Obesity has become a major health problem worldwide. This abnormal accumulation of fat has many health consequences, including diabetes (80% of cases), high blood pressure, excess fat in the blood, cancer (especially endometrial) of heart disease, respiratory and joint. Learn how these Japanese habits can prevent obesity.

In United States, the rate of obesity has doubled between 1980 and 2012 from 6.1 to 15% . In contrast, Japan is often used in the models. It is very rare to see an obese Japanese.

Researchers are largely interested in what differentiates them from other populations. The first difference is obviously the nutrition. Japanese dishes is known to be very healthy and balanced. The Japanese lifestyle is so special that it allows them to have a very low obesity rate and a life expectancy much higher (average life is 86 years for women and 79 years for men).

4 Japanese patterns to follow so as to avoid getting fatter

1. Eat mini-portions

One reason for the lack of obesity in Japan is that they used to eat smaller portions. The typical Japanese family meal contains a small amount of food compared to other countries.
Also, the Japanese generally do not nibble between meals.

2. Eat plenty of vegetables

The consumption of vegetables and fruits is recognized by scientists to reduce obesity and chronic disease problems. Yet only 50% of young adults consume at least 5 servings every day!

The typical Japanese dish is very rich in vegetables, with fish or seafood, rice or noodles. Soup (or broth) is consumed at every meal. Note that the meat is almost absent from their traditional cuisine …

Vegetables have a very important place in the Japanese diet (cabbage, radish, sweet potato, carrots, konjac …). The Japanese also consume a lot of algae, especially kelp. It contains iodine to increase the metabolism of the thyroid, which helps to lose weight.
The use of seafood or raw fish is the best known and widespread practice of the Japanese dishes . Aside from sushi, there are many recipes of raw fish as sashimi, or half-cooked, as tataki.

Rice remains the staple food for most meals. A recent study published by the American Dietetic Association found that the rice consumption reduce potentially the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

3. Do not drink during meals

The Japanese do not drink liquids during meals. Whereas, their main meals consist of fruits, vegetables and soups which contain a large amount of water. The Japanese believe that drinking during meals does not allow proper digestion, blocking the absorption of essential nutrients contained in food. And it’s totally true!

In addition, drink water during meals promotes weight gain because water expands the stomach. Result: you’ll want to eat more!

Between meals, the traditional drink is Japanese tea, hot or cold. The tea is very useful to eliminate fat and lose weight fast.

4. physical exercise

The Japanese tend to be very active. They use public transport and prefer walking or biking instead of using their car.

Physical activity is essential to be fit. Taking the car, sitting all the day at the office and eating fat-rich meals are main factors that explain the increase of obesity rates.

Many have speculated that the Japanese have some very specific genes allowing them to stay slim. But following scientific studies, it was found that the Japanese could be obese if they adopted the American diet.

So the Japanese diet is a good example to follow. It’s just a matter of habit!