TL;DR – Korean Diet Trends
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TL;DR – Korean Diet Trends

October 12, 2019


[TL;DR theme plays] (Martina) ayshteruux3 asks: (Simon) ‘Can you do a video on different Korean diet trends and different kinds of diets.’ (Martina) Ooh! Hot topic!
(Simon) Very difficult to discuss. (Martina) Not actually that difficult. Difficult because there is so much to talk about. (Simon)It’s a very sensitive topic, but it’s one that we’re actually quite passionate about. (Martina) Is this sensitive? I just thought there are so many diet trends in Korea, it’d be four hours of us talking.
(Simon) Well I think it’s sensitive because we feel very strongly about how the kpop industry really forces a lot of the female artists who go through very painful and almost abusive diets. (Martina) Yeah, one thing I’ll say before we start talking about this is that no matter where you are in the world, it seems like any industry you’re part of – like if you’re a model or an actor, actress, singer who’s in the spotlight, I feel like they all go through a lot of pressure about how they look, and Korea is no exception to that. So even though people say things like: ‘Oh, people in Korea are so skinny, why do they need to diet?’ Korea has its own version of what they think is beautiful and thin. So from your perspective, you might say they’re already thin, but within the Korean world, they have a different pressure, about what they think is thin.
(Simon) And as a result, some people in the industry, which are trying to lose some more weight, do some really bizarre diets that aren’t necessarily based off of exercise, but more based off of starving themselves. (Martina) It seems like the general gist of most of the diets. (Simon) For example, SHINee had a diet a while ago in which they couldn’t eat after 7 PM, which for me doesn’t make any sense at all.
(Martina) Doesn’t make any sense if you’re also so active. Like, when you’re a Kpop star, it’s not like you’re sitting around playing video games all day, but you’re dancing, you’re burning up a lot of energy, that means that you’re making muscle, that means your body’s exhausted, they’re going from show to show to show. You need energy! I heard the same thing about Girl’s Generation, actually, and I was really upset when this happened because my friend was teaching at a middle school. And she watches videos on the daily lives of Girl’s Generation and it showed, ‘this is how we train, our dance room,’ and like travelling between places, and they said on the video ‘We only eat breakfast and lunch,’ and they said ‘We skip dinner.’ and she was so shocked she’s like ‘I can’t show this to my students!’ Because, like the students are at the school until like, 10 PM, you know, and then they go to like Hogwans until midnight. Imagine telling a student ‘If you want to look like Girl’s Generation, just don’t eat dinner.’
(Simon) It’s a terrible example to set. (Martina)
Anyway, so she totally refused to show this video to her classroom, and I’m really proud of her for doing that. (Simon)
But on the topic of Korean diets, we’re gonna tell you some of the more bizzare and more interesting diet trends that we’ve noticed here in Korea.
(Martina) I know one of the biggest diet trends that occurs in Korea, and this is like, not in my monthly or yearly thing, it’s happened since we’ve been here, is the sweet potato trend. When I was teaching, I remember my co-workers saying ‘I’m going on a diet.’ and they would have the steamed sweet potatoes which they would eat- (Simon) Which are delicious.
(Martina) Super delicious. And Korea does a kick-arse job of making them in like these little tin drums on the street, and they heat them up and it gets all caramelised, and I eat, like, four of them! (Simon) And thus you break the diet!
(Martina) And thus you break the diet! (Simon) I don’t understand why I’m not this thin! [roars] The biggest diet trend in Korea at the moment is the basil seed diet because supposedly a basil seed is very small, when you eat it, it expands to something like thirty times its normal size, and as a result, you feel fuller, so you’re not hungry throughout the rest of the day. (Martina) When I heard this, the first thing I thought of was chia seeds because I actually make chia seed pudding at home. (Simon) We have chia seeds in our powerballs at the coffee shop. (Martina) So when they get wet, or when they get soaked, they get like sticky and gelatinous. So the idea is that people are drinking basil seed tea, where they just add a couple of spoonfuls, mix it with water, and then they drink it so that it expands to make you feel like you’re not hungry. The problem is, not feeling hungry is great and all, but you’re still not getting the nutrition you need for the day. If you eat three cups of basil seed where’s all the rest of your vitamins and minerals coming from? (Simon) The basil seed trend has become so popular, I actually remember seeing the other day a basil seed face cream now.
(Martina) Oh, right! (Simon) Now I know that, yeah it’s a popular diet, why not put that shit on your face as well! WHAT! WHY! (Martina) Another popular one I think is T-ara’s Hyomin did it.
(Simon) For her Nice Body promotions. (Martina) That’s right. She did the lemon detox, which I think was trendy in California as well. Which I’m pretty sure it’s just squeeze of lemon in hot water with like cayenne pepper and some kind of syrup. (Simon) A little bit of syrup.
