My Review of Phu Quoc, Vietnam

 

As I sit here and watch the sun rise on a grateful universe, I wanted to share my thoughts on Phu Quoc, Vietnam. I was warned ahead of time by locals and travelers that I might get bored after more than a few days in Phu Quoc. Is it true?  Read on to find out.

What is Phu Quoc?

Phu Quoc is an island in the gulf of Thailand that lies in the middle of Cambodia and Vietnam. Currently you can enter  without a visa (whereas if you enter anywhere else in Vietnam, you need a visa or apply for an invitation letter in advance).

Phu Quoc Map

My first impression of Phu Quoc

You can immediately tell that Phu Quoc is undergoing rapid expansion and development. The entire island feels like it’s under construction. If you’re looking for a developed island like Phuket, this is not it. I’m guessing this is what some of the Thai islands felt like 10-20 years ago. This island definitely feels unfinished, even in the more developed areas.

One thing that really disappointed me was how many makeshift landfills I’ve seen across the island. It doesn’t seem like recycling or showing respect for where you live is something the island is focusing on just yet. 

However, on the flipside, I’m currently at Golden Sand Bar and this is one of the most Instagrammable places I’ve been to in Vietnam. It’s almost like a playground for adults. Beautiful sculptures, great music and cocktails make this bar one of my favorites on this side of the world. Plus, unlike the neighboring Sunset Sanato Beach Club, this bar is dog-friendly. There’s 2 cute pups that live on premise. This is the kind of place that you bring a significant other to such as your dogs.

Is Phu Quoc Good for Single People?

Speaking of significant others, Phu Quoc is not an island I would recommend for bachelors or bachelorettes.  Unless you’re open to sharing a bedroom with 7 other people in a hostel, you’ll have a hard time meeting singles. I’ve never stayed in a shared room before simply because I started traveling after my career was established in my late-20s. If you are open to staying in a hostel, your experience might differ from mine. 

For example, look at my Bumble results after 5 minutes of swiping …

Bumble is empty

Everywhere across Thailand (except for the remote towns), it seemed that local women preferred dating farangs (foreigners), a subject I’ll discuss more in the future. This relationship dynamic doesn’t seem to exist in Phu Quoc on a mainstream level. It’s such an isolated island it seemed like every local girl had a local boyfriend. I can appreciate that but as their tourism industry continues to grow, I’m sure the dating culture here will start to shift. If you want to meet singles or experience a good nightlife, Phu Quoc may not be for you. This is the type of island where I recommend bringing sand to the beach (in other words, it’s a slow-paced, romantic island that’s a great choice for couples to get away).

Is Phu Quoc cheap?

I was also surprised at how expensive some of the activities in Phu Quoc were compared to Thailand. It was very difficult to find a massage for less than. 300,000 dong ($12 USD) whereas in Thailand I saw 200 baht ($6 USD) massages everywhere.

This of course changes if you go to the beach and find makeshift massage tables. Here they typically charge 200,000 dong ($8 USD) for the hour and it’s my ideal way to get a massage. Nothing beats the sounds of the ocean and a cool breeze against your skin offering relief from the heat while a Vietnamese woman soothes your soul by way of deep-tissuing your muscles. For a few extra bucks, you can get an aloe vera massage which is good if you’ve been laying out in the sun.

Phu Quoc Massage
Ahhh that’s the spot

And please tip your service workers generously if you can. They work hard and a dollar to an American or European or Australian is much easier to come by. Tipping your masseuse 20% just simply isn’t enough. I always tipped at least 50%. If a massage cost $6 USD, I would tip $3-5 USD. Even at $11 USD all-in, this is still less than just the tip for a massage in America (which are usually $50+/hour and a $10+ tip)!

Is the food good?

This one is purely subjective. Some people love Vietnamese food (I never got into pho). I was disappointed with it. I guess when you spend so much time in Thailand which arguably has the best (and cheapest) street food in the world, the bar is set so high that anything else is going to disappoint you.  Thailand … you’re like dating a 10. Dating anything less (even a 9) will feel disappointing after that!

