See 11 Japanese Secrets To Staying Slim & Living Longer
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Japan has 71,274 centenarians… and 88.1% of them are female. The eldest woman is 116, and the oldest man is 112.
In fact, 50% of individuals born in 2007 are expected to live to be 100! Wow!
The Japanese have certainly mastered health and longevity!
Also impressive is that Japan has far less obesity than the United States. According to one study, only 3.6% of Japanese have a body mass index (BMI) over 30 (the international obesity measurement).
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Unfortunately, 32% of Americans are obese. And 66.5% of Americans have a BMI over 25, making them overweight. In Japan, only 24.7% are overweight.
In my opinion… I need to do whatever they are doing! Let’s take a look at Japanese habits that promote health and slenderness… and see what you can implement in your own life.
The Japanese Diet
Here are 8 things you can learn from a traditional Japanese diet that could inspire a healthy change in your own eating habits:
1) Eat More Fresh Fish
Japanese people consume a great deal of sardines, tuna, salmon, and mackerel. Those fish are all full of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 is a good fat that may help prevent heart disease, dementia, arthritis, and depression. Toss some omega-3 fish into your grocery cart next time you go shopping.
2) Stop Eating When You’re 80% Full
This is a tough one.
That’s because there’s a delay between the moment your belly is full and when your brain is notified. That delay is what causes the uncomfortable fullness you experience after a delicious meal that you couldn’t stop eating.
The Japanese term “Hara hachi bun me” is a Confucian teaching that means you should stop eating when you’re 80% full.
Also try to eat slowly and savor your food. Whenever you can, avoid being in a rush during mealtime.
Always sit down and treat meals as self-care time. No reading, phone scrolling, or watching television. Focus on the sensory gratification of eating so you feel full and satisfied.
3) Load Up On Vegetables At Every Meal
Each Japanese meal includes 4 or 5 vegetables! No wonder people in Japan are thin.
If you fill up on low-calorie and nutrition-dense veggies, you’ll be too full to eat the less healthy foods. Water is also filling, so drink up.
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Helpful hint: Veggies are great evening snacks. If you’re starving after dinner and eat some vegetables or a fruit… you’re barely consuming calories (as long as they aren’t prepared in a fatty or sugary sauce).
Vegetables are wildly healthy and insanely low in calories. Stock your fridge with them, and you’ll make eating nutritiously easy.
4) Embrace Alternative Proteins
Japanese dishes often include soy-based items like tofu, soy sauce, edamame beans, and natto (fermented boiled soybeans). Those proteins have little or no saturated fat.
(And if you’re worried about the sodium content in soy sauce… you can purchase low-sodium soy sauce.)
Red meat is fattening and not the healthiest protein. Explore the world of alternative proteins… and you may very well lose some weight and help lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and premature death.
5) Eat Small Portions
Japan is famous for bento boxes. These feature small compartments to store a variety of food.
Bento boxes make portion control easy. This is very important because the more food on your plate… the more likely you are to eat it.
Small plates and portions are the best strategy. Take a modest portion and help yourself to another modest serving if you’re still hungry after you eat it.
6) Enjoy Healthy, Minimally Processed Snacks
I don’t know about you… but I’m often guilty of eating WAY more snacks than I should!
It’s all too easy to start with just one potato chip, cracker, or sweet… and pretty soon, you’ve eaten the entire package. Plus, those processed snacks are usually packed with sugar, fat, artificial ingredients, and other bad stuff.
In Japan, they often snack on seaweed or dried fish. What a contrast! If you’re like me, you’re feeling pretty gluttonous right about now.
Your best bet is to go to the healthy section of your grocery store, a health-oriented store, or online… and look for healthy, minimally processed snacks.
For example, look for crackers made with all-natural ingredients. You can top your healthy cracker with hummus, natural fruit preserves, egg salad, avocado, yogurt, salsa, or another low-calorie spread.
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Other healthy and non-fattening snacks include celery with peanut butter, yogurt, plain popcorn, pretzels, cottage cheese, boiled eggs, nuts, smoothies, fruit, roasted chickpeas, and cheese—especially low-fat varieties.
Nuts are another great choice for a healthy snack. They contain healthy fats that are great for you! However, the recommended serving size is just 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or a handful of nuts for a snack.
7) Try Less Sweet Desserts
Japanese desserts aren’t as rich and sugary as typical American desserts.