(Martina) Neon syrup or something. I don’t even know what that is. She drank that and it’s supposed to help you detox and lose weight, but…I don’t know if it’s working…
(Simon) Where’s the food part of your diet?
(Martina) I don’t know. (Simon) Next one on the list is the actually a really terrible diet. It’s a trend that’s happening lately. It’s called the Geborin diet, and Geborin is basically like Tylenol or acetaminophen. And what happens with this diet is that you take 5-8 pills of Tylenol a day and that makes you throw up and shit everything out so then you’re just basically making yourself extremely sick so that you can’t absorb any more nutrients whatsoever. And hence you lose weight. (Martina) Yeah. Now that’s been happening amongst high school students, so supposedly there’s been a lot of reports in the hospitals of people like, being sent to the hospital because of it and it’s really dangerous. I think it’s similar in North America, there was like a laxative trend at one point, but that’s not a good way to lose weight, guys. Just please don’t ever do that, OK? One of the better diet trends which I feel like I can prove more of is the Witches’ Soup. (Simon) The Manyo soupa.
(Martina) This is a soup that was actually originally prescribed for heart patients and other people under surgeon to lose weight rapidly before surgery, and when I saw the ingredients for it, [doorbell sound]
I was like I totally know this because my mom when she went for surgery actually had this soup and I distinctly remember tasting it at home and being like: ‘this tastes very tomato-y.’ (Simon) In fact, I’ll read you the recipe: Celery, onions, bell peppers, cabbage, boiled tomatoes, chicken stock, curry powder, pepper and carrots. (Martina) And the reason it’s called Witches’ soup is because you put it in a huge pot and you just like stir it and you cackle over it like [She cackles; Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor plays] (Simon) Doesn’t taste the same if you don’t make the cackling sounds. (Martina) I’m pretty sure that’s what witches’ sound like, doesn’t it? (Simon) This is the one that I’m actually happiest about even though I like some more diversity in your diet. at least has some nutritional value, while the rest of the diet trends aren’t really nutritionally balanced. (Martina) I would say besides all the trends that we see happening in Korea, there’s also diet waters, and diet teas and like diet sticks.
(Simon) S-Line waters you drink are supposed to give you an S-line, which is just water.
(Martina) It’s just water with like, something in it. (Simon) The idea is that people are still maintaining their crazy, hectic schedules, but they’re just deciding to eat poor as a result in the hopes of losing weight. (Martina) So I don’t really agree on that kind of concept of how to lose weight, I don’t think it’s healthy for you. (Simon) It’s not a lifestyle change, it’s more just like a temporary diet fix. (Martina) Yeah, and the other problem that I think is that when we’ve been behind the scenes for Kpop videos, I’ve never seen a healthy table laid out.
I would expect catering with like, ‘They only eat salad, maybe chicken breast-‘
(Simon) Here’s some boiled chicken breast, here’s some salad, here’s some nuts. And instead there’s like a whole bunch of choco pies and garbage food that you can get from the convenience store.
(Martina) …Ramen. So we really want to see a change in the industry, we really wanna see more of a focus on exercise and healthy food balance rather than just like no exercise and no food and just eat this apple. (Simon) I’d like for the K-pop headlines to be more about the quality of the music that they’re doing rather than the diets and the way they’re bodies have changed. (Martina) I’m pretty sure I read like 15 articles on Sistars’ diet and how much weight they lost.
(Simon) Geez, come on. How about how awesome their song is or how cool their video is, not about how much they’ve lost weight! So we’re going to talk about some more K-pop idols’ diet trends in our blog post, so make sure you click on the link here if you want to read more about it. (Martina) I’m a penguin. this comes up for a reason.
(Simon) Really, we’re not making this up. (Martina) Read the blog post, guys. So we wanna know what kind of crazy diet trends are happening in your country right now, and what do you think about them. Let us know in the comments section below. (Simon) Two weeks ago, I did my TL;DR on my favorite video games of all time, and I feel really bad because I forgot to mention in the video ‘Kingdom Hearts’, which was so important to me. I mentioned the blog post, but the video definitely deserved a shout out for ‘Kingdom Hearts’ because I really grew up with that, it’s really special. Except for ‘Kingdom Hearts 2′. What the hell was that all about? I have no idea. Also I mentioned I’m starting to get into Zelda Windwaker, I finally started playing it, but I think I might have named my character incorrectly, kind of the dialogue is really abusive I find in the Windwaker. I’m not sure… (Martina) Are you going to tell them what you named your character? (Simon) You’ll have to find out in the blog post, ’cause I’ll share some pictures with ya.
(Martina) Oh, boy.

