What Does It Mean to Eat Relatively Less?


  1. An example of judo
  2. An example of delivery center
  3. An example of food
    The bottom line

I always felt something was wrong, when I was having lunch with my coworker K, who is about eighty kilograms. He said to me, “You have to eat more in order to gain weight”, because I was very thin. 

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

Why It felt odd was that "K was eating relatively less" and " I was eating relatively more " in terms of quality and quantity.

1. An example of "judo"

First, I’d like to explain by using the Japanese sport of judo. There are usually wrestlers of forty-five, sixty, and up to ninety kilograms mixed weight groups at a practice.

The forty-five kilogram wrestler often works with those who are heavier than him, so he will be practicing relatively hard. In particular, if he practices with a ninety kilogram wrestler, there is twice the difference of weight, so it’s difficult to win. 

On the other hand, for the ninety kilogram 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 challenge is different for each wrestler.

2. An example of delivery center

Let’s see it again here by using a “delivery center” example. A delivery center is a place where they sort packages and send them out everyday. There are two delivery centers. Center A has a capacity of five hundred packages, and delivery center B has a capacity of eight hundred packages. 

When there are five hundred packages being processed, A will be at its limit, but B still has some room.

When there are seven hundred packages being processed, A is over its capacity, so employees have to work overtime, but B still has some room.

That is to say, even if the quantity of packages is the same, the things happening inside differ by their capacity. If this were food, then the package would be equivalent to the “intake amount of food.”

3. An example of food

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

Let’s say all three had the same hamburger set for lunch.

In terms of the food intake, all of them have the same amount and calories, but when we take their weight into account, C, who is forty-five kilograms is eating relatively more, and A, who is ninety kilograms is eating a relatively light meal.

It’s because A who is ninety kilograms has a body twice as large as C, with a thicker chest and a bigger stomach. You can also say that she might have a stronger digestive ability compared to B or C.

Here, when we focus on body size, you can say, “A is eating quantitatively less." When we focus on digestive ability, “A is eating qualitatively simpler than C.

“Qualitatively” means that those with a stronger digestive ability can digest the same amount of food faster, even if they are the same body size. For example, it's been said that Caucasians generally have stronger digestive enzymes for protein and fat, compared to many Asian people.

Now, suppose A orders a large bowl of rice. Regarding intake amount, you might think, “after all, she must be fat because she eats a lot.”

However, if we take their weight into account, since rice is a carbohydrate which is easy to digest, it can be said that A is still eating relatively less and eating a lighter meal compared to B or C.

The bottom line

(1) Based on my intestinal starvation theory, people who have a bigger body or stronger digestion eat relatively less or lighter meals compared to thin people. They are more likely to feel hungrier, and depending on what they eat, they are prone to inducing intestinal starvation and gain more weight.

(2) Also, assuming that European, American, or African people generally have a stronger digestion for fat and protein compared to many Asian people, they are more likely to gain weight than many Asians, even if everyone eats the same. It’s not that they have particular obesity gene.