I watched this TV program last night about two different approaches of dieting. One is to refrain from carbs and the other is to limit the calorie intake. Doctors who have tried, succeeded, and became to the advocates for either of the methods were invited to the show and discussed the advantages and the right way to proceed on each diet plan.
The calorie limitation approach as we know it is that we must eat within certain limited number of calories per day. But in this Japanese version, what’s interesting this that the doctor started by asking patients to find out how many calories to be cut from their normal one-day calorie intake instead of limiting whatever they’re taking to fit the ideal daily calories, which would be a lot harder to do and maintain.
The formula to find out how much calories you should cut from your daily intake to start losing weight is:
Female >> (body fat% – 20) / 60 x 30 x your body weight
Male >> (body fat% – 10) / 70 x 30 x your body weight
Now let’s talk about the Japanese version of Atkins Diet, that is to cut carbs and anything that includes sugar but free to eat any protein and fat. The doctors kinda said that the merits are that you are not bounded by the numbers and calculation anymore, rather you just have to learn to remember which food has high sugar or carbs. For me, I think it’s a lot more limiting than the calorie count method, which is a lot easier especially in Japan that most products have calories on the labels.
The Japanese Atkins Diet doctor introduced an easy way to remember which products that are ALLOWED during the diet period:「ばあさまたちにとおなし」or “Ba-a-sa-ma-ta-chi-ni-to-o-na-shi”. The letters represent the foods that you can feel free to combine and mix up according to your imagination lol Let’s go one by one!
ば：バター; Ba – Butter
あ：アボカド; A – Avocado
さ：さかな; Sa – Fish
ま：マヨネーズ; Ma- Mayonnaise
た：たまご; Ta – egg
ち：チーズ; Chi – Cheese
に：肉; Ni – Meat
と：とうふ; To – Tofu
お：オリーブオイル; O – Olive oil
な：納豆; Na – Nattou (fermented soybeans)
し：焼酎（しょうちゅう）; Shi – Shouchuu or distilled spirit
I found this a bit weird at first and then I tried to understand the logic. The doctor suggested that you can take as much as you want from the items above BUT must be extremely careful not to take any form of carbs, and yes that includes salad dressings of any kind, be it super clear and non-oil stuff. Whenever you need to go to a family restaurant (like Gasto or Saizeria) be sure to order a la carte (単品）plus lots of SMALL side dishes that are all low in carbs (no potato salad whatsoever) and NO RICE. What’s more apart from rice, you cannot take any noodles like udon, soba, and ramen. You must say goodbye to bread, fruity yogurt, and even low-fat milk. Soymilk is said to be better because it contains small amount of carbs compared to low fat or non-fat milk that substitutes the fat with sugar. Fruits and veggies also need to be monitored. For instance, you can’t go eat curry rice though take off the rice because you can’t take potato or carrot, nor the curry roux. Curry is really a no-no meal lol. If you like Katsu-don, you can take off the rice, then cut off one half of the side with breadcrumb and enjoy the other side. That should give you enough satisfaction, the doctor said. If you like to go to Izakaya for drinking, then order the Shouchuu!! You prolly get by the night without taking tons of sugar with you.
There are 3 levels of this approach, though, so don’t be alarmed yet. First is the “super” level meaning you cut carbs from ALL 3 meals. The second is the “Standard” level, meaning you cut carbs only 2 meals, maybe breakfast and dinner as you might need to go out for lunch with your co-workers. The last is the easiest and most convenient level that allows you to cut carbs only one meal a day, usually during dinner. If you wanna see results fast, go with the super. But be prepared because if you are in Japan, a country where RICE is the MAIN thing in each meal, this might require you to totally change the cultural way of eating.
Although I’m always conscious of calories, I never thought of numbers of carbs before. I used to think that avoiding fat is the safest way; now I changed my mind. I kinda wanna try taking on more protein and healthy fat than carbs and see if this can actually slim down my body. That’s gonna be my challenge for a week! 😉