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Frustrated in CHINA
Frustrated in CHINA
7/9/12 1:34 AM
Hi everyone,

New to the board, not to Beachbody. I moved to China from L.A. a few months ago and have already put on about 5-7 pounds...and not of muscle. I have quickly found that it is not as easy to eat clean or stay in shape here. That, along with my new job which encourages me to sit way too much, has caused me to become frustrated with my fitness here.

A little about me: I am a P90X, P90X2, and Insanity Graduate. I have just started doing Asylum, but have been doing a One-on-One/Insanity/P90X/P90X hybrid for the past few months before I came here, with Insanity being my main workouts. I am also an avid martial artist, so being active was a way of life in L.A. Before moving here I was down to about 155 pounds and around 9% body fat, now I fluctuate around 160 or so and know my body fat has gone up.

What I am doing now: I do at least a session of Asylum per day (following the schedule as much as my schedule allows...working here is much different than the States) and sometimes add something else, like a One-on-One session. I walk everywhere I reasonably can, never use the escalator (I promise, Americans are by far not the only country to crowd onto this thing over the stairs...I am often the only one taking the stairs). I teach and train martial arts multiple times a week. At work, I try to be as active as I can. I bring bands to work out with on down time and try to stand and stretch as much as possible.

The problem: I think the main problem boils down to diet. It is very, very difficult to eat clean in China. I live in Beijing, which is notorious for very greasy, oily fried foods. And lots of rice. It is very expensive to buy lean meat (if it can be found) and I have to be careful with what meats/foods I trust. Oh, and no shakes. Protein powder is so expensive here. I do try to watch what I eat, but at the end of the day, I have to eat something. The problem is the choice of what that something can be.

I am sorry for the long post, but does anyone have any suggestions as to what else I can do? Does anyone live in China and have the same problem or have suggestions I haven't thought of? I am trying to stay motivated and keep in shape, but I am getting more and more frustrated. Thanks so much!!
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RE: Frustrated in CHINA
9/29/12 11:26 AM as a reply to paksaoda.
hi. i have literally just decided to get on a fitness program (thinking p90x) -- but haven't began yet. HOWEVER... i do live in china and am concerned with how to deal with the eating part of this program. oh, and did i mention that i'm also a vegetarian?! so yeah, i get how hard it is to eat in any particular/controlled way here. it sounds like you're way ahead of the game in terms of fitness... but i can sympathize with the lack of (quality, safe, healthy -- and sometimes edible) food choices here. it's not easy at all. (how are the people here sooo incredibly skinny while the food is so fattening!?)

i'm certainly not able to offer any suggestions at this time, but rather expecting to be in the same boat very soon. i'm guessing you might actually have some pointers or ideas for ME! have you found anyone else sharing this experience? i'm in guangzhou and was hoping to find ppl around here with whom i could knock around ideas.

good luck and feel free to vent or share ideas as you go. and i'll definitely give you a shout if i come up with any china-related food solutions ;)

take care!
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RE: Frustrated in CHINA
11/6/12 5:54 AM as a reply to charlottek1.
Hi Folks!

I experience the same problem living in Thailand for 3 months a year ago...

The only thing that helped me is that I started to order proteins online and have them shipped.

Also, rice is not that bad, just try and eat it earlier in the day emoticon

Other than that, I found that it is possible to eat well, but you have to pay much more money...

Sorry I am not much help!

Julie
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RE: Frustrated in CHINA
11/6/12 6:04 AM as a reply to juliefitnesspro.
I was about to say the same thing, either get supplements shipped from the us to China which can be pricey or pay more to find better food. A friend of mine just moved to China and he has his parents send something every other month and he does ALOT of shopping around to find the right foods because he is a health nut being ex military and all. If anything increase the workout time or do an even harder one like Asylum to offset the calorie intake.

Good Luck
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RE: Frustrated in CHINA
11/6/12 6:14 AM as a reply to paksaoda.
Your body is much smarter than you know, and you have mentioned some interesting facts that I must point out are syaing you are under tremendous stress. Your body may be trying to protect your survival by hoarding water and conserving fat (energy) in your store house. I found it difficult to eat in China myself, my job kept me close to Hong Kong and I relied on, of course, fish soup and rice. (But I ate all the variety one can imagine, since my job revolved around dinner business meetings, too...)... For you, doing any extreme fitness program would be ill advised, since health is mostly diet rest and lack of stress..... I see you are an avid martial artist, but have you thought about trying Tai Cheng and focusing on balance and recovery, not building muscle per se?
Also, look into the Eat Right tAb and especially the recent Steve Edwards bolg and live chats if you can get them... they are available to Club members, but not sure how that works for FREE members living in China..

Well, encourage you to stay positive, think on good thoughts and get into a more social Message Board where you will have moe people to connect with..... Again, the Tai Cheng is not an "easy" program, and you will use the strength you have built with the other programs.... I highly suggest it!

Eating is so difficult on a budget in China... everything is so expensive people can usually only afford to buy enough fuel for that day.... carbs and grease. Good luck with all that.... Hope you get some people to give you more usefu tips!
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RE: Frustrated in CHINA
living in china china
11/10/12 12:26 AM as a reply to paksaoda.
Hi there!

I feel your pain, I moved to China in 2009 and after one too many home-style tofus (jia1chang2 dou4fu2) smothered in cheap oil and paired with white rice I was also starting to feel like I was fighting an uphill battle with my diet.

After being here for several years, I've discovered several strategies to help with diet control:

1) Stay away from family style restaurants! (jia1chang2cai4) Chinese restaurants offering Northern style "family-style" dishes often cut corners in the cooking process by drowning dishes in oil and adding ungodly amounts of salt and sugar. The oil quality is also dubious, with many purchasing gutter oil on the recycled oil market. Hunan and Sichuan restaurants are also guilty of this, so I would also eat there sparingly. The best strategy is to avoid these places completely, there is nothing healthy on the menu.

2) Cook at home, this is really the only way to control your oil intake and steer clear of the empty carbs. I started a blog not too long ago to share recipes that use commonly available Chinese ingredients for easy, healthy home cooked dishes: www.suluku.com. My favorite lazy dish is scrambled eggs and steamed sweet potatos, which are in season right now for winter, deliciously sweet and lower GI than regular potatoes or rice. My friends and I sometimes cook together to share the burden, it's more fun in groups!

3) Find restaurants that pay attention to quality ingredients and dish nutrition. I've also highlighted some of my favorite places at www.suluku.com

Nice to know there are other Beach Body fans in China, if you ever pass through Beijing would be fun to do some group p90x or Insanity emoticon

Take care!

-Tayler
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