How the number of meals affects obesity?


(1) If you take into account the fact that “the phrase ‘to gain weight’ has two meanings”, there are several possible patterns.

[related article]→ 2 meanings of the phrase "gaining weight"

(2) One or two meals a day tend to make you gain weight in the long term, but the number of meals alone does not decide if you will gain weight. The most important thing is "what to eat” and other factors can also influence.
(3) Increasing the number of meals may help you lose weight.
(4) Studies that only examine the relationship between the number of meals and obesity are useless. A reverse causality may arise when people are already big or overweight and thus eat four to five meals a day.

1. The relationship between the number of meals and your weight is not so simple

  Some experts say that if the total calorie you take in a day is the same, then "how many meals you eat a day does not matter," but I definitely insist that the number and timing of your meals can affect your weight gain (or loss).
  I mentioned that the phrase "to gain weight" has two meanings, so let me explain part (A) first.

  Many people think that “taking in more calories makes you gain weight”, which means going back to their Base Weight. In this case, it’s nothing to do with “how many meals you eat a day". But people who usually be on a diet and keep their weight lower, or who endure hunger in a long time, may gain weight if they eat more calories.
  As for part (B), the opposite is true: Since it is the mechanism of hunger (strictly speaking, intestinal starvation) that increases the Base Weight itself, eating more often and taking in more calories do not mean increasing the BW.
  Rather, taking in the same calories by eating more often is less likely to lead to weight gain (in the sense that your BW doesn't increase). When you feel hungry, foods enter your stomach again, which means that undigested foods are more likely to remain in your stomach and intestines.
  Therefore, eating four or five times a day for thin people to gain weight is counterproductive.
  Also, for people who want to lose weight, skipping breakfast or lunch in order to reduce calories intake and eating only two meals a day while putting up with hunger can easily increase their BW in the long run. Thus, it may lead to the opposite result.

2. How many meals a day makes you fat the most?

  Based on my idea, people tend to gain weight (that means their BW increases) if they skip breakfast or lunch and eat only two meals a day. However, eating two meals a day does not necessarily make everyone overweight. And conversely, even if you eat four or five meals a day, you will not always lose weight.
  It is pointless to argue that only in terms of “how many meals a day you eat”. If I explain this relationship from the perspective of the intestinal starvation mechanism, “how many meals you eat a day” actually means "meal intervals", and that is not the deciding factor for gaining weight. The most important thing is "what to eat (quality and balance of foods)”.

(three balanced meals a day)

(another three meals a day)

  Others that may affect are "timing of eating (e.g., is lunch at 12 pm or 2 pm?)" and a person's "digestive power". This mean that, even if they eat exactly the same foods in the same way, people who can digest them faster make the state of intestinal starvation faster.

[related article]→ What does it mean to eat relatively less?

A friend of mine who gained weight only with one meal a day

  A friend of mine in college worked part-time in a restaurant. He ate only the meal for employee there and nothing else, so he had one meal a day.
  He gained about 10 kilograms since he started working. He once could not gain weight even though he was eating three meals a day, or more calories, in high school (i.e. this is not a calorie issue).

(His meals there were often a bowl of rice and a few side dishes, miso soup, etc.)

A friend of mine who gained weight by eating four to five meals a day

  Another friend of mine gained more than 10 kilograms by eating four to five meals a day when he was studying for a college entrance exam after graduating from high school. He belonged to a judo(Japan’s national sport) club in high school, and was very skinny even though he ate a lot.
  But please note that it is not the five meals a day that make you fat, but what you eat (quality and balance of foods) and how you eat that matter. He told me that light meals such as sweet bread, rice balls, and cup noodles made up more than half of his meals.

  If even a light meal such as a pastry, hamburger, or rice ball counts as "one meal", how many meals you eat a day does not account for the result.

3. Can eating more often help you lose weight?

  Although what you eat is the most important thing, and I cannot make an assertion only based on the number of meals, I believe that increasing the number of meals a day is one right way to lose weight soundly.

  According to a study by Professor Imai and her group at Osaka University (2016), there was a change in blood sugar levels in diabetic patients depending on what time of day they ate cookies.

   The results of the experiment showed that eating cookies between meals kept the peak blood sugar levels lower than eating them just after a meal. This is an experiment with a snack, but you can change cookies with a bit heavier diet, like cheese, fried mushrooms in oil, or even sautéed meat.

  Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that it helps you lose weight because it is less likely to raise your blood sugar levels. Rather than enduring hunger for a long time and eating with a bang, snacking throughout a day in order not to create hunger leaves more "undigested" food in your intestines and reduces “absorption rate” first, which results in less blood sugar levels.
  I believe reducing “absorption rate” is more crucial in regard to losing weight.

4. Cause and effect are sometimes reversed

  In some cases, studies only about “the number of meals” may tell a lie. For example, suppose you surveyed overweight and obese people and asked them how many meals a day they eat. Let's assume that most of them answered four to five times. But you cannot take the overall results and say “eating four or five times a day is likely to make you gain weight”.
  The reason for this, as I said earlier, is that the most important things are missing: what you eat, how you eat, and how much you eat, etc.
 Additionally, as your body gets bigger, your stomach and intestines also become bigger and have more digestive power, so it is natural that you feel hungry faster even if you eat the same amount as others.

   In other words, it is not because you eat more often that you gain weight, but because you have a bigger body, and thus you may end up eating more frequently than others as you cannot put up with hunger. Therefore, in this case, the cause and effect are the opposite.


Does eating late at night really make you fat? (chrono-nutrition)

  In Japan, many people (especially women) tend to avoid eating dinner, a dessert or sweets late at night (after 9 pm) because they do not want to "gain weight". But does it really make sense?
  In fact, some people say that they have started eating dinner late at night and gained more weight than before, but I believe there is a false perception.


  The phrase "gaining weight" has two meanings, and therefore there may be several patterns; surveys and studies based on only one viewpoint cannot capture the whole picture.

[related article]→2 meanings of the phrase "gaining weight"

(1) In a sense, everyone should be more likely to gain weight if they eat at night, since bones, muscles, and body fat are made mainly while they are sleeping. Especially people who usually take fewer calories to lose weight tend to gain weight when taking more calories than necessary. But in this case, it does not matter whether they eat at 7 pm or 10 pm.
(2) In terms of my intestinal starvation theory, late night eating habits can lead to increase in weight. Those people tend to skip breakfast and eat two meals a day. They may also find it difficult to eat a balanced meal late at night and the meal might be skewed towards carbohydrates, meat and junk food.
  In other words, it is because eating late at night has a significant effect on "what to eat" and "meal intervals".
(3) It is impossible to correlate the secretion of BMAL1, a protein of the "clock gene" that promotes fat synthesis, with weight gain. It would be meaningless to compare the time of eating with the amount of secretion.
(4) For some thin people, eating a heavy meal before sleeping in addition to the three meals would rather work in the direction of losing weight. Energy is used more towards digestion, which should reduce the absorption of nutrients and synthesis of cells.

1. In a sense, it is natural to gain weight by eating at night

  While we are sleeping at night, our bodies are not resting. They are doing something very important to our bodies while we are sleeping. I will not go into details here, but it is said that there are two main things:

  One is the removal of waste products from the brain and the organization and consolidation of memory.
  The other is body maintenance and cell regeneration. The secretion of "growth hormones" stimulates metabolism, repairs damaged cells throughout the body, recovers from fatigue, and improves the immune system. It is also said that various enzymes and tissues such as bones, muscles, and body fat are produced.
  Thus, in a sense, isn't it natural that eating late at night tend to make everyone gain weight? If you are on a diet regularly, you will realize that if you eat more calories than you need and go to bed, you will rebound a few kilograms per night. But that is when your present weight go back to your Base Weight (see Figure-1 below), and in this case, it does not matter what time of night you eat.


2. When late night eating habits lead to weight gain

  I sometimes hear people say "I did not gain weight when I ate dinner around 7 pm, but after working overtime and eating at 10 pm at night, I gradually gained weight. But that is a separate issue from [1] above, and is a case of Base Weight itself going up in my intestinal starvation theory.
  First of all, many people tend to skip breakfast if they eat dinner late at night. This means they only have two meals, lunch and dinner. Also, getting home late at night and then finding a well-balanced meal can be difficult. Unless their wife prepares a meal for them, they will end up eating ramen, curry, beef bowl, etc. which they get at a convenience store or at a restaurant that is open till late. This means they will end up eating a high-calorie, nutritionally unbalanced meal.

 In other words, eating dinner late has a great impact on "what to eat" and "meal intervals". And in this case, eating late is not a "cause" of weight gain. It’s a "consequence". The cause for this is an unbalanced diet skewed towards carbohydrates and meat(fish), and putting up with hunger for hours by skipping breakfast, etc.
  One way to prevent this is to diversify meals, such as having a sandwich, cookies, or milk around 5 pm if dinner is going to be late. You should also try to eat a balanced diet.

3. It is impossible to explain it with BMAL1

  Many Japanese experts confuse the two meanings of [1] and [2], stating as if secretion volume of BMAL1 and weight gain are correlated.
  BMAL1 is a protein of the "clock gene" that promotes fat synthesis, and its secretion increases around 6 pm and peaks between 10 pm and 2 am, which seems to be thought as a rational behind the fact that people are several times more likely to gain weight if they eat late at night than during the day for the same calories.

  However, I think that explanation is a bit of a stretch. The reason is that the "digestion time" is missing. For example, if they eat a meal at 10 pm, it will take 4-6 hours for it to be digested and absorbed, depending on the person. Fats are particularly difficult to digest, so they may find that their stomach is still undigested and upset in the morning after 7-8 hours. In other words, if it is not digested, it cannot be absorbed, so you cannot relate the time you eat it to your BMAL1 value.

  In my guess, the reason why BMAL1 peaks between 10 pm and 2 am is that if we humans have been eating dinner around 6 pm since ancient times, it peaks at just about the time of finishing digestion and absorption (to be synthesized successfully).

4. Eating before going to bed does not cause weight gain

  If they eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner properly, I think, for most people, eating before going to bed does not cause weight gain.
  As I said earlier, if you eat a lot of calories than you need, you will definitely gain weight. It means your present weight goes back to your Base Weight. A weight gain might be 2 or 5 kilograms, depending on the person, but it should stop at a certain weight.
  In Japan, there are a lot of people who have gastroptosis or weak stomachs, and even if they eat a dessert, sweets or a light meal before bedtime in addition to the three meals to gain weight, their bodies might still work in the direction of slimming down rather than gaining weight (at least, it is true for me).

  By nature, it is good to rest your body and your stomach while you sleep, but if you eat before going to bed, your stomach has to continue to work while you sleep. I believe that this reduces absorption capacity and cell regeneration.


Why a well-balanced breakfast help prevent obesity


・A "well-balanced breakfast" can help prevent obesity. On the contrary, an unbalanced or easy breakfast (a piece of bread, coffee, a slice of ham and mashed potatoes, etc) might make you gain weight.
・In other words, we cannot judge it simply based on whether people eat breakfast or not.
・In Japan, it is said that eating breakfast will increase your metabolism and make it hard to gain weight, but this is wrong. Rather, it should be explained using my "intestinal starvation theory".


 In the previous article, I introduced the idea of a "biological clock," but this time, I am going to state my own opinion about how eating breakfast affects obesity concretely.
[related article] →"Does a biological clock affect obesity? "

1. “Metabolism” has become a magic word.

  In Japan, it is often said that thin people who eat a lot do not gain weight because “they have high metabolism”. On the other hand, they often say that people who tend to gain weight “have low metabolism”. The word “metabolism” has been used like a magic word.

  The same is true of breakfast. Eating breakfast will raise body temperature and metabolism, and the nutrients and calories taken from that are consumed, so it is thought that people do not gain weight even if they eat a lot of breakfast.
  Many researchers and experts describe metabolism as a silver bullet to solving obesity, but this is an obvious mistake. It is already proven that fat people have a higher basal metabolism.

2. How eating breakfast affects increase in weight? (My opinion)

  As I mentioned at the beginning, it is more reasonable to explain this by my “intestinal starvation theory”.

(1) A "well-balanced breakfast" can help prevent gaining weight

First of all, when I say “eating a well-balanced breakfast make it hard for you to gain weight”, it does not mean that you take simple nutrients such as tablets, but it means that you take a variety of food (meat, vegetables, dairy products, beans, seaweed, etc.).

Typical Japanese breakfast we used to have

Recently, even in Japan many people eat western breakfast.

  Breakfast is the start of the day, and when you eat breakfast, your resting stomach and intestines start moving actively. If you eat a variety of food at that breakfast, such as fibrous vegetables, seaweed, dairy products, beans, and fish and meat products, you can prevent intestinal starvation because undigested food will remain in your intestines for a dozen hours or so (this is because our small intestines are as long as 6 to 7 meters long). In short, you are unlikely to gain weight in the sense that your Base Weight is not going to go up.

  In other words, when you eat (meal time, meal interval), what you eat, and how you eat affect obesity because they are closely related to the movement of the "intestines". This is why people who are slim by nature and have this kind of lifestyle are unlikely to change their body shape for the rest of their life, even if they eat without worrying about calories.

(2) Lightening your breakfast or lunch makes you more likely to gain weight

  On the other hand, there is the case that eating breakfast might make you more likely to gain weight (in the sense that your Base Weight goes up). It is a so-called inverted triangle-type diet, in which you have a light breakfast and lunch (or you might sometimes skip lunch) and make up for the lack of nutrition and calories by eating dinner.

 For example, you just have a light breakfast (a piece of bread, coffee and fried egg) in the morning, and also eat something like a rice ball, a hamburger or an instant noodle for lunch, contrary to the explanation in (1), you are likely to develop an intestinal starvation.

