Sunday, June 6, 2010

Weight Loss: Eat Like a Japanese Person

I've lived in Japan for about ten years, and in that time have had a bunch of people come to visit from the US. And every time someone comes an odd thing happens.

They lose weight.

No, I don't starve them. I don't make them walk ten miles to the store and carry heavy bags of rice all the way back. I don't even force them to survive on green tea for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No, it just happens. It takes about two weeks. But after even a week belts need tightening, pants don't fit, and my guest has a smile on his or her face that is unmistakable. Oh yeah, I'm losing weight!

But how, exactly? Good question. Here's the answer: eat like a Japanese person. Yep, that's it. No, I don't starve them, but we do eat a little differently here. For breakfast we eat rice, fish and some vegetables. What? No bacon? No fried eggs, and toast slathered in buttery goodness? Where's the blueberry jam? Ok, you can have some blueberry jam, but only after you've eaten the rice, fish and veggies, and only on one half a piece of toast with a modicum of butter!

Lunch? Are you thinking rice again? Well then you'd be correct. Are we living high on the hog now or what? Yes, the whole rice every meal thing gets a bit old, but think of how much bread we westerners eat. And once again, vegetables are a big part of the equation. If you don't have Japanese style veggies, then substitute with whatever is fresh and plentiful in your area. Japanese really love fresh veggies and I think that's why they live so darn long too.

And for dinner, yes, rice again. Hey, it's a staple. And yes, more veggies. Are you sensing a theme here? Remember that deep frying your veggies is a no no. Lightly boiling, or steaming is best. Occassionaly some lightly battered fried seafood is fine, just don't overdo it.

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