One standout restaurant that I really enjoyed that was recommended to me by a couple that has been living in Phu Quoc for 3 years was Crab House. It has a really cool Western vibe, great customer service and amazing seafood boils. It was a bit on the pricier side so if you’re looking for cheap eats, then this place isn’t for you.

Another important story that I would be remiss to not include is how I got my first gout attack. I stayed at a really nice hotel called Sunlight Bungalow which was steps from the beach. Nice little hotel with great staff and customer service. They also have a restaurant attached to the hotel which was always busy for dinner so you know the food is good. Their speciality is fresh fish caught daily and BBQed to perfection. 

Normally the only seafood I eat is sushi and I typically stick with salmon and eel. I figured if I’m on an island, why not eat a fish every day? Well, seafood is one of the major triggers of a gout attack due to the high levels of purines.  This seafood overload (which is not part of my normal diet) completely ruined me. I woke up in so much pain that I couldn’t even walk. 1,000 MG of aspirin barely made a dent in the pain. I didn’t find out that I had suffered my first gout attack until days later. No fault of the restaurant but it reinforced a lesson in a painful way : too much of anything is never good.

At least Vietnam airlines has a great special services team.

English on Phu Quoc

Another challenge that I faced in Phu Quoc was a lack of English. I had to use Google Translate almost everywhere I went. There were a few people that I could talk to without a translator, but more often than not this wasn’t the case. In comparison, I almost never needed a translator in Thailand.

Is Phu Quoc dog-friendly?

I was pleasantly surprised at how dog-friendly the island was. Not once did I have a problem bringing my dogs into a bar, restaurant or coffee shop. Many of them even had dogs themselves! Unlike Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi where there is a dog-kidnapping market (either for ransom to sell back to the owner or to eat), Phu Quoc doesn’t seem to have that industry. It feels much safer for my dogs. In general, people reacted very positively to my  dogs (similar to my experience in Thailand).

Phu Quoc Massage

Summary of Phu Quoc

In summary, if I had to choose between Phu Quoc and Thailand, I would choose one of the Thai islands instead. In my opinion, it has better food, a better nightlife, more options for singles, more English-speakers, and in general is much cleaner.

This is not to say that Phu Quoc isn’t worth visiting … I would just recommend it for a couple looking for a chill, romantic getaway. 

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Have you been to Phu Quoc? Let me know your thoughts. Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

 

So I Have Gout…Now What?

 

I’m sitting in the hospital waiting room in Nha Trang, Vietnam to get x-rays and blood tests to see what’s wrong with my big toe on the right foot, and on the TV screen I see a list of medical-related video links.

befreemysheeple nha trang hospital
None of this seems good

“Endoscopic carpal tunnel release.” I’m guessing this has something to do with carpal tunnel syndrome and repairing the tendons by releasing the stress?

“Proximal humerus percutaneous aiming system technique.” This sounds like a kill feature in one of Iron Man’s latest armors. “Activate humerus percutaneous aiming system.”

befreemysheeple Iron Man Tony Stark
“Activate humerus percutaneous aiming system”

While I don’t know what some of these words mean, none of them sound good. They all sound like medical procedures to repair or fix a body part that is no longer working properly or is broken. Kind of like my big right toe.

I’m 35 and I just found out that I had my first onset of gout. My blood results came back and I’m above the normal range for men (not scarily above, but comfortably above). They say symptoms first appear in men 30-50. Well I had all the symptoms and let me tell you that this was one of the most intense pains that I’ve ever felt. It was so bad that I needed wheelchair service from Vietnam Airlines. I could not put any pressure on my foot.

  • Intense joint pain – it felt like I had a broken toe
  • Lingering discomfort – 3 days later and I still can’t walk properly
  • Inflammation and redness – my right foot looked like a tomato
  • Limited range of motion – I couldn’t move my big right toe more than 10 degrees
befreemysheeple gout
Yeah, this looks normal

They also call it a disease of decadence or “King’s disease” because “people have incorrectly linked it to the kind of overindulgence in food and wine only the rich and powerful could afford” (link). And this makes sense because I have been living like a king these past 6 months on the beaches of Thailand and Vietnam. While I haven’t been drinking too much alcohol, my diet recently spiked in seafood during my time in Phu Quoc. The overload of purines from seafood likely caused my big right toe to blow up like a balloon and heat up like a heat pad.