 When your stomach and intestines start moving after breakfast, you usually defecate, and then your intestines only have what you ate at breakfast (in this case, mainly carbohydrates and highly digestible protein). If you eat a simple carbohydrate-focused meal even for lunch, your body lacks fiber, etc., and all the food in your intestines might be digested before dinner, which makes it easier to develop a state of intestinal starvation.

  In other words, if you combine various food and take a well-balanced breakfast, you become less likely to gain weight, but if you make it too simple, instead, you might gain weight easily. In chrono-nutrition, the theory that "eating breakfast boosts your metabolism and consumes whatever you eat afterwards" does not hold true.

(3) Skipping breakfast makes it easier to gain weight

  Skipping breakfast does not make everyone fat, but I think, if some conditions are met, it makes you more likely to gain weight.
  The biggest thing is simply a matter of "what to eat" and "meal intervals". Eating only two meals a day makes the meal intervals longer. Eating dinner at 8 pm means that you do not eat anything for nearly 15 hours until next lunch.
  Skipping breakfast makes you hungry, so in Japan, people tend to eat a carbohydrate- and meat-focused meal. Many people are satisfied with being full, so they sometimes lack fiber, such as vegetables.

  However, since they did not eat breakfast, there is only that lunch in their intestines. If you do not eat until 8 or 9 pm in that state, you are likely to develop an intestinal starvation (a state where everything is digested). (The same is true of between dinner and next lunch.) This is basically the same reasoning as (2), "lightening your breakfast and lunch makes you more likely to gain weight”, with a difference of “the amount you eat”.
  If you eat late at night, you can prevent yourself from developing a state of intestinal starvation by eating something such as milk or chocolate, even around 5pm.


Does a biological clock affect obesity? (Importance of eating breakfast)

  This time, I would like to talk about the timing of meals, especially whether eating or skipping breakfast affects obesity. I'm going to write about “late dinner's” on another blog.


  There are many things in common with my theory and I have no objection to the statement that eating a balanced breakfast is important not only for your health but also to prevent obesity.
  However, it is wrong to explain whether you gain weight or not, by “metabolism”. “Metabolism” is not so versatile. Rather, I think it should be explained using my “intestinal starvation" theory.

1. The current state of obesity in Japan

(Although calorie intake has decreased, people today are gaining more weight)
(Reference: “Clock Gene Diet ",2012)

The number of diabetic patients in Japan is about 8.9 million (or 22.1 million including prediabetes) (as of 2012). Diabetes started increasing in 1970s.
  Then, you might think “it is because Japan became rich and Japanese people started to eat delicious food”, but the average daily energy intake dropped from 2210 kcal (in 1970) to 1849 kcal (in 2010).
  Nevertheless, the number of diabetics has increased nine-fold. Similarly, obesity has increased—Japanese people’s energy intake decreased by 16% from 1975 to 2010, but obesity of middle-aged and elderly people increased by 40%.

Today, people gain weight not because they eat much. Rather, they gain weight although they eat little.

2. What is a biological clock?

These are just theories from the book above.

(1) Discovery of a clock gene

 Recent research has unraveled this mysterious phenomenon. It was a discovery of a clock gene of humans in 1997. Not only humans but all animals and plants have a “circadian rhythm” in which one day is 25 hours. When they wake up in the morning and the sunlight (blue wavelength) is transmitted to the “central clock gene” in their brain, the 25-hour “circadian rhythm” is reset to 24 hours and the day starts.

 However, their internal organs do not receive the sunlight. By eating breakfast, nutrients spread to every corner of the body, informs the “peripheral nerve gene” in each cell of the arrival of the morning, and resets the 25-hour circadian rhythm to 24 hours.

(2) The effect of nutrients differs depending on when it is taken

  In Japan, the term “Chrono-nutrition” was used for the first time in 2008 by the Japan Society of Nutrition and Food Science. The harder you work on your diet, the more you try to decrease the amount you eat from morning until night, but the effect and influence differ significantly depending on when you take the food and nutrition.
  It is said that the following three are important:
①When to eat (the timing of the meal)
②What to eat
③How to eat (the order of eating etc)

3. Researchers’ views and my argument  (the relationship between breakfast and obesity)

  A brief summary of the theory of chrono-nutritionists is as follows. I will also show my argument.

(1) Skipping breakfast makes it easier to gain weight.

  Eating breakfast informs the “peripheral nerve gene” in each cell that the morning has come and resets the biological clock. By this, your body temperature and metabolism rise and nutrients and calories you take at breakfast are going to be consumed, so even if you eat a lot, you do not gain weight. Moreover, calories you take at lunch are used for metabolism, making it less likely to be body fat.

  On the other hand, if you skip breakfast, your metabolism will remain low and you will gain fat easily. During the daytime, a high-calorie meal suddenly comes in and it is difficult to change into energy, so you tend to accumulate body fat.

My argument

  Aren’t they using metabolism as a “magic word”? Certainly, eating breakfast will move your body cells and increase body temperature and metabolism, but it is because nutrients come in. For a normal range of a meal, the increased metabolism should not exceed calories you take at breakfast. At least, they should have more calorie surplus than people who do not eat breakfast.
  Also, what about the saying “If you skip breakfast and eat a lot for lunch when your metabolism is low, you cannot convert it to energy and will gain weight”? This claim is also used when a dieter rebounds and gains more weight than before, but this sound strange to me. Of course, when you start eating, your metabolism may be low, but as soon as 30 minutes later, your body temperature and metabolism will rise and your body will start moving, right? Then, how much is the difference? Don’t you eat breakfast when your metabolism is low soon after you wake up?
  In other words, if you try to distinguish between slim and fat people by metabolism, all calories and nutrients are supposed to be absorbed by everyone in the same way, and only slim people break down and consume the calories as energy. Why do they need to do such a useless thing? Why don’t they save the extra valuable energy that they have taken in case they cannot eat in the future?

(2) Try to take a balanced meal

  Unbalanced breakfast (only bread and coffee or rice balls etc. ) resets the “peripheral nerve gene” halfway, so metabolism does not start properly and makes it easier to gain weight.

My argument

  Of course, I admit that balanced meals affect nervousness and concentration. However, even one slice of toast, ham and coffee increase your body temperature and provide energy for the brain. Then, how much metabolic difference is there? If a balanced diet (e.g. 700 kcal) makes it difficult to gain weight and an unbalanced diet with lower calories (e.g. instant noodles: about 350 kcal) makes it easier to be fat, something is wrong.
  Also, when you grow fruits or vegetables, isn’t it normal that if you provide them with a balanced nutrition, they tend to be larger?

Even for humans’ growth, it is essential to take a nutritionally balanced meal. Thus, the argument that eating a well-balanced breakfast increases metabolism and consumes the extra calories you have taken sounds strange.

(3) Late dinner makes it easier to gain weight.

  From 6 a.m. in the morning to 4 p.m., BMAL1, a clock gene protein that promotes fat synthesis is lower, so it is difficult to store food as body fat. From 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., the level of BMAL1 reaches its peak, so it is a little easier to gain fat even if you take the same calories as breakfast.

■As for a rebuttal on this argument, please see the following blog.

[Related article] →"Does eating late at night really make you fat? "

4. My opinion toward the overall argument

  While the idea that the reason of gaining weight is “the total amount of calorie intake” is still pervasive, it is a great progress, that people started to understand “①When to eat, ②What to eat and ③How to eat” affect the prevention of obesity or losing weight. Also, it is clear that eating breakfast and a balanced meal is important not only for our health but also for our concentration and mental stability.
  However, the strange thing about this theory is that they are trying to explain everything that does not fit with the calorie theory, only by “metabolism”. Isn’t this a mere theory just linking “people who are slim though they eat breakfast and lunch enough” and “people who skip breakfast and tend to gain weight” to the values of “metabolic”?
  Moreover, if the relationship between the timing of the meal and nutrition determines whether people gain weight, they only need to mention “the timing of the meal” for their explanation. Nevertheless, they add ② and ③, which sounds unreasonable.
  As I mentioned in the beginning, my “intestinal starvation" theory should be more reasonable. In the following blog, I will explain “why eating a balanced breakfast leads to the prevention of obesity” based on my theory.

[Related article] → ”Why a well-balanced breakfast help prevent obesity."


References: “The Obesity Code”: Dr. Jason Fung, 2016

(References: “The Obesity Code”: Dr. Jason Fung, 2016)
  The National Institutes of Health recruited almost 50,000 post-menopausal women for the most massive, expensive, ambitious and awesome dietary study ever done. Published in 2006, this randomized controlled trial was called the Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial. This trial is arguably the most important dietary study ever done.
  Approximately one-third of these women received a series of eighteen education sessions, group activities, targeted message campaigns and personalized feedback over one year. Their dietary intervention was to reduce dietary fat, which was cut down to 20 percent of daily calories. They also increased their vegetable and fruit intake to five servings per day and grains to six servings. They were encouraged to increase exercise. The control group was instructed to eat as they normally did. Those in this group were provided with a copy of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, but otherwise received little help. The trial aimed to confirm the cardiovascular health and weight-reduction benefits of the low-fat diet.
  The average weight of participants at the beginning of the study was 169 pounds (76.8 kilograms). The starting average body mass index was 29.1, putting participants in the overweight category (body mass index of 25 to 29.9), but bordering on obese (body mass index greater than 30). They were followed for 7.5 years to see if the doctor-recommended diet reduced obesity, heart disease and cancer as much as expected.
  The group that received dietary counseling succeeded. Daily calories dropped from 1788 to 1446 a dayーa reduction of 342 calories per day for over seven years. Fat as a percentage of calories decreased from 38.8 percent to 29.8 percent, and carbohydrates increased from 44.5 percent to 52.7 percent. The women increased their daily physical activity by 14 percent. The control group continued to eat the same higher-calorie and higher-fat diet to which they were accustomed.
  The results were telling. The“Eat Less, Move More”group started out terrifically, averaging more than 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms) of weight loss over the first year. By the second year, the weight started to be regained, and by the end of the study, there was no significant difference between the two groups.
  Did these women perhaps replace some of their fat with muscle? Unfortunately, the average waist circumference increased approximately 0.39 inches (0.6 centimeters), and the average waist-to-hip ratio increased from 0.82 to 0.83 inches (2.1 centimeters), which indicates these women were actually fatter than before. Weight loss over 7.5 years of the Eat Less, Move More strategy was not even one single kilogram (2.2 pounds).
  This study was only the latest in an unbroken string of failed experiments. Caloric reduction as the primary means of weight loss has disappointed repeatedly.

  Many people tell me, “I don't understand. I eat less. I exercise more. But I can't seem to lose any weight.” I understand perfectly-because this advice has been proven to fail. Do caloric-reduction diets work? No.
(Overeating experiments)
  THE HYPOTHESIS THAT eating too much causes obesity is easily testable. You simply take a group of volunteers, deliberately overfeed them and watch what happens. If the hypothesis is true, the result should be obesity.  Luckily for us, such experiments have already been done. Dr. Ethan Sims performed the most famous of these studies in the late 1960s.
  Could he make humans deliberately gain weight? This question, so deceptively simple, had never before been experimentally answered. After all, we already thought we knew the answer. Of course overfeeding would lead to obesity.
  But does it really? Sims recruited lean college students at the nearby University of Vermont and encouraged them to eat whatever they wanted to gain weight. But despite what both he and the students had expected, the students could not become obese.
  Dr. Sims changed course. Perhaps the difficulty here was that the students were increasing their exercise and therefore burning off the weight, which might explain their failure to gain weight. So the next step was to overfeed, but limit physical activity so that it remained constant. For this experiment, he recruited convicts at the Vermont State Prison. Attendants were present at every meal to verify that the caloriesー4000 per dayーwere eaten. Physical activity was strictly controlled
  A funny thing happened. The prisoners' weight initially rose, but then stabilized. Though at first they'd been happy to increase their caloric intake, as their weight started to increase, they found it more and more difficult to overeat, and some dropped out of the study.
  After the experiment ended, body weight quickly and effortlessly returned to normal. Most of the participants did not retain any of the weight they gained.
(low-carb diet)
  Longer-term studies of the Atkins diet failed to confirm the much hoped-for benefits. Dr. Gary Foster from Temple University published two-year results showing that both the low-fat and the Atkins groups had lost but then regained weight at virtually the same rate.
  But why? What happened? One of the founding principles of the low-carbohydrate approach is that dietary carbohydrates increase blood sugars the most. High blood sugars lead to high insulin. High insulin is the key driver of obesity. Those facts seem reasonable enough. What was wrong?
  Since losing weight reduces total energy expenditure, many obese people assume that they have a slow metabolism, but the opposite has proved to be true. Lean subjects had a mean total energy expenditure of 2404 calories, while the obese had a mean total energy expenditure of 3244 calories, despite spending less time exercising. The obese body was not trying to gain weight. It was trying to lose it by burning off the excess energy. So then, why are the obese... obese?


There are two steps to lose weight in the right way(set point for body weight)

  Recently, I receive a lot of e-mails from Japanese readers asking “what should I do to lose weight?”
  Although this blog is not a diet blog, since I’m writing the reason why you gain weight, naturally, I must know the way to lose weight and I felt that I should write about it. This time, I will only write “the theory to lose weight” based on my own opinion.