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  1. Aaaand unfortunately, this is the western influence on Korea. The traditional Korean diet of rice and veggies keeps humans thin and sprightly. 

  2. Regarding SHINee not eating past 7pm, when I was doing fitness my teacher recommended that we don't eat past 8pm. The reason for this is because your not supposed to eat 2-3 hours before going to bed. If you eat right before bed, your body won't go into the 'fasting' stage that its supposed to. Its breaking the food down for energy, but you aren't using that energy so it gets stored as fat. The point of not eating past 7-8 pm is that it allows you to use up the energy that you get from breaking down food, and leaves you with enough to 'fast' and your body won't produce as much energy because you are sleeping and not really moving.

  3. Recently, I heard about something called the Cotton Ball Diet, and I just want to punch the people that are marketing this crap! You basically dip a cotton ball into a smoothie or juice for taste, and swallow it, and continue to do so until you feel full.

    It's the dumbest I've ever heard, because there's absolutely no nutrition (unless you count the TINY amount of juice) and it can cause intestinal blockages and malnourishment.

  4. Diets are temporary and aren't the healthy way to losing weight (most people gain it all back after). If you want to lose weight and keep it off make a LIFESTYLE change. Lose weight slowly but surely.

  5. Its all about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$. These executives have become so polluted by it that they don't care what happens to their k-pop idols. Eating disorders, nutritional imbalances, exhaustion, etc….as long as they're making money, its all worth it. Why should the executives have to spend their "hard earned" money on nutritionists and trainers if these crack diets are working just fine in their eyes? Why should they have to shell out the dollars for fresh produce, lean meats and protein rich snacks at video shoots if candy, cake and ramen are cheaper? And what if, heaven forbid, this diet kills the idol? GREAT! More money in grief-induced record sales. And really guys…there's always another rabid wannabe ready to be the next star, isn't there? The cycle is self perpetuating and, unfortunately….its nearly impossible to reverse at this point. Its a plague on many developed countries because social order over survival is now paramount. All we can do, as detractors of this lifestyle, is be a voice.

  6. I am a 15 year old girl and my mum tried to make me do the '5:2' diet which is blowing up in England at the moment- basically you only eat 500 calories for two days of the week (fasting) and eat normally for the rest of the week. I knew that it was a bad idea for a 15 year old to do this but she was desperate for me to try it so I did it for one day and holy CRAP I felt awful- I was dizzy, my stomach hurt, I was in a bad mood, I had a migraine, I had no energy- it just wasn't right. I told some of my friends about it, who were all shocked and told me that I needed to tell my mum that it wasn't right. It took ages, but eventually my dad and I convinced her that I shouldn't be doing it and should be trying to lose weight in a much safer way. Don't fast when you're a teenager guys, it ain't a good idea.

