Everything else.. The Woes of Being on a Diet in Sri Lanka

The Woes of Being on a Diet in Sri Lanka

2018 Jun 28

Diet and Sri Lanka. Could there be a more paradoxical formulation that exists in the universe?

Probably. However, it does not detract from the fact that being on a diet in Sri Lanka is sometimes as nonsensical as a pastel-shaded unicorn shooting rainbows out of its…you get the picture. Given our indulgent natures and the copious quantities of carbs and sugar in just about every type of local delicacy and speciality, us Lankans probably weren’t destined to possess fit and slender figures.

However, with the universalisation of the #FitFam trend, Sri Lanka is becoming home to a growing population of health conscious, aesthetic attuned individuals, who are all about clean eating.

This post will focus on some of the most common experiences for those who undertake the brave task of being on a diet in Sri Lanka!

1. Your parents (and extended family) are convinced you’re starving yourself

Nope, there’s little point trying to tell them that you’re balancing your macronutrients, carbs, and proteins. If you’re skipping kaha bath on Sunday, not to mention all that jelly and ice cream, you’re definitely “anorexic” or heading that way anyway.

2. It’s super hard to eat clean when you’re out with your friends

Ah, it’s easy to forget sometimes how dangerous it can be to go out with friends when you’re trying to shed weight.


Wherever you go, you’re bound to be surrounded by delicious yeasty-carbs like kottu, or irresistible sugary treats on just about every street corner. Even if you do manage to escape the throes of temptation and pick something wholesome and clean, you’re bound to be the subject of ridicule and teasing. The common refrains of “one meal isn’t going to make you fat” or “stop being so weird”, are those that are very familiar to people brave enough to try eating clean when they hit up the city with friends.

3. Everything is just so damn expensive

Yep, you see all the daily health inspo on Instagram with juicy berries, oats, chicken breast, and all of those avocados. In reality, living in Sri Lanka probably means you’re sticking to your basic red rice, brown bread, eggs, chicken and mung atta, because everything else is super unaffordable in the long run.

Sure, you probably start out with an extravagant splurge; buying all those strawberries, various proteins, the finest rice, and bread. Unfortunately, it probably wasn’t long before you realised that all of this meant that you’d be broke a few days after pay-day. Unless, of course, you were fortunate enough to live in a household where those items were either staples or your parents coughed up all that money to help you build an impressive physique.

4. You’re subject to constant temptation

Let’s face the truth. Sri Lanka is not known for its healthy cuisine or lifestyle. I mean, it’s only understandable – we’re perpetually surrounded by heaven-sent delicacies like ghee rice, bombai muttai, and delicious, golden brown kavum. Naturally, this makes it a feat worth of Hercules to stick to your clean diet at all times. The hardest task of all is probably eating your bland (but wholesome!) meals, while your family gourmandises on sinfully good kade paan and curry. Grrrrrr.


Basically, eating clean in Sri Lanka is tough. You’re constantly tempted to add an entire bottle of sugar into your milk tea because the thought of all the local goodies you’re missing out on drives you wild.

It is, however, highly rewarding. In a country (and world), where obesity and diabetes are on the rise, it pays off to be cautious about the food you feed your body. Just remember, though, it doesn’t hurt to indulge every once in a way! Even Kate Upton and The Rock have their occasional cheat meals.