1. There are 2 ways to lose weight

Just like the phrase “gain weight” has two meanings, “lose weight” also has two meanings.
【related article】→2 meanings of the phrase "gaining weight"

 (1) In the case you rebound

  The first way is by reducing the amount you eat, reducing the calories you take by low fat foods, and doing more exercise to grow calorie consumption. In this method, you must always experience hunger.
  I consider that humans have a function to maintain one’s present condition, and I assumed the weight is based on that as the “Base weight.” When you reduce the amount you eat (calorie intake) and a hunger state continues, your body will try to minimize the change by
・increasing absorption rate in order to take maximum nutrition
・decreasing calorie consumption (and base metabolism) in order to suppress wasteful consumption

  Even if you lose a little weight with your hard work, I believe it is only temporally and most people will rebound because their Base Weight hasn’t changed.
I will introduce a book explaining that, “too much intake of calories, carbohydrates and fat is not the fundamental cause of obesity”.
 <References: “The Obesity Code”: Dr. Jason Fung, 2016>

  The National Institutes of Health recruited almost 50,000 post-menopausal women for the most massive, expensive, ambitious and awesome dietary study ever done. Published in 2006, this randomized controlled trial was called the Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial. This trial is arguably the most important dietary study ever done.

See details

  Many people tell me, “I don't understand. I eat less. I exercise more. But I can't seem to lose any weight.” I understand perfectly-because this advice has been proven to fail. Do caloric-reduction diets work? No.


Since losing weight reduces total energy expenditure, many obese people assume that they have a slow metabolism, but the opposite has proved to be true. Lean subjects had a mean total energy expenditure of 2404 calories, while the obese had a mean total energy expenditure of 3244 calories, despite spending less time exercising. The obese body was not trying to gain weight. It was trying to lose it by burning off the excess energy. So then, why are the obese... obese?

  In a word, since the over intake of calorie and carbohydrate is not the basic cause of obesity, it shows that even when you reduce calorie and carb intake, the problem of obesity will not be solved.

 (2) Lower the “Base Weight” itself

  Another way is to lower your “Base Weight” itself, which is the base to maintain present condition. It means to get “a body that will not gain weight even with eating” like people who are thin but eat more than you do.

I will quote the same reference related to this.
 (References: “The Obesity Code”: Dr. Jason Fung, 2016)

 (About rebounding of weight)
  The fundamental biological principle at work here is homeostasis. There appears to be a “set point” for body weight and fatness, as first proposed in 1984 by Keesey and Corbett. Homeostatic mechanisms defend this body set weight against changes, both up and down. If weight drops below body set weight, compensatory mechanisms activate to raise it. If weight goes above body set weight, compensatory mechanisms activate to lower it.
  The problem in obesity is that the set point is too high.

  The “set point” of weight that Dr. Jason Fung mentions can be regarded as the same as my “Base Weight.”
(He seems to consider the reason of this “set point” is “insulin resistance,” and the way to lower the set point was quite different from my consideration.)
  I am repeatedly telling you that “you have to lower the Base Weight (the set point of weight) to avoid a rebound.”

2. How to lower the Base Weight

  Dr. Jason Fung, the author of “The Obesity Code”, considers it is necessary to remove insulin resistance and recommends fasting for that. In my opinion, I believe it could be resolved by “eating based on certain rules” rather than not eating.
  If the fundamental cause of gaining weight was based on long-time hunger (intestinal starvation mechanism), the opposite status of keeping more indigestible food in your intestines should make you lose weight (lower your Base Weight). (“keeping undigested food in the intestines”= you don’t need to store body fat)

Japanese traditional dishes 

  Among various ways of dieting in the past, low-carb diet (you can eat as many meat and fat as you want), meat eating diet, Mediterranean diet, oil diet, eating lots of low G.I. food /vegetable with fiber are all ways that match my theory. Some might say “it’s just mixing up several diet”. However, the important point is somewhere else, so I believe it is better to mix up several diet.

  Meanwhile, “lower Base Weight” in my definition does not mean improving metabolism but rather “lowering the absorption ability”.
  In the following blog, I explained “why you gain weight in intestinal starvation”. I believe that the opposite status will create a body to lose weight without rebounding.

【related article】→What is it to “gain weight by starvation status”?

3. What is the main point to lose weight while eating?

  The main Point is not to keep your stomach “hungry”. For that, eating meat, fish, fat, fiber-rich vegetable, seaweed, nuts, dairy product in dispersed ways will do. (Reduce the time you feel hungry. If possible, eat just before you get hungry when your hunger is about 80 to 90%)

  The point of losing weight is not getting the nutritional balance but rather keeping a lot of “undigested food” in small intestine.
  There are 2 possible ways to do this.

 (1) The way to actually improve your meal

  • Reduce carbohydrate (rice, bread, potato etc.) by 1/2 to1/3.
  • Take low G.I. carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole-grain bread, cold rice (starch will be difficult to digest once cooled down) and Ar dente past.
  • Increase the amount of fat such as oil.
  • Increase the amount of fiber-rich vegetable and seaweed.
  • Eat more meat, fish, diary product and nuts.(For fish, it’s better to take fatty fish like mackerel and sardine rather than white fish)
  • If you feel hungry between meals, you can eat something.
  • Of course, you can combine with aerobic exercise but make sure to eat first

  The problem here is that it’s difficult to continue because it takes time to prepare and to eat and the cost is expensive.

Regarding fat

  “Fat” is the source of our energy, but is the cause of gaining weight at the same time. I think it’s a food that has dieting effects if we take it in a correct way.
  Fat is regarded as the cause of “gaining weight” because it has “high nutrition density”. However, high nutrition density food takes more time to digest, so if you take it from time to time, you can lose weight. It is true that if someone who is usually starving takes fat, he may gain weight, but the difference is how we eat it and not the amount of calories.
【related article】→3 perspectives regarding dietary fat

 (2) Slow down the digestive enzymes

  For those who seem to digest food quickly and who experience hunger, the (1) method may not be the effective way. There may be people who gain weight by increasing calories.

  In a similar case, by taking enzymes or medication that slows the digestive process, it is thought to have the same effect. I think it could be a proper way (cost-effective too) to treat obesity. (However I am not aware there is such a medicine or treatment yet. This is just a theory for now.) However supplement reducing absorption medication may be temporary and meaningless.
  By lowering “digestive ability” so that undigested food would stay longer in intestines, I believe you can get the same effect as the (1) method. This is a quite natural way for the same reason as “there are those who stay thin even if they eat”.

4. Eaten calorie amount and consumed calories don’t have to be equal

  For those who reduce calories to lose weight, intake calories may increase. So it might sound weird that you will lose weight by eating more.
  However, reducing calorie intake is not the final point. In short terms, it is necessary to reduce carbs and calories in order to lose weight. But to lose weight in long terms, it is important to lower the Base Weight (the set point) by keeping indigestible food in the intestines and changing to a body that won’t store fat. (this is 2-step way)
  Of course, the energy intake and output should be equal. It must be. However, what should be equal are “absorbed energy” and consumed energy and not the amount of calorie index of what you eat.
  It is said that calorie index is calculated based on “combustion heat” but the chemical reaction inside the body must be much more complex. Those who gain weight with a small amount of food should be gaining more energy than the calorie index and those who won’t gain weight (including me) gain less amounts of calories than the calorie index.
  In Japan, there are various ways of dieting by eating and many people have their own interpretation of “losing weight by eating”.

  • Metabolism improved by eating. (Heat generation effect)
  • Eating low calorie foods a lot resulted in reducing total calorie / carb.
  • Some components of some foods dissolved body fat.

  However, I bet none of these are true since “why we gain weight” is not recognized correctly and calorie /carbohydrates over intake is currently regarded as the main cause of obesity.


  Losing weight is a 2-step process. This is because, as I’ve mentioned several times, gaining weight has 2 steps and it’s the same structure.


What is it to “gain weight by starvation status”?

I’m going to explain the core part of this blog.
Some of you might think it’s different from what you expected, but I’m writing what I actually experienced. I was so thin that my weight was less than 40kg so I was able to clearly understand why I gained weight so rapidly (around 5 kg in a few days).

1. Hunger in Africa and hunger in the modern era

  The idea of storing fat in the body as a “reserve” for starvation is something that every researcher thinks once. However, it is said that this theory is an idea denied by many researchers in history. This is because many obese people often eat more and African refugees are thin and malnourished.
Some may say “If starvation makes us fat, African refugee should be obese...”

  However, please understand that this is a true state of starvation (malnutrition) in which the people can’t eat even if they want to and I’m stating that it is different from “intestinal starvation”.
  African refugees can’t eat digestible foods and by being malnutrition, their digestive ability decreased. On the other hand, in developed countries we can take high-quality nutrition and digestible European food. Therefore, if we focus inside the intestines, we are more prone to be in an intestinal starvation status.
  As a matter of fact, obesity is a problem even among the world’s poor. Common to them is the “quality” and “balance” of food, not the excess consumption of calories, carbohydrate and sugar.

2. Why do we gain weight in starvation?

  In my blog, I’ve said intestinal starvation increases your Base Weight and I want to explain it here. For the purpose of explanation, I’ve used plants as my example.

 (1) For plants, eating foods and gaining weight is done by adding fertilizer to the plant. Of course, we need to give fertilizer periodically for growth.
  As in the case of people, this corresponds to our meal. (if we take only one meal a day, as long as it’s well-balanced, there will be enough nutrition left in intestines to be absorbed.)
  However, giving too much fertilizer doesn’t usually result in producing a bigger plant and if we give too often, it may sometimes have a negative effect. It goes the same for humans and just eating a lot doesn’t necessarily mean they will become obese.

 (2) Using an example of a plant (figure below), gaining weight by the increase of Base Weight due to intestinal starvation could be explained in the same way as a plant that is extending its roots.

  When there is not enough nutrition, plant roots grow deeper seeking for nutrition and in the same way in our intestines of 6 to 7 meters when all foods have been digested, it seeks further nutrition. It is said that “the small intestine is the second brain” or “they have a will” and I’ve actually felt the will of my small intestine.
Although the villus of intestine won’t actually become longer, something similar to plant roots will happen. If the amount of the absorption and ability increases (*) and even if you eat the same thing over time, you will gain weight. (It may be 3 kg in a year or 3 kg in a few days)
 (*) It is said that villus of small intestine is about the size of the tennis court if unfolded and its purpose is for absorbing more nutrition.

These are the roots of weeds. They grow without fertilizer.

  I believe that this is the cause of the fundamental differences between obese and thin people, and that this largely affects being too fat or too thin (despite eating a lot).

  Of course, we can’t gain weight only with water, but I think the Japanese expression of “getting fat by drinking water” is not completely wrong. It could mean that your absorption ability may be as high as that.

Once you gain weight, it becomes more difficult to lose weight

 If your Base Weight increases, it basically means that that is the point where “weight is well-balanced”. Temporally reducing calories to lose weight means reducing fertilizer in the example of a plant. Even if you could lose weight temporally, your weight will basically go back to the original weight as soon as you start eating normal food.
We often hear about rebounding after losing weight, but this is because skipping meals and experiencing hunger for losing weight induces intestinal starvation and the absorption level increases.

More muscle too

 After body fat comes on, it does not get muscle to support it, but absorption of nutrition is increased, so I think that it will get muscle at almost the same rate up to a certain point.
  When an obese person loses body fat, he / she becomes very muscled with thick chest. I don’t think the chest becomes thicker after they gained body fat just in order to support its weight.

Cause and effect reverses

  Since digestive enzymes and hormones are made from protein (amino acid), digestive ability and appetite is thought to increase at the same time.
  There is nothing mysterious about a big person or persons with a strong stomach that can eat more than others. It’s not that they gain weight because they eat more, but rather, the bigger their body is, the more hungry they become, and in turn eat more. This reversal phenomenon of cause and effect exists.

Those who tend to gain weight will easily gain weight and those who don’t gain weight, won’t gain weight regardless of age

  Even if everyone eats exactly the same amount, people with a big body/ obese will be experiencing hunger, more often, so it means they eat relatively less and tend to gain weight more. It may be a vicious circle where a person eats modest amounts and gains weight, and if they overwhelm their intake amount, they gain even more weight (rapidly). 

【related article】→What does it mean to eat relatively less?

 On the other hand, if a thin person takes 3 somewhat well-balanced meals a day, there will be no intestinal starvation and regardless of his / her calorie intake mount, his / her body shape won’t change often for life.
  Therefore, “easier to gain weight” or “won’t gain weight” is not due to an obesity gene at all.

  Also, for a person too thin like me, getting thinner means decreasing the amount of protein / nutrition intake (I’m still lightly anemic) and it results in less muscle supporting the stomach and less digestive ability. This is the vicious circle for a person who can’t gain weight.


Obesity can be explained not as a multifactorial disease but with “relativeness”

1. Obesity is not determined by one particular condition

  Some people are not obese despite eating a lot of calories, whereas others that are obese eat less or fewer calories. The same thing can be said for carbohydrates and sugar.
  Although it is said that various factors such as the number of meals, eating speed, eating breakfast or not, late dinners, snacks, processed foods, lack of vegetables and fat in addition to the above affects obesity, however I believe the intestinal starvation mechanism and “relativeness” can explain it.

