Monday, January 22, 2018

Beyond Japanese Diet Plan - What Actually Japanese Do to Stay Slim

You may sometimes and somehow, maybe in an accidental way, watch a Television show about Japanese people.

Then… you realize one thing.

Almost all of the Japanese people have ideal body weight (or at least that’s what I observe). That’s why they look so slim. Also, some of them look younger than their real age.

You may watch some movies where the teens there, both male and female, are the actual adult person aged at 30-35 years old.

Next… you may have other question.

How do they stay young and slim for ages? What is the secret?

Well, there is a common belief it is because of Japanese diet plan.

Is it that simple? I do not think so. I believe that there must be some "secret things” they do to maintain their good health for long term.

So I will not discuss about Japanese diet pills that work fast, 2 day diet Japan Lingzhi, or even diet water Japan.

I do some researches and find some interesting things that will support your Japanese diet plan. It is better than those stuffs.

What I will discuss here is the core of the Okinawa diet.

I find that the diet plan matters but the other things they do during the diet are strongly important to complete and promote the diet plan itself.

Thus, in this article, there are three main points to be discussed. They are:

  1. Healthy Japanese food for weight loss
  2. Daily Japanese exercise to lose weight
  3. Particular Japanese healthy lifestyle
  4. Conclusion

Each of the points above will be discussed more comprehensive in some sub-points.

So, make sure you read all the points listed there (especially the conclusion) to make you understand what they actually do in the case of diet.

japanese diet plan

Healthy Japanese food for weight loss

Before starting what we need in Japanese diet plan, let’s start with “energy balance”.

There is a basic rule of maintaining weight from metabolism’s point of view.

The rule is the calorie intake from what you eat should be same or as equal as the number of calories you burn in your metabolism.

Balanced state: calorie in = calorie out

If you eat more than your metabolism can burn, your weight will be increased. Meanwhile, if you eat less than your metabolism can burn, your weight will be decreased.

That’s why you will be suggested to have the same daily calorie intake if you want to maintain your weight.

You can get calories from many sources as well as you can burn your fat by doing many things you can do.

The problem is somehow there are so many factors that make people become so fat quickly. It can be from gene, foods, habits, and etc.

That’s why people tend to find the best way to make their input and output metabolism system balanced.

Surprisingly, in my opinion, Japanese people generally have a good combination from this aspect.

Despite there are some cases of unhealthy Japanese people, the following Japanese food diet here are based what I observed from the general people there.

1. Eating more fishes for daily needs

japanese diet plan

If you are familiar with some Japanese cuisine, you may realize that fishes are the main part of some famous foods like sushi, takoyaki, and etc.

Fish consumption in Japan is high. They love eating fish as the main menu for daily needs.

Also, fish is famous to be included in Japanese diet recipes.

There, fishes usually served with soybeans, a bowl of rice, miso soup, vegetables, and a slice of fruit.

That is the classic menu.

Despite fishes are popular there, some Japanese says that eating fishes prevents them to be fat.

Is that true?

Surprisingly, fishes have so many benefits for you who are struggling in losing weight. You can add fish when you are on Japanese diet 14 days.

Some recent studies show that fishes are included in healthy food for weight loss because of the EPA inside it.

Thus, in this case, we are going to discuss EPA for weight loss.

EPA is a kind of fatty acid which is contained in fishes. This good fat is well known as the main component of fish oils in supplements industry since 1775.

It has been believed that EPA is good for weight loss. But, the question is why?

EPA can reduce your appetite.

Some preliminaries research involving overweight and obese subjects generally show that consuming fish oils can control subjects fullness after eating.

The general result comes from the using of fish oil which is created from EPA purely and the compounds are something’s similar.

However, you have to remember that this is just a preliminary research. A further research is needed especially for overweight and obesity.

EPA is a good combination of your exercise.

There was a research involving 75 overweight or obese subjects who were divided into four groups.

The two groups took fish oils and the other two groups took sunflower oil as the comparison because the sunflower oil did not contain any Omega 3.

Then, one of those each two groups did exercise regularly. It was running 3 times for 45 minutes every week.

After three weeks, the only group that achieved significant result was the group that took fish oils and did exercise regularly.