  7. to stop eating after 7pm isnt bad. When do you guys have dinner?? I have dinner around 6pm and then it sustains me till the next morning. I never go to sleep hungry. I use to eat later at night but then I didn't get hungry in the morning and would have no appetite for breakfast. I love breakfast so I don't eat late anymore. I want to have an appetite in the morning.

  8. I have the most hilarious and possibly the worst diet for you guys. My friend goes on a chocolate diet, mostly nutella. So she's really insecure about her weight, so she doesn't eat much most of the time but when it comes to chocolate she will eat disgusting amounts of it. Now the thing is, she's actually quite skinny, doesn't gain weight, but I always yell at her for it because it's so bad for her, and I hope no one ever does the same.

  9. Wow, I didn't know I should know I should listen to fat, out of shape foreigners in order to lose weight.

  10. When I was really sick with kidney problems I accidently overdosed on acetaminophen and holy shit I cant EVEN imagine anyone wanting to do that shit to themselves on purpose. I felt like I was seriously going to die. I couldnt even get out of bed. Its horrible what people will do to their bodies…

  11. I think the basil seed thing would actually be a really good thing to introduce in my diet. You see, I tend to eat a seriously unhealthy amount of junk food. What I'd do, I'd drink this in the afternoon, right after dinner, the time of day when my glutton tendencies spike considerably, and hopefully I'd feel full enough to settle for whatever sole awesomeness I got at dinner without shoving a whole load of unhealthy, needless fat injecting nasties in too. Of course, no going overboard with it, and I won't be using it for the wrong reasons (starving my body of important protein and such for a desirable body), but for the right reasons (improving my diet by reducing my intake of fats and sugars). So…good idea?

  12. Most of my classmates in college… and also my mom have started doing the lemon lime for a hole week to detox. Also, my father has also tried a pumpkin detox.

  13. The basil seed thingy is very weird since there is acid in ur stomach so it can't expand really right ?

  14. Honestly I did a very terrible way of dieting. I used to be very fat since I was a kid, so I go on diet in high school and lost 50 kg in 6 month. But it was very hard and sometimes I think I'm gonna die. I only eat once per day, and it's just steamed vegetable with very little amount. And when I think that I eat too much and my weight go up 100 or 200 grams after eat I'll throw up. Plus I take a pill so I can shit everything out, even sometimes it's only like water that comes out because I actually almost not eat anything (sorry for disgusting words). What I want to say is, it's very bad for health. Sometimes I feel headache and black out, like I want to faint. I swear, I won't do that kind of diet anymore. Please do a healthy diet if you want to go on diet. 🙂

  15. Thank you for the insight into the extreme diet people made to be skinny.  I really pity these extreme unhealthy diet because it will cause lots of problem later in life. They must really have a lot of mental strength to even stay awake.  I fainted once because I was trying to do the same as friends who went on diet like you said they think that they are too fat but they are actually really thin.  I wonder if most women think thin actually means pretty.

    Have you heard of this apple diet?  Only only eat dinner consisting of green apples.  No other sugary food allow.  My friends claimed that they really lose weight doing so.

    In my country obesity is not something people will shame you on.  There is so much of food and it is impossible to diet. In fact, people will question my mum if she had been starving me.  Usually, I am made to eat a lot of meat and rice because I am way too skinny for my countries' standard.  So literary, one don't have to diet.  If you are skinny, you are either below 18 years old or your parents are torturing you.

  16. Seriously agree with you guys that the K-pop industry needs to bump up its craft services game (though, knowing how fun the K-pop industry can be, better food would probably just mean an even higher BEP for artists , so I guess it's a bit of a double-edged sword ;p)

  17. I decided to take up this diet that is once popular in korea, it's the 1 meal a day diet which I only eat breakfast and only a little amount. I feel like I'm gonna die of hunger, but…. I need to bear it so my weight and size decreases….

  18. I do the only buy grocery for 1 meal diet, in which for every meal I need to run out and buy it, thus increasing my exercise.