Cited from “The Obesity Code” by Dr. Jason Fung

What causes weight gain? Contending theories abound:

・Calories・Food reward・Food addiction・Sugar・Sleep deprivation・Refined carbohydrates・Stress・Wheat・Low fiber intake・All carbohydrates・Genetics・Dietary fat・Red meat・Poverty・All meat・Wealth・Dairy products・Gut microbiome・Snacking・Childhood obesity
  The various theories fight among themselves, as if they are all mutually exclusive and there is only one true cause of obesity. For example, recent trials that compare a low-calorie to a low-carbohydrate diet assume that if one is correct, the other is not. Most obesity research is conducted in this manner.
This approach is wrong, since these theories all contain some element of truth.(p.70)


  THE MULTIFACTORIAL NATURE of obesity is the crucial missing link. There is no one single cause of obesity.
Do calories cause obesity? Yes, partially.
Do carbohydrates cause obesity? Yes, partially.
Does fiber protect us from obesity? Yes, partially.
Does insulin resistance cause obesity? Yes, partially.
Does sugar cause obesity? Yes, partially. (p.216)


  What we need is a frame work, a structure, a coherent theory to understand how all its factors fit together. Too often, our current model of obesity assumes that there is only one single true cause, and that all others are pretenders to the throne. Endless debates ensue.
Too many calories cause obesity. No,
too many carbohydrates. No,
too much saturated fat. No,
too much red meat. No,
too much processed foods. No,
too much high fat dairy. No,
too much wheat. No,
too much sugar. No,
too much highly palatable foods. No,
too much eating out.
It goes on and on. They are all partially correct. (p.216)


  All diets work because they all address a different aspect of the disease. But none of them work for very long, because none of them address the totality of the disease. Without understanding the multifactorial nature of obesity-which is critical - we are doomed to an endless cycle of blame. (p.217)

2. Various factors intertwined….

  As I’ve already explained, please understand that the phrase “gaining weight” has two meanings.

【related article】→2 meanings of the phrase "gaining weight"

  The Mechanism many people refer to as “get fat by eating a lot” is (B) in the graph below. When (A) intestinal starvation mechanism occurs, there are various factors related.

  For example, starch such as refined flour tends to cause starvation status, and fiber and fat prevent it. This is why people say you won’t gain weight if you eat a well-balanced diet.

Also, since our intestine is about 6 to 7 meters long, you won’t gain weight by eating unbalanced food just only once, but if you continue eating such meals, you will be more likely to gain weight. This is why there are people who are likely to gain weight and who aren’t. I can explain why there is more obesity among poor people.
  A well-balanced breakfast with dairy products and vegetables will leave fiber and fat inside intestine for a long time, so it will prevent obesity, however, a breakfast with ham, toast and coffee only, could be a cause of gaining weight. What I want to say here is that whether eating breakfast or not, alone it can’t be the deciding factor.

  Also, even if we eat the same amount, those who digest faster tend to gain weight and those with weak stomachs would have undigested food inside their stomach longer, so they won’t gain weight. This is why we can’t explain the different weight gain, despite the same intake amount and calorie amount.

【related article】→What does it mean to eat relatively less?

  When we do exercise (especially muscle exercise), the body will accelerate taking nutrition into the body, so it actually moves to the direction of gaining weight. However, people who do exercise such as athletes tend to eat well-balanced meals, so they won’t have the starvation mechanism and won’t gain weight, despite the large amount they eat.

【related article】→Misunderstanding of the relationship between diet, exercise and body weight

  In other words, obesity can be complicated and intertwined with factors and theories we can see, but can not be completely explained. However, obesity may be pinpointed in the unseen workings of the intestines.
  That is to say, it can be explained with “relativeness”. I’ll explain more in detail.

3. As previously mentioned, what is “relativeness”?

  In a broad sense, there are two meanings.

 (1) Simply speaking, those who experience “hunger” relatively more tend to gain weight. However, strictly speaking, simple hunger won’t make us fat. The status in which “all foods are digested” in the intestines which is 6 or 7 meters long would be regarded as “no food status” and it makes us tend to gain weight.

  This has nothing to do with the quantity. Even if you eat a lot, if you eat carbohydrates and easy-to-digest side dishes, this starvation status could happen. Also, even when foods are not completely digested, if long-term hunger is repeated, it increases the tendency to gain weight.

 (2) The other meaning of “relativeness” is that “intestinal starvation” occurs under various conditions happening simultaneously or overlapping.
  That is to say, it won’t occur under just one condition but by “relativity with other conditions”. Meaning that one single reason such as skipping breakfast, eating late at night or eating junk food is not enough to induce intestinal starvation. This is because our intestines are about 6 to 7 meters long.
  Although there are several conditions happening simultaneously, the following (a) to(d) have the principal influence.

【related article】→3(+1) Factors to Accelerate “Intestinal Starvation”

(a) What you eat (“quality and balance” of food)
・Fiber  ・Refined carbohydrate
・Low G.I. food (carbohydrate that digests poorly)
・Processed food  ・Low/high fat, protein
・How we eat (eating speed, number of mastication and water intake)
(b) “Time” between meals
・Eating breakfast  ・Skip meal  ・Late dinner
・Number of meals per day  ・Eating snack or not
(c) Digestive capability
・Strong/weak stomach  ・Difference of digestive enzyme
(d) What you had previously or the meal before that (since our intestines are long)

♦If there are genetic factors, I believe the factors below must affect overall strongly.
・Power of digestion (difference by family or race. Of course, it may change after birth)
・Character (not hasty. Calm and slow character)
・Preference of food (vegetable and diary product etc.), interest in food (diet balance)


Carbohydrates make it easier for people to gain weight, its meaning other than just calories

  When we consider that “eating a lot leads to gaining weight…,” I believe you have the image of carbohydrates like bread, rice and noodles in mind.
  This time, I am going to explain the reason why carbohydrates (*1) make it easier for people to gain weight, not because of an increase in calories or of its tendency to higher blood pressure, but by other indirect meanings.
(*1) Although technically sugar is also a sort of carbohydrate, I use the word carbohydrate here to mean “polysaccharide” such as starches and grains.

1. If there were no carbohydrate

  When my total body weight fell down to around 35kg, it would have been impossible to have gained weight without the help of carbohydrates. In my case, neither oil (fat) nor sugar could have done that … In other words, I would never have gained weight by eating cream-filled cakes or oily pork cutlets and Chinese food. I am going to explain the reason next.
  To be precise, I don’t mean all “carbohydrates,” but just refined digestible carbohydrates (such as white bread, rice, potato, starch etc.).

  Thus, in the case of brown rice, fried rice, whole-grain bread and al dente cooked pasta etc., the result may be different even though they are the same carbohydrates. These are known as foods that won’t increase blood sugar levels (glycemic index, resistant starch) but in short, they are “indigestible”.

2. With indigestible foods, it is difficult to gain weight

  When you always eat indigestible foods, such as the above-referenced carbohydrates that don’t increase the blood sugar level, oil (fat), high-fiber vegetable, seaweed and dairy products, it can be said that it is difficult to gain weight: “Base Weight” in my definition is unlikely to go up.
  As I have already explained, each person’s Base Weight level will not go up since the body recognizes that “the state which undigested foods are still in the intestine” = “there are still foods” → “there is no need to store.”
  I’m saying that it is difficult to gain weight if a thin person eats properly every day.
  Although a person who has already gained weight may not lose weight by eating some, I consider this that it may be possible to lose weight depending on how you eat them, since these foods are always discussed in dieting techniques.

3. The effect of carbohydrates that make it easier for people to gain weight

  Contrarily, refined digestible carbohydrate (rice, white bread, potato, starch etc.) will promote digestion. By eating together with digestible side dishes (meat and fish with less fat), they make it easier to create hunger.
  That is to say, “intestinal starvation state” will be occur more easily.There are 2 effects that I can think of so far.

(1) Dilution Effect 

  You may have heard the word “PFC Balance (protein, fat, carbohydrate)” and currently in Japan, it is said to be ideal to take 50 to 65% of energy from carbohydrate in average (Food Intake Standard-2015). However, I believe many people take still around 70%.
  If you proportionally increase digestible carbohydrates, the percentage of side dishes such as fat, meat, fish and vegetables will be relatively smaller. The density of a spoonful of oil will be lower if you add water by doubling your bread or rice portions.
  Raw egg is indigestible but if you eat together with bread and coffee, the density of the egg will be lower.

  If the amount of side dishes are the same for everyone, the one who has relatively more carbs and water will be sending diluted nutrition to the intestine. So it will be easier to be hungry (intestinal starvation).
  For example, let’s say I eat a hamburger and a potato, another piece of bread and tea altogether.

  If we mix these all in a blender, it will be something like meat diluted with starch and water.(figure below)

  If I remove the bread and add broccoli mayonnaise salad… The dilution effect of carbohydrates will be less and fiber and fat will be added.

※ On calorie basis, broccoli mayonnaise salad is about 70 to 100kcal. However, adding it to the meal doesn’t have the same meaning as adding another piece of bread . This is why calorie intake basis thinking may go wrong.
  On the other hand, what would happen if I proportionally decrease carbohydrate? As you can see in low-carb diet, if I decrease the carbohydrates of the main meal and increase proteins such as meat and fish, oil or vegetables, I can send nutrition of higher density to my intestine.

  In this case, there will be the reverse effect that secures nutrition and causes less hunger. Moreover, since our intestines are long, about 6 to 7m, while the food is still inside our intestines, there will be indigestible substances that prevents intestinal starvation.

(2) Pushing out Effect 

  When we take carbohydrates together with water, our stomach expands (“balloon effect” of stomach).

  However, if we take carbohydrates together with digestible side dishes such as stew, its holding time will be shorter and the food will be pushed out of the stomach soon. Also, our intestine starts to move actively.
  For a foreigner, it may be easier to imagine instant noodle and toast or rice.

  Though our stomach does expand after we eat, since it’s easy to digest, it will start moving actively and smoothly. I had the problem with my stomach and intestines and suffered often from constipation or diarrhea, but this resolved it several times. And not just that our stomach starts to move but since the foods are digestible, it will be easier to be in an intestinal starvation state.
  On the other hand, though there are people who say taking meals with a lot of oil (Chinese food or fried food) will give us stamina, it actually means that it stays in stomach for a longer time and its energy could be sustained during sports. That is to say, since its holding time in stomach will be longer, it will be more difficult for us to become hungry (intestinal starvation).

■Lastly, taking into account the reasons stated above,

(1) I consider sugar (monosaccharide, disaccharide) and polysaccharid (starch, cereal) can not be put into the same category since they have slightly different characteristics.
  Recently-popular low-carb diets pay attention only to the “characteristics that increase blood sugar rate easily” so I don't believe it’s sufficient.
(2) Obesity among poverty stricken people worldwide can be understood as the influence of cheap carbohydrates (cereal, starch) and unbalanced foods (lack of vegetable etc.). Considering them, it may be easier to imagine that they are not gaining weight due to taking too much calories or sugar, but rather from consuming cheap carbohydrates as mentioned above.
(3) Also, the fact that Sumo wrestlers (Japanese national sports) eat hot pot dishes called “Chanko-nabe” with a lot of rice in order to make their bodies larger is a very logical view in this sense.


Debate whether carbohydrate makes us fat or calorie makes us fat


・Up through the 1960s, there were some research and studies that obese people were able to lose weight by replacing many of their carbohydrates to plenty of dietary fats or meats, etc, without thinking about calories.
  On the contrary, when overweight students were put on conventional semi-starvation diets, they lost little weight and they were discouraged because they were always conscious of being hungry.
・in the 1960s, few doctors were willing to accept a cure for obesity predicated on the notion that fat people can eat large portions of food. They believed that the obvious reason of obesity is that fat people eat too much.
・Health officials had come to believe that dietary fat causes heart disease, and that carbohydrates are “heart-healthy" in the 1960s.
  As a result, doctors and nutritionists started attacking carbohydrate restricted diets because they believed dietary fat causes heart attacks and that a diet that replaces carbohydrates with more fatty foods threatens to kill us.

1.Old history of low carbohydrate

In Japan, Locabo diet (meaning a low-carb diet) was popular around 2015, but when we look around the world, this way was repeatedly conducted since the 1800s.
 Though there will be a lot of quotes, I will explain this. This is very interesting in view of my theory.

  Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin was born in 1755. His passion, though, was always food and drink, or what he called the “pleasures of the table”. He began writing down his thoughts on the subject in the 1790s; Brillat-Savarin published them in a book, The Physiology of Taste, in December 1825. (*snip*)
“Tell me what you eat,” Brillat-Savarin memorably wrote, “and I shall tell you what you are."
 Over the course of thirty years, he wrote, he had held more than five hundred conversations with dinner companions who were “threatened or afflicted with obesity,” one “fat man” after another, declaring their devotion to bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes. This led Brillat-Savarin to conclude that the roots of obesity were obvious.(P.148)

  The first was a natural predisposition to fatten. “Some people,” he wrote, “in whom the digestive forces manufacture, all things being equal, a greater supply of fat are, as it were, destined to be obese.”
 The second was “the starches and flours which man uses as the base of his daily nourishment,” and he added that “starch produces this effect more quickly and surely when it is used with sugar."
 This, of course, made the cure obvious as well. (*snip*)..... It can be deduced, as an exact consequence, that a more or less rigid abstinence from everything that is starchy or floury will lead to the lessening of weight.” (*snip*)
 What Brillat-Savarin wrote in 1825 has been repeated and reinvented numerous times since. Up through the 1960s, it was the conventional wisdom, what our parents or our grandparents instinctively believed to be true. (pp.148-149)(Citation from “Why We Get Fat?” by Gary Taubes)

Jean-Francois Dancel (a French physician) presented his thoughts on obesity in 1844 to the French Academy of Sciences and then published a book, Obesity, or Excessive Corpulence: The Various Causes and the Rational Means of a Cure.
“All food which is not flesh ―all food rich in carbon and hydrogen [i.e., carbohydrates] ―must have a tendency to produce fat,” wrote Dancel.

