Earlier this year I traveled to Colombia.
While fruits and vegetables are a staple of the Colombian diet, there are also many foods you that are very high calorie.
Deep fried foods like empanadas, plenty of cheese, chocolate is a staple, and coffee all times of the day.
Even high carb fried foods like Buñuelos, which are fried dough balls are on the menu.
What’s perplexing is that the average guy is thin, and many guys are lean too!
How is this possible?
It didn’t make sense to me at all. According to one study, only 12.6% of men in Colombia are obese.
The guys who are obese could lose maybe 20-30 pounds, not 50+ like in the U.S. There are not many big guys walking around.
Do Colombians have much different genetics or something? Is that the secret?
While the answer is multifactorial, I believe the main reason can be summed up in one word: portions.
In the U.S., portions are enormous. I trained myself as an athlete growing up to eat huge portions every meal until I was about to pop.
That eating strategy didn’t work out so well when I was no longer training 3 hours a day.
The relationship with food many American men have is one of excess, right? More, more, more.
Eat until you are in a food coma. Every night.
Our ancestors respected food and cherished it much differently that we do. Food was often scarce.
So the question is: how much food do you really need?
My opinion is a lot less than you think. If you are in your parasympathetic state – relaxed, not stressed – you could eat a few times a day with small meals and be completely satisfied.
Add in some regular physical activity on top of that, and you will be a lean dude.
The portions in Colombia – and many other parts of the world – are much smaller than in the U.S.
One example of a breakfast I had in Colombia was hot chocolate, eggs & cheese, & some bread (my go-to breakfast is a shake).
The portions were probably 1/2 to 1/3 of what would have been served in an American restaurant.
Genetics are the common scapegoat for why some guys gain excess body fat. Another scapegoat – which is nonsensical – is age.
I encourage you this coming week to consider your portion sizes, especially around dinner.
While there is not just “one thing” to improve your health and well-being, portion sizes can have a big impact on your waistline.