Getting in shape is a combination of a good diet and a good exercise routine… Neither of which I’ve been doing very well. Now, I’m trying to exercise at least 30 minutes every day. Yes, I’ve not succeeded yet, but hopefully I will get there or at least get close.
Next on the diet side, I’ve never been one to believe in self-deprivation. On a recent Japanese TV show, where they often talk about science-related topics (which means they usually thorough research the topic and/or have respected experts providing information), they covered the topic of diet.
The concept is that you do not want your body think it’s being deprived of food. If your body feels like it is being deprived of food, it goes into a self-preservation mode to convert as much to fat. This is a natural reaction for the body in particular after man survived the famine. As an example, if you do not have enough carbs, although your body will start burning fat, your body will also start creating much more fat for the same amount of food you eat. In addition, as part of the self-preservation, your body will actually lower its temperature to reduce the amount of calories you burn.
This corresponds to concepts I’ve heard in the past including losing weight by not eating just results in slowing down of your metabolism so that when you start eating normal again, you’ll actually gain weight… Another article I read recently was about the phenomenon that people who are working out a lot are finding that they are gaining fat. However, after only a quick glance at the article, I was getting the impression from the article that you shouldn’t work out so hard. Hmph.
Anyway, based on the Japanese TV show, You should have the proper proportion and balance of foods to satisfy your body’s needs and to satisfy your hunger. They suggested the following for EACH meal:
- Two servings of protein
- An unlimited number of servings of vegetables
- A serving of carbs
- A serving of starch/sugars
- And at most a half tablespoon of oils/fat in preparation for the food
A serving of protein can be:
- 120 ml of milk or yogurt (approximately 1/2 cup)
- One slice of cheese
- One egg
- 50 g (approximately 2 oz) of meat
- 1 cut (approximately 3 oz) of fish
- 1/4 serving of tofu
A serving of carbs can be:
- A small bowl of rice
- A half serving of noodles
- A slice of bread
A serving of starch/sugars can be:
- A portion of a potato, pumpkin, or similar food (about the size of an egg, so about 1/2 of a baked potato)
- A half of a fruit
I believe the purpose of the above was to come up with a way to reduce the intake of calories but in a simplified manner. It’s very easy to remember the portions per category. They estimate a meal based on the above is approximately 400 calories.
Anyway, some of the things you’ll notice are:
- Fruits and vegetables are not treated the same. Unlimited vegetables but only 1/2 fruit.
- You are allowed to eat unlimited vegetables. Of course, how they are prepared is key, too, but the concept here is that you do not want to feel deprived or hungry. The worst part about feeling hungry is then you snack… and then you start eating things you shouldn’t.
- The smallness in proportion of some of the other foods… For example, I’ll only be able to have an open face sandwich for lunch (and not a regular sandwich with two slices of bread). I’ll only be able to have a small bowl of rice for dinner. 2 oz of meat is not very much but on the other hand, if you convert that to lunch meat, that’s actually could be more than a couple of slices.
- They did not suggest eating big breakfasts and small dinners.
- No doughnuts, cakes, or chocolate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
According to the show, you should feel your clothes fit differently after 2 weeks. They estimate that a diet like this puts you on pace to lose 1 kg (2.2 pounds) per month.
The above food proportions are for losing weight. Once you get closer to your goal, then you would be able to increase the proportion.
Disclaimer: I am not fluent in Japanese. For anyone who’s up to speed with their Japanese, the web site for this particular episode is here: