Japanese diet: lose weight and get younger

The island of Okinawa in southern Japan has the most centenarians in the world. It has the lowest rates of diabetes, cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s and many lean, fit people. This is partly due to the nutrition of the inhabitants of Japan, as well as their distinctive culture and lifestyle.

Hara hati boo!

If the cult of consumption is popularized in the West and people live under the slogan “Take everything from life!”, then in the Land of the Rising Sun they follow the principles of moderation. There is a rule here “Hara hati bu!”, Which calls for you to finish eating as soon as you feel that you are 80% full.

It is interesting that he is taught from early childhood. This explains the very low percentage of obesity among the inhabitants of Japan (only 2.9%). As the writer Naomi Moriyama subtly noted , Japanese women (and men too) do not age or get fat!

In a 15-year study of more than 75,000 Japanese, it was found that people who followed the traditional Japanese diet had a 15% lower risk of premature death compared to those who followed a Western diet .

What is special about the diet of the Japanese and what should be done to maintain harmony and vigor until old age?

Japanese diet: main features

The traditional Japanese diet is a diet based on whole, minimally processed foods, plant foods, fish and seafood, with a small amount of animal protein, added sugars and fats.

The culinary traditions of the Japanese call for emphasizing the natural taste of dishes, and not masking them with sauces and seasonings.

The diet is rich in steamed rice, noodles, fish, tofu, seaweed, fresh, boiled or pickled fruits and vegetables. It includes eggs, dairy products and meat, but they are only a small part of the daily menu.

One meal may consist of miso soup and rice cakes, a small amount of fish or meat, and two or three vegetable dishes. And all this in small portions, just to satisfy your hunger. It is estimated that the Japanese eat 25% fewer calories than Westerners.

How to lose weight on the Japanese diet?

The Japanese diet is rich in whole foods and low in sugar and fat. There is raw fish in sushi and sashimi and a lot of marinated, fermented foods.

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Fruits are eaten for breakfast or dessert, most commonly Fuji apples, tangerines, and persimmons. There are vegetables in almost every meal. The calorie content of most dishes is minimal.

The hara hati bu rule acts as a preventive measure against overeating and, according to the latest scientific evidence, can create the calorie deficit needed for healthy weight loss.

And the scheduling that Japanese people eat at their meals can help reduce the total amount of food eaten at one time, which encourages healthy weight loss .

“Eat with your eyes!”

The Japanese style of eating calls for “eating with your eyes”, enjoying every bite of food and admiring its beauty (table setting and beautiful serving of the dish are important features of the diet). As a result, a person eats more slowly, thanks to which he receives a brain signal about satiety in time and finishes the meal.

Those who want to become slimmer or get healthier with the help of the Japanese diet should focus on the following ingredients:

  • Rice and noodles. Steamed rice is a staple in the traditional Japanese diet. Also popular are sobu noodles, ramen, and udon, which are served in hot or chilled broth.
  • Fish and seafood. They can be baked, stewed, steamed or grilled. And also consumed raw, including in sushi and sashimi.
  • Soy products. Most often, the Japanese lean on tofu, miso, soy sauce, tempeh and natto.
  • Seaweed. They are usually consumed fresh or dried.
  • Tempura. This is a light dough that is kneaded from wheat flour with sparkling water. It is used for deep-fried seafood and vegetables.
  • Fruits and vegetables. Usually fruits are consumed fresh, while vegetables are boiled, pickled or steamed, stewed in broth and added to soups.
  • Beverages. Hot green tea and chilled barley tea are the main drinks of the people of Japan.
  • Red meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products are allowed only in small quantities.

Sample menu for the day

Breakfast: miso soup, steamed rice, seaweed salad.

Lunch: soba noodles in broth, salmon or tuna sashimi, vegetable tempura.

Dinner: mushroom soup, rice cakes, steamed vegetables, fried scallops.

Snacks: apple, tangerine.