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Are You on the Sumo Diet?



by Susan Fekety, RN, MSN, CNM



One of my favorite sushi restaurants is arranged in such a way that you can see the television from every seat. It's tuned almost always (I actually think always, but I can't back it up) to the Sumo Wrestling Station. (Imagine! No CNN!) I generally hate TV, but my eyes are drawn to these matches. I keep wondering whether those little thong outfits will stay in place, and if those guys feel self-conscious with their buttocks hanging out there like that. (Like I would.) I mean, do they use double sided tape or something? In fact, I wonder how much of Sumo mind training is dedicated to becoming confident enough to carry off the bold fashion statement of that scandalous wrestling costume? Surely you are familiar with the common struggle to keep the bathing suit in place while romping on the beach? So it is sometimes difficult, in that restaurant, to stay focused on my eel roll. Call me shallow.

Anyway – guess how the Sumo get and stay so fat? These warriors have been perfecting their techniques for hundreds of years. Surprise: they do what a lot of my patients do who are trying to lose weight! Oops!

Check out these tips from the Sumo Lifestyle guidebook:

Sumo tip #1: Get up early and exercise on an empty stomach. This lowers their metabolic rate for the rest of the day, and guarantees they'll be ravenous when they finally have lunch. Their body thinks it's starving, and converts food energy to stored fat extra efficiently.

Sumo tip #2: Eat two meals per day, and stuff yourself each time. Sumo eat this special soup called chanko, made of broth, meat, and vegetables, with lots and lots and lots of rice. Sumo wrestlers eat about 5000 calories a day.

Sumo tip #3: Eat socially. The Sumo eat their chanko with the other men in their training "stable." (Sumo lifestyle is very hierarchical and ritualized, as well as competitive, providing a mental stress which probably also helps make them fat.) It's a bitter truth that people who eat with friends tend to consume more than when they eat alone.

Sumo tip #4: After you eat, go to sleep. After lunch the Sumo take naps. After dinner, they go to bed. Going to bed with a full stomach forces your body to release a lot of insulin to manage the food you've just ingested. Elevated insulin levels stimulate fat production.

So that's the expert recipe for gaining weight. If you feel some days like you could become a contender, try eating breakfast shortly after you get up, having a little something before you exercise, eating more frequently (say, three small meals and two snacks,) and stopping eating a few hours before you go to bed. Be mindful when eating with companions, for they may make you lose focus. Simple, non-Sumo techniques that your metabolism will love!




Article © Copyright 2008 by Susan Fekety. All rights reserved worldwide. Duplication or reprints only with express permission of the author or, for a nonprofit purpose, without consent so long as the author's name and contact information are included as follows: "Reproduced with permission from Susan Fekety," These articles are provided for informational purposes only. Their content is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own health care professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem promptly contact your health care provider.




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