Every country possesses some interesting dishes and traditions. Asia has many dishes that make me look twice. My Vietnamese work colleagues look wearily at my lunches even though they consist mainly of chicken or fish and vegetables.

Vietnam is the second biggest producer of coffee in the world. Americans drink approximately 400 million cups of it per day. It is the most socially acceptable and popular drug in the world; coffee is big business.

Muscle Up

Some people seem to be able to put on muscle by simply throwing some weights around. For most people, though, it’s a challenge — the simple fact is that they are just not lifting properly or using the wrong types of programmes.

The conventional approach to getting fit (joining a gym or plodding along on the pavement) is failing us. About 70% of the western adult population is overweight and over 30% are classified as obese. Vietnam, like most of the world, is beginning to follow in these unhealthy footsteps.

 

If you’ve read this column regularly you know that the mantra of “calories in versus calories out” is not the total picture when attempting to lose fat and shape up. Our bodies are in constant flux in the never-ending efforts to maintain homeostasis — the state of equilibrium and balance.

Everyone has his or her favourite exercises when it comes to working out. However, when 98% of people do not achieve the results they want from their efforts in the gym, we need to look at what is actually being done.

Everybody seems to have some go-to dieting rules when trying to lose unwanted pounds. You’ve probably heard all sorts of silly rules, maybe even followed them at some point. Let’s weigh up a few common diet rules and see if there is any truth in them. Most commonly held beliefs about dieting won’t help you lose weight or make dieting any easier.

You have most likely heard of body-type categories before. The most common names are ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph. We can also go further and define your type based on fuel as a muscle, mixed or sugar burner. Body types can also be categorised through hormones via being an adrenal, pituitary, thyroid or gonad type. All these different names discuss the same three to four body types.

Last month for western New Year I discussed four key components of how to make the best start to your health and fitness efforts. Two New Years allows a double opportunity to start 2016 in the most positive way possible. If you haven’t kick started your efforts yet, the Lunar New Year provides a second chance.

An expat in Vietnam, Singapore or China gets the opportunity for two new beginnings each year — the western New Year and Tet or the Chinese New Year. However, year after year the vast majority of people who attempt self-directed health and fitness programmes fail.

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