The Eating Lessons from Sumo

I have been involved in martial arts for over 25 years. In all this time,the oddest martial art I have ever seen is Sumo. As many know, it is 2 VERY large men, standing across from one another, ramming into each other like a head on collision between trucks. It is strange indeed. It is also very educational from a nutritional perspective.

If you have ever seen these individuals, they are as strong as a horse but have tremendous body fat. In fact, that is one of their goals — to have excessive body fat. It is the only athletic endeavor I can think of that has excessive fat as THE goal. Everyone else in the world is looking to do exactly the opposite.

How do they accomplish their goal of adding hundreds of pounds of fat? Here is a typical eating pattern:

– They miss breakfast all of the time

– They workout without having eaten anything prior

– They workout for 2 to 5 hours per day

– They eat 1-2 large meals during the course of the day.  No snacks

– They eat mostly higher carbohydrates with some meat

– They have little to no fats, including healthy fats

– They eat an enormous amount of calories

– They drink beer with meals

– They go right to sleep after each meal, either for a 3 hour nap during the day or overnight post-dinner.

This pattern has been consistent for thousands of years and it has produced the desired results — huge individuals with body fat percentages in excess of 50%. Hundreds of pounds overweight. If you wish to be Sumo, that is a great method. If you are like most of us, that is a disaster.

In one of my blog entries, I introduced the concept of “oppositeman;” that is, have you ever known a person in your life that seems to do exactly the opposite of what would be healthy, abundant and productive? If you did exactly the opposite of what they are doing, you will be much better off? (Ex/ “Oppositeman” spends 10% more than he makes and piles up debt. If you save 10% of what you earn and live within your means, all is well.)

“Oppositeman” always seem to pull defeat from the hands of victory.  They are great models to have in your life. They will teach you exactly what NOT to do, saving you time and pain. The great judo master Jigiro Kano once stated, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You may not live long enough to learn from your own.” Great words of wisdom.

Learn from others. Learn from Sumo how NOT to eat and essentially, do the exactly opposite.

– Always start the day with breakfast

– Workout daily. Be sure to eat prior to working out, and have something afterwards.

– Be sure your work outs are 60 minutes or less. 45 minutes is ideal for hormonal benefits.

– Have smaller meals throughout the day. If you are looking to cut fat,eat until 80% full and stop.

– If you are looking to reduce body fat, focus on proteins.

– Be sure to include healthy fats.

– And healthy carbs such as green leafy vegetables.

– Drink water.

– Move after a meal. Walk the dog, play with the kids. Move after eating.

You and your health are worth it.

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