Losing weight can be challenging, but it can be made easier with the proper diet. One diet that has been gaining popularity in recent years is the Korean weight loss diet, also known as the K-Pop diet. This diet is based on the traditional Korean diet, known for being low in fat and fiber, that Kpop Idols have used for over a decade. As Kpop Idols train 9 hours a day, six days a week, when they are trainees or are getting ready for a big performance, this diet is perfect for them.
It is inspired by the eating habits of K-pop stars, who are known for their slim physiques and toned bodies. This means they need to burn a lot of calories. The average person needs to burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound. Dance training alone burns 600 calories an hour. So, if 7 of the 9 hours are dedicated to dance choreography, then during that time, a Kpop star can burn up to 4,200 calories. Women, on average, burn 2,000 calories a day naturally, while men burn 3,000 calories. This means their diet does not have to be too strict, as they will need calories to burn off during their training.
Korean pop culture has become a worldwide phenomenon, and the K-Pop Diet is one of the aspects that have caught the attention of many people. It has been followed by many female Kpop groups like Blackpink, TWICE, and ITZY. Even boy Kpop groups like BTS, NCT, and ATEEZ have been said to have tried the diet to maintain their low body fat.
What is the K-Pop Diet?
The K-Pop diet is a low-calorie, low-fat, high-fiber diet to help you lose weight. It includes a variety of foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. By eating foods that are low in calories and high in fiber, you can feel full for extended periods, which can help you eat less overall. However, the key is consuming a balanced meal and portion control. The concept behind the diet is to achieve weight loss by reducing calorie intake while maintaining a healthy diet. The diet does not focus on restricting certain foods but rather on the overall composition of a meal.
However, the K-pop diet restricts the consumption of certain food groups, such as carbohydrates and sugars. The emphasis on protein-rich foods helps in maintaining muscle mass while losing weight. In addition, proper hydration is essential, and drinking water before meals can help reduce calorie intake.
The Ultimate K-Pop Diet Plan
Kimchi – 100-200g a day
Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made from fermented vegetables like cabbage. It is low in calories and fiber, which can help you feel full for extended periods. The Kpop diet plan consists of 100-200g of kimchi daily. As kimchi is a staple side dish in South Korea, it is easy to get. However, those that do not have access to kimchi can make them at home. Here is a fast and easy kimchi recipe you can follow.
The reason why kimchi is crucial in a Kpop diet is that it is filled with beta-carotene and other antioxidant compounds. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. If you can’t find kimchi try to find something spicy to add to your Kpop diet plan. Spices can help boost your metabolism and increase fat burning, making them a great addition to any weight loss plan.
Rice – 100-200g a day
It is highly recommended to try and find brown rice if possible. If white rice is your only option, remember to control the portion. 100 to 200 grams is not a lot of rice, so make sure you don’t overdo it. Rice is a staple food in the Korean diet. It is low in fat and high in fiber; however, it is high in carbs. Rice should be your primary source of carbohydrates, which can give you the energy to maintain your training throughout the day.
Vegetables – 300-400g a day
Vegetables are a key part of the K-Pop diet. They are low in calories and high in fiber, which is great for making you feel full. Some of the most common vegetables in the K-Pop diet include radishes, carrots, and greens like spinach. Mushrooms can also be included under vegetables and are commonly used for many Korean stir-fry dishes.
Lean Proteins – 200-300g a day
Lean proteins are an important part of the K-Pop diet. They are low in fat and high in protein, which can help you build muscle and burn fat. The most common lean proteins in the K-Pop diet include chicken and fish. However, the popular source of protein is tofu. Tofu can make great side dishes or even be eaten without cooking it.
The key is to spread these portions throughout the day. A typical Kpop diet per meal would be 100g of kimchi with 100g of rice, 200g of cooked veggies, and 100g of chicken breast.
ITZY Kpop Diet
ITZY revealed their Kpop diet to help them prepare for big performances. They start with fruits for breakfast. Their favorites include watermelon, apples, and strawberries. However, any fruit will do; all fruits are relatively low in calories and have good fiber and simple sugars. The fiber in fruit helps slow your body’s absorption of its sugars, giving you a steady energy source for the long training day ahead.
ITZY typically has a stir-fry dish loaded with cabbage, mushrooms, onions, and spring onions for lunch. The only sauce they add to the stir-fry is oyster sauce which you can buy in any Asian market. While you can substitute lettuce instead of cabbage, cabbage contains significantly more vitamins and minerals than iceberg lettuce. This includes more vitamins C and K, folate, and potassium 1 and 2. In particulate green cabbage contains antioxidants, including polyphenol compounds.
As for a snack, ITZY goes for one of two options. They go with a donut if they feel tired or low energy. Yes, a donut, as this gives that extra boost of energy. They go with cherry tomatoes with balsamic vinegar if they don’t need that extra boost. Cherry tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which can also limit UV damage to the skin from sun exposure, as it is key for Kpop stars to have clean pale skin. Balsamic vinegar is acetic acid, which contains strains of probiotic bacteria. These probiotics don’t just preserve food — they can also enable healthy digestion and improve gut health. Maintaining a healthy gut is key for Kpop stars to help them digest food quickly and efficiently.
For dinner, ITZY keeps it simple with salad and roasted chicken breast. The key here is to put no dressing.
While this is their typical Kpop diet, they only do this for the days they train, usually six days a week. This means they have at least one cheat day a week. Their cheat day typically includes pasta, pizza, or even french fries.
Suzy Kpop Diet
Another famous Kpop diet is by Kpop idol Suzy. Suzy eats one steamed sweet potato, chicken breast, and 1 cup of low-fat milk for breakfast. She has a bowl of brown rice and a vegetable salad at lunchtime. Finally, for dinner, it’s just two steamed sweet potatoes for Suzy. This Kpop diet focuses on getting the calories in early during breakfast and eating less as the day progresses. This means you will go a bit hungry to bed as a couple of sweet potatoes is what you will have for dinner. The idea is for your body to burn the fat for you while you sleep. When you awake, you will be hungry and have a high-portioned breakfast.
Kpop Diets You Should NOT Follow
There are many stories out there of dangerous Kpop diets. These diets should never be followed; in most cases, these were desperate attempts by Kpop stars to lose weight quickly. The most famous diet was by Jimin of BTS, who started eating just one meal a day but then moved on to not eating anything for days at a time. It was reported that Jimin, at one point, when nine straight days without eating. This, of course, is never recommended and can be very dangerous.
Another example comes from Xiumin of EXO, who only ate once every two weeks! During the rest of the days, he only drank coffee. He ended up losing 18 pounds.
These are examples of Kpop diets you should NOT follow. Remember, keeping a healthy diet is important for Kpop stars because they do need calories to help them have the energy to train. Keeping that balance is key to maintaining a healthy weight and improving your skills.