They achieved weight loss of 4.5 lbs in average.

EPA has positive effects on insulin resistance.

A research of energy-restricted diets has been held involving 324 subjects for the duration of 8 weeks to see whether fish oil had a role in body’s sensitivity to insulin.

There were four groups there:
  1. The first group had no seafood or fish oil to eat.
  2. The second group had 150 g of codfish to eat three times each week.
  3. The third group had to eat three times each week 150 g of salmon which was more fatty fish.
  4. The fourth group had to take fish oil every day.

The result showed that fish oil had positive effects on insulin resistance. It depended on how much you consumed it.

Comparing to another method, those studies show that EPA may not that powerful in fat burning.

Therefore fish oil and other EPA supplements are not considered as a diet pill.

In fact, if you consume those in high doses, they may cause weight gain.

My suggestion is, please combine them with exercise.

Back to the topic. Japanese people may do not take fish oil regularly, but they eat fishes in a regular for the daily meal.

They even eat more squid and octopus.

So, it makes sense that they got more EPA. A natural EPA from fresh fishes I think.

Then, another question may raise up to my statement “if you consume those in high doses, they may cause weight gain”.

The fact is, Japanese people, eat fishes regularly. It means they eat in large amount accumulated.

But, how do they maintain their weight?

Read those next following discussions below carefully because they support a healthy Japanese diet.

2. Choose white rice, not white bread

japanese diet plan
Rice is important ingredient in Japanese diet meal plan.

Believe it or not, Japanese people would prefer white rice to bread. Surprisingly, white rice can be eaten for any meal.

If you find it out, eating rice will always be included in Japanese diet breakfast.

I believe that you know white rice has more calories than bread, but they have their own reason.

They believe eating white bread or any other kind of bread means they also have to eat butter, jam, jelly, and etc. as the addition.

Those extras have more calories, including fat, sugar, and etc.

In fact:
  1. 100 g white bread contains about 264 calories
  2. 100 g white rice contains about 130 calories.

Then, what about butter or jam?
  • 1 tablespoon butter contains about 102 calories
  • 1 tablespoon jam contains about 30-55 calories.
  • 1 tablespoon jelly contains about 30-55 calories

Thus, is it enough for you just to eat one slice of bread without any butter, jam, or jelly?

Or, how many slices of white bread do you usually need for one single meal? and how much butter, jam, or jelly do you need?

The answer can be relatively various, but the point is white bread + its additions can have much more calories.

It depends on how much you eat.

Next, for your information, the survey in 2015 showed that modern Japanese people just ate averagely 199-gram rice per day.

It means that they only take about 260 calories from rice per day which is as equal as one slice of bread calories.

It also means they do not have to consume sweetener or fats that are contained in butter, jelly, or jam. So, they do not worry about gaining weight quickly.

That's how Japanese keto diet supposed to be.

Honestly, that sounds genius!

3. Use less oil in cooking

japanese diet plan

It is quite surprising when I know that Japanese people are aware of healthiness and have more hopes for a healthier life.

They are also selective in choosing ingredients and have more interests in premium ingredients.

I am not going to say they are all "rich" to buy best foods every day, but they do have health awareness and expectation.

If it is so, you may wonder:

Do they have fried or grilled cuisines?

Yes, they do have but they will choose the best cooking technique and oil to keep nutrition inside the food.

They will use less oil in cooking. That is one of essential matters in Japanese meal plan recipes.

By the way, 1 tablespoon oil contains averagely 110 calories (however, it depends on kind of oils) and if you consume too much, there may some problems you get.

However, I will not discuss all the problems caused by oil since there are so many kinds of oils and it is believed that each kind of oils has its own pros and cons.

The things I notice here are some general bad effects when you consume oil in exaggerated ways.

LDL or Low-Density Lipoprotein is the kind of fat that people hate the most and it is believed that consuming oil too much will increase LDL level in your body.

The increasing of LDL will make your fat accumulate under your skin and your weight will be increased. It can lead you to obesity.

If you use oil to fry more than one time, the quality will be decreased. Unfortunately, not only the quality is decreased, but also re-used oil will become carcinogens.

