Thursday, February 14, 2008

10 Habits of Thin Beautiful Japanese Women

Japanese women are by far the most beautiful I have seen in my travels through Asia. Of course there are millions of gorgeous American women and at least 1 billion beautiful women in the world, but the percentage of gorgeous thin women in Japan is near to 100. Japanese women look twenty years younger than their actual age: they have virtually no lines or wrinkles until in their 60s, they have thick shiny black hair, smooth olive skin and are thin even after having two or three children. Below are the reasons Japan's women are so beautiful, most of which is common sense:

1. Japanese women eat a huge, filling breakfast consisting of a bowl of rice (100-150g) topped with nato, fermented soybeans, or topped with salmon. On the side they normally eat a small bowl of miso soup with tofu and seaweed. The rice and protein from their breakfast is filled with complex carbs so it takes hours to digest their breakfast. Thus, Japanese women are not famished at 10 am at work like I usually am.
Also, miso, tofu and nato are all soybean products which are ideal for women's bodies.

2. They don't snack. Snacking is not ingrained into their culture the way it is in America. One reason is because they eat mroe high-fiber, complex carbohydrate meals, so they don't need to snack as much. This also means that their aren't whole sections of thegrocery store devoted to chocolate trail mix and granola bars that claim to be all-natural but contain your daily sugar allowance.

When snacks are necessary, such as when visiting someone's home, they normally place on the table sembe (rice crackers), dried fish with almonds, or pickled plums. Much healthier than potato chips or honey roasted peanuts and not as tempting to eat an entire canister full.

3. Their diet does not consist of sugary, over-processed food. They eat rice, fish and soybean products everyday. Most women drink their coffee black. However, Japanese women do like desserts, but they usually eat small portions of high-quality of chocolate and custards from Godiva, Leonidas and pastry shops. The smaller portion of rich chocolate satisfies their craving so that they do not ravish an entire candy bar. This is the same principle at play to explain why when I worked next door to Godiva, I lost my insatiable craving for chocolate. And why TIME magazine just published research showing that eating sugar substitutes causes more sugar cravings and people tend to gain more weight.

4. They drink gallons of green tea fresh from the moutains of Japan. Green tea has shown to contain an abundance of antioxidants that prevent cancer and prevent signs of aging.

5. They eat many small portions of healthy food. A typical Japanese meal is a bowl of rice (100-200g), a bowl of miso soup with tofu and seaweed, a main protein (usually grilled fish or pork), pickled cabbage and daikon(giant raddish) and a small portion of seaweed and edamame(soy beans). Presented on a table, it appears to be an enourmous amount of food, but is a normal portion and healthy.

6. Japanese women eat slowly. Femininity and formal courtesy is thriving in modern Japan. Women take small bites, often covering their mouths daintily while they chew slowly. They never rush meals, at least not while other people are watching. Also, chopsticks naturally force diners to eat more slowly and to take smaller bites.

7. Food in Japan is all-around lower in calories than in America. It contains less preservatives and less ingredients (especially sugar). I noticed immediately when I first moved to Japan the difference even in frozen pizza, as if I had been eating MSG and lard my entire life and had suddenly ceased to ingest it. Food in Japan spoils faster and the fruits and vegetables are not waxed.

8. Japan has cheap, healthy fast food. McDonalds and the like are much more expensive than grabbing sushi and miso soup. In a rush, people go to 7-11 and grab unigiri (rice ball) filled with salmon, tuna, chicken or seaweed. Each unigiri (in various styles) are usually 180 calories and keep you full for a few hours. They only cost $1. Also at convenience stores: sushi, seaweed salad, fruit cups and a varitey of other low-fat, healhty meals.

9. Most women walk or ride their bicycles everyday. Although several million women own cars, the price of parking, gas and the headache of driving in Tokyo and other cities means that women usually walk ad take the train and leave their car in the overnight parking lot until weekend excursions. They walk or ride their bikes (often with one or two children sitting in bicycle seats) to the grocery store, their friends' house, work, everywhere that is considered everyday transport and places. Most areas in the city are hilly so women who walk even half an hour a day (almost impossible not to achieve) get enough cardio without going to the gym.

10. Japanese women eat only when they are hungry and finish when they are not hungry. Children in Japan are taught this in elementary school. They are given small portions of lunch and are allowed to have seconds after they finished everything on their tray. Restaurants ask how much rice a customer wants to be served. Typically a large portion of rice is the same as a small portion or about 30 cents more. But, people are expected to take only what they can comfortably fit in their belly. This is an attribute of Japanese eating I struggle with occasionally when the food is particularly excellent and I want to continue eating even after my buttons have shot off across the room.

1 comment:

MissLeigh said...

This is so true! I went to visit and stay with friends. But for four days I was alone in a hotel. I chose the Japanese option for breakfast, instead of the American option. I had a bowl of rice, miso soup, fruit, and cooked salmon and also salad, which I ate with chopsticks. I never felt hungry until lunch! Now, I found out I have all these food sensitivities and can't eat the typical American foods of eggs, dairy or gluten. Was thinking about eating like I did in Japan. I will.