Dieting

I need to put a big disclaimer on this, because personally I think women look best with a little meat on them. Boobs and hips are awesome. We’re women, we should look womanly. I think a lot of the Japanese female bodies in magazines to me are not as flattering as they could be with 10lbs on them (or more in some cases).

…but I know most of us are trying to lose or maintain weight, so here are my tips. I lost 25lbs (11.3 kilos) this spring, I still have 10 more to go, but hopefully my advice is okay coming from a girl who is doing it. If you’re curious how, I worked out 6 days a week on an elliptical and ran on a treadmill 30 mins a day and followed these eating and moving tips.

First of all, let me say the myth that everyone loses weight in Japan is wrong! Dead dead wrong! Why?

  • Vegetables and fruits are expensive! A pint of strawberries is often $10.00USD! A small section of pineapple is $5.00 USD.
  • They’ve moved away from a fish diet often and stores cater to meat and pork lovers.
  • Salads are a joke! Often you’ll get the ruinous cheap iceberg lettuce topping that is nutrient low and then on top of white noodles. Possibly a cherry tomato. That’s a Japanese salad!
  • No concept of slow food. Such a whole grains, brown rice, and fiber cereals. These are better for digestion and health. They’re hard to find!
  • Japan is a drinking society. Most love to drink to excess. Often several times a week. Alcohol adds pounds.
  • Most of their dieting advice is centered around starvation or quick-loss options, both neither work in the long run.

It is easier to lose weight in the States, yet the States has an obesity problem ^_^;;;

Diet and Exercise go hand in hand when losing weight, but dieting is much more important since calorie loss is quicker/easier than calorie burn. Think of it as a 70/30 relationship.

Learn your BMI and BMR! – You can start out with a simple BMI calculator and the move to the BMR calculator. This excellent BMR calculator lets you know how much calories to eat to maintain or lose weight. A BMI of 22 or a little less.

Fiber – Studies show women who only increase their fiber intake were able to lose or at least stop the average 4lb per year weight gain most women have. Fiber itself contains no calories, yet it has wonderful properties of keeping you full. Enough fiber helps your body flush out fat as well.

High fiber and an excellent way to start the day.

Nuts – Eat less than the serving size they tell you, but they are a wonderful pre-workout snack as they give you energy without giving many calories.

Eat for your future – Often people think oh god I worked out so much, I need to eat tons. Or if you did fun stuff outside and you’re hungry. However, the food you eat is for your future energy loss so dinner should be small and early since you don’t have the time to burn all those calories.

Are you hungry, or just thirsty? – This was a big breakthrough for me. I often found the times between meals I wanted to snack, it was because I was not chugging down enough water. Your body often says it’s empty when it is simply just needing more fluids.

My pink tea pitcher and pink mug with heart handle.
It has microwavable stones in the handle… oh Japan I daisuki you.
Both from LoFt.

Don’t drink your calories! – Alcohol is delicious and easy to fall into that trap, but keep your drinking low and keep your body smaller. Juice is useless, eat small amounts of fruit instead. Smoothies aren’t as filling as the same calories in a meal. Enjoy water, tea and coffee.

Malibu and Pineapple, deliciously wrong for you.

Pack your Frozen Dinners – Frozen dinners like Kashi brand are excellent ways of knowing exactly the calorie count you’re getting in a meal and provide a lot of nutrients. However, build on those and cook some frozen veggies and throw them into the meal. You’ll get a better proportion of veggies to meat and pack in more fiber and excellent slow carbs.

Frozen veggies are actually shown to be more nutrient rich than their shelf counterparts because the frozen ones are frozen on site after they’re picked, packing more freshness than the shelf veggie you might consider more fresh.

Regulate your sleep – If you don’t sleep what’s needed for your body in a regular schedule, you’ll find you will bloat and your metabolism will suffer.

Eat breakfast – Within the first hour you’re awake. Breakfast starts the metabolism cycle and builds energy for the day.

Be boring! – This especially works for breakfast. Stick to something for breakfast or lunch you can repeat as often as possible. Options such as low-fat yogurt and high fiber cereal for breakfast, or sticking to frozen meals + veggies for lunch. This keeps your body from craving bad foods and if your calorie count is fine for these, you’ll find it less worrisome when typically calorie-rich dinner comes around.

Get Spicy – Like eating soup, the spicyness often tricks your body to stop if it’s over your tolerance so you eat less. If you need seriously spicy: go Korean ^_^v

Spicy = good for you

Consider incorporating hand weights – Use the heaviest ones you can handle for 1 rep. Muscle burns calories and you can do a simple routine during a 30 minute show and burn more calories than you’d think. Building muscle is for your future. 4 months later when you’re eating that heavy carb meal, your new muscles are helping to better burn it.

Move – Always think about how you can move more throughout your day. If you’re in front of the computer thinking negative thoughts about your body, instead you could be moving that booty and helping it.

Surround yourself with good foods – Always have tons of tea to quickly drink. Healthy snacks with tons of fiber or a small amount of fruit is great. If you can grab it easily, you’ll pick the easy option which for you will be the healthy option :)

Healthy snacks my man brought me from the US <3

Track your waist measurement and weight – But only once a week. Anymore on the scale and you’ll just become a sad obsessive person about body weight.