Fortunately for me, while gout is one of the most physically painful things I’ve experienced, it is an illness that can be managed through diet, hydration, vitamin c, and exercise. I am looking at this as motivation to get myself into even better shape to minimize another attack. There are silver linings to everything in life.

Finding out that I am now in for lifelong battle with gout is a stark reminder that my time on earth as fully-functional, healthy being is not going to last forever. My youth and relatively good health, will slowly crumble away like removing pieces from a completed puzzle. New health issues are certain to arise in my future and I’ll think to myself, “remember when I just had gout?”

Our greatest assets – youth and health – are fleeting, a slowly but surely diminishing resource. Every second alive we are one step closer to our inevitable deaths. The grim reaper is coming for all of us. As my brother once told me (I’m sure he heard this from someone else), “we are all dying the second we are born.” The cruelty of existence. Sigh.

This is a why it’s important to never lose focus on the present because this is all that’s guaranteed. Minimizing stress and maximizing health and happiness should be everyone’s goal. The less stress you have, the longer your life expectancy is. The more you exercise and focus on having a clean diet, the longer your life expectancy is. And if you’re healthy today, be grateful and be thankful and use it. Don’t waste it sitting in an office 60 hours a week. If we weren’t supposed to travel, we would have roots instead of feet!

 To have a career, or live in a city, or to be in a relationship that isn’t making you net happier will slowly kill you.  Health above wealth, experiences over appearances. And as my friend Alicia said:

befreemysheeple alicia

Bonus Vlog!

 

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Do you suffer from gout as well? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

Why I Love Being Single

 

Every time I check into a new hotel in Phu Quoc, the front desk receptionists always ask “when is your wife arriving?” or “where is your girlfriend?” or “you’re here alone???” in a shocked tone.

A lot of people ask why I sometimes feel the need to post my opinions on marriage & long-term monogamy and it’s because this opinion is underrepresented (WHY DO YOU FEEL THE NEED TO POST YOUR ENGAGEMENTS AND MARRIAGES. It’s the same thing lol). Every day we see engagement and marriage posts on our feeds which are openly applauded and accepted (despite the inevitable failure of over half of them) but few people are openly sharing the other lifestyle, the lifestyle of “there are reasons and benefits to be happily single and avoid traditional relationships at all costs.” Unlike people in a relationship who become dependent and almost feed off of their significant other’s scent, I am in complete control of my happiness (and my daily moods). That and I have my dogs to provide actual unconditional love. Romantic love is extremely conditional. Gain 100 pounds of fat or lose everything at the casino and you’ll see how conditional love is.

unconditional loveAnd this goes for both women and men. With gender equality existing in places like America which enables women to be financially independent, they no longer need a man to fulfill that traditional gender role of “providing for the family.” They can provide for themselves. And this is a beautiful thing. After living in Asia for 7 months, I’ve seen traditional gender norms almost fully intact.

American Businesswoman
God bless America (looks like LA).

My point is – we need to normalize that it’s OK to be single and it’s ok to have casual and mutually respectful relationships. Personally, I have never had sustainable happiness in a long-term relationship before and a lot of it has to do with traditional relationships limiting my freedom (“don’t text her, don’t look at her, don’t do this, come with me to this party, I’m in a bad mood now we are both in a bad mood, etc”). You ”love” someone but you’re telling them what they can and cannot do lol. That doesn’t sound like love to me. That sounds like self-inflicted imprisonment.

Do you have any idea how liberating it is to not have to worry about someone snooping on my phone and finding something that I didn’t want them to find? Nobody is perfect. There is always something to find if you go looking for it.

Snooping
Guys that are only half-into a relationship have to hide their shenanigans. Their girls be looking like…

It is absolutely normal and OK to be attracted and want other people than your significant other. This doesn’t lessen your love for them. It just highlights your humanity. Yet society says this completely normal thing is wrong and evil and invalidates your love. Unlike the married, I have the freedom to do what I want and not suppress my wants and desires (“I want to talk to that girl at the bar and buy her a drink but I can’t because I’m not supposed to”) lol.

