Although losing weight might not be the first thing you’d think about when you are visiting or living in Thailand, it would usually be something you’d focus on before going, wanting to get that beach body in place!
Nobody really likes to think of themselves as being overweight, and almost everyone would like to lose weight if the opportunity presents itself, but that takes time and effort.
What might surprise you quite a bit is just how easy it is to lose weight in Thailand. The weather tends to be very warm and humid, the food is generally very healthy when compared to the Western diet and you may find yourself walking more than usual.
Ways To Lose Weight In Thailand
As previously mentioned, losing weight in Thailand, particularly for Westerners, tends to come naturally. Although there are some steps you can take to help speed up the weight loss journey.
Following a healthy diet is a good way to lose weight, and if you eat Thai food regularly then you’ll find that the weight loss will tend to happen quite quickly. When compared to the Western diet, Thai food is often a better choice to eat healthy.
Don’t get me wrong, of course, there are lots of foods in the West that are healthy, but we have a tendency to be in a rush and will eat fast food or heavily processed food. You’ll find that in Thailand, most meals will come with plenty of vegetables and are often quite spicy.
Once you start eating Thai food every day, you’ll begin to see the changes within a few weeks. Often times, the weight loss will be amplified by the hot and humid weather of Thailand, even during the rainy season. Something that I’m sure you aware of is that Asian people tend to eat rice with many of their meals, and rice being high in carbs then it’s probably for the best to not eat too much of the white stuff.
You can very easily get Western food in Thailand, and not just fast food like McDonald’s or KFC, if you go to the supermarket you will find plenty of goods that you’re familiar with but you’ll pay a premium price in comparison to Thai food. In some cases the prices will be the same as back home or maybe even more expensive, considering that the goods are imported then it begins to make sense.
In all honesty, there’s no reason to not eat healthily in Thailand every day, even if you’re on a tight budget then you could go with street food (here’s a tip about Thai street food, go to the vendor that you see the actual Thai people going to, if they have made people sick in past then the Thais will not buy from them). Thai street food tends to be low cost and generally fresh, usually much better than some pre-packaged, highly processed ready meal.
Even if you choose to go to a restaurant or café you can very easily get a healthy, filling meal for about $10, probably less if you keep your eyes open for bargains.
As I mentioned earlier, the weather in Thailand is very warm and it can get really humid, meaning that if you’re outside or in a room that doesn’t have air conditioning, the bottom line is that you are going to sweat!
The effects of this are only heightened if you are carrying excess weight, so it’s really important that you drink plenty of water during your time in Thailand. Another thing that you could do is to snack of fresh fruit as this will help keep your body hydrated.
Also, try to avoid going overboard with alcohol consumption, especially during the day time. I’m not saying that you need to become a teetotaller, but alcohol will dehydrate you. If the option is available, get bottled water or maybe a fresh mango juice.
Do try to be careful though of not falling into the trap though that lots of smoothies or fruit juices are much better for you than drinking a beer for example. In reality, smoothies are loaded with sugar, and if you think about it, if you were going to eat some fresh fruit, would you really eat 2 or 3 apples, a mango, and maybe a banana or two in a single sitting?
It really just comes down to a bit of self-moderation and some common sense. There’s no harm in spoiling yourself now and then with a tasty smoothie or some ice-cold beer on a hot day, but maybe just not all the time?
I feel it’s important for me to make a disclaimer here that I’m not a medical professional, it may be a case that you are diabetic and you need to control your blood sugar with a sweetened drink. Obviously, it’s important that you follow the guidance of your own doctor or medical professional.
We all know that exercise is a great way to lose weight, and regular exercise is important if you want to lose weight long term. Thailand has plenty of gyms and fitness clubs, but oftentimes you can begin getting in shape simply by walking rather than driving.
You could join a gym in Thailand, prices are usually very affordable, although this may not be required. In quite a lot of apartment complexes, included in the cost of the rental there will be access to both a swimming pool and a fitness room. This isn’t universal, so it’s worth checking out before you settle where you will rent.
If that isn’t an option then you could look at signing up with a fitness club or gym membership, although depending on whereabouts in Thailand you’re located, this may not be the cheapest option. Prices do vary, but you can expect to pay from about 1,500 Baht (about $48) per month and in some cases much more than that.
If you can’t afford the expense of a gym membership and the place you’re staying in doesn’t have a fitness room or pool then don’t stress, a free alternative would be to just start walking. You’ll find that once you get moving then it will just become easier with time.
If you happen to be staying in Pattaya then one very good weight loss option for you is the walking path that runs almost the full length of Beach Road. The stretch that runs from the North end of Beach Road down to Walking Street is 3km long, meaning if you walked one direction and then back to where you started you’d have walked 6km. While this may not seem like a huge amount, for your first time it’s probably better to start off slow and let your body acclimate to the heat and the weight loss will happen.
If you were able to manage to do this walk every day and you were following a carefully crafted diet then it wouldn’t be too long before you start to have people say that you’ve lost weight. Even if you could do the walk 2 or 3 times each week then it would be helpful and mean that you don’t gain weight.
Weight Loss Retreat And Fitness Camps
Thailand based weight loss retreats and fitness camps are something that have become more popular in recent times. It’s difficult to say if they’re a fad or not but they certainly do hold a certain amount of appeal to some people. These weight loss retreats are dotted around Thailand, and in a way, they are almost like an “all-in” vacation, but instead of waking in the morning and sitting by the pool, you’ll be doing Yoga classes and jungle runs.
These weight loss retreats will vary in price, but will often provide an all-in experience, so that would include, room, meals, fitness classes, and personal trainer access. Prices will differ, depending on location, but you could likely expect to pay around $500 for 1 week, which in fairness isn’t a bad price if you’re hoping to enjoy some of the beauty of Thailand and work on getting in shape at the same time.
So, as you can see, getting in fit in Thailand is something that can very easily be achieved whether you decide to do it at a premium cost or essentially for free. You can walk in the area and choose to eat healthy Thai food, or you could pay a little premium and attend a gym. Alternatively, if you decide to rent or buy in an apartment block, many will come with a fitness room and pool at no extra cost. This, along with walking and healthy eating would be our recommendation to start making inroads on your weight loss journey.