Then, when you are in obesity, some bad diseases will come to you such as diabetes, rheumatic, stroke disease, and etc.

Therefore, Japanese people love cooking by boiling foods.

For breakfast, lunch, and dinner...

....there is a legendary boiled food for every meal.

They call it miso soup.

It is healthy fermented soy powder with some veggies and tofu inside it.

Usually, you can find it as breakfast menu but sometimes people there will eat it at lunch or dinner too.

4. Eat more vegetables for daily needs

japanese diet plan

I believe you know that vegetables are so healthy and so on, so on, so on, and so on.

Then, would you mind to eat them in your every single meal? For your breakfast, or lunch, or even dinner?

I don't know what you are going to say.

But I know that Japanese people would cook and eat vegetables every day.

They love eating vegetables and will choose the best ingredients for their meal.

Here are some examples of leafy vegetables that are popular there.

1. Kyabetsu. Kyabetsu or cabbage is a popular ingredient that can be added to any dish in Japanese cuisine.

2. Hakusai. It has another name such as Chinese cabbage or Napa cabbage. If you familiar with kimchi from Korea, this is the main ingredient.

3. Horenso. Horenso or spinach is usually mixed with soya sauce to create horenso no goma-ae (spinach salad).

4. Komatsuna. This mustard spinach is not as bitter as spinach. So usually it can be cooked as salads, soups, or pickle.

5. Mizuna. This spider mustard is well known as the ingredient for salad, hot pot, or garnish in dishes.

6. Shiso. This perilla leaf has two varieties. The green one or aojiso is used in sashimi, stews, salad, or soup. Meanwhile, the red one or akajiso is used in the pickle.

Actually, there are more and more vegetables that usually Japanese eat from various kind of vegetables such as mushrooms, seaweed, and even bamboo shoot!

For your information, seaweed will always be a popular ingredients to be included in Japanese vegetarian diet plan.

Those vegetables can be cooked in a various way and there they are mostly cooked as soups, stew, or pickled which are healthy...

...because they do not contain oil (or less oil).

For your information, they eat more vegetables than rice.

It means they get more fibres than carbs that supports their health.

Let me say to you, it is better than just doing Japanese enzyme diet.

Real vegetables are natural and healthy.

5. Japanese green tea diet

japanese diet plan

Tea is one of some popular drinks in the world. You may find tea in any part of the world.

But you will realize there are so many tea-races spread all over the world.

Then, in this case, we are going to talk about green tea as a particular Japanese diet tea.

People may call it or recognize it as Japanese tea because it has been the part of Japanese culture for centuries.

There, people drink green tea frequently for breakfast, lunch, or dinner as the part of their custom in daily life.

Green tea will always be included in traditional Japanese meal plan.

Actually, green tea does not originally come from Japan.

In Heian and Nara era, the tea was brought by some Japanese people from China. They were monks who studied Buddhism there.

It happened over a thousand years ago and the tea was only consumed exclusively by religious people class till it spread to the Royals.

Nowadays, green tea can be enjoyed by all the people, but do you know that there is some kind of green tea?

It is quite surprising to realize that there are some types of Japanese green tea.

To be honest, I only know that green tea is only just a green...

...tea until I write this article.

What makes green tea different with other types of tea are how the tea leaf is being cultivated and being processed by farmers.

1. Sencha. This tea comes from youngest tea leaves that are picked, steamed, rolled, and dried. It is the most common green tea there.

2. Matcha. This tea comes from the high-quality leaves that are grown in the shade and is processed into powder. This bright green tea powder is usually used in traditional Japanese ceremonies.

3. Gyokuro. If matcha comes from high-quality tea leaves, then gyokuro comes from the best quality of green tea. Its dark green leaves and unique aroma make it distinguishable from the others.

4. Hojicha. This tea comes from toasted and chilled green tea leaves. This green tea has less caffeine and mild taste.

5. Genmaicha. This low caffeine green tea comes from the mix of sencha tea with toasted puffed brown rice. Some people say it tastes like popcorn.

See? That surprises me!

The customs of drinking green tea began in the 12th century. There was a popular book titled Kissayojoki that was written by Myouan Eisai, a Zen priest.

In that book, he wrote in detail about tea cultivation, preparation, and how beneficial it is for health and long life.

