Japanese Diet Trends

New year, new me!

It is 2016, a new year has just begun and millions of people worldwide are ready to tackle a new set of New Year’s resolutions. There is one resolution that never grows old and keeps coming back year after year: losing weight and getting in shape. Japan is no exception to the rule and new diet trends are constantly coming and going. Today we want to highlight well-known as well as some newer diet trends that are actually popular in Japan.

Please be aware that we do not promote any of these diets nor unhealthy eating behaviors. If some of you are really planning on drastically changing your diets, please consult a doctor first. This being said, enjoy today’s article!

Banana diet

Banana diet

The banana diet or rather “morning banana diet” is certainly not a recent trend nor is it exclusive to Japan. Still, it has made a huge impact on weight-loss communities worldwide and even lead to a shortage of bananas in 2008 in Japanese supermarkets.

The basics of this diet are simple: Just replace your usual breakfast with a banana and then keep going on with your day as usual. Bananas are also the only acceptable snack between meals and no eating is permitted after 8 pm. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, the overall effectiveness of this diet is debatable. It is true that if you decrease your calorie intake in the morning you will lose weight in the long run. But this is the case no matter where you get your energy from, so whether it is the bananas that make the difference or just the decreased calorie intake is up to you to decide.


Cabbage diet

Cabbage diet

A similar diet trend that revolves around one specific food item is the cabbage diet.

Cabbages have been discovered as a great diet food, not only in Japan. They are low in calories while containing lots of water and helpful nutrients. There are many ways to implement more cabbage into your diet, but one of the most popular ways is to boil a big pot of cabbage soup and drinking it throughout the day – ideally instead of consuming other, more calorie-rich meals. This diet trend has helped many people shed some pounds so it might be worth a try.


Diet products and drinks

Diet products

Drinks, supplements and weight loss shakes are on the rise in Japan. In almost any drugstore you can find entire sections dedicated to supplements that are supposed to help you shed some pounds and maybe even gain muscle mass.

The main idea behind these products is easy. Instead of eating a meal simply drink some shakes and you are all set to lose some weight. One of the main ingredients that is especially sought-after by Japanese women is collagen. It can be found in more than just a couple of products since it promises its users amazing skin that is free of blemishes and wrinkles, feels tight and fresh and simply has an overall young look to it.

Another highly popular product made for the busy salaryman or college student is CalorieMate. While it mainly promises to keep you satisfied and functioning when you simply don’t have the time to eat, there are people who rather rely on this snack entirely than getting a big meal in order to lose some weight on the go.


Basil seed diet

Basil seeds

The basil seed diet has become quite popular in Asian countries in the last couple of years and might soon even gain a fanbase in the Western world. These little black seeds that resemble chia seeds grow up to 30 times their size when submerged in water. The idea is to drink these seeds, usually mixed with warm water or tea, and let them fill up your stomach. You will feel full for a longer time while consuming almost no calories at all.

Again, while this might be a method that works, it is still a debatable dietary habit since it only focuses on decreasing the amount of food you eat rather than exchanging unhealthy meals for more nutritious one. If you are intrigued by these seeds, but are not looking to lose weight, you can get basil seed drinks in flavors such as lychee, honey or pineapple at Japanese supermarkets. These drinks are not diet-friendly, but definitely delicious.


Long Breath Diet

Long Breath diet

The last diet trend on our list is truly Japanese and at least as unusual as it is questionable.

It all started with former acting star Ryosuke Miki who claims he was able to tone up his entire body with one simple trick. His method sounds easy enough, since all it requires you to do is breathe. In his instruction videos he shows you how to take deep breaths and exhale forcefully enough to change your body’s metabolism. According to him, following this practice for just two to five minutes a day can increase your metabolic rate enough to start losing weight.

His Long Breath Diet might look and sound weird, but maybe it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. After all, the only thing you need to do is breathe, right?

You might think of diet trends what you want, but it is remarkable how many Japanese people are eager to improve their health and quality of life. Staying healthy is important in a society that requires you to work long hours almost every day, so Japan’s population welcomes new information in the world of fitness and health with open arms. No matter whether you are trying to lose some weight, get healthier or just feel better in your everyday life, it might be helpful to take a look across the ocean and take note of what the Japanese are doing.

What do you think of these diet trends and what crazy ways of losing weight have you heard of? Feel free to leave a comment down below.

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