You can love both your parents. You can love multiple friends. But you can’t love or want more than 1 person? Please. You want to try new foods. Try new jobs. Try new hobbies. Travel new places. But god forbid you want to have sex with someone else. The expectation that you are supposed to have sex with and love 1 person your entire life is so absurd that it’s laughable. lol.

dan bilzerian
If married men were honest, they’d admit that they’d rather have Dan Bilzerian’s lifestyle (I’m not at his level and I probably will never be and that’s ok)

Personally, I’m simply not willing to compromise any degree of the happiness I’ve created for myself just to be in a relationship (“I must just deal with some drama because this is what I’m supposed to be doing”). Many sheeple accept mediocrity from their relationships because they are 18-40 and a relationship is the “ultimate prize” because everyone around them is doing it. As they get older and time becomes more of a premium, they learn that they shouldn’t put up with anything but the best. Until then, many people think marriage is some sort of personal validation or badge of honor. It’s not. I see it as some sort of jail.

“Humans are born free and any perceived limitations will ultimately make us want to rebel against them!” -KarelDonk

freedom
This is how many single people actually feel

And many of you will think “you just haven’t met the right one yet.” There is no “right one” and when finding this unicorn of a person becomes your ultimate goal, you lose focus of the present and just enjoying someone’s company without any expectations. And ask all the couples you know that broke up, got divorced (which is about to happen en masse) about how it went after they thought they “met the right one.”

Ultimately I believe it comes down to human nature. Many of us are more selfish than we are willing to acknowledge and selfishness is one of the worst things in a relationship (for the record, I am selfish af but I care deeply for my close friends). For a relationship to work long-term it has to truly be selfless with completely open communication. Many of you share things with your best friends that you’d never tell your wife/husband. The only chance your relationships has to survive is to SHARE EVERYTHING – even the truths he or she may not want to hear (“so there’s this younger girl at work and I think we are developing a connection.”)

unhappy couple
This couple doesn’t seem to be doing so well

And do I want kids? Absolutely. If I can find someone with my lifestyle, co-parenting is an option. But so is surrogacy and adoption and I can be the best single dad just as I’m the best single dog dad. And a child does not need a mom and dad to thrive so stop with that traditional thinking. There are many same sex parents (2 moms, 2 dads) and single parents that are crushing it. Likewise there are many traditional parents that are always fighting and have created a chaotic environment for a child to grow up in. Personally, I know many single moms that are amazing. I really do think a solo and happy stable household is better than a chaotic, constantly fighting undersexed mom&dad.

Anyway – stay woke. I’m going to enjoy this fresh passion fruit juice and continue to check into bungalows on the beach single. 😁

befreemysheeple phu quoc passion fruit

 

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Are you happily single too? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

How Instagram Can Fix Instagram

 

I was working out at the gym and it just hit me: I figured out how Instagram can fix Instagram. 

befreemysheeple gym
When you’re working out and a solution to fix Instagram hits you

Defining an “influencer”

First, I want to define how I am defining “influencers” for the purpose of this article. I do not consider actors, actresses, reality TV stars, athletes, musicians, etc. to be influencers. Yes, they are influential but they would be famous with or without Instagram. They achieved fame via TV, radio, YouTube, etc. and use Instagram as an amplification platform.

I am defining an “influencer” as somebody who built their audience specifically on the Instagram platform. I estimate that 90% of Instagram influencers are fake. Don’t believe me? Plug in your favorite influencer’s names in this link and if they score anything below a 70, they did something to their account. Then, plug in a real celebrity’s Instagram and you’ll see a huge difference (usually 85+).

befreemysheeple zac efron
Zac Efron does not need Instagram to be famous

What can brands do?