That was a popular Japanese diet book because it showed how green tea took role in Japanese diet and health.

Here are some potential health benefits of green tea that had been examined in the recent research studies.

1. Contains antioxidants. Since green tea is least processed, it contains high levels of antioxidants and other bioactive compounds that protecting cells and protect us from free radicals.

2. Protect heart health. Drinking green tea regularly can prevent heart-related diseases.

3. Promote brain health. One of the bioactive compounds called flavonoids helps protect neurons that can decrease the risk of Alzheimer and Parkinson.

4. Relaxation. Green tea has a meditative effect because L-theanine that is contained in green tea has a relaxing effect on the brain.

5.Decrease risk of diabetes. Flavonoids and anti-inflammatory compounds in green tea can help to control glycemic and decrease blood sugar levels. If you are in type 2 diabetes, drinking green tea is beneficial for you.

6. Promotes bone health. A study reveals that the three tea components; gallocatechin, epigallocatechin, and gallocatechin gallate slow bone breakdown and encourage bone development.

7. Weight loss? The question about the relation between drinking green tea and lose weight is the most asked question. Green tea help burning fat and boosting metabolism.

Those benefits will not be gotten when you do not know the best way to drink green tea.

As we know that a perfect ingredient will not be perfect anymore when you do not know how to prepare it well.

Here is how to drink green tea for weight loss.

1. Ideal temperature. Do not pour the boiled water or it will destroy the bioactive compounds. Just wait for the water to be less hot till 160-180 ºF (70-82 ºC). That's the ideal one.

2. Steeping time. You may have your own preferences, but in my suggestion, it will be better to steep for three minutes.

3. Quality of water. Japanese believes that water will determine the taste. Choose the high quality one (you can go and find mountain spring water).

4. Do not use sugar. It is not English tea, so we do not need sugar (dairy and natural flavours too).

The last one, please buy from a high reputation producer or supplier who has a comprehensive understanding of green tea.

It is recommended to drink 3-4 cups per day and you can start it by drinking one cup after breakfast and one cup after lunch.

Daily Japanese exercise to lose weight

I believe that any fitness personal trainer, doctors, experts, health students, and etc. will tell you that exercise will complete your diet.

The problem is...

...not all the people would do some exercise because of so many reasons.

If you are working in an office as staff or etc. you will find that free time will be hard to be found.

You will just wake up early in the morning, go to the office in the morning to avoid the traffic jam, and leave in the afternoon (It doesn't include your night meeting or another seminary).

So, when you are home, what you feel is just a bad hard tiring day.

You will be completely tired and lazy to do some exercises.

Then, you may be wondering this: Why is it so easy to be thin in Japan?

I know that you believe that Japan is a busy country and you may also think that they do not have time to do regular exercise.

If it is so, here are what Japanese do that I recognize as daily exercises.

1. Use train to travel every day. 

japanese diet plan

Why do Japanese use the train to travel?

The answer is simple. There, the train is the major transportation for people. Rail transport connects almost all the cities and villages there.

If you are familiar with high-speed or let me say ultra-high-speed train, you will find that Japanese have shinkansen.

But, on this occasion, I am not going to discuss that matter.

Let me tell you why using the train to travel can be recognized as daily exercise (even to lose weight too).

Firstly, you have to walk to the train station, and your speed will be increased as you realized that you are in a rush hour and there, people are crowded waiting for the train.

Pardon, walking?

Yes, they are walking, not driving a car (some of them will use bicycle instead).

Walking in 10 minutes can burn about 55 calories generally and 38 calories leisurely.

What about walking fast at 4 mph in 10 minutes? It can burn about 77 calories.

What about running a bit in order to get a seat on the train? In 14 mph speed of running, you can burn 148 calories for 5 minutes.

Secondly, they sometimes have to walk up and down stairs to get in or get out from the station.

It burns fat you know.

Walking up and down stairs will burn 102 calories in 10 minutes for A person with 160 lbs weight.

Then the calories burned will be increased when you do it by running. It will be increased to 191 calories.

They do this "exercise" every day in a frequent way. It is a good exercise to be added if you are on Japanese diet plan 14 days.

