Obesity has become a major health problem worldwide. This abnormal accumulation of fat has many health consequences, including diabetes (80% of cases), high blood pressure, excess cholesterol in the blood, cancer (especially endometrial), and heart, respiratory and joint disease. Learn how these Japanese habits can prevent obesity.
Researchers are largely interested in what differentiates Japanese people from other populations. Japanese cuisine is known to be very healthy and balanced. The Japanese lifestyle is so special that it allows them to have a very low obesity rate and a much higher life expectancy (average life is 86 years for women and 79 years for men).
4 Japanese habits you should follow to avoid getting fat
- Eat mini-portions
One reason for the lack of obesity in Japan is that they eat smaller portions. The typical Japanese family meal contains a small amount of food compared to food in other countries.
Also, the Japanese generally don’t snack between meals.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and very little fat
The consumption of vegetables and fruits is recognized by scientists to reduce obesity and chronic disease problems. Yet only 50% of young adults consume at least 5 servings every day!
The typical Japanese dish is very rich in vegetables, with fish or seafood, rice or noodles. Soup (or broth) is consumed at every meal. Note that meat is almost absent from their traditional cuisine …
Vegetables have a very important place in the Japanese diet (cabbage, radish, sweet potato, carrots…). The Japanese also consume a lot of algae, especially kelp. It contains iodine to increase the metabolism of the thyroid, which helps to lose weight.
The use of seafood or raw fish is the best known and widespread practice of Japanese cuisine overseas. Aside from sushi, there are many raw fish recipes such as sashimi, or half-cooked, as tataki.
Rice remains the staple food for most meals. A recent study published by the American Dietetic Association found that reduced rice consumption is potential risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
- Don’t drink during meals
The Japanese don’t drink liquids during meals. Their main meals consist of fruits, vegetables and soups containing a large amount of water. The Japanese believe that drinking during meals doesn’t allow proper digestion and blocks the absorption of essential nutrients contained in the food. And it’s totally true!
In addition, drinking water during meals promotes weight gain because water expands the stomach that will be even harder to satisfy. Result: you’ll want to eat even more!
Between meals, the traditional drink is Japanese tea, hot or cold. The tea is very useful to eliminate fat and lose weight fast.
- Physical exercise
The Japanese tend to be very active. They use public transport and prefer to walk or cycle instead of using the car.
Physical activity is essential to be fit. Taking the car, sitting all day at the office and eating fat-rich meals are all factors that explain the increase in obesity rates.
Many have speculated that the Japanese have very specific genes allowing them to stay slim. But following the scientific studies, it was found that the Japanese could be obese if they adopted the American diet.
So the Japanese diet is a good example to follow. It’s just a matter of habit!