Many brands also question the effectiveness of using influencers and this is more because of the influencers they’re choosing to work with versus the influencer industry itself. If brands focused on using authentic, verified influencers, they would have a much better overall experience by achieving better ROI. It’s important to always validate the authenticity of your paid influencers using readily available third party tools.

befreemysheeple instagram fraud calculator
I made this clickable for you

 

Follow/Unfollow Method

One of the biggest complaints that the IG community has about Instagram is that many of the “influencers” use a method called “follow/unfollow” to build their audience inorganically. Here’s how Instagram can put an end to it, if they really wanted to (they should want to because it dirties the platform). 

Analyze user behavior

The first step would be to run a deep analysis on user behavior. Look at the accounts who are following 100s to 1,000s of accounts a day and put them in the “follow/unfollow user” bucket. Real talk – who really needs to follow that many people in 1 day? Nobody. 

The second step is to take look at the users who are following a more reasonable number of accounts per day. I would guess that the average person (not using growth software) organically only follows anywhere between 1 to 25 people a day. 

befreemysheeple instagram

IG Follow Credits

Once Instagram has analyzed this data, they can come up with a daily follow cap. Maybe this number is set at 25. This means that an account can only follow 25 other accounts per day. They can create a new virtual currency called IG Follow Credits. Everyone gets 25 credits a day for free (1 credit equaling 1 follow). They expire daily so you either use them or you lose them. They don’t accrue. This is the same as Tinder Super Swipes…just because you didn’t sign in for a week doesn’t mean you magically get 35 super swipes when you sign back in … you get 5.

befreemysheeple iG follow credits
25 follows a day – that’s it!

Should a user want to follow more than 25 accounts in a day, they would have to purchase more IG Follow Credits at increasing rates across tiers. These credits could be sold starting from $.01. For example:

0-25 Follows = Free
25-100 Follows = $.01/follow $.75
100+ Follows =  $.05/follow  $7.50
250+ Follows = $.10/follow $19.5
500+ Follows = $.15/follow
1,000+ Follows = $.25/follow

So if I wanted to follow 445 accounts in a day (after using my 25 free daily follows), it would cost me $27.75. 

With this approach, influencers that are using the follow/unfollow method would have a financial barrier of entry to overcome and this would almost guarantee the end of the strategy overnight. Of course there will be those that might find it worth paying for the additional follows. This gives Instagram a new revenue stream. 

Why should Instagram do this?

One of the most disheartening feelings for an authentic Instagram user is when they get followed by a bunch of accounts and they think that their content is finally resonating … only to see their follower count quickly decrease because they were followed/unfollowed by software. Because the follow/unfollow strategy works, Instagram users are incentivized to either jump on board or sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else get “famous.” This has created an untrustworthy platform for both users and brands and I believe it’s Instagram’s responsibility to fix it as quickly as possible.

I still think the best way to fix Instagram would be to completely remove follower count from the profiles. It is simply a vanity metric and not an indicator of how valuable so that account is because it is easily manipulatable. 

befreemysheeple Instagram

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What do you think about my solution? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

How I Lost Body Fat and Gained Muscle (While Living in Thailand)

 

When I moved to Thailand in October 2018, I was worried that it was almost a guarantee that I would gain weight. Thailand is known for delicious (and cheap) street food with many of their dishes featuring rice and noodles as the primary ingredients. The iced coffees in Thailand are often loaded with condensed milk and sugar.  The desserts (like mango sticky rice) are spectacular. And the nightlife of Thailand – from Bangkok to Phuket and even little beach towns like Hua Hin – is awesome. It’s even more fun because it’s super cheap compared to partying in America. For example, it cost me $100 USD for bottle service with top notch table service at Sugar Club Bangkok last week. This would have cost me $700 USD at a place like Greenhouse in NYC.

befreemysheeple hua hin
I watch the sun rise on a grateful universe

With that said, I not only was able to gain muscle mass while living in Hua Hin, Thailand (and exploring the rest of the country) but I was able to lose fat as well. I am going to share some basic tips and strategies that I used to improve my health and aesthetics during my time in Thailand. The cool part about this article is that many of these tips will work for anyone no matter where they live.