Suppose that they have to use a train to go work. They will at least walk to the train station and walk up and down the stairs twice a day... go work and to go home (without having to change the train).

Combine it with 14 day Japanese diet and see the results.

So, how many calories are burned for a single day?

2. Go shopping every day

japanese diet plan

In Japan, people go shopping every day, especially for the housewife, because she has a responsibility to control the money and prepare all the family's member needs.

Some things can be bought and used for a long time and the other one cannot. Take for example; foods.

As I tell you before, they are completely aware and has a high expectation of health and life quality.

They do not only want a "premium" ingredient, but also the fresh one. Freshness is completely and highly needed.

Therefore, they will go to the store every day to get some fresh ingredients.

Especially for those who on 2 week boiled egg diet. They need fresh eggs.

Besides, their houses are usually designed without much space inside it. So, they will not keep many things.

They will just buy what they need it and spend it immediately.

For that reasons, they have to go shopping every day and walk to the store or even traditional market. Then, when they go home, they will carry some plastic bags which are full of stuff.

The activities continue repeatedly every day.

So, what do they get from doing that thing?

They will burn more calories when they are carrying something and walking at the same time.

The calories you burn will be different when you just walking or walking + carrying something.

Even though human body can adapt and the optimum process of fat burning only happens for the first time, walking activities regularly is good.

3. Don't use the drying machine

japanese diet plan

Japan is one of some countries that develop high technology in recent decades.

You may see or use some of the Japanese electronic products, cars, bikes, or even smartphones.

But, there is a particularly unique thing when it comes to drying clothes. It is rare to find a dryer machine there.

In Japan, people will hang their laundry outside to air dry.

There are some reasons why do Japanese wash clothes every day and choose to hang their laundry compared to use a drying machine.

First, it is about climate. The high humidity makes clothing become more quickly dirt with sweat. Meanwhile, there is not enough space for dirty clothes.


...people will wash their clothes every day because if they keep their dirty clothes, the smells will be spread.

Meanwhile, on the other side, the electricity cost there is so high. So it will be better if they hang their laundry.

Second, it is about desire. They feel that laundry which is dried by the sun and air will be fresher and smells good.

Third, they are aware of nature and energy. By hanging laundry, they use Eco-friendly energy and save more energy for electricity.

So, why do I put this thing on the list?

Well, I have no idea how many calories exactly burnt by doing this. But, it is a routine exercise that they do every day.

As you know that cleaning and other household tasks can burn calories, I think this activity makes them keep moving and stay healthy.

4. Don't use the automatic dishwasher

japanese diet plan

In Japan, it is hard to find the automatic dishwasher and not all of the people there prefer automatic dishwasher.

There are few, but not all.

One of the reasons is they feel that dishwasher machine cannot completely clean the dishes especially when there is a load of dishes.

It can make them so stressful to realize that all the stuff seem are not clean enough.

Remember, Japanese people have a high expectation of health and it also means that all the things surround them have to be perfect in a good state.

Usually, Japanese people wash dishes three times a day. They will wash soon after a meal.


As I tell you before, they do not have a big space in their house. You may find on the internet how small space in their house.

As same as previous "hanging laundry" point before, they have to clean the dishes immediately or the smells will spread.

The other reason is they do not like the machine because it uses lots of energy and water. It may be arguable but they think so it is.

Besides, they do not like to dry dishes by using towel since they believe that is unsanitary.

As the choice, they will let the dishes to dry naturally or just put those dishes on the rack. So, it will not be so surprising if they only just use dishwasher's rack.

The last reason is since Japanese prefer to wash the dishes after every meal so it will be completely wasting energy and water if they use the automatic dishwasher.

Therefore, washing dishes manually two or three times every day will be a good exercise.

It may be so simple, but whatever it is, if you do that repeatedly, then you will get the benefits.

Particular Japanese healthy lifestyle

After we know about what they eat and do particularly in order to stay slim, here are some particulars healthy lifestyle that I think will support the Japanese diet plan.

As we know that, no matter how good your diet food is, it cannot work lonely. It needs some supportive things to do to achieve the goal.

I have previously talked about their particular " daily exercises" that they do.