 Dancel also noted that carnivorous animals are never fat, whereas herbivores, living exclusively on plants, often are. (*snip*)
 Dancel claimed that he could cure obesity “without a single exception” if he could induce his patients to live “chiefly upon meat," and partake “only of a small quantity of other food."
 Dancel argued that physicians of his era believed obesity to be incurable because the diets they prescribed to cure it were precisely those that happened to cause it. (pp.151-152)

(Note: This is common with my blog and the point made by Mr. Gary Taubes)

 Until the early years of the twentieth century, physicians typically considered obesity a disease, and a virtually incurable one, against which, as with cancer, it was reasonable to try anything. Inducing patients to eat less and/or exercise more was just one of many treatments that might be considered. (*snip*)
 In the 1869 edition of The Practice of Medicine, the British physician Thomas Tanner published a lengthy list of “ridiculous" treatments that doctors had prescribed for obesity over the years. (*snip*)
 “All these plans," wrote Tanner, "however perseveringly carried out, fail to accomplish the object desired; and the same must be said of simple sobriety in eating and drinking.” (Tanner did believe, however, that abstinence from carbohydrates was one method, perhaps the only one, that worked. “Farinaceous [starchy] and vegetable foods are fattening, and saccharine matters [i.e., sweets] are especially so,” he wrote.) (p.151)
 Margaret Ohlson (head of the nutrition department at Michigan State University, in the 1950s)
 When overweight students were put on conventional semi-starvation diets, Ohlson reported, they lost little weight and “reported a lack of ‘pep’ throughout... [and] they were discouraged because they were always conscious of being hungry.”

 When they ate only a few hundred carbohydrate calories a day but plenty of protein and fat, they lost an average of three pounds per week and “reported a feeling of well-being and satisfaction. Hunger between meals was not a problem.”
The reports continued into the 1970s.
The dieters lost weight with little effort and felt little or no hunger while doing so.(pp.157-158)
(Citation from “Why We Get Fat?” by Gary Taubes)

2.The reason doctors couldn’t accept carbohydrate restriction

 As you can see, it seems that reducing carbohydrates and sugar and eating more other things would lead to resolving obesity... but here is the basic rule of calories.

 By the 1960s, obesity had come to be perceived as an eating disorder.  (*snip*)
 Adiposity 101 was discussed in the physiology, endocrinology, and biochemistry journals, but rarely crossed over into the medical journals or the literature on obesity itself.
 When it did, as in a lengthy article in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 1963, it was ignored. Few doctors were willing to accept a cure for obesity predicated on the notion that fat people can eat large portions of any food, let alone as much as they want. This simply ran contrary to what had now come to be accepted as the obvious reason why fat people get fat to begin with, that they eat too much. 

 But there was another problem as well. Health officials had come to believe that dietary fat causes heart disease, and that carbohydrates are what these authorities would come to call “heart-healthy." (*snip*)

 This belief in the carbohydrate as "heart-healthy” started in the 1960s and it couldn't be reconciled with the idea that carbohydrates make us fat. After all, if dietary fat causes heart attacks, then a diet that replaces carbohydrates with more fatty foods threatens to kill us, even if it slims us down in the process. As a result, doctors and nutritionists started attacking carbohydrate restricted diets (pp.159-160)
 The Times article, “New Diet Decried by Nutritionists: Dangers Are Seen in Low Carbohydrate Intake,” quoted Harvard's Jean Mayer as claiming that to prescribe carbohydrate-restricted diets to the public was “the equivalent of mass murder.”
 First, as the Times explained, “It is a medical fact that no dieter can lose weight unless he cuts down on excess calories, either by taking in fewer of them, or by burning them up." We now know that this is not a medical fact, but the nutritionists didn't in 1965, and most of them still don't.
 Second, because these diets restrict carbohydrates, they compensate by allowing more fat. It's the high-fat nature of the diets, the Times explained, that prompted Mayer to make the mass murder accusation.(p.161)
(Citation from “Why We Get Fat?” by Gary Taubes)


Locabo diet, popular in Japan, comes from “a low-carb diet”


  This time, I’d like to simply introduce “Locabo” diet in Japan and Sugar Busters in the U.S.. As I’ve said repeatedly in my blog, the direct cause of obesity is due to the “intestinal starvation mechanism” and not the amount of calories or carbohydrates that we eat. So, the reason I presented this article is to show that

(1) Carbohydrates do not have a direct, but indirect effect that makes people more prone to gain weight.

【related article】 →Carbohydrates make it easier for people to gain weight, its meaning other than just calories

(2) The right way of losing weight, I have been thinking is closer to that of a Locabo and a Sugar Busters diet. Locabo and Sugar Busters diets are a kind of proof, showing that people are able to lose weight even if they eat a lot of calories, especially fat.
  I think that the important point is people were able to lose weight even though they consumed a lot of meat, cheese and oil or just simply ate a lot without thinking of the calories.


  I wrote this article in Japanese in 2016 and at that time, carbohydrate restriction diets were becoming popular. It’s called “Locabo” which is a new word created after the English phrase “a low-carb diet”.
  First, I want to explain “Locabo” which is said to be effective for abnormal blood sugar, diabetes and dieting.

1.What’s Locabo?

  "In Japan, the phrase “carbohydrate restriction diet” has been generally used, but the word “restriction” has a somewhat negative image. Therefore, we had to use some new different words. We came up with the new word “Locabo” after the English phrase “low carb” and then it spread throughout Japan.

  Locabo is not strict, but rather a "loose" carbohydrate restriction. By definition, the diet tries to keep the carbohydrate intake amount per day to around 70 to 130 grams in total, by taking 20 to 40 gram per meal, 3 times a day and also a dessert or sweets up to 10 grams.
  The difference from a strict carbohydrate restriction is that by eating at least 70grams of carbohydrate, it avoids an extremely-low-carbohydrate condition that results in Keton body formation. Also, a strict carbohydrate diet makes food choice very limited but Locabo has a variety of foods you can enjoy. As long as you keep reducing carbohydrate intake, you can eat a variety of foods such as meat, fish, cheese and vegetable dishes etc. without thinking about calories.

[Citation from “The truth of carbohydrate restriction”by Satoshi Yamada of Kitasato research hospital(Japan), 2015]

2.The limit of “calorie restriction”

 In Japan, the majority of people are still believing that “calorie restriction” is necessary to lose weight, but I feel it’s shifting gradually to carbohydrate restriction. I want to introduce its background.

<The truth of 2015>
  The idea to avoid oil for health was widely believed without a doubt for a long time in Japan. However, various data since the 21st century has revealed that even if we reduce oil intake, it won’t improve blood lipids, as well as reducing cholesterol, won’t reduce blood cholesterol.
  In 2015, the U.S. government revised “dietary reference intakes” that were set about 40 years ago. It said, “there is no limit of cholesterol or oil intake, since reducing them won’t result in heart disease and or obesity prevention”.


  In Japan, as well as in the U.S., the increase of diabetes was once thought to be due to a decrease of body activity and an increase of oil intake. However, in reality, even though the oil intake was reduced in the 21st century, the number of diabetes cases increased. The figures were

Abnormal blood sugar patients

[1997] : 13.7 million
[2007] : 22.1 million

So it did increase rapidly. What we can see from this graph is that, since they reduced oil intake, it even accelerated the increase of abnormal blood sugar patients.


  Though such a drastic change may vex some people, many things which are believed about oil, carbohydrates or protein has changed and even became the opposite in the last 10 years.
[Citation from “The truth of carbohydrate restriction”]

3.Old history of low carbohydrate

In Japan, when Locabo diet became popular around 2015, people believed it was a new dieting method. However, when we look around the world, this was the way it has been repeatedly conducted since the 1800s.
I’ll explain this in the link below. ↓
Debate whether carbohydrate makes us fat or calorie makes us fat

4.Sugar Busters

  I want to introduce “Sugar Busters” which was popular in the U.S. (New Orleans) and was called the “Food Revolution” since late 1990s.

  The point of Sugar Busters is to control the secretion of “insulin”. They say that the control of insulin depends on restricting the carbohydrate intake. In other words, as long as you restrict carbohydrate intake, you can enjoy steak, grilled fish, cheese etc. without thinking about calories.

  It is said that restaurants in a town created the Sugar Busters Menu and made this movement even stronger. It’s surprising that this was done more than 15 years before the rise of the carbohydrate restriction boom in Japan.


Why do we gain weight even though we eat small portions of food?

1. Wrong diet

  The reason for gaining weight is said to be from “intake calories>consumed calories” and there are people who try losing weight just by decreasing the amount they eat.
  For example, by eating only a rice ball and a piece of fried chicken, or a hamburger and a drink for lunch.... These people say they are hungry but continue experiencing hunger for long periods of time.

  In my view, these people not only can’t lose weight, but also tend to gain weight eventually.

2. Woman friend who put on some weight

  When I was working at a restaurant in my college years, there was a woman who wasn’t that overweight, but started dieting. She wasn’t slim, but wasn’t overweight either and for me, she looked just healthy and fit. I thought she was OK as she was. But she started dieting because she wanted to get slim.

  Therefore, she ate half of her meal such as rice and meat and never any vegetables. She was always saying “I’m starving...” but continued experiencing hunger and stopped from eating snacks.
  And the result...? She didn’t lose weight but rather, she seemed to have gained a little.

3. Colleague who gained 3 kg in a year

My co-worker from my job in the kitchen at the nursing home was the same way. When I first met him, he looked sturdy (about 170cm tall with 70kg). He wasn’t fat but he was doing dieting, saying he gained 3 kg in the last year.

  In his case, he starts working at 6 am but never eats breakfast.
For lunch, he only eats a small amount rice and meat (or fish) dish. He rarely eats vegetable dishes such as salad and Nimono (Japanese traditional vegetable stew). He gained 2 kg more in the following year.

4. The cause of misunderstanding is to think “reducing calorie is enough”

 The problem here was that they thought “reducing calories (from carbohydrate, fat and meat, etc) is enough” in order to lose weight and that they thought they have to keep experiencing hunger in order to lose weight.
  As a result, they didn’t eat fiber from vegetables, fat and milk products so their Base Weight increased by creating an intestinal starvation mechanism.

There are 2 ways of how intestinal starvation mechanism works.
  (1) Taking an unbalanced meal with a lot of carbohydrate and meat (not enough vegetables). Many of them skip breakfast and only eat once or twice a day and experience hunger in long hours.

(2) Eating small portions with carbohydrates and meat (not enough vegetables). Many of them eat 3 times a day but often experience hunger in long hours.

  In conclusion, whether you eat a lot of calories or a little, an unbalance of food in the intestine doesn’t change. Experiencing hunger in long hours is the same in view of creating intestinal starvation mechanism. Eating vegetable dishes, milk products and fat, etc is important in regards to preventing an intestinal starvation mechanism, but those people in the above examples choose not to eat them.


Misunderstanding of the relationship between diet, exercise and body weight


・Losing weight by doing exercise is temporary and it’s possible to rebound. Basically, exercise, workout(※) is a power accelerating to the direction of gaining weight (※especially muscle training) .
・However, the priority is in how you control your “diet”. The way a person controls their diet (when to eat, what to eat, how to eat etc) has a huge effect on whether we gain weight or not.
・Originally lean people doing sports eat 3 balanced meals per day, and it hinders increasing their Base Weight since some undigested foods tend to remain in their intestines throughout the day.
 In contrast, people who quite doing exercise or live sedentary lives tend to eat light or skip their meals. Such a situation can create intestinal starvation and lead to an increase of their Base Weight.


  Many of those who do sports are lean. When we see athletes who gained weight after quitting sports, the formula of “exercise=losing weight” may seem to work. Though many specialists think in this way, the relation between exercise and body weight can’t be so simple.

  However, with my 3 basis, relationship between diet, exercise and body weight, it becomes much easier to explain:
(1) each person has the function to maintain their present condition
(2) the phrase “gain weight” has 2 meanings
(3) Base Weight (set weight) increases by the intestinal starvation mechanism.

1. The relationship between “diet” and “exercise” is the commonly used pretext, for specialists

Specialists (doctor etc) would say “Aren’t you still eating too much...?” to those who didn’t lose weight despite exercise and “your exercise may not be enough...” to those who can’t lose weight despite calorie restriction.
  That is to say, since the relation of diet and exercise were regarded as “calories- in / calories- out”, it was used as a various pretext by specialists and no one really considered this relation deeply.

2. Consumed energy would be regained

  I repeat, but those who believe that “eat more and you’ll gain weight /exercise more and you’ll lose weight” are seeing things in this way(figure below). They are thinking that “intake and consumption are opposite and the difference between them would result in gaining weight (or losing weight)”.

However, it’s actually like this (figure below).

  Intake amount (A) and consumption amount (C) is mediated by the absorption. Therefore, as the consumption amount (C) increases, appetite and absorption rate and capacity(B) would increase relatively. Also, the increase of intake amount (A) not automatically increases absorption rate and capacity(B).

Please refer here for detail

If there is no need to exercise to lose weight….

There is no meaning in simply calculating calories

  Though exercise does consume energy once, there will be a reaction to regain consumed energy. There is some kind of a law that “consumed energy would be regained”. It’s the same thing as your hands become hot after playing with cold snow.

 On the other hand, if you don’t use it, your body will decay. If you break your leg and don’t move it, it will get extremely thin... it’s the same thing.  That is to say, exercise(※) basically revives the body, regains the cycle of energy and tries to store energy so it’s a power that accelerates to the direction of getting fat (storing fat)
(※it’s especially the case for muscle loading exercise such as exercise without oxygen).

  However, whether you gain weight or not depends on how you control your “diet”.
“Diet” is always the priority.
  This is why false theories emerge like “people exercising everyday are lean, even if they eat a lot".

3. What does it mean that “diet” is the priority?

First, I want to explain by several patterns.

(1) Not gaining weight while doing exercise

  As Dr. John Briffa, the author of "escape the diet trap" says, the perspective that “originally lean people start marathons and football and eventually become athletes” is a crooked but righteous view.