  19. Intermittent Fasting is actually an okay diet, as long as you pack in the calories/nutrients you need in the time allotted. I do not eat breakfast as it will make me throw up everywhere, so I accidentally intermittent fast with my calorie-restrictive diet. xD But yes, it'd be nice to see a change in industries regarding this… Weight loss is 80/20 diet/exercise! Can't out-exercise gross diets, yo.

  20. Actually i been trying so hard to diet i want ro do the smoothie diet at the end of this week im 5'5 and 158 pounds thing is i dont look my weight and my friend mentioned even though i have fat on my stomach i have a small waist which makes me worry that if i diet i will be super tiny xc i want to be skinny i already know i.would have some curves but not in.the fat sense im gonna try doing the diet again :2

  21. My parents burned it into my brain not to eat after 7-8 pm too because you'll gain weight, thought only swedish people believed that.

  22. I want to move to Korea soon. So can you find a job in Korea even if you didn't go to college? How do you buy a house in Korea from America? And how do you convert American money to Korean won? Please guys I'm so curious!

  23. the only thing that worksare heatlthy and nutritious food eating regular meals and exercisingand yes expect it to take something like two years to get the result you want

  24. The best part of this video is that the mysterious syrup that the lemon diet uses is maple syrup. Grade A Maple Syrup. Ya'll have been in Korea too long; you're failing your Canadian-ness. XD

  25. If your looking to go on a diet, I suggest eating quinoa! Quinoa is a fantastic super food that's really low cal and has tons of Iron, protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals! Perfect way to lose weight because it really expands in your stomach and makes you full whilst providing you with the nutrients you need. It's super delicious if you cook it with some onions, tomato and chicken broth!

  26. Idk what's trending now in my country i'm not interested in that. The secret is eat everything but in the right quantities, I know it's easier said than done but It has to be a way of life… and organic food is obviously preferable!

  27. I remember this one girl groups diet where for a meal they eat whatever they can fit in a tiny tiny dixie cups. Like one of those sample cups you find in grocery stores with tiny amount of drinks in

  28. If I was a member of a kpop group, I would be known as the one who eats a lot. And the foreigner, but that's besides the point… 😍🍩🍣🍪🍮🍰🍦

  29. I am so scared to go to Korea ㅠ.ㅠ I dream to learn engineering in Korea but i'm scared as I see variety shows people picking on Fat people. i don usually get picked on here for being fat I just i'm very scared to go to korea for being fat ㅠㅡㅠ

  30. I'm planning to do a "papaya" diet. I LOOOOOVE papaya and it super healthy and has a bunch of vitamins and health benefits, and it has very few calories! It's a win win for me 😀

  31. im my home, and alot of Guatemalan houses, we ate alot in lunch and we ate late, so when dinner arrives we don't eat much, and I skip dinner like twice a week because im full. so skiping dinner is not a big deal for me

  32. I'm just glad my bias group BTS aren't starving themselves and are doing exercises rather than dieting to be fit. They seem happier and healthier compared to when they first debuted. I wish other groups would do the same so they wouldn't develop any sickness and collapse or faint while performing. Freaking Korean diet trends.

  33. Everyone should watch Running Man and learn from Jong Kook 🙂 exercises and super healthy foods = his only love 😂

  34. I absolutely don't support the starving!
    But the way you look is made of 70% diet and 30% exercise (not including genetics, but in Germany a lot of doctors agree, that genetics don't play such a big role when it comes to weight)

  35. i think Korea is a country that elaborates physical beauty more than my own country. I learnt many facial features from Koreans than I knew such as the "double eye lid" I didn't even know what it is n that most Koreans are monolids. seriously, if a Korean never pointed out that they didn't have double eye lids, I'd never noticed.
    I think my country handle things better.if your too heavy for your height, your family will push you to lose weight. than if your too skinny for your height, you'll be forced to eat a lot. the healthier body type is what is preferred in my country. though high school students are known to adopt extreme dieting methods like these Koreans but they always face opposition from the family. if you promise to do exercise, your family won't mind you gulping down the 3rd, 4th, 5th servings.

  36. simon and martina i like most of your videos cause it expose korea's taboo issues, is that the right term, but anyway, are Koreans can be easily fool cause it sounds they are. Sorry byt that is just my own observation.

