Why Do We Gain Weight even Though We Eat Small Portions of Food?


  1. A woman friend who eventually put on some weight
  2. A colleague who gained three kilograms in a year
  3. "Just reduce calories" is a mistake 

It is said that the cause of weight gain is the caloric intake exceeding calories burned through metabolism and activity. For this reason, I see people dieting by only reducing the amount of food they eat, and putting up with being hungry over long hours.

being hungry

For example, they eat 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 opinion, people like this not only do not diet well, but they also tend to gain weight eventually.

1.  A woman friend who eventually put on some weight

When I was working part-time at a restaurant in college, there was a woman who wasn’t that overweight, but she started dieting anyway. 

She wasn’t slim, but she wasn’t overweight, either. To me, she looked healthy and fit. I thought she was okay as she was. But it seemed that she started dieting because she wanted to get slim. 

a small portion of food

Therefore, she only ate half of her meal, such as rice and meat/fish dish and never any vegetables. She was always saying, “I’m starving...” but continued experiencing hunger and stopped eating snacks.

As a result, not only did she not lose weight, but she also gained a little weight.

2.  A colleague who gained three kilograms in a year

The same goes for my colleague, T, who worked as a cook in the kitchen at a nursing home. When I first met him, he was a stocky guy (about 170cm tall and 70 kilos).
He wasn’t overweight but he was on a diet, saying he had gained three kilos which shattered his  previous weight level in the last year. 

a small portion of food(2)

In his case, he was working before six a.m., but he hardly ever ate breakfast.
For lunch, he only ate a small bowl of rice and meat or fish. He almost never ate vegetable dishes such as salad and simmered vegetables (traditional Japanese vegetable stew).

He gained two more kilos in the following year.

3.  "Just reduce calories" is a mistake 

What's wrong with this is, that the people previously mentioned thought that in order to lose weight, they only needed to reduce calories from carbohydrates, meat, and fat. Furthermore, they thought they had to be hungry in order to lose weight. 

As a result, they didn’t consume fiber from vegetables, fat/oil, and dairy products, etc. very much so their base weight increased by inducing intestinal starvation. 

vegetable dishes

There are two ways in which the intestinal starvation mechanism occurs.

(1) Eating an unbalanced meal with a lot of carbohydrates and some meat (protein), but not eating as often (e.g. one or two meals a day) and experiencing hunger over long hours. 

(2) Eating small portions, often skewed towards carbohydrates and some meat (protein), etc. Many of them eat three times a day, but often experience hunger over long hours.

In conclusion, whether you eat a good amount of food or a small portion of food, if your diet consists of mostly carbs and digestible protein, an imbalance of food in the intestines remains the same. If you don’t eat anything else and experience hunger over many hours, it leads to the similar effect in view of creating intestinal starvation.

Eating vegetable dishes, dairy products and fat/oil, etc. is important with regards to preventing intestinal starvation, but those people in the previous examples were only conscious of caloric intake, and chose not to eat them.