  Those who do exercise pay attention to nutrition and take nutritional supplement other than 3 meals. It’s because we think “I have to eat nutritiously” or “I have to eat properly” when we do exercise.
  In other words, originally lean people doing sports such as football and marathons take 3 balanced meals per day. And that would prevent increasing their Base Weight because intestinal starvation mechanism never occur (Some undigested foods tend to remain in their intestines throughout the day).
  Their misunderstanding is that they believe “I won't gain weight even if I eat a lot because I’m consuming” or “I won't gain weight even if I eat a lot because I have high metabolism”. “Consuming” is not completely wrong but eating a well-balanced meal 3 times a day actually has more meaning.

(2) Putting on some weight after quitting exercise

  On the other hand, there are people who say they put on some weight after quitting exercise or more desk work and not enough exercise …
  However, the problems lie rather in skipping meals, taking light meals, eating an unbalanced diet (with much carbohydrate) or taking meals at irregular times. That would more likely cause the intestinal starvation mechanism.

  When we have  nothing to do or stay at the desk all day, we tend to think “we should eat a light meal”. We may skip breakfast or take something light for lunch. We may eat only a burger in order to save calories or money for dinner with colleagues.
  In such situations, “the intestinal starvation mechanism” tends to occur and in a long-term, we might put on some weight.

  There are people who say “though I didn’t gain weight when I was young even if I ate a lot, recently I don’t do exercise so I’m gaining weight....” but in other words, it means that they didn’t gain weight when they were young since they ate a proper diet 3 times a day, but now they are eating light meals (with less vegetable) and are experiencing hunger for a long time, so they’re gaining weight.

♦ A friend of mine from college used to be very thin when he was in high school. He was practicing Judo and ate a lot of calories in order to gain weight and muscle, but he remained thin.

  However, he gained more than 10kg in just a year when he failed the university entrance exams on the first try. He said it was because he didn’t do any exercise but even studying uses calories in brain.
  When I asked the details, it seemed the most part of his daily diet, even more than half, was something simple to eat such as rice ball, snack bread or instant noodles.

(3)Gaining weight while doing exercise

  Though fighters and Sumo wrestlers (Japanese national sport) do exercise, they need to gain weight due to the characteristics of the sports. However, we often hear that even if some fighters eat a lot and take protein supplements other than 3 meals per day, it’s difficult to gain more muscle and weight.
  On the other hand, those who don’t want to gain weight, sometimes put on some weight easily. This is because the intestinal starvation mechanism is necessary in order to gain weight. Those who exercise hard think they need to take sufficient nutrition (milk product, protein, fat, vegetables etc.) but those who don’t do any exercise or live sedentary lives tend to eat lightly or skip their meals.

  Exercise is a power accelerating to the direction of gaining weight, but if you eat meals and protein every 4 or 5 hours in order to gain weight, some undigested foods tends to remain in your intestines throughout the day. And it hinders increasing your Base Weight.


♦ Sumo wrestlers are famous for being big but their main diet is a lot of rice and hot-pot dish called “Chanko” (stewed meat and vegetables) which is easy to digest.

  In addition to this, they always do an early morning practice not eating breakfast. They eat only twice a day(at 11:00 am and 6:00 pm) after practice. So all the foods they ate are able to digest in the whole intestines easily and their Base Weight increases.
  We can see that they are directing “the power to gain weight" and “the intestinal starvation mechanism” in the same direction. That is to say, it’s very logical in view of gaining weight.


More emphasis should be put on ”Absorption amount”

1. Is there any meaning in comparing only the intake amount?

  Is there any meaning in strictly comparing consumed calories with the daily calorie intake? We can’t see how many calories we consume. Similarly, we can never really see how many calories we intake because calories and nutrition are absorbed in the intestines. 
  However, most people follow the calorie count strictly from what they ate and always compare them with the assumed consumed calories. I think what is important is the absorbed calories only.
 (Though it might be a theory that is difficult to understand for those with average weight, I believe those with too much or too less weight would understand)

  I think trying to compare everything based on the daily calorie intake is causing various distortions and contradictions. There are those who don’t eat much but are overweight or those who eat much but are slim, never gain weight. It is true that some people who are overweight often eat a lot but it’s because :

(1) they have big body
(2) their stomach and intestines are large and strong compared to thin people
(3) they often tolerate hunger for a long time, so they end up eating much.

2. Absorbing capability differs by person

  As each of us have different ability to memorize, talk or communicate, our ability “to digest and absorb” are different by person. 
  In Japan, there are old sayings such as “gain weight even by drinking water”, “a big eater who stays thin”, “your body is inefficient (since you never gain weight even if you eat a lot)” or “my body is too efficient (I don’t eat very much but I get fat easily)”.

  I believe all these sayings represent “absorption capability” explained here. Also, though I’m not sure what % of you would agree, however I want to say it loudly that when we say “our body gets fat easily” or “our body will never gain weight”, it means not “good/bad metabolism” but rather “absorption capability".

3. Is 1 calorie intake still 1 calorie in the body?

  For example, it is known that the calcium from small fish or the iron from vegetables are difficult to absorb, depending on person. But only for calories, many people just simply total the calorie count from each food they have eaten. I think it’s strange.
  Is one calorie intake still one calorie in the body? Those who say it’s one calorie in body use “the first law of thermodynamics” as its ground.

 "The first law states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. In other words, energy can be converted from one form to another, but the total amount of energy in the universe remains constant. How might this law apply to weight management?

 Suppose someone has stable weight over time. The first law dictates that, in theory, the number of calories consumed by this individual in the form of food is equal to the calories the individual expends during metabolism and activity. In other words, 'calories in = calories out’. Applying the first law of thermodynamics essentially dismisses any notion that different forms of calorie consumed by an individual can have different effects on weight. In summary: ‘a calorie is a calorie.
  However, the first law of thermodynamics actually refers to what are known as ‘closed systems' – ones that can exchange heat and energy with their surroundings, but not matter.

  Is this true for human beings? Actually, no: the human body does indeed exchange matter with its surroundings, principally in the form of the food (matter in) and as waste products such as urine and faeces (matter out). Also, technically speaking, the first law refers to systems in which chemical reactions do not take place. 

  But the human body is essentially a mass of chemical reactions. So, here again, the first law of thermodynamics cannot apply where weight management is concerned." (PP.63-64)
(Citation from “escape the diet trap” by Dr. John Briffa)

4. My wish

  I have a reason I wanted to write such an article. I actually felt I couldn’t absorb enough nutrition and actually sensed this in my intestines when I was extremely thin around 30 something kg. At that time, I couldn’t gain weight regardless of what I ate. Though it was certainly pathological, I thought it was a problem of the amount of the absorption rate.
  And although it was only once, I gained more than 5kg in a short period of time (about 3 days) and I was able to sense at that very moment that I was gaining weight throughout my body. After that, when my weight recovered about 50kg, I was able to keep the weight even though I didn’t eat as much as I did before (since my Base Weight increased).

5. ”Being slim due to high metabolism” is unnatural

  In Japan, it is often said that those who are slim don’t gain weight since “their metabolism is high” or since “their body can break down body fat easily” etc.

  However, if body fat is saved as a preparation for starvation (since we never know when we could eat the next time), would the body break down or metabolize the precious energy source in vain? If everyone absorbs in the same way and “those who are thin/slim are using extra energy by high metabolism”, isn’t it unnatural?
  It’s often said that gaining muscle will raise metabolism but isn’t that because we are shown figures such as a shaped up model as seen on advertisements?
  But I actually think that those who are thin have less muscle and those who are overweight have more muscle under their body fat. If that’s the case, it will lead us to believe that those who are overweight with much muscle are easy to lose weight, and those who are thin with less muscle are easy to gain weight which are contradictory.
  This isn’t a good thing for specialists who are just trying to justify themselves such as doctors, nutritionists etc. to explain why people get fat.


For dieting, meal improvement rather than exercise


  1. When proposing exercise, always provide meal coaching too
  2. Little benefit of consumed calorie
  3. Exercise won’t reduce body fat?
  4. It’s normal that dietary restriction and exercise won’t last

1.When proposing exercise, always provide meal coaching too

What I’ve learned through my experience of instructing exercise and diet, is that most of the people can’t get good results only with exercise. As I came in touch with many clients (who couldn’t get good results), I started to realize a pattern in those clients who couldn’t get results.

They all had problems in their eating habits such as they kept eating what they like or didn’t want to change their eating habits…

When we think of the mechanism to make a body slim,there is no dieting way more effective than to control one’s meal and I believe it’s proper to think that exercise is just added to it. 

Most of the diet books do explain a method of exercising and they always refer to a person’s meal. Those who got results and became slim, it was not due to exercise, but their meal (caution: it’s not dietary restriction). *snip*

It is important to understand that the basic premise for a beautiful body style is through exercise and reducing size or weight, this is possible by improving meal.

(Citation from “For dieting, exercise should be 10% and meal should be 90%” by Takuro Mori)

▽I wanted to say the same thing, but since the words of a sports professional is much more creditable so I just quoted him.
The book called “Get Slim with Exercise” always refers to eating habits. Its content is to avoid junk food. Eat traditional Japanese food and dishes that improves metabolism. I think the recent trend is to eat enough and do exercise.

If you eat enough but got slim, you might think that exercise contributed a lot in reducing weight.

However, it’s a misunderstanding. The calorie consumed by exercise is little and only by changing what you eat can make people slim. Exercise should rather be considered in creating a well-trained body after getting slim.

 2.Little benefit of consumed calorie

"Faith in the health benefit of physical activity is now so deeply ingrained in our consciousness….
But the question I want to explore here is not whether exercise is fun or good for us or a necessary adjunct of a healthy lifestyle, as the authorities are constantly telling us, but whether it will help us maintain our weight if we're lean, or lose weight if we're not. The answer appears to be no. (P41)  *snip*

A 250-pound man will burn three extra calories climbing one flight of stairs, as Louis Newburgh of the University of Michigan calculated in 1942. "He will have to climb twenty flights of stairs to rid himself of the energy contained in one slice of bread!"

So why not skip the stairs and skip the bread and call it a day? (P48) *snip*

▽Other experts took to arguing that we could lose weight by weightlifting or resistance training rather than the kind of aerobic activity, like running, that was aimed purely at increasing our expenditure of calories. (P54)

The extra muscle would contribute to maintaining the fat loss, because it would burn off more calories-muscle being more metabolically active than fat.

To make this argument, though, these experts invariably ignored the actual numbers, because they, too, are unimpressive.

If we replace five pounds of fat with five pounds of muscle, which is a significant achievement for most adults, we will increase our energy expenditure by two dozen calories a day.

Once again, we're talking about the caloric equivalent of a quarter-slice of bread, with no guarantee that we won't be two-dozen-calories-a- day hungrier because of this. And once again we're back to the notion that it might be easier just to skip both the bread and the weightlifting."  (PP.54-55)

(Citation from “Why We Get Fat?” by Gary Taubes)

3.Exercise won’t reduce body fat?

“Body fat is a stored energy so the body won’t use it so easily. Even if you exercise real hard or work hard to get slim in short term, glycogen is mainly consumed, which is the quick energy stored in the liver and muscle. Glycogen is a glucide and when we consume glycogen, the body wants to recover it by gaining more glucides by eating sweet things. *snip*

Even in aerobic exercise which is said to consume more body fat, the half of the consumed calories are glycogen. I’ve said 30 minutes of running will consume 200 kcal but half of it is not body fat, but glycogen. The best consumption efficiency is still only half.

I think you can understand how hard it is to reduce 1 kg of body fat (7200 kcal) only by aerobic exercise with low calorie consumption.”

(Citation from “For dieting, exercise should be 10% and meal should be 90%” by Takuro Mori)

What we need to pay attention to is that even in half of 200 kcal, 100 kcal is fat, we can’t just simply add it everyday. Please remember the previous article “consumed energy will always come back”. We can’t be sure that we end up taking 100 kcal extra at the end of the day and even if the calorie intake for the day is the same, absorption rate will be higher in order to cover the loss. So, you can see the reason losing weight stagnates at some point.

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the International Association for the Study of Obesity, and the International Obesity Taskforce recommended that we should exercise an hour a day.

But the reason these other authorities advocate more exercise is not to help us lose fat, which they tacitly acknowledge cannot be done by exercising alone; rather, it's to help us avoid getting fatter.

The logic behind the one-hour recommendations is based precisely on the paucity of evidence to support the notion that exercising any less has any effect. Since few studies exist to tell us what happens when people exercise for more than sixty minutes each day, these authorities can imagine that this much exercise might make a difference. "(P44)

(Citation from “Why We Get Fat?” by Gary Taubes)

4.It’s normal that dietary restriction and exercise won’t last

I want to explain how dietary restriction and exercise which are said to be indispensable for dieting are meaningless. “Keep moving without eating will make you slim” is a truth (we can die from that) but we need at least a few meals a day in order to keep our daily life, so in that case, it no longer stands as a truth.

" I want to eat! "

  1. Subconscious can’t understand negative form so however we try “not to eat”, what we see in the brain is food. However strong your will is, we can’t seem to beat the power of the subconscious (said to be 97 to 99%) driven by image, therefore we want to eat even more.

  2. It might work if it’s your favorite sports, but you can’t continue the sports you don’t like.(Takuro Mori)

  3. The exercise will raise your appetite so you will even get more stress by not eating.

  4. People naturally tend to move less during the rest of their day once they do more exercise. (Dr.John Briffa)

  5. Long exercise might consistently increase cortisol concentration and this will promote storing body fat.(Dr.John Briffa)

  6. Though you might get slim once, it’s the same as the dieting of a boxer which is temporary. Doing exercise with an empty stomach tends to create “starvation mechanism” and heightens the possibility of rebounding and gaining even more weight. (my theory)

And I think that the reason why such a wrong view of dieting is still believed is due to the misunderstood view between the relationships of “diet, exercise and weight”.

