How to eat (Way of intake)


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."


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.


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.


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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Why dieting (eating less and exercising more) doesn’t work?


  1. Dieting doesn’t work
  2. Why does rebound occur?
  3. What is really necessary in order to get thinner?

1.Dieting doesn’t work

It is said that exercise and food restriction is necessary for getting slim. However, we rarely meet those who succeeded in dieting using such a method.

▽Japanese wrestler Bull Nakano has repeatedly dieted and rebounded but after having knee problems, it was indispensable that she lose weight so she had a gastrectomy to remove stomach.

She says that “exercise and food restriction won’t make you thinner”.

▽Japanese comedian, Sugi-chan lost 7kg with Billy’s boots camp diet but rebounded 7kg afterward.

2.Why does rebound occur?

If we get thinner by temporarily limiting calorie intake and increasing exercise, the basic point of our present condition (Base Weight) won’t change.

In other words, it may be more appropriate to say “cutting weight” or “tighten one’s body” (just like before a match a boxer will diet) rather than “get thin”. Rebound should be expressed not as “gaining weight” by quitting a diet but as “gaining back the original weight”.

If we want to keep a thin condition, we need to always pay attention to food and exercise.
This is the logic of those who say “exercise and food restriction is a must to diet” or “it’s normal to gain weight if we eat”.

However, not all those who are thin are making special effort. There are thin people who eat whatever they want and without exercise.

3.What is really necessary in order to get thinner?

Then “what should we do to get thinner?” The real thing we should work on is to decrease the basic point of our present condition, the “Base Weight” itself.

Then you won’t gain weight even if you don’t exercise and you can gain a body that won’t rebound.

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