After many Christmas and New Year lunches and dinners, many of us are feeling a bit heavier, aren’t we? In Japan, weight gain is a common new year problem, too, particularly thanks to these delicious mochi rice cakes that keep popping up on the dinner table:-( It’s around this time of the new year that we start pledging to lose that extra kilos we’ve put on in a matter of few weeks in December and January.
But it’s never that easy, is it? Yes, we hear you!
How about try a Japanese solution to losing weight? Starving ourselves is not sustainable way, but eating and drinking WELL is. Here are some Japanese food, drinks and supplements that are helping Japanese lose weight healthily and in a fun way:-)
Okara Soy Powder
One of Takaski’s staff (known as Kyoko among our customers) swears that she’s lost six kilos in three months and yet feels healthy largely thanks to eating okara (and konjac and aojiru) on a daily basis. What’s okara anyway? According to Wikipedia, okara, soy pulp, or tofu dregs is “a pulp consisting of insoluble parts of the soybean which remains after pureed soybeans are filtered in the production of soy milk and tofu”.
You can make all sorts of dishes with okara, while you can also substitute flour with okara in cooking. Or simply reduce the amount of your regular dish and add some okara powder into it, which fills you up a lot.
Big fan of ramen? But fully aware that ramen has high calorie? The most fattening ramen is ramen with tonkotsu pork-based soup, which contains anywhere between 990 to over 1,500 calories. Ippudo’s Tokusei Akamaru Tonkotsu Ramen, for example, is 948 calories and Ramen Jiro’s whopping 1300 to 3000 calories…
DHC, one of the most successful beauty and health food companies, comes to rescue us who are obsessed with ramen!
DHC’s Diet Ramen Series’ noodles are made with konjac, which is a plant of the genus Amorphophallus. Konjac is also known as konjak, konjaku, konnyaku potato, devil’s tongue, voodoo lily, snake palm, or elephant yam, and used in many famous Japanese dishes such as oden, nabe hot pot, nimono stew and more.
Konjac is part and parcel of Japanese washoku, and its popularity largely owes to the fact that it’s a low calorie – good for diet – and healthy – it cleanses your system, making you regular!
As you can see above, even Tonkotsu Ramen has only 83 calories, followed by 68 calorie Shoyu Soy Sauce Ramen and 83 calorie Shio Salt Ramen. DHC Konjac Ramen is the new girl’s best friend;-)
Diet Sweet Snack
If you suppress your desire to eat sweet stuff too long, you might be facing the pig-out urge sometime soon. That’s something we should avoid by eating ‘healthy’, less fattening sweets. There is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself every now and then with some sweets, and if these sweets are healthy, then, that’s even better.
We highly recommend snack and sweets that are made with tofu and soy.
Tofu, soy and okara donuts by Ishikawa are made with 100% Japanese soy beans and with flour harvested in Aichi Prefecture. These tofu, okara or soy donuts are actually our favourite afternoon tea snack at Takaski.com (many of Takaski’s staff have indeed pleadged losing 5 kilos by June this year!).
If you are a creative type, why not try making your own healthy non-fatening deserte with Okara Donut to Grill in Toaster – 100% Japanese Soy Okara. As the name suggests, you grill this donut on a toaster for two minutes. While you can eat them as they are, you could also create:
- Okara Donut with custard cream: Grill the donut for two minutes, add custard cream and brown sugar and place a heated spoon on the surface of the donut
- Okara Donut French Toast: Mix milk and egg (add sugar as prefered), cut the donut in halves and dunk them in the mixed milk and egg. Grill the donuts on a frying pan and have it with whipped cream and some fruit!
- Okara Donut with banana, marshmallow and almond: Place sliced banana, marshmallow and almond on a donut and grill it for two minutes. Add chocolate sauce or any of your favoriet sauce.
Aojiru Diet Drinks
Aojiru initially became popular as drinks that provides condensed nutrition. But recent years have seen an increased number of Japanese aojiru fans who consume aojiru for diet purposes. Why? When we are on a diet, we tend to lack fiber and vitamin, but Aojiru contains these and more nutritious ingredients that get rid of constipation and swelling, and that has detoxifying effects.
For instance, while dieting, you could substitute one meal with one cup of aojiru (for a limited number of days).
In addition to dieting effect, aojiru also has many other positive effects. For instance, kale and omugi wakaga aojiru is said to have an anti-aging effect, while ashitaba and omugi wakaga has fat burning effect.
But keep in mind that you won’t lose weight overnight by just taking one or two glasses of aojiru. Aojiru needs to be consumed everyday for a while before you start to feel the benefit of it. So find the taste or product that is not difficult to take on a daily basis. For instance, aojiru with matcha is much easier to drink everyday than some hard core aojiru.
Japanese Diet Supplements
Everyone knows that we shouldn’t eat big meals at night. Consumed food stay in our system overnight, keep taxing our stomach and turning into fat. But sometimes we can’t avoid eating (a lot) at night if you are at a dinner party. The more friends or business associates you have, the more dinner parties you are bound to have to attend. Or simply, you like eating at night, which is not a sin itself;-)
For those who have to or want to eat at night is Shinya Koso Late Night Meal Diet Series. Designed by Dr. Hiromi Shintani, Late Night Meal Diet Series contain eight ingredients that help you control weight. If you are aiming at losing weight AND improving skin condition, SHINYA KOSO Late Night Meal Diet & Beauty – Enzyme, Placenta & Collagen is the answer!
Don’t compromise your health and desire to have fun just because you are on a diet. If you have tried any of the items above, let us know in the comment below how you are going with them and get an extra complimentary gift with your next order!