【related article】→ "Misunderstanding of the relationship between diet, exercise and body weight"

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If there is no need to exercise to lose weight….



  1. The fact that exercise had no effect over diet neglected
  2. The energy consumed by exercise will always come back
  3. It's possible to lose weight only by eating


"Imagine you’re invited to a celebratory dinner….
You might try to eat less over the course of the day-maybe even skip lunch, or breakfast and lunch. You might go to the gym for a particularly vigorous workout, or go for a longer run or swim than usual, to work up an appetite.

Now let’s think about this for a moment. The instructions that we’re constantly being given to lose weight-eat less (decrease the calories we take in) and exercise more (increase the calories we expend) -are the very same things we’ll do if our purpose is to make ourselves hungry, to build up an appetite, to eat more.

Now the existence of an obesity epidemic coincident with half a century of advice to eat less and exercise more begins to look less paradoxical. (p.40)

Certainly in the United States, where the obesity epidemic has coincided with what we might call an epidemic of leisure-time physical activity, of health clubs and innovative means of expending energy, virtually all of which were either invented or radically redesigned since the obesity epidemic began." (P.42)

(Citation from “Why We Get Fat?” by Gary Taubes)

1. The fact that exercise had no effect over diet has been neglected

The ubiquitous faith in the belief that the more calories we expend, the less we’ll weigh is based ultimately on one observation and one assumption. The observation is that people who are lean tend to be more physically active than those of us who aren't. This is undisputed. Marathon runners as a rule are not overweight or obese….

But this observation tells us nothing about whether runners would be fatter if they didn't run or if the pursuit of distance running as a full-time hobby will turn a fat man or Woman into a lean marathoner. (P.46)

■(One study was published in 2006)  Paul Williams (a statistics expert at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) and Peter Wood (a Stanford University researcher) collected detailed information on almost thirteen thousand habitual runners and then compared the weekly mileage of these runners with how much they weighed from year to year.
Those who ran the most tended to weigh the least, but all these runners tended to get fatter with each passing year, even those who ran more than forty miles a week-eight miles a day, say, five days a week. (P.45)

■In 1977, for instance, in the midst of the exercise explosion, the National Institutes of Health hosted its second ever conference on obesity and weight control, and the assembled experts concluded that "the importance of exercise in weight control is less than might be believed, because increases in energy expenditure due to exercise also tend to increase food consumption, and it is not possible to predict whether the increased caloric output will be outweighed by the greater food intake." (P.52)

■From the late 1970s onward, the primary factor fueling the belief that we can maintain or lose weight through exercise seemed to be the researchers' desire to believe it was true and their reluctance to acknowledge otherwise publicly. (P.53)

As for the researchers themselves, they invariably found a way to write their articles and reviews that allowed them to continue to promote exercise and physical activity, regardless of what the evidence actually showed.

One common method was (and still is) to discuss only the results that seem to support the belief that physical activity and energy expenditure can determine how fat we are, while simply ignoring the evidence that refutes the notion, even if the latter is in much more plentiful supply. (P.54)

In August 2007, the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published joint guidelines on physical activity and health. Thirty minutes of moderately vigorous physical activity, they said, five days a week, was necessary to "maintain and promote health.”

But when it came to the question of how exercising affects our getting fat or staying lean, these experts could only say:
"It is reasonable to assume that persons with relatively high daily energy expenditures would be less likely to gain weight over time, compared with those who have low energy expenditures. So far, data to support this hypothesis are not particularly compelling." (PP.43-44)


The relationship between exercise and weight is “more complex” than they might otherwise have imagined. (P.45) 

Maybe it’s something other than the calories we consume and expend that determines whether we get fat." (P.46)

(Citation from “Why We Get Fat?” by Gary Taubes)

2. The energy consumed by exercise will always come back

Generally, we tend to think that an intake of 100kcal and a consumption of 100kcal are equal. However, I believe this is a big mistake.
Though energy is temporally consumed by exercise, it will basically come back. Of course, if you do exercise without eating anything, you will lose weight but it’s not a healthy way of getting slim.

When we move our muscles, energy and nutrition stored in the cell will be consumed. Then the body will increase absorption rate, inprove blood circulation and deliver nutrition and oxygen to each cell in order to cover the loss.

As a result, there will be a greater appetite. Though I’m not a specialist, this is what we empirically feel.

Higher absorption rate might be difficult to understand but think of this, when somebody drinks alcohol on an empty stomach or drinks alcohol after exercising which will make them more intoxicated or a person turns redder than usual.

Also, the tendency to crave sweets after exercising is a natural mechanism of the body to compensate for reduced glycogen in muscle.

"The very notion that expending more energy than we take in-eating less and exercising more-can cure us of our weight problem, make us permanently leaner and lighter, is based on yet another assumption about the laws of thermodynamics that happens to be incorrect.
The assumption is that the energy we consume and the energy we expend have little influence on each other, that we can consciously change one and it will have no consequence on the other, and vice versa. (P.77)

Intuitively we know this isn't true.
People who semi-starve themselves, or who are semi-starved during wars, famines, or scientific experiments, are not only hungry all the time but lethargic, and they expend less energy. And increasing physical activity does increase hunger; exercise does work up an appetite. (PP.77-78)

In short, the energy we consume and the energy we expend are dependent on each other.
Mathematicians would say they are dependent variables, not independent variables, as they have typically been treated. Change one, and the other changes to compensate. Anyone who argues differently is treating an extraordinarily complex living organism as though it were a simple mechanical device. (P.78)

In 2007, Jeffrey Flier, dean of Harvard Medical School and his wife and colleague in obesity research, Terry Maratos-Flier, published an article in Scientific American called “What Fuels Fat.”
In it, they described the intimate link between appetite and energy expenditure, making clear that they are not simply variables that an individual can consciously decide to change with the only effect being that his or her fat tissue will get smaller or larger to compensate." (P78)

(Citation from “Why We Get Fat?” by Gary Taubes)

3. It’s possible to lose weight only by eating

Light exercise such as walking and running is necessary for your health but it’s not indispensable for getting slim. That is to say, you can lose weight even while continuing to eat regularly.

"When Russell Wilder, an obesity and diabetes specialist at the Mayo Clinic, lectured on obesity in 1932, he said his fat patients lost more weight with bed rest, 'while unusually strenuous physical exercise slows the rate of loss.' 'The patient reasons quite correctly,' Wilder said, 'that the more exercise he takes the more fat should be burned and that loss of weight should be in proportion and he is discouraged to find that the scales reveal no progress.' " (P47)

(Citation from “Why We Get Fat?” by Gary Taubes)


■There is a book about this written by a Japanese sports specialist.

“Sports coach declares. For dieting, exercise should be 10% and meal should be 90%”
by Takuro Mori

After this statement, “How to get slim with 100% meal” was published. Mr. Mori worked in a fitness club for 5 years and though he is a sports coach, he says it’s impossible to lose weight only with exercise.

“As a sports instructor, I’ve seen hundreds and thousands of clients. However, what I saw there were long-time club clients who didn't get slim and moreover, staff who didn't get slim despite the fact that they work in a sports club.

The main work of dieting is the improvement of meal and mentality to support it. Regarding exercise, I believe its weight is very small, so if someone can work out with meal improvement and improved mentality, large results can be obtained even if exercise coaching is omitted… It is also true that, with exaggerated diet product ads, I believed somehow that effective exercise will make anyone slim.

It’s an advertisement so naturally going to be exaggerated in order to appeal. But it’s manipulating people’s general perception.”

(Citation from “For dieting, exercise should be 10% and meal should be 90%” by Takuro Mori)

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Wealthy ones get fat? Poor ones get fat?


  1. Wealthiness is said to be the cause of obesity....
  2. The example of obesity in poverty
  3. Though we became wealthy, how is the quality of our food?
  4. Underweight and obesity can coexist

I want to tell you something interesting that is related to the content of my blog. At the end of this article, I will explain how it is related to my experience.

1. Some believe that wealthiness is said to be the cause of obesity...

 "Ever since researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) broke the news in the mid-1990s that the epidemic was upon us, authorities have blamed it on overeating and sedentary behavior and blamed those two factors on the relative wealth of modern societies.

<In 2003>
  "Improved prosperity" caused the epidemic, aided and abetted by the food and entertainment industries, as the New York University nutritionist Marion Nestle explained in the journal Science.

The Yale University psychologist Kelly Brownell coined the term "toxic environment" to describe the same notion. Brownell says, live in a toxic environment "that encourages overeating and physical inactivity." Obesity is the natural consequence. (Cheeseburgers, French fries, super-sizes, soft drinks, computers, video games etc ) (P.17)


The World Health Organization (WHO) uses the identical logic to explain the obesity epidemic worldwide, blaming it on rising incomes, urbanization, "shifts toward less physically demanding work...moves toward less physical activity...and more passive leisure pursuits." (P.18)

(Citation from “Why We Get Fat?” by Gary Taubes)

In Japan, this idea is widely accepted and TV programs, magazines on dieting or the majority of specialist explain that high-calorie food and less exercise are the cause of obesity.

2.The example of obesity in povert

However, what we have to consider here is that obesity is spreading in poor layer, too.


"This was first reported in a survey of New Yorkers - midtown Manhattanites - in the early 1960s: obese women were six times more likely to be poor than rich; obese men, twice as likely.

Can it be possible that the obesity epidemic is caused by prosperity, so the richer we get, the fatter we get, and that obesity associates with poverty, so the poorer we are, the more likely we are to be fat? (P.18)

▽In the early 1970s, nutritionists and research-minded physicians would discuss the observations of high levels of obesity in these poor populations, and they would occasionally do so with an open mind as to the cause.
This was a time when obesity was still considered a problem of "malnutrition" rather than "overnutrition" as it is today. (P.29)

Between 1901 and 1905, two anthropologists independently studied the Pima (Native American tribe in Arizona), and both commented on how fat they were, particularly the women.

What makes this observation so remarkable is that the Pima, at the time, had just gone from being among the most affluent Native American tribes to among the poorest.

The Pima used to be hardworking farmers and hunters, so it is said, and now they're sedentary wage earners, like the rest of us, driving to the same fast-food restaurants, eating the same snacks, watching the same TV shows, and getting fat and diabetic just like the rest of us, only more so. The tribe was relying on government rations for day-to-day sustenance.

Why would the Pima get fat on the abundant rations and not on the abundant food they'd had prior to the famines? Perhaps the answer lies in the type of food being consumed, a question of a quality rather than quantity. (PP.19-22)

Two researchers from the University of Chicago studied another Native American tribe, the Sioux living on the South Dakota. Fifteen families, with thirty-two children among them, lived "chiefly on bread and coffee." This was poverty almost beyond our imagination today.

Yet their obesity rates were not much different from what we have today in the midst of our epidemic. But the researchers noted another pertinent fact about these Sioux: one-fifth of the adult women, a quarter of the men, and a quarter of the children were "extremely thin".

This combination of obesity and malnutrition or undernutrition (not enough calories) existing in the same populations is something that authorities today talk about as though it were a new phenomenon, but it's  not. Here we have malnutrition or undernutrition coexisting with obesity in the same population eighty years ago. "(PP.23-24)

(Citation from “Why We Get Fat?” by Gary Taubes )


Groups with high obesity rate despite their poverty and undernutrition were found all over the world. Below are just a few examples.

"1961-63: Trinidad, West Indies
A team of nutritionists from the US reports that malnutrition is a serious medical problem on the island, but so is obesity.

1971: Rarotonga, the South Pacific
40% of the adult women are obese; 25% are "grossly obese."

This is from a 2005 New England Journal of Medicine article, "A Nutrition Paradox - Underweight and Obesity in Developing Countries," written by Benjamin Caballero (Johns Hopkins University).

Caballero then describes the difficulty that he believed this phenomenon presents:
"The coexistence of underweight and overweight poses a challenge to public health programs, since the aims of programs to reduce undernutrition are obviously in conflict with those for obesity prevention.”

Put simply, if we want to prevent obesity, we have to get people to eat less, but if we want to prevent undernutrition, we have to make more food available. What do we do? " (PP.30-31)

( Citation from “Why We Get Fat?” by Gary Taubes )

3.Though we say we became wealthy, how is the quality of our food?

I want to explain my consideration based on 1 and 2.
First of all, in order to consider “obesity”, isn’t it too simple to believe that “obesity increased since we became wealthy”? 

▽It is certain that our life is much freer and is wealthier in a sense that we have a lot of things. If we have certain income, we can do what we like and eat what we want.

However, when the income is low, we can’t spend a lot for food. Also, we don’t have enough time to eat.
We might disproportionately take too much carbohydrate like eating toast and coffee for breakfast and burger or a cup of noodles for lunch. We might skip breakfast.

In addition, those who get fat easily try to eat simple light meal since they ate a lot the day before. The idea of offsetting an over intake of calories from yesterday, eating less today, is wrong. 

That is to say, even if someone is said to be wealthy, in regards to  food, there are many things in common with groups in poverty with a high rate of obesity. As Mr. Gary says, what is important now is the “quality” of food rather than the “quantity”.

4.Underweight and obesity can coexist

I will explain that underweight and overweight can coexist through the previous content mentioned earlier in “The coexistence of underweight and overweight poses a challenge to public health programs.

▽I repeat that when I was very thin about 30kg, at first I was eating a lot of high-calorie food but I couldn’t gain any weight. And then, I realized that I can gain weight by creating “intestinal starvation”.


