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Thursday, 26 June 2014

My Japanese diet for weightloss

All right, it's been so long now, I really ought to update you on things! Since I know a lot of people out there wants to drop a little (or a lot) of weight - I've gathered this from all the curious questions I've had after I've lost so much weight - I'll give you a small guide to what I did. Now, I know it's not advicable to lose too much weight too quickly, so keep this at the back of your head as you read on.

Back in March, I had enough of my struggles with both weight and a constantly upset stomach and being tired all the time. The final straw being that I could no longer fit into my tailored lolita dresses, and had to let out the intake on my pants. It was such a horrifying thing that I told myself there and then that I really - really - needed to do something about my eating habits. I live in Sweden, and Swedish food is very high in calories and we eat quite a lot of bread.

Regular dieting - well, let me just say that popular methods like LCHF made me very ill - where you remove things from your food and eat loads of salad, didn't appeal to me. It felt temporary, and what's temporary is obviously not long term. I wanted to drop weight and keep it, so I needed something that was more lasting and healthier than doing that. I wanted to be able to eat cakes and such now and then, too, because I can be a horrible snack if I'm stressed out. Also, being so busy I didn't want to have to excersise a lot.

Sounds a bit impossible, right? Don't excersise, eat desserts and don't remove food. Only it isn't. I've said so in an earlier post back in March, but I'll repeat it now. What I did was switch to a Japanese diet, almost entirely. See, I really like Japanese food to begin with. It's light, tasty and not at all boring (those of you who've had pasta with meatballs one time too many know where I'm coming from...). And most of all: a lot is very low in calories. All the basic ingredients in Japanese food are low in calories, and no - they don't deep fry everything like some people believe. Food is cooked very briefly so there's a lot of taste, texture and vitamins and such. And if you worry about rice, don't. The big idea is that you don't put everything on one plate - that's one of the biggest sins of Western food: we pile a plate with no clue how much we're stuffing ourselves with. Instead, the food is placed in many smaller bowls. 100g of rice is more than enough for a grown woman (like me), and that's only 129 kcal. A typical Japanese meal (of the variety I eat), is lower than 300 kcal. Usually it's about 200-250 kcal for lunch and supper.

Now, before I go on, I want to remind you want kcal is. If you think about it, kcal is translated into energy. And energy is what you need to go about your daily businesses. This means that if you eat too little kcal and start exercising, you could end up collapsing. The idea behind the diet I'm having, is that I don't excersise. Being a programmer I spend a lot of time in front of my computer, and I lack the concentration to do boring training like running. If you plan on excersising, you need to eat more calories than I do. It is a good idea to have a look at your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) - it's not recommended to eat more than 500 kcal less than your BMR.

All right, to get back on topic after this warning. I get my recipes from this page: This goes without saying, but A) follow the instructions closely, B) some ingredients can be substituted and C) not all of the recipes are low in calories. The latter is the most important if you are planning on losing weight. If you are a Western person like me, there is no need to look for the diet recipes on Cookpad - the regular ones will do perfectly for you. Also, don't double any ingredients - just follow the recipes. If you let's say eat twice the amount recommended for a meal, you're still eating too much calories.

When you make a meal this way, think of it three ways: 1) you need one bowl of rice or noodles (be careful with noodles - they are high in calories), 2) one bowl or small plate with cooked food and 3) one bowl with raw vegetables. One bowl shouldn't be bigger than the cupped hands of a girl, regardless of the eater being male or female. If they work hard, they can have two bowls of rice. When you eat, eat slowly. If you eat with a fork, put it down between mouthfuls.

Here is a typical day for me:

100ml yoghurt - 45 kcal
100g strawberries - 27 kcal

PM Snack
Boiled egg - 60 kcal

100g white, cooked rice - 129 kcal
60 g Chicken breast - 66 kcal
50 g Leeks - 12 kcal
Seasoning - 15 kcal
60 g Cucumber -  9

AM Snack
Toast - 90 kcal

100g Soba noodles - 99 kcal
50 g Salmon - 73 kcal
50 g Leeks - 12 kcal
Seasoning - 20 kcal
4 Cherry tomatoes - 12 kcal

1 slice Banana cake - 134 kcal
25 g Ice cream (Tofuline) - 55 kcal

Total: 849 kcal.

If you look at it, you'll see that it's 6 (!) meals/snacks per day. If I ate this much and still ate Swedish food, it wouldn't even be funny anymore. But since it's not Swedish but Japanese food, is a whooping half of what most people eat (calorie wise). And it's not a little food either - if you would put all that out you'd see that it's plenty enough to eat for one person. It's just low in calories.

Besides the obvious result - weightloss - this has also had other impacts on my life, purely good ones. My stomach is no longer upset but peaceful and happy, because it apparently hates fatty food, and I don't feel heavy and tired after eating. I sleep much better and my skin is much smoother. And as a side effect from eating tofu and other soy products, I've become a much calmer person. (If you are curious about this side effect, google soy products in combination with estrogen and testosterone.) Since I used to get angry easily before, this is a notable change to me.

So, as a final note: how much did I lose? Well. Since March, by simply switching to Japanese food, I've lost 12 kilograms (or 26,4 lbs), and seen as I don't miss anything I doubt I'll regain them anytime soon. ^.^