found in fish oil increases fat-burning ability by improving the flow of blood to muscles during exercise," said university researcher Alison Hill.
The university's study monitored 68 overweight and obese people, divided into four groups, over three months. One group took small daily doses of fish oil and another was given sunflower oil with no other alteration to their normal diet.
Both groups undertook moderate exercise programmes of a 45-minute walk or run three times a week over the period and were monitored over three months.
Another two groups received either fish oil or sunflower oil but did no exercise.
The study found that those who took the fish oil doses and exercised lost an average of 2 kg over the three months.
The groups which took sunflower oil, which does not contain Omega-3 fatty acids, and exercised, did not lose any weight. The two groups which did no exercise also lost no weight, the study found.
"We were very surprised to see it was so effective, especially since these people were still eating whatever they wanted," Hill said.
A six-year study by the Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago found last year that Omega-3 fatty acids helped boost brain functioning as well as cut the risk of stroke.
It also helped protect the brain as people age, the Chicago study found.
Hill said future studies were planned which would take place over longer periods and with increased exercise.


 

J@tti

..Majajan..
hun jehre fish oil nahi kha sakde.. uh kidar nu jan... nalle 3 kgs in 3 months.. inna ta kalli exercise nal kar sakda banda je karna howe :an


thanks for sharing :um
 
exercising isnt jut to lose weight.. its to keep your body healthy from inside.... keeping ur heart healthy.... exercising keeps you mind fit too... but hey thanks for sharing this info... quite interesting. :)
ur absolutely rite, but perhapas scientists r doing experiments for those ppl who hav'nt enuff time for exercise or due to any other reason they r unable to do............kaun jane is duniya main koi kuch kyu kar rea:dn ........nd we ppl see only one side of the coin...........mainu lagda aa jehdi research ji karde ih kite fazool ta nai:thinking ........thanx for replying :cutie
 

Guest33

Elite
I totally agree with Diamond and J@TTI ...exercise naal hi aina weight loose kita ja sakda and it keeps you active all the day....since last fortnite I have been regular at gym...and I feel super duper active..........just 2 aerobics classes/day:hyper :hyper :hyper
 
I totally agree with Diamond and J@TTI ...exercise naal hi aina weight loose kita ja sakda and it keeps you active all the day....since last fortnite I have been regular at gym...and I feel super duper active..........just 2 aerobics classes/day:hyper :hyper :hyper
yani ke ........ur disagree with the top scientists of leading universities of australia, america etc. , fir ih sinsedaan aide ullu de pathe kyon aa jehde aide aide thesis likde aa.......lagda kagach i kale karde ya phir koi formality hou.........main ta khair aina padia likia ni.....mainu ki pata:dn , par aina ku mainu samaj aounda ke aa jeda upar essay ja likia ih shiet una baste aa jehde bichare kise kam kar ke exercise nai kar sakde:um , vase manu exercise da pata aa main koi pichle 15 ku sala tou lagataar karda aa, back from punjab........chote hunde tou hi shonk aa........vase tusi lok jyada syane ho ......tuhano jya da pata:umm
 

Guest33

Elite
yani ke ........ur disagree with the top scientists of leading universities of australia, america etc. , fir ih sinsedaan aide ullu de pathe kyon aa jehde aide aide thesis likde aa.......lagda kagach i kale karde ya phir koi formality hou.........main ta khair aina padia likia ni.....mainu ki pata:dn , par aina ku mainu samaj aounda ke aa jeda upar essay ja likia ih shiet una baste aa jehde bichare kise kam kar ke exercise nai kar sakde:um , vase manu exercise da pata aa main koi pichle 15 ku sala tou lagataar karda aa, back from punjab........chote hunde tou hi shonk aa........vase tusi lok jyada syane ho ......tuhano jya da pata:umm

main taan sciencedaana nu galat ni kiha .....sirf J@tti te diamond di exercise wali gal te sehmat hoi haan.....sachi gal dassan taan thesis hunda taan kagaj kale karna hi hai...kinne panne barbaad hunde mainu pucho...har chapter de 10-10 draft....:sim
 
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