Love you now, praise the you that you are becoming – Once you’ve started to lose weight don’t get down that you’ve only lost 5 pounds or such. It’s much better to be 5 pounds less and loving the changes in your body than to be hating on the other 15 you have to lose. Negativity never helped anyone!

21 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    October 6, 2009 / 1:50 am

    Loved this entry. Your tips are really helpful and practical, thanks!

  2. desude
    October 6, 2009 / 2:05 am

    this is such a useful entry~ and it's not unhealthy or unrealistic either!

  3. LANA~
    October 6, 2009 / 2:29 am

    lol, you know it's funny that you brought up how some ppl believe that you can easily lose weight in Japan because from experience, I walked a lot, ate a lot,drank a lot and thought oh yea! Im walking sooo much i'll burn it off, but I didn't lose a lb lol I maintained my weight and I was hoping I was losing weight haha.

    MAN, it gets me so worked up looking at the diet pages and looking at how emanciated these girls look! They probably weigh like 60 lbs O_O

    You make perfect sense Mitsu~ Very useful to us girls!

  4. Anonymous
    October 6, 2009 / 4:46 am

    I was thinking, are those diet pills promoted in mags really that popular among young girls in Japan? Or how do they stay so skinny?:o
    For me, it has always seemed like Japan is a country where skinniness is especially admired, I don't know…
    Plus I just wanted to say, I love your blog!:3

  5. Aralka
    October 6, 2009 / 8:04 am

    I love this note, very useful.
    I think I should loose some kilograms :D

  6. Jeni
    October 6, 2009 / 12:09 pm

    I love that entry, I love your blog in general!!
    You got so much useful tips for us girls, I really wanna say thank you for keeping us up to date! Last time I went to ATOM I saw you with your friends and I really thought of coming over and thank you in person, but by the time I had enough guts you had a friend to take care of.

    Well when I go through the streets of Tokyo I hardly see overweight people. I really wanna know how they do it. Because like you pointed it out, japanese food can be have a lots of caloriens, nevertheless everyone is so super skinny. Plus I doubt these pills work.

  7. candiesandlaces (Valentine)
    October 6, 2009 / 12:18 pm

    This is a useful post!

  8. Anonymous
    October 6, 2009 / 1:48 pm

    it's sad that it's moving to a more westernized diet! but i agree, in the US every food product seems to have a light/sugarfree/fatfree version! and i don't drink calories either! big nono. only 0% milk for calcium ^^;
    also, bmi/losing weight doesn't say much if you're exercizing since muscle weighs more than fat, and then there is fat/muscle ratio that differs in each person… (sorry, i study nutrition & health! xD)

  9. regluvjess
    October 7, 2009 / 6:03 pm

    *clap clap clap* I've been trying to eat better lately :D I'm still at a "normal" weight, but I know I'm not very healthy. I lose my breath going up the stairs!! AMEN to everything you said :D

  10. Mitsu
    October 9, 2009 / 5:18 am

    Jeni: Awwh Im sad you didn't. We'll be there again this Friday (today) if you're also heading out come hang with us <3

  11. Mitsu
    October 9, 2009 / 5:19 am

    Aralka, awwwh I bet you're at an awesome weight. We all just want to be healthy (hopefully) ^_^

  12. Mitsu
    October 9, 2009 / 5:24 am

    Anon: I agree with the BMI comment, but I do have doubts that many of the readers are weightlifters or trialtheletes. My friend is is a triathelete and a gym rat her 5'1" and her small framed body weighs 130, an extremely healthy six packed 130. But I doubt how many of are that and for everyone its a good springboard to better health :)

  13. Anonymous
    October 9, 2009 / 8:54 pm

    true! i forget! i get so excited about sharing my knowledge xD

  14. Neko_chik
    December 9, 2009 / 2:05 am

    oh you missed the dance a lot of parapara part xD

  15. Misheru
    June 14, 2010 / 4:43 pm

    This is such a great motivator for me!
    Thanks for posting this Mitsu~ :bear:
    You inspire me so much :bear: :peer:

  16. joanna elizabeth
    July 1, 2010 / 11:25 pm

    oh wow, this is very useful. (:
    very simple way of weight loss.
    I’m going to try it out! (:
    thanks!

  17. Caity
    October 5, 2010 / 1:34 pm

    Kick it DDR style!
    Me and my friend would get into our gear (Sweat bands, leg warmers)
    And we would put it on calorie buring mode and go all out!
    :D

  18. Jackelin
    January 28, 2011 / 11:16 pm

    :DD I love your blogggggggg
    this is great advice your awesome!!
    Arigatoe! :D

  19. alexis
    January 5, 2012 / 10:26 am

    Yeeeeey :heart:
    I’ve been wanting something like this for a long time. :thumb: i love eet. :yayyay:
    :hands:

  20. April 24, 2013 / 5:14 pm

    thanks sooo much for the advice! :up:
    I’ve been trying to lose weight for a while but… i’m in a love hate relationship with food. I’ll try to use these tips and get to my goal weight of 115lbs so I can fit my big ass into those gyaru style shorts I’ve had my eye on for a while ^^ :korila: :happydance:

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