If you focus on eating less sugary desserts… you won’t have the taste and CRAVING for the decadent and intense desserts you might now enjoy. Examples of Japanese desserts are lightly sweetened tofu and red beans. So healthy!
You’ll probably have to wean yourself off the triple chocolate cake and death by chocolate-type things to change your dessert habits. Going straight from rich, sugar-filled desserts to sweet tofu and red beans would be like quitting a drug (sugar/butter) cold turkey.
To avoid addiction-like cravings and withdrawals… you can try to eat more fruit. This may satisfy all or part of your need for sugar.
You deserve and can always indulge in a bit of dark chocolate. It’s bursting with antioxidants and has even more of them than blueberries do!
8) Drink Tea, Not Soda
Soda is simply empty calories. There’s nothing in it that’s good for you… and it’s actually full of unhealthy ingredients.
Tea is very popular in Japan. If you’re not a tea person, consider plain or flavored water or seltzer.
Fruit juice doesn’t have the nutrients that actual fruits possess… and juice calories can add up fast. Skip the juice.
While eating healthy is certainly a BIG part of staying healthy… the Japanese health trends extend well beyond what the people of Japan do and don’t eat.
In fact, J-Wellness is a term used to describe the overall health & wellness habits and trends embraced by the Japanese. Try out these simple habits to boost your health and live longer:
1) Bike Or Walk Whenever You Can
Biking to work or school… and walking whenever possible… are ways that people in Japan get exercise without actually working out or heading to a gym.
If you can’t bike or walk to your destinations, you might consider a stationary bike, treadmill, or a gym membership. Choose whichever you think is easiest to commit to.
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Or, just go for a walk or bike ride for leisure! There’s something to be said for going for a walk every morning or evening… or enjoying a bike ride around your neighborhood.
2) Focus On Social Interaction
Studies have shown that individuals who engage in social activities and keep in touch with friends are happier and live longer.
Being social is linked to good emotional and physical health. One reason is that eating to fill the emptiness when you’re lonely, depressed, bored, etc. is a common danger.
In Japan, high priority is placed on socializing. The word “hikikomori” means someone who spends a lot of time alone in their home without interacting with others.
The large elderly population is especially at risk for this… and some younger people are suffering from it as well. For example, working a lot of hours and then retreating to your home would make you likely to be “hikikomori.”
Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare stated in its 2012 policy document that mental health is as important as physical health. People are even purchasing interactive baby, adult, and stuffed animal robots to keep them from being lonely.
You might not need to buy a robot, but staying in touch with friends or meeting new people at public events will enhance your feeling of wellbeing.
3) Stay Connected To Nature
You might be indoors a lot for work and to take care of your home and family… but you and I both originated from the natural world. We need to go back to it when possible.
Nature is respected in Japan, and the Japanese understand the value it has for our health. In 1982, The Forest Therapy Society began designating “healing forests” and training guides to lead people through them. A lot of cities in the U.S. have forest therapy as well!
The practice of Shinrin-Yoku translates to “forest bath.” While not an actual bath… this practice involves a slow, guided walk around the woods. During this walk, participants focus on their surroundings and connect with nature.
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Research shows that being surrounded by nature can reduce blood pressure, stress, and blood sugar. It can also improve cardiovascular and metabolic health.
In addition, exposure to nature improves memory, concentration, and energy. Hikers are certainly onto something!
Japanese culture and eating habits are definitely worth giving a try if you want to be healthy, maintain a healthy body weight, and live to a ripe old age!
This Wellness Trend Keeps The Japanese People Slender… And Can Help You Lose Weight, Too…
I don’t know about you, but I noticed one BIG trend among all of these Japanese wellness habits:
The Japanese tend to eat a lot of protein!
From fresh fish (hello, delicious sushi!)… to alternative proteins like tofu and edamame… protein is a big part of the standard Japanese diet.
And from recent research… it looks like that focus on protein plays a big role in keeping the Japanese so slim and healthy!
(After all, I’ve never seen an overweight Japanese person outside of a sumo ring. It just isn’t common there!)
In fact, one study found that eating more protein on a daily basis helps you burn more calories the next day.
So, if you eat some tasty fish… traditional natto… or ANY protein-dense food… you’ll see those stubborn pounds come off WAY more easily.
To find out the exact amount of protein you should be eating every day to achieve MAX weight loss… click here:
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