I know, those things are not equal to be compared with "normal exercises" like swimming, running, cycling, and etc.

But, those "daily exercises' will be completely useful when you are too busy with your job and do not have time just to grab your training jacket and running shoes.

These particular things below are so unique so I cannot include them to neither "Japanese food for weight loss" section nor "Japanese exercise to lose weight" section.

But, regarding the importance, I believe that those things below are related to the Japanese diet secrets.

1. Eating food in small portion

japanese diet plan

When you watch anime or read a manga, you may find some scenes that show how one of the characters there will eat so many foods.
You will find so many foods on the table and he or she will eat as hungry as a horse.

So, by watching or reading the manga, you may think that Japanese will eat much. But, is that true?

In reality... is not that real.

Let me tell you how to eat like Japanese person in reality.

In eating, there are some particular things that Japanese aware of such as aroma, appearance, freshness, nutrition, and etc.

Thus, as the consequence, there, people will eat food in a small amount in every Japanese food plan.

A typical Japanese diet is a small bowl of rice with some various dishes which are also in a small amount.

This thing also impacts in the market. Japanese people will sell food in a smaller amount than what other people sell in other countries.

For example, it is quite easy to find on the internet how a food franchise like McDonald's will sell their foods in a smaller size in Japan.

Another example, you may find that in Japan, people will sell cake in a small amount and the cake looks so cute.

Even though there are some shops that sell food in big portion, but generally foods are sold in a small amount.

So, the point is Japanese people actually do not eat much. They eat less than other people in other country eat.

You may see that they can adapt on 14 day egg diet plan.

2. Losing weight in summer

japanese diet plan

Actually this is one of Japanese weight loss secrets that you have not imagined before.

As a country with four seasons, Japanese people have their own way of enjoying summer...

...even sometimes a heat wave haunts them.

When summer comes, the temperature will increase rapidly to 35 Celsius or more.

A high temperature makes them want more, more, and more drink.

Usually, people there will change their food and drinks. During summer, people there will prefer to drink some icy drinks or even cold cola or beer.

Is cold drink enough?

That is not enough.

In summer, some people may face natsubate or summer fatigue. This fatigue will make you so tired, sleeplessness, tiredness, and etc.

In this state, if you do not eat anything, your condition will be worse.

Unfortunately, people there lose appetite during summer. As I mentioned before, they need more drinks because of the high temperature.

When summer comes, Japanese people will completely change their diet to prevent summer lethargy.

During summer, fishes, eels, ramen, watermelon, and ice will dominate the Japanese top list menu.

Those foods are healthy and do not contain calories as many as regular foods that they eat in other seasons.

Well, guess what will happen when you lose appetite and do not eat much at the same time?

Yup, you will lose your weight.

Then, what will happen when that condition happen in a long time?

Yup, the more weight you lose.

Therefore, summer is the best time for Japanese who want to lose their weight.

Not only it is because they lose appetite, but also the available foods there during summer do not contain many calories.


1. About food. They select the best ingredients, cook it in a more healthy ways, and eat foods in small portions.

Japanese people have a high expectation of health so they will choose a premium ingredient.

They eat more fishes, vegetables, grains, seaweed, grains, and even octopus. Some people also call it Japanese longevity diet.

Then, they use less oil in cooking and prefer cooking by boiling foods. 

And, here it is the best part. In every diet tips, you will be asked to eat less. Well, Japanese people are actually eating food in a small amount.

It means that their calories intake are fewer than other people.

2. About exercises. In my opinion, without going to the gym or doing sport intentionally, their daily activities are actually a good exercise.

They have to go to the train station, school, or any other place primarily by walking every day. It burns so many calories.

Besides, they also have to do some households activities manually such as hang the laundry and wash the dishes. It also burns calories.

3. The summer effect. The high temperature makes people there lose their appetite. You will see people there will change diet plan meal planner when summer comes.

They just drink more and eat less. It makes them lose weight during summer.

When you read all the previous points above, you will realize that Japanese diet is actually a perfect combination of those three things that support each other.

I think those things explain how Japanese weight loss should be done.

Their calories intake = Their burnt calories

That's what I find. What about you?

Hi! I am Alex and I am interested in dietary things and other health informations.