  37. TO EVERYONE WATCHING THIS VIDEO DO NOT DO THE LEMON DRINK CLEANSE!!!!!! i work in the nutrition industry. this has zero nutritional value!! cleanses are good for the body if you do this correctly! pressed juice is THE best way to go! it has vitamins the body needs on a daily basis! please please do not try that!!!

  38. My manager isn't that fussed on my weight although I'm not fat I'm actually quite thin but my manager isn't all obsessed over my weight

  39. A crazy diet trend is happening in North America, its called the fat acceptance movement. where people are told that your weight doesnt matter because you can be healthy at any size and its ok to be 400 pounds as long as you are nice on the inside. very unhealthy, and very stupid movement

  40. I'm a new subscriber to the channel and i'm wondering if you guys are Canadian? Because i see you are wearing a Blue Jays hat. I live on Vancouver Island in Canada so i thought that was pretty cool!

  41. SNSD fans don't attack me; but for example, on their Lionheart comeback, some of the members looked so skinny I was concerned for their health. One thing is to be fit and another to be stick skinny. Some of these "diets" aren't even diets. No wonder some idols collapse on stage. Enough rest and good nutrition are important not optional. Why does this continue to happen like it's ok…?

  42. I had never heard of overdosing on acetaminophen to lose weight! This is horrible!! Overdoses of Tylenol damages your kidneys and liver!!

  43. Btw guys, a great diet that is actually good for yoi is called the fast diet. You can literally eat ANYTHING YOU WANT for five days a week, and two other days of your choosing you limit your calories to 500 (for women) or 600 (for men). Exercise regularly (30-60 mins a day at least) and not only will you lose weight, but your cholesterol will even out, and your blood sugar and pressure will lower or increase to safe levels. This is the most recent diet and is backed up by scientific experiments.

  44. Ok but eating chia seeds or basil seeds in tandem of balanced meals could help in curbing hunger for people that are overeating as a means of portion control. So I wouldn't write it off necessarily as a bad diet trend but ur right if people just drink that tea and nothing else is not good nutritionally

  45. KPOP idols diet are very scary and unhealthy. I have a friend that follows some of the KPOP idols diet, and the diet she follows is extremely scary and horrifying. She says she eats cotton wools soaked in water just to lose weight, which is obviously not good for her health and the fact that she is already skinny enough but because she has a rounder face and she wants a sharp jawline so she follows these diet trends. And I have a body bigger than hers, she has tiny slender legs and skinny waist but because of her round face shape she tortures herself like this. Dont do these kind of diets people D: We are young now, so our body probably can handle it. But what happens when you get older and everything just starts to collapse in your body D:

  46. I eat a lot of carbs, but I always eat between 1050 – 2050 calories and I exercise 2-3 times a week. Idk whether this is healthy or not.

  47. I have tried multiple different diets. The laxative diet, the diet pills, the over exercising. As far as food goes, control carb, sugar, or fat amounts. This only makes you feel crappy. Not just physically but mentally. I'm a huge snacker and my biggest issue is I can eat a family size bag of chips in a day. So I have just learned to switch it up and have soup or something with a lot of water in it. Replace chocolates and candies with fruit. This way it doesn't feel like you are punishing yourself.

  48. I can understand using like chia seeds or basil seeds as like an appetite suppressant in the sense eat a little before a meal so you won't over eat especially if you have portion control problems but good lord people are eating JUST that instead of a meal? That's scary!

  49. Yall this dude thinks a "diet" (=weight loss) consists mainly of exercise when it is (although necessary for your body's health) not that relevant for weight loss at all. Look up ANY study. 80% vs 20% is a big difference in importance

    Also "not eating after 7pm doesnt make sense"?? In what world? It can help in a variety of different ways depending on the person, but at surface level it disregards the weight loss and health benefits found in intermittent fasting and i dont even adhere to that

  50. I'd love to hear what the "health foods" are in everyone's countries! When I was in Tokyo 2014-15, açai was VERY popular while in the US, kale & quinoa (and now goji berries) was the "it" food.

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