The easiest way to create intestinal starvation was to take carbohydrate and good protein, but since it lacked vegetables and minerals, I felt dizzy by the undernutrition. 
If I eat milk, egg, vegetable, beans and fish to add nutrition and mineral, though nutrition is better, I couldn’t gain any weight. For me, it was because I couldn’t digest them well.

So, even if they eat similar food in the same group, it may lead to a different result in the body. Some people who digested all the food they ate in their whole intestines may have become obese. However, those who did not digest all the food in their whole intestines remained underweight.

A small difference sometimes makes a big difference in the result. Whether or not they are overweight is not based on the amount of intake of calories they eat.

 "Not all of us get fat when we eat carbohydrates, but for those of us who do get fat, the carbohydrates are to blame; the fewer carbohydrates we eat, the leaner we will be. (p.134)

These foods are also, almost invariably, the cheapest calories available. This is the conspicuous explanation for why the poorer we are, the fatter we're likely to be." (P.150)

(Citation from “Why We Get Fat?” by Gary Taubes)

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After gaining weight, eat too much and do less exercise (become lazy)


1.People don’t “gain weight” because of eating too much
2.Example of not enough exercise after getting fat


 "The experts who say that we get fat because we overeat or we get fat as a  result of overeating - the vast majority  - are making the kind of mistake that would (or at least should) earn a failing grade in a high-school science class.
They're taking a law of nature that says absolutely nothing about why we get fat and a phenomenon that has to happen if we do get fat - overeating - and assuming these say all that needs to be said." (P.76)

(Citation from “Why We Get Fat?” by Gary Taubes)

This is the foundation I started writing my blog on. I’m assured that there are at least a few researchers in the world who think in the same way as I do.

Even if someone insisted that “the Earth is going around the Sun” in 16th or 17th century where geocentric theory was the common sense, no one would have believed him.  Many should have argued that “if the Earth is going around the Sun, our heads should go around too”. However, now, it’s the common sense that the Earth is going around the Sun.

In the same way, many might not believe me when I say “eating too much or too many calories are not the direct cause”. However, I believe it’s the truth.

1.People don’t “gain weight” because of eating too much

It is said that “eating too much and not enough exercise are the cause of gaining weight” but here is an interesting experiment related to it.

(Citation from “Why We Get Fat?” by Gary Taubes)

 "In the early 1970s, a young researcher at the University of Massachusetts named George Wade set out to study the relationship between sex hormones, weight, and appetite by removing the ovaries from rats (females,obviously) and then monitoring their subsequent weight and behavior. The effects of the surgery were suitably dramatic: the rats would begin to eat voraciously and quickly become obese.

The rat eats too much, the excess calories find their way to the fat tissue, and the animal becomes obese. This would confirm our preconception that overeating is responsible for obesity in humans as well.

But Wade did a revealing second experiment, removing the ovaries from the rats and putting them on a strict postsurgical diet. The rats, postsurgery, were only allowed the same amount of food they would have eaten had they never had the surgery.

What happened is not what you'd probably think. The rats got just as fat, just as quickly. But these rats were now completely sedentary. They moved only when movement was required to get food.

The way Wade explained it to me, the animal doesn't get fat because it overeats, it overeats because it's getting fat. The cause and effect are reversed. (PP.89-90)
The evidence that fat tissue is carefully regulated, not just a garbage can where we dump whatever calories we don't burn, is incontrovertible. (P.94)
Those who get fat do so because of the way their fat happens to be regulated and that a conspicuous consequence of this regulation is to cause the eating behavior (gluttony) and the physical inactivity (sloth) that we so readily assume are the actual causes." (P.93)

  Words of Bruce Birstrian who conducted a treatment of a low calorie diet (600kcal/day) to thousands of obesity patients in Harvard University of Medicine.

"Undereating isn't a treatment or cure for obesity; it's a way of temporarily reducing the most obvious symptom. And if undereating isn't a treatment or a cure , this certainly suggests that overeating is not a cause." (P.39)

(citation from "Why We Get Fat?" by Gary Taubes )

Though you might think the rats’ story is different from my story, I want to tell of my experience of “gaining weight not because of eating more”.

When I was very thin about 35kg, I couldn’t eat anything since my stomach was heavy . Especially, food with oil was the worst.  I tried hard in order to gain weight but nothing was added to my body.

One day, I realized that I can gain weight by creating “intestinal starvation” so I ate mainly easy-to-digest carbohydrate and tried to make my stomach hungry (by not taking fiber or fat). I gradually gained weight in this way. And when I weighed about 50kg, I had more muscles and no discomfort in stomach. I was able to eat more than before.

Those who didn’t know my experience told me “you’re gaining weight because you’re eating more” but that wasn’t true. The order was “After my body became able to gain weight, I gained weight by eating and got more muscle and appetite. As a result, I was able to eat more than before”. So, the reality was completely the other way.

▽Maybe it’s easier for you to imagine with an extreme example.
If there was a man 3 meters tall and weighs 250kg. If he eats 5 times more than us, you won’t think “he became big because he eats a lot” but rather “he can eat a lot because he is big”.

2.Example of not enough exercise after getting fat

 "Some people find it hard to get their head round the fact that aerobic exercise is not particularly effective for weight loss, even when faced with all the facts.

One reason for this is our experience of seeing physically fit and active individuals who are clearly lean. Look at any elite long-distance runner or Tour de France cyclist and you're probably getting a glimpse of what it's like to have a single-digit body fat percentage. The automatic thought process is that exercise causes leanness.

However, could it that individuals who are naturally lean are simply more likely to end up as elite long-distance runners or cyclists? In other words, might their natural leanness cause certain people to be more active, rather than the other way round?

There's actually some evidence for this. In one piece of research, the relationship between physical activity and body fatness in children over a 3-year period was assessed. It was found that the more sedentary children were, the more fat they carried.

This is all to be expected, but because the study was conducted over a prolonged period the researchers were able to gauge whether sedentary behaviour preceded weight gain.

Actually, it did not. In reality, children accumulated fat first, and then became more sedentary. The authors noted that this finding 'may explain why attempts to tackle childhood obesity by promoting PA [physical activity] have been largely unsuccessful'. "(PP.223-224)

(Citation from "Escape The Diet Trap" by Dr John Briffa)

I agree with this opinion but I want to add my opinion.
I think it’s reasonable to think those who are thin aim to be a marathon athletes or soccer players. At least, they know that they won’t gain weight by eating more. They take 3 well-balanced meals/day and that prevents “intestinal starvation” and keeps their current condition (while getting a little more muscle).
That is to say, it’s not that they are consuming calories of what they eat more by doing sports. Taking 3 well-balanced meals make it unnecessary to stock body fat.

On the other hand, those who stay at home a lot playing TV games or reading books tend to eat less. Sometimes, it’s only hamburger, only french fries or noodles.

Since they don’t do exercise, they don’t pay attention to nutrition. Such situation can cause them to be easier to get fat (intestinal starvation mechanism).

It’s not because they take more calories nor consume less calories. For those who are lazy it might be easier to gain weight, but not enough exercise or laziness won’t directly make people fat. The cause is something else.

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What does it mean to eat relatively less?


  1. An example of "Judo"
  2. An example of delivery center
  3. An example of food

I always felt weird when I was having lunch with my coworker K who is about 80kg. He said “Mr. Watanabe, you have to eat more in order to gain weight...” 

However, he was eating the same thing as  I was. It’s just that he had a little more rice than I.

Why I felt weird was that “K was eating relatively less and that I was eating relatively more (quantitative/qualitative)”.

1. An example of "Judo"

First, I’d like to explain using the Japanese sport “Judo”. There are usually wrestlers of 45kg, 60kg and up to 90kg mixed weight groups at a practice.

The 45kg wrestler will work with those who are heavier than him so he will be practicing relatively hard.  Especially, if he practices with a 90kg wrestler, there is twice the difference of weight so it’s difficult to win with force.

On the other hand, for the 90kg wrestler, it’s a practice which is relatively easy since there are only those who weigh less than him.

Even if they do the same practice, the level of difficulty is different for each wrestler.

2. An example of delivery center

Let’s see it again here using a “delivery center” example. A delivery center is a place where they sort packages and send them out everyday. There is a delivery center A with a capacity of 500 packages and a delivery center B with a capacity of 800 packages.

When there are 500 packages being processed, A will be at its limit, but B still has some room.
When there are 700 packages being processed, A is over its capacity, so employees have to work over time, but B still has some room.

That is to say, even if the quantity of packages is the same, the things happening inside differs by its capacity. If this is food, then the “package” is the “intake amount”.

3. An example of food

I guess you already know what I want to say. Here again we have 3 ladies of different weights eating the same thing.
A: 90kg, B: 60kg, C: 45kg

Let’s say all 3 had the “Hamburger lunch set”.
In terms of the external intake amount, all of them have the same amount/ calories, but when we take their weight into account, C who is 45kg is eating relatively more.

A who is 90kg has twice as a large body than C, with a thicker chest and bigger stomach, so she should have a higher digestive ability. As a result, A is eating relatively less and relatively (*qualitative) simple.

(* Qualitative means that those with higher digestive ability can digest the same amount of food faster. For example, Caucasians have stronger digestive enzymes for protein and fat, compared to Japanese.)

Now, A orders a large bowl of rice. Regarding intake amount, you might think “she is fat because she eats a lot”. However, if we take their weight into account, since rice is a carbohydrates which is easy to digest, it can be said that A is still eating relatively less compared to B or C.

So everything depends on the relation between the person’s “digestive capacity” and “food type”. Those who feel hungry soon might be in “starvation status” more often than others, even if they take the same amount of food.

It’s the stomach and intestines, especially small intestine that decides this. So those who are overweight or who have stronger stomachs tend to have “potential to get fat” even if they eat the same amount.

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3 perspectives regarding dietary fat


1.Fat not necessarily means getting fat
2.The reason eating fat makes you slim

   (1) Long-term energy acquired through eating fats
   (2) Deterrent effect of becoming obese
   (3) Diet effect

1.Fat not necessarily means getting fat

Many people say “eating too much fat is the cause of gaining weight” as if it’s common knowledge. There lies the belief that “it's  the calories that makes us obese” and therefore, fat with 9kcal per gram which is more than twice of carbohydrates and proteins (4kcal per gram) is said to makes us easily obese.

However, there are specialists who disagree to this belief such as John Briffa, a British doctor and the author of “Escape the Diet Trap” and Makoto Natsui, a Japanese doctor and the author of “Carbohydrates Will Ruin a Human”.

Dr. Natsui says from his own experience of a carbohydrate restriction diet that “no matter how many calories I take from fat, it doesn't make me fat. I was able to get slim without standing starvation and with a good health condition.”

John Briffa observed in the relative experiment doing various diets, that a low-fat diet has no effect on becoming slim and that a rich-fat diet is more effective to getting slim, while taking hormone secretion, etc. into account.

2.The reason eating fat makes you slim

Based on my experience, both those who gained weight with fat or those who got slim with fat are both true, but these are because they are just different aspects of fat’s own nature. We can’t observe this same result if we just focus on “calories”.

Fat can be categorized into 3 groups which is based on the subject of intake (who) and the way of intake (how many, how often).

(1)Long-term energy acquired through eating fats

Though fat is high in calorie with 9kcal per gram, it takes longer to digest compared to carbohydrates or proteins so:

  •  Foods high in fat helps keep a sense of being full.
  •  Fats won’t increase blood sugar level.
  •  Fats sustain energy for a long time.


Within the Base Weight of such a person, if you ate many calories from fat, you should gain weight naturally.

【Related article】

2 meanings of the phrase "gaining weight"

It’s a common belief by many people that:

  • high calorie sweets or butter make us fat.
  • meals using oil to fry or sauté will make us fat.

With these images, many people reject a revolutionary suggestion of “taking fat in order to get slim” and that’s what makes this theory hard to be accepted.

(2)deterrent effect of becoming obese

In the case where the “Base Weight” itself increases, it will work as rather (*) a deterrent force. (* for those who have a higher digestive ability for fat, may not experience a deterrent force)

For example, if a thin person wants to gain weight, excessive fat will be a hindering force to gaining weight. Have you ever wondered, “why was he/she not getting fat despite the fact that he/she was eating high calorie foods, such as cake, fried foods and meat?” Actually, less-fatty foods are easier to gain weight.

(Japanese Sumo wrestlers)

▽In Japan, Sumo wrestlers (a Japan’s national sport) are famous for being very big and overweight.

They always eat a simmered, low-fat hot pot dish called “Chanko-nabe” and eat a lot of rice only twice a day. So, a Sumo wrestler diet is very logical way to gain weight.

So why does fat have a deterrent effect? It’s simple.
I’ve stated before that “Base Weight increases by the mechanism of intestinal starvation” and since fat takes around 10 hours to digest, it stays longer hours in the stomach and intestines with a slower digestion rate resulting in undigested food remaining.

Therefore, there will be less chances to trigger the starvation mechanism.

(3)Diet effect (largely categorized within deterrent effect)

As the 2 authors I’ve mentioned above said, “less carbohydrates and more fat will make you slim” is correct. I struggled a lot with eating fatty foods because of having a weak stomach, so I want to explain from that perspective.

It’s not that “carbohydrates are the cause of gaining weight and they are the ultimate bad guys” but rather it’s the difference of characteristics between carbohydrates (*) and fat usage. (*here, I’m referring to polysaccharide such as cereal and starch, but not to sugar)

Fat is difficult to digest so eating fat often leads to undigested food in stomach and intestines. In turn your appetite will settle down and relatively, the absorption rate and absorption amount decreases.

On the other hand, with carbohydrates, they are digested rapidly and make nutrition diluted. So carbohydrates and fat content, it can be said to have the opposite effect, even though a diet has the same calories.

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