Before we get into it, I want to be clear that I am not a fitness or nutrition expert. I enjoy working out because I want to look good and feel good, but I do not take any supplements, I do not meal prep, and I do not track my “macros” or “micros.” Admittedly, my fitness and appearance would go to the next level if I incorporated supplements, meal prep and nutrient tracking into my lifestyle, but I’m the kind of guy that likes to eat a bacon cheeseburger and drink vodka sodas. Perfectly balanced, as all things should be. #thanos

These are simple, common sense tips that almost anyone can immediately incorporate into their daily routine and it will make a positive impact on their health. 

Drank my iced coffee black

When I lived in the US, my Starbucks order was “venti iced coffee, splash of soy milk, 2 pumps vanilla syrup.” Typically, Starbucks puts 5 pumps of flavored syrup into their venti drinks which translates to over 100 calories. if you’re drinking 2-3 of these a day, you’re adding 200-300+ calories into your day just from coffee. Thailand takes it to the next level by adding condensed milk. While this makes their coffee absolutely delicious (almost like a dessert), I removed all condiments from my coffee and drank it black. It took me awhile to get used to the taste but after I did, I felt so much healthier and leaner. Also, my favorite spot to get freshly-brewed iced coffee was 7-Eleven (they have cafes in Thailand). 

Take it from @maxlugavere, Author of New York Times best-seller Genius Foods.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Coffee vs. “coffee”! ☕️🤤 Which side are you? — ☝🏼 Most frozen coffee drinks are loaded with sugar and fat which can make you feel bloated, while a simple iced coffee has more coffee, and no sugar and fat. Certainly good news for our waistlines but also for overall health! — 🔬 The literature favoring coffee as a means of improving life and healthspan seems to be weighed in favor of consumption (at least for the general population—everyone is different). — 🎉 In a recent study, people who consumed 1 cup of coffee a day (including decaf) were 12% less likely to die from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory and kidney disease over 16 years compared to those who didn’t drink coffee. People who drank 2-3 cups per day were 18% less likely. — ✅ The notable thing about this research was that the study population was highly diverse (this is called population heterogeneity)—it was varied in ethnic makeup, encompassing African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and white people. This means that the effect is more likely to apply to the general population (although still, its a correlation, which can not prove causation). — ❓How does coffee work for you? Does it make you feel good? Or jittery? Let me know fam. 👇🏼 — Study referenced: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28693036 • • • • • #weightloss #healthyfood #healthyeating #cleaneating #healthylifestyle #nutrition #healthyliving #weightlossjourney #healthychoices #protein #fitfood #coffeetime #cafe #iifym #instafit #glutenfree #healthylife #exercise #organic #coffeelover #fitnessjourney #gains #wellness #coffeeaddict #getfit #fitgirl #fitnessmotivation #fitspiration #plantbased #muscle

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Aware of carbs

With pad thai being one of the most famous dishes in Thailand, I mostly avoided anything that had rice or noodles. Instead, I ordered a plate of stir-fried or grilled vegetables to pair with my proteins (typically chicken with peppers and onions). This filled me up without all the extra calories from carbs.

I also discovered a type of oatmeal dish called Muesli which is a cold breakfast cereal dish made with rolled oats. The typical toppings were yogurt and fresh fruit. According to Men’s Health, “Muesli. Originating in Switzerland, muesli is a fiber-and-protein power combination of rolled oats, dried fruits, and nuts. Though 1 cup pushes 300 calories, the payoff in vitamins and minerals across the board makes it a hearty meal.”

befreemysheeple korean conner
Korean Conner : the best Korean restaurant in Hua Hin! I never finished the rice.

Cut back on drinking and never drank beer

When I drink, it’s whiskey, tequila and vodka (no mixers). Beer is an inefficient way to get a buzz. It’s a lot of calories, it makes you feel bloated, and it puts a tire on your stomach. To be clear, any amount of alcohol is not good for you if you’re trying to build muscle and lose fat. It’s empty calories, it makes you hungover (which negatively affects your workout the following day), and it hurts your recovery. I kept drinking to 2-4 nights a month, which is almost like being completely sober in Thailand. 

