Diet on Holiday - What to Eat and What Not to Eat in Thailand

Maintaining your ideal weight, let alone reaching it, is very hard. For some people this can be a lifelong battle. Don't let your holiday spoil it - here are some useful tips to keep your diet while you are in Thailand.

Thai food in general is very healthy but there are few dishes to avoid if want to cut down your calorie. So what does it take to lose weight while on holiday?

  • Noodle Soup. It has to be the soupy one rather than dry (hang) version. Kuay Teaw Hang is usually full of fat to keep the noodle from sticking together. See my post on how to order noodle soup in Thailand for more information.
  • Tom Yam Goong is safe! Be specific that you would like Nam Sai - which is clear soup version
  • Clear Soup or Gaeng Jued - Thai clear soup with vegetables
  • Nam Prik or Chili Paste with boiled or steamed vegetable.
  • Thai Hot Pot or Sukiyaki. Make sure you only stick to the hot pot and avoid roast duck and roast pork. Order lots of greens
  • Som Tam: good source of fibre and hardly any fat
  • Steamed Fish is quite a popular dish that most restaurants have in their menu and it is very tasty. They usually serve it as a whole fish rather than a fillet though.
  • Brown Rice has more fibre than white rice. Glass noodle or Woonsen usually has less calorie than the white or yellow noodles.
  • Stir-fried vegetables such as Morning Glory (Phad Pak Boong), Beansprouts (Tua Ngawk)
  • Barbecued seafood (if you don't have cholesterol problems)
  • Fruits, lots of them! easy to find Thai Fruits already peeled and cut in by the road side of most beaches

Don't Eat
  • Curries. These are made from coconut milk which is high in calorie, fat and cholesterol. If you really want to have some, go for Green Curry (Gang Kiew Whan). It is not less fattening than any others, but for the least it usually has plenty of pea aubergine and eggplants which are a good source of fibre and known to cut down your cholesterol intake. But better avoid this altogether, it is really fattening.
  • Massaman another popular curry with beef is in your no-no list as well
  • Tom Kha Gai or any Tom Kha is also made from coconut milk: high in fat
  • The famous Phad Thai and Phad See-ew unfortunately is quite high in calorie from the cooking oil. One dish can be as much as 600 calorie. Sampling is enough.
  • Chicken Rice or Kao Mun Gai is also quite fattening. The rice is cooked with chicken fat.
  • Hoy Tod - Mussels Pancake - just 100 gram can be as much as 300 calorie!
  • Fried Rice or Khao Pad - from the cooking oil again
  • Rice Topped with Barbecue Pork (Kao Moo Dang) or pork leg (Kao Kha Moo). The pork leg has a lot of fat, which is obvious. Barbecue pork is high in calorie from its the sauce.  See my post about Moo Dang, Moo Grob, Kha Moo - so you know how it looks like.
  • Durian - if the smell didn't repel you, the calorie count should!
  • Thai sweets are either made from coconut milk and sugar, or yolk and sugar. Avoid...
Overall, Thai food is quite diet friendly if consumed in moderate. The average calorie per meal is not very high, and the portions of food is not too big.

Enjoy your holiday!


Noodle Soup
Green Curry
Clear Tom Yum Goong
Tom Ka
Som Tam
Pad Thai