Worked out consistently

Whether or not you’re new to lifting weights or you’ve been doing it for awhile, you know that consistency is the number one rule. The fitness program I primarily used was Anabolic Aliens on YouTube. What I like about this channel is that the host, Mike Rosa, does his HIIT routines along with you. He doesn’t just explain what to do but he does it in real-time. He’s put together routines as short as 5 minutes that have seriously killed me. His channel is good for gym rookies (both men and women) and bodybuilders who want to mix things up.

And if you find yourself in Hua Hin, the gym I recommend is Metamorph Hua Hin. It’s the only boutique gym in Hua Hin and they offer both personal training and yoga. Their day passes are 150 baht but you get a better deal the longer timeframe you buy (1 week, 1 month). The owners O & Nick have become good friends of mine so if you go there, tell them I recommended it. And if you’re in Hua Hin during the full moon, they have full moon meditation.

bear williams and O metamorph hua hin befreemysheeple
BeFreeMySheeple Guest Correspondent Bear Williams with O, one of the founders of Metamorph Hua Hin.

Rode my bicycle everywhere

I had a bicycle during my time in Hua Hin and I would sometimes find myself biking 10-15 km in a day. It didn’t feel like I was exercising because I was just trying to get places but it added up. If you live in a climate where you’re able to walk or bike between places, take advantage and sneak some additional calorie-burning into your daily routine. 

Shared my carbs with my dogs

Even when I was eating mango sticky rice, I needed to find a way to not finish all the sweet rice. My solution was to share some with my dogs! Now to those who say that this isn’t healthy for my dogs, understand I love them more than anything in the world, but also that they walk anywhere between 3-5km a day. They walk more in 1 day than most dogs walk in a week. The point is that they burn off all the calories that daddy feeds them.  Whoooooose a good girl? Whoooooose a good boy?

befreemysheeple raindrop and flex
Whatever I eat, they eat. Except for things likes onions, chocolate, raisins, etc.

Late night meals were relatively healthy

Given my night owl schedule, I would often eat dinner around midnight. I found restaurants like Conom on the Rock on Soi 88 that had healthier options such as roasted chicken. Another hack that I discovered was that the 7-Elevens in Thailand had refrigerated grilled chicken packets that they could heat up in the microwave for you. And they only cost 40 baht ($1.33 USD)! With 20 grams of protein and only 90 calories, these snacks were life-savers. I would sometimes eat 2-3 of them for dinner, and of course share some with my dogs.

Drank 3-4 fresh coconuts a day

Every day, one of the moments I would look forward to the most was getting to the beach and immediately ordering a cold fresh coconut. I didn’t even realize how beneficial coconut water was for weight loss until recently. This article from Women’s Health explains how powerful coconut water is for weight loss, or you can read the below from NDTV.com.

“For all those looking to lose weight can have coconut water. Coconut water is low in calories and easy on stomach. It is packed with bio-active enzymes that are known to ease digestion and boost metabolism. The higher the metabolic rate, the more fat you burn. And the best part is that even though coconut water has a very low concentration of carbohydrates, it still gives you a feeling of being full. Drinking coconut water at least 3-4 times a day may help in losing those extra kilos.”

befreemysheeple fresh coconuts

Ate a lot of fresh fruit

Some people say that fruit will make you gain weight because it has carbs and this is half-true. Yes if you eat 5 pounds of fruit a day, you will almost certainly gain fat, but according to Healthline, “Fruit is low in calories but high in nutrients. Eating it in place of a high-calorie snack can help increase weight loss.” So there you go. If you have a sweet tooth, and a craving hits you, it’s better to have a freshly-cut, cold pineapple, than a Snickers. 

befreemysheeple fresh fruit cart
Fresh Fruit cart close to Soi 88

Bonus Food Vlogs!

If you’ve been a good boy or girl and you’re looking for a place to get delicious, home-baked desserts in Hua Hin, the Pang Hwan Bakery (across from Hua Hin’s Big C) is a must. My uncle said their pandan pudding is the best dessert he had during his entire time in Thailand.

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What are some